From the scream of 'Psycho' to the psycho of,'scream', this new horror movie survival guide,provides an essential source for information on,all the creatures and monsters that darken your,daydreams and stalk your nightmares.
Dracula, Chucky, Godzilla, Annie Wilkes and the living dead are revered and revealed in The Horror Movie Survival Guide, an engagingly silly book in which the authors claim, "Horror movies are texts to be studied, lessons in survival." Hovering between metaphor and spoof ("No, it's not `just a movie' "), Matteo Molinari and Jim Kamm cite hundreds of films as they dispense information on identifying a given alien, beast or psychopath; what to expect from it; how to defend yourself (if this is even a possibility); and in what movie(s) it has appeared. Photos. ( Apr. 10) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 10, 2001
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Excerpt from The Horror Movie Survival Guide by Jim Kamm
This book is the result of two lifetimes of horror: American junior high school, growing up in Italy, moving to Hollywood . . . as well as seeing many great flicks and a boatload of stinkers. There are many thick books you can find which discuss the subject of horror movies and monsters at great length . . . and which will bore you to tears. This is not one of those books. This is a book which properly acknowledges the gruesome horrors that infuse our daily lives, and which will serve as a trusted guide to those who dare to survive. Horror movies are texts to be studied, lessons in survival. Not just mindless entertainment.
NO, IT'S NOT "JUST A MOVIE"
Remember how your mother used to tell you that monsters aren't real? Well, what do you call the Spice Girls? And Amy Fisher? And Roberto Benigni? Time and experience have shown us that what we see in horror movies is not, in fact, fiction:
1963: Alfred Hitchcock shoots a movie where a flock of birds attack the California town of Bodega Bay.
1975: 7 million birds raid the town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
1975: Steven Spielberg tells the story of a shark that threatens the beaches of Amity, New York.
1991: The island of Kauai, Hawaii, is under siege by a ravenous tiger shark which just won't go away.
1955: Bill Farrell is abducted by a monster from outer space.
1985:Whitley Strieber is repeatedly abducted by aliens.
1990: Writer Paul Sheldon becomes the hostage of his "number one fan," Annie Wilkes.
1992: David Letterman finds a stalker fan inside his house.
1931: Frankenstein's creature first appears on the silver screen.
1997: Scientists clone sheep and now want to try it with humans.
1992: Leonardo DiCaprio appears in the movie Critters 3.
1998: Leonardo DiCaprio "graces the screen" in the record-breaking Titanic and the period joke The Man in the Iron Mask.
Most people think that the events depicted in horror movies are thought up by people with sick, twisted minds who sit around playing with sharp objects, drinking too much caffeine, and watching too much cable access. But the fact is that all horror movies are reenactments of actual events. Kind of like America's Most Wanted. Although they are filmed by directors and acted out by actors, everything in them has happened in real life.
And these kinds of things continue to happen on a daily basis. Pick up a copy of USA Today or the National Enquirer and you can read about merely a fraction of what is going down in the dark alleys of America. Most horror is unfit for public consumption. Sometimes, it is the government covering it up so that we can sleep at night. But more often it is that reporters just can't believe that these events are real. Which is understandable. They're just peons in the news/media establishment whose interest it is to tell you sweet little lies so that you continue to buy their papers and watch their newsmagazine shows. Anything challenging their comfortable existence is to be swept under the carpet.
Horror films are the only place where the truth comes to light. Why else would we watch them? For "entertainment"? What's so entertaining about watching someone getting gutted with a chainsaw? The fact is that we know instinctually that these movies are telling us something, something we desperately need to know. That we must fight to survive no matter what the cost. That no matter what the odds, the moral, brave, and intelligent always prevail. That William Shatner absolutely cannot act. We are assaulted from all sides with potential horror, from the school or office bully to the bipolar mailman. And where do you wanna be when the doo-doo hits the fan, courageously and confidently battling the forces of evil or splattering against the wall?