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Videodrome: Studies in the Horror Film Paperback – November 1, 2008
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Obviously if you're not a fan of the film or Cronenberg this would probably be one long snooze, but the chances are those people are not buying it in the first place. Even still for those with only passing interest, the book's highlights include interviews with all the main characters including Cronenberg, Deborah Harry, James Woods, Sonja Smits, Les Carlson, and even Make Up guru Rick Baker.
There's great stuff on the early drafts and changes that the movie was going through even as production roled on. The book is also full of great color photographs including 4 full page ones. The photos are spread out through the text which I always prefer to a lame "Photo Section". The book is well put together (even noting the fact that it was printed in China - yuck!); the quality of paper and printing are excellent!
My favorite bit of trivia from the book in the category of "why didn't I know that" was that all of the promotional stills used by Universal were all from scenes cut from the film! I even owned this still set at one time and never figured it out!!
On the downside I was somehwat disappointed by the "technical" portions of the book that spend an exhaustive amount of time on the special effects (and terrific they were), this part just dragged for me. Not enough to downgrade my rating, and if you're into that stuff, it will probably be your favorite parts. It certainly contains great behind the scenes photographs.
Millipede and Centipede press are definately small presses worth paying attention to. Although they specialize in pricey hardcovers ($250 Dracula edition, for instance) they also reprint forgotten genre novels that are a little more reasonable. Although this Cronenberg book was suppossed to be the first in a series of Film books, I no longer see this information on their website. Hopefully it will still happen because this one was a great beginning.
It's probably my 3rd favorite book on Cronenberg (after The Shape of Rage and Cronenberg on Cronenberg), but if you're specifically a fan of Videodrome this will be a must read. Don't wait beacause it was my understanding that even the paperback was limited to a very small number of copies (I want to say 1200, but I'm not certain of that number - the hardback was even smaller).
Some of the material in the book has been adapted and expanded from magazine articles Lucas has written over the years about the experience of being on the set, but since those magazines are now hard to find, this is the perfect omnibus of his writing about the film. Incidentally, this is the first entry in a book series called "Studies in the Horror Film" -- and hopefully it won't be the last.