- 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: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Horror Movie Freak Paperback – August 11, 2010
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"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" horrorthe dreaded "horror intelligencia."
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Top customer reviews
I did not find "Horror Movie Freak", on the other hand, fun to read, although it is well written, nor was there any value to finding that the films were not rated on quality, but simply categorized by type. This took the fun factor out of the equation for me. Unfortunately, this editorial decision adds very little value to the book--If you are a novice, it's not difficult to figure out that "White Zombie" is a zombie flick, and if you are a knowledgeable fan, the categories add little of worth in and of themselves. Although Don Sumner is a passionate writer, and is serious about the subject matter, I have to admit that I read only about 20% of it due to the format. This is due to a particular problem: If you're a novice, and you don't want any of the plot twists or surprises ruined for you, you probably won't want to read the reviews, which are mostly made up of detailed descriptions of the plots. Likewise, (see the pattern, here?) if you're an expert, you won't want to bother reading about plots you are already familiar with. In addition, experts won't want to read the plots of the films they haven't seen yet, either. So what we're left with is roughly the 20% of the review (on average) that contains actual commentary on the film.
Other reviewers have mentioned another issue with the book: the apparent gaps. Saw 2 made the cut, but the first Saw film is missing from the book, even though it is listed in the index (some kind of technical mix-up with the index, I suppose). Indeed, there are huge gaps regarding the European and Spanish horror films, also Barbara Steele, Roger Corman and the Hostel films.
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?), just a mention of the Universal canon, the omissions go on and on. There ARE a few solid, unexpected entries added here in the author's defense but, as a whole, it's just another book that briefly touches on horror films without delving into any significant details deserving of the praise lavished on it by other reviewers. There are more weak entries here than strong ones, IMO. I realize my comments are militant and slightly abrasive, but facts are facts. Those of you out there who KNOW horror films should avoid this book except for the appealing layout, crisp colors and great poster reproductions (See? I found merits here after all my detractions), but you won't learn an unblessed, unholy thing otherwise. For seasoned horror freaks, could you do worse? Sure you could. But would you really want to?