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Horror Movie Freak Paperback – August 11, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fun and completely enjoyable. You can almost hear the terrible music that filmmakers like me use when we make a horror flick. This is an excellent guide for Horror Freaks and aspiring horror movie makers. If you're already a Freak, Horror Movie Freak will turn you into one, so be careful...and stay scared." --GEORGE ROMERO, director of Night of the Living Dead

About the Author

Don Sumner's first experience with horror was sneaking up in the middle of the night to watch Terror Train on cable TV and he hasn't stopped since. He is the CEO of Horror Freaks Media LLC, has served as the expert on horror movie locales for USA Today, and is committed to countering the unenlightened views of movie critics who do not really "get" horror—the dreaded "horror intelligencia."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications; Pap/DVD edition (August 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440208247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440208249
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion, Don has written this book the most appropriate way possible: by not being too scholarly and by talking to the reader as one horror freak to another horror freak or horror freak-in-training. For the last few years, I've proudly written for his site and it was an honor to help create the master film list for this book. I've always believed the most important thing in reviewing horror is to not be afraid to admit that you love it or that you love certain films, and Don captures that idea beautifully, preaching the gospel and virtues of being an unabashed, unashamed Horror Freak. It is one thing to make a "simple" list of "The 100 best films". It is quite another, and far better in some ways, to make a list of movies that are important to a well-rounded, foundational knowledge of the genre....a primer, if you will. Everyone needs a place to start in the genre...or a way for seasoned vets to remember movies they haven't revisted in a long time. Horror Movie Freak fills that void.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on the reviews it received, and am continually amazed at what folks consider superlative among the ranks of what's available here on Amazon and elsewhere. I didn't pay much for it, so no gripe there, but this book is no more than barely adequately written and researched, the flicks are way too obvious as inclusions with a few distinct exceptions, and the scope so broad it's guaranteed to disappoint true aficionados of all the facets of horror out there.

I apologize in advance for these comments, but anyone who uses adjectives like 'ultimate', 'definitive', 'comprehensive', 'best', 'must read' in relation to this book well, quite frankly, doesn't know jack about horror films. I realize it can't be any of those things when you use an umbrella that large to embrace all the flicks out there in a book this small, but anyone who knows horror doesn't need their nose re-rubbed in creepy cinema they've seen multiple times (most of us aren't like the author, who can 'wipe' his slate clean while watching a flick for the 30th time). Too many chapters and too few titles with too little info doesn't add up to much, IMO. If you're a neophyte, acolyte or aspiring horror buff (and truthfully, who gets into horror films later in life? These things are the stuff our childhood thrills and fears are fashioned from, even in the author's own words), this is a fine entrance or doorway, but that's all it is or could ever hope to be.

There isn't one Eurohorror film mentioned (outside of Hammer, which isn't truly considered Eurohorror among enthusiasts, it's its own genre), no mention of Franco, Rollin, only a mention of Bava and Argento, no mention of the dozens of excellent 'Tartan Asia Extreme' releases, only a pittance of 60's American entries(no William Castle?
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Format: Paperback
In Horror Movie Freak (2010), author Don Sumner provides a nice overview of the horror genre, from Nosferatu (1929), to the monster films from Universal Studios, to Hammer horror, and all the way up to films released in 2010. The book is divided into categories based on historical classification, characteristics, or subject matter. Examples of categories include Vampires, Ghost Stories, Monsters, Asian Horror, Classics, Homicidal Slashers, and Zombie Invasion. Each category has a brief summary, and is then is typically followed by three to seven films in the subgenre. Some may quibble about the inclusion of a particular film in a category, but for the most part, Sumner seems on target. He also devotes a special section to Scream Queens Jamie Lee Curtis, Debbie Rochon, Dee Wallace, and Adrienne Barbeau.

It is when you examine the coverage of individual films, that the limitations of the book become evident, as most times Sumner offers a brief summary of the film, and something to put the film in some kind of historical context. While this is somewhat satisfying, there generally isn't anything that really grabs you and makes you want to see the film. If you are already familiar with a particular film, and are seeking some fascinating tidbit of information, or hoping for a cool obscure bit of trivia, you probably won't find it here.

No matter how historically significant or outstanding a particular movie may be, no film is given more than two pages of coverage in the book. Many times, much of the space is taken up by photos. The photos very often do add a lot, but unfortunately it is often at the expense of coverage of the film.
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Format: Paperback
Besides watching horror movies, I love reading about them and have bought my fair share of books over the years. Horror Movie Freak is one of the best. It's a book written by a major horror fan (Freak) for other Horror Freaks and the pure joy of the genre shines through. The book has zippy writing, a fun design and lots of super color photos of movie stills and posters. I was also happy to see some B movies get a mention, like "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and "Motel Hell," and there is also a section on all the different kind of remakes, as well as a shout out (scream out?) to some notable scream queens. And you sure can't beat an endorsement from George Romero himself, or the free DVD of his zombie masterpiece, "Night of the Living Dead," that's included, with a funny introduction by the author. This is a nifty little package perfect for other Horror Freaks and genre novices alike.
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