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The Mammoth Book Of Slasher Movies Review

The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies Book

“The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies” is a fine tribute to the horror subgenre.

Written by editor/horror enthusiast Peter Normanton, “The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies” is essentially a love letter to the slasher film genre. In addition to providing a brief overview of the horror genre, the film production code and censorship, Hammer horror, grindhouse films, video nasties, and of course, slashers, Normanton’s book is primarily comprised of reviews of hundreds of films from US, Japan, Germany, UK, you name it. Instead of grading each film’s quality, however, the author has a splatter rating from 0-5. For example, the supremely violent “Hostel” was granted the highest rating (a 5) while a less gory film such as “Alien” gets a 2.5 rating. It’s a strange scale to be sure and it’s not always consistent. I’m still baffled as to how “Faces of Death” got a 2 and “Psycho” a 1 (considering how influential it is). Grades aside, Normanton does inject his opinion into the reviews, but make no mistake about it, this book is mostly focused on the gore quotient of a movie.

It should be noted that some gorehounds may be disappointed to find that this book is far from comprehensive. While most of the notorious splatter films are covered here (such as “Braindead,” “Cannibal Holocaust,” “Martyrs, and “Guinea Pig”), there’s a lot missing here. The most notable absence here includes sequels. While certain sequels are name dropped, they are frustratingly not given their own review. It’s a shame because sequels are a MAJOR part of the slasher film genre and, in some cases, are even better than the original.

Nitpicks aside, Peter Normanton deserves much praise here for demonstrating a real knowledge of the genre (and its films). Not only does he thoroughly describe each film’s plot, but he also provides plenty of historical facts about the projects as well. Simply put, it’s always a plus to see a film buff/writer who doesn’t write off slasher films. For whatever reason, slasher films are often viewed as the lowest form of entertainment which is a real disservice to both the slasher fans and filmmakers.

Note: Readers can also expect to see a complete listing of video nasties, a chronology of films featured in the book, an index of directors and mini bios of acclaimed horror directors (such as Dario Argento, John Carpenter, and George A. Romero).

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November 25, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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