From Britain comes this appreciation of the cinematic extremes and margins, much like the Psychotronic and Re/Search books but without the requisite countersnobbism and wholesale rejection of so-called art film. Appropriately, the articles range from incredulous evocations of the worst of the worst, to devoted exhumations of the unjustly overlooked and/or trivialized. Would-be auteurs such as Pete Walker, and maligned genres such as soft-core Gothic, Sexy Nature, and Splatter Western are treated to respectful, and often exuberant, analysis. A piece on the oeuvre of arty smut-peddler Walerian Borowczyk signals a welcome change of pace, however, as does the career overview of Eyes Without a Face director Georges Franju. Between further exegesis of such standard non-standard fare as The House of Whipchord, Django and the films of Danish naturalist and hard-core animal lover Bodil, the reader is treated to a fetishistic paean to the joys of the filmic apparatus by George Kuchar, a poignant tribute to London’s premier cult-movie showcase the Scala, and a countdown of one viewer’s top cinematic gross-outs entitled “Insidious Little Globs.” All of which somehow adds up to a workable definition of whatever it is that makes film so compelling.
Paperback: 128 pages