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The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide Paperback – October 12, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Scarecrow is America’s best video store." –Bernardo Bertolucci "Scarecrow Video is the country’s coolest video store." –Premier magazine **When we have 1st pass pages, we will approach friend-of-Scarecrow Quentin Tarintino for a blurb!

About the Author

The staff and friends of Scarecrow Video consist of a team of about a dozen movie lovers and film buffs who embody the Scarecrow point of view. Scarecrow Video is in Seattle.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (October 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570614156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570614156
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,366,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Greatest Video Store in the World has released THE SCARECROW VIDEO MOVIE GUIDE. The Scarecrow Video Store is a true mecca for movie lovers located in Seattle Washington's University District. This 808 page celebration of film is written by the friends and workers of the store. They bring to the concept of Movie Guide Books exactly what they bring to Video Store--obsessive passionate iconiclastic eclectisism. After an introduction the book starts with a section on

14 Chapters categorize the movies in a unique way.

In Chapter 1: DIRECTORS you'll find movies listed according to the last names of the fine folks who directed them. So this section starts out with 3 movies by drive in trash maestro, Al Adamson: Black Heat, Mean Mother and Satan's Sadists. No, they don't include all of Adamson's film (and skip over perhaps his best known Dracula Versus Frankenstein) but the idea seems to be to travel down roads not as well traveled as other movie guidebooks. So what movies do they include of Woody and Altman and Richard Lester and Herschell Gordon Lewis? Who did they leave out of the director's section that they should have in there (Doris Wishman, Richard Rush, Ted V. Mikels perhaps?)

Then there's 13 more chapters and you get nearly 4,000 capsule reviews from a variety of perspectives and some mini-essays on diverse filmmakers from Anthony Mann, and Les Blanc to Silent Film-maker Nell Shipman. There's bonus lists like 'Movies We Wish Were on DVD', 'The Most Depressing Movies Ever Made' and 'Best Musical Documentaries Ever Made.'

If you're confused by how this book is organized there are 3 indexes that will help sort it out for you.

Also readable is what amounts to the Scarecrow Video Store story which opens the book.
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Format: Paperback
This conversation-starting guide assumes the reader is passionate about movie-going and fascinated by the relationships between films. If you're an adventuresome cinema buff who wants to discover brilliant or thought-provoking films in an organic way, as you might make connections while talking to a knowledgeable friend or a friendly clerk at Seattle's Scarecrow Video, this book can help. If, on the other hand, you have no idea what an auteur is and are satisfied by the choices at Blockbuster or Red Box, the guide will probably strike you as needlessly obscure and preposterously elitist.

Full of opinionated short reviews written by roughly 50 Scarecrow employees and customers, some of whom care more about the art of cinema than about good writing, it does not pretend to be definitive or comprehensive. Indeed, since the store stocks more than 100,000 titles, many of them rare, obscure, out of print, or never available on DVD, many thousands of worthy films had to be omitted. It's never been updated, and there are no ratings of any kind, so if you're hoping to find recent releases or one to five stars at each entry, look elsewhere.

Most of the videos profiled are either excellent or intriguing, but the authors occasionally recommend unmitigated dreck or praise arcane tripe that exists solely to shock. They can be, as the blurb on the back cover states, "laughable, important, fluffy, gory, illuminating, so-bad-it's-good videos." It goes without saying that a reviewer's tastes will not always match yours, so you need to be discerning when choosing from among nearly 4,000 titles spread over 800 pages. And note that a number of middlebrow blockbusters are given no mention whatsoever; you won't find "Terms of Endearment" here.
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Format: Paperback
Uh, this is actually a very easy to use book - though i suppose having a brain might help a little - what's wrong with using the index? Every film reviewed is listed by title in alphabetical order along with its respective page number . . . flip to the page in question, and VIOLA!! Simple, efficient, and about as remedial as it gets . . .

AND the contents of the book are fantastic - an extremely broad and eclectic array of films are covered, all reviewed with pith and wit, blessedly without the stale academic dictionary approach of so many other movie guides. The arrangement is unique, simple, and clever: how many times have you been in the video store not looking for anything in particular, but with a general idea what TYPE of movie you want? Well, next time, before you even leave the house, you can just open to section corresponding with your desired film-type and scan through it, picking out a few possible promising-looking titles to search for once you get to the rental spot.

Be warned however, this is NOT a comprehensive movie guide, nor is it meant to be - there are some really blatant ommissions. But at the same time there is such an awesome wealth of classical knowledge combined with esoterica in here that one is virtually guaranteed a plethora of great and enlightening cinematic discoveries for years and years to come. This is GENUINE film scholarship compiled by true film buffs who clearly love and enjoy turning others onto good movies. I couldn't recomend it more!!
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book about two months ago and I've kept it close by ever since. It never claims to be a complete guide to every movie ever made (there are plenty of those around). Dip in on any page and you'll still be reading 20 minutes later. Frustrating? Sometimes. Opinionated? Quite often. It's all part of the fun! It's like walking into the world's greatest video store (go figure!)where you'll fall in love with some of the staff's recommendations and occasionally howl in anguish at some of them too. Pretty much like what happens when I talk movies with the other movie geeks at work! That's how this book should be taken, a bunch of people who really love movies (pretty good qualifications as far as I'm concerned) who want to let you know about a huge bunch of movies they like (or hate). I guarantee dozens of new discoveries that slipped by when reading the other guides. So by all means buy the "complete" guides (and see if you agree with all THEIR reviews) and get this one too. Read them often and above all watch movies!! Oh and by the way, Mimi Noyes ROCKS!
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