Monday, March 05, 2007

Worldweird, USA!!

Breaking our template here somewhat, we thought it nonetheless important to pass on some info concerning a new forthcoming tome entitled NIGHTMARE USA, written by horror film scholar Stephen Thrower and coming soon from the terrific FAB Press in the UK.
It covers the wonderously weird world of American horror and exploitation films from the 1970s on into the early 80s, and host hundreds of reviews and dozens of interviews pertaining to these astonishing trash obscurities. We (or I, Jared, really) have just pre-ordered our own signed, numbered and limited edition hardcover copy and we would suggest you do the same. Thrower is an extremely important figure in the current on-going critical re-appraisal of world exploitation film, having made his name covering Eurohorror in his seminal mag EYEBALL and his landmark study of legendary Italian director Lucio Fulci, BEYOND TERROR, and here turns his sights onto a murky realm of bizarro cinema that has as of yet hardly been dipped into in any serious, studious manner.
We can't fucking wait.
From the FAB website, here's the juicy FYI:

Running to 528 large-format pages, Nightmare USA is a veritable encyclopedia of exploitation - it's literally the year's biggest film book! - and FAB Press customers have the rare opportunity to purchase a very special exclusive edition. Pre-order this book now if you want to own the strictly limited, individually signed and numbered collectors edition. The Nightmare USA Signature Edition, is available exclusively from FAB Press, and is only available to customers who pre-order this book direct from us. This collectors item absolutely cannot be purchased anywhere else, and what's more, the very day that we have stock on hand and the blue 'pre-order' button switches over to a red 'add to cart' button will mark the point at which it will be impossible to ever again order the signature edition of this monumental film book. We have produced limited editions of FAB Press books in the past, and we have strictly observed our promise to never re-release such editions again, in order to ensure that our customers' investments are safe. Check out the outrageous prices people are now charging for the limited first editions of books like Beyond Terror, or AntiCristo, to see what a sound investment a limited edition FAB Press book is on the collectors market. Order your copy of Nightmare, USA today to make sure you secure a copy!

A kaleidoscopic journey through the heyday of Horror and Exploitation Cinema in America!

From Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) to Eli Roth (Hostel), the young guns of modern Hollywood just can't get enough of that exploitation film high. That's because, between 1970 and 1985, American Exploitation movies went berserk. With censorship relaxed, and the gate to excess wide open, horror - the Exploitation genre par excellence - offered a vibrant alternative to the mainstream of American cinema. Luridly titled wonders like The Headless Eyes, Scream Bloody Murder and Hitch Hike to Hell were everywhere, from the drive-ins of Texas to the grindhouses of New York, touting a combination of mind-bruising violence, weird sex and drug-soaked delirium. Massively popular around the world, American exploitation movies added immensely to the richness of the nation's cinema, but they have remained persona non grata in most serious studies of American film. Until now...

Built on five years of research, Nightmare USA explores the development of America's subterranean horror film industry, spotlighting some of the wildest films imaginable from an era unchecked by censorship or 'good taste.' Ranging from cult favourites like I Drink Your Blood to stylish mind-benders like Messiah of Evil and ultra-violent shockers like Don't Go in the House, Nightmare, USA goes where no other in-depth study has gone before, revealing the fascinating true stories behind classics and obscurities alike. Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror, the definitive book on Italian gore maestro Lucio Fulci, has explored the attics and cellars of American cinema, delved beneath the floorboards, peered between the walls, searching for the strangest, most exotic cine-lifeforms... Nightmare USA is the reader's guide to what lies beyond the mainstream of American horror, dispelling the shadows to meet the men and women behind fifteen years of screen terror: the Exploitation Independents!

This massive overview of the Horror genre's development through the 1970s and 1980s features:

* In-depth EXCLUSIVE interviews with twenty-five cult filmmakers, many of whom are discussing their work for the first time ever in print, including David Durston (I Drink Your Blood), Robert Endelson (Fight for Your Life), Frederick Friedel (Axe), Don Jones (Schoolgirls in Chains); and Joseph Ellison (Don't Go in the House).

* Over 175 individual films reviewed, with full cast and crew credits compiled by world-renowned cinema archivist Julian Grainger.

* Vast quantities of previously unpublished stills, posters, press-books, plus behind-the-scenes photographs from the filmmakers' own collections.


Section One: The Exploitation Independents
A 25,000 word essay charting the rise of Exploitation Horror: from Herschell Gordon Lewis and George Romero to the Slasher phenomenon of the 1980s

Section Two: Essays on Films and Filmmakers
Dirty Games in Hollywood - the career of James Bryan (Don't Go in the Woods)
The Frozen Scream Is a Clean Machine - Renee Harmon (Frozen Scream)
The Fiend from Prime-Time - John Peyser on The Centerfold Girls
Carolina on My Mind - the films of Frederick Friedel (Axe, Kidnapped Coed)
It Came from New Jersey! - Douglas McKeown on The Deadly Spawn
Let's Play Nasty - the films of Don Jones (Schoolgirls in Chains, The Love Butcher, The Forest)
Louisiana Screamin' - James L. Wilson on Screams of a Winter Night
Satan Was an Acid-Head! - the films of David Durston (I Drink Your Blood, Stigma)
Don't Make Me Do Anything Bad, Mother... - Joseph Ellison on Dont Go in the House
If You Go Down in the Caves Today - Mark Sawicki on The Strangeness
The Vigilante of 42nd Street - Robert Endelson on Fight for Your Life
The Living Dead at the All-Night Mall - Willard Huyck on Messiah of Evil
Hollywood After Dark - the films of John Hayes (Grave of the Vampire, Dream No Evil, Garden of the Dead)
What Really Happened to Tony Vorno's Victims? - Daniel DiSomma on Victims
If At First You Don't Succeed... - the films of Tony Malanowski (Night of Horror, Curse of the Screaming Dead)
Punished By the Sun - Marc B. Ray on Scream Bloody Murder
Growing Pains - John Ballard on Friday the 13th: The Orphan
Blood Relations - the films of Irv & Wayne Berwick (Hitch Hike to Hell, Microwave Massacre)
Mind Before Matter - Robert Allen Schnitzer on The Premonition
Spawn of Venice Beach - Stephen Traxler on Slithis
Beyond the Black Room - the films of Norman Thaddeus Vane (The Black Room, The Horror Star)
Robert Voskanian & Robert Dadashian - Raising The Child
Who's the Ghostest with the Mostest? - the films of Fredric Hobbs (Alabama's Ghost, Godmonster of Indian Flats)
To Sleep, Perchance to Scream - George Barry on Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
--- supplemented in the text by a further twenty interviews with cast and crew members.

Section Three: Reviews
Reviews of a further 120 films, with additional notes and commentaries on the reviews by Roger Watkins (director: Last House on Dead End Street), Walter Dallenbach (writer: Psychopath), Jeremy Hoenack (director: The Dark Ride), Christopher Speeth (director: Malatesta's Carnival of Blood), John Wintergate (director: BoardingHouse), Wayne Bell (composer: Death Trap), Michael Gornick (cinematographer: Martin), Don Leifert (star: Fiend)

Incredible! And even further, FAB is throwing a extravagant bash to unveil this essential volume featuring 5 of the most bizarre of the Ameritrash cinema covered therein.
The lowdown, for you lucky bastards who make your home in the UK:


Nightmare USA Film Festival: Ten Hours of Grindhouse Movie Mayhem! is a combined all-day film festival and book launch for the brand new FAB Press book: Nightmare, USA!

The Location:
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London
The Time:
5 May 2007, from 12 noon till 11 p.m.
(first film starts at 1 p.m. sharp)
The Tickets:
Tickets are priced at £25 per person, and are available to over-18s only on a strictly first-come-first-served basis.
The Films...

DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE (Joseph Ellison, 1979)
Don't Go in the House is Psycho Redux for the video nasty generation... with flame-throwers!
Choice dialogue excerpt:
The voices inside Donny's head: 'She was evil... Now you can do any thing you want to do. You're free!'
Donny: 'Can I play my music loud?'
Trivia of note:
Full uncut 35mm print of this notorious horror movie that was banned as a 'video nasty' in the 1980s. Though most of the so-called 'nasties' are tame in comparsion to current ultra-violent horrors such as Hostel and Saw, this film's opening scenes still have the power to shock jaded modern audiences.

PIGS (aka Blood Pen) (Marc Lawrence, 1972)
Pigs is a love story between a psychotic teenage girl and a grave-robbing pig-farmer.
Choice dialogue excerpt:
Miss Macy: 'They're not pigs you know... they're dead people. He feeds those pigs dead people, and then he eats the pigs!'
Sheriff Cole: 'I don't think there's a law against turning dead people into pigs.'
Trivia of note:
UK Theatrical Premiere! The 35mm print we will be showing is actually Blood Pen - an alternative version of the film, with a completely unique, specially-shot, opening sequence not available on any home video format!

VICTIMS (Daniel DiSomma, 1977)
Paulie is coming apart; his every encounter with the opposite sex costs another woman her life, while stirring up memories of his prostitute mother, her brutal pimp, and the sexually abusive hooker who molested him as a child...
Choice dialogue excerpt:
Paulie: 'I guess I went a little ape...'
Hooker: 'A little? You came on like you were tearing up the forest!'
Trivia of note:
UK Theatrical Premiere! Almost impossible to see since its extremely limited early-80s video release, this criminally-neglected gem of terrifying psychological horror will be receiving quite probably its only ever UK screening courtesy of director Daniel Di Somma's personal archive print of the film. Note: Subject to confirmation

BLOODY BROTHERS (Fred Friedel, 2003)
Psycho twins separated at birth embark on separate, simultaneous, violent sprees across the Connecticut landscape, all the while closing the distance between each other, and their inevitable respective fates.
Choice dialogue excerpt:
Sandra: 'No... you don't understand. I'm being kidnapped!'
Rapist: 'Well, isn't that a touching story?'
Trivia of note:
WORLD PREMIERE! Put together from the highlights of director Fred Friedel's classics Axe and Date with a Kidnapper, this is full-tilt exploitation filmmaking with no holds barred, and all the fat trimmed from its bones. A relentless, breathless chase through the American rural landscape to find at its conclusion, inevitably, the country's heart of darkness.

BOARDINGHOUSE (John Wintergate, 1982)
A Lothario with psychic powers rents out rooms in his rambling house to pretty college girls, but his plans for a harem are undone by a malevolent force residing within.
Choice dialogue excerpt:
'I cut myself with the apple... er, the knife.'
Trivia of note:
UK Theatrical Premiere! Probably the weirdest American horror film of the '80s (and that's really saying something!), this is filmmaking from another dimension that will leave jaws agape in stunned admiration and bemused befuddlement. We strongly recommend that you enter this screening drunk or stoned, or both, for maximum amazement...

Whew! Can you take that much weirdness, ye English Dogs?
To cap this astonishing anouncement, here's a few trailers we've dug up on The Youtube for some of the crazed cinema the book and festival go on about.
Dig these crazy visuals, cats!
Oh, and more thing:







laird said...

ye gads! I ended up seeing (the shot on video) Boardinghouse twice last year by severe misfortune. Once on VHS as "Housegeist" (lovely large VHS box) and once in wonderfully strange 35mm (blown up from tape) at "All Freakin' Night in Olympia. It's a chore to get through and is absolutely mind-meltingly inane. I hope all of Brittain doesn't implode after the screening. "I Drink Your Blood" on the other hand is pretty frickin' great.

Poptique said...

That's going to look pretty good sandwiched between my dog-eared Psychotronic Film guide, Mondo Macabro and Slimetime..

Ta for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Fred Hobbs called me today to talk about this very book! He said there is about 25 pages on him in it. Cool.

Jared said...

Very cool.
I wish Fred Hobbs would call me.
I love ALABAMA'S GHOST and parts of GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS. Haven't seen ROSELAND yet, even though I have a DVDr of it waiting to be viewed.
Thanks for sharing "Anonymous Bob" and welcome to the blog.
Oh and Laird, I recently watched BOARDINGHOUSE and have to disagree. At least partially. It IS extrodinarily tedious at times but also posesses some wickedly visionary cheesiness too.
Would love to have seen the 35mm print of it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jared, when I saw Roseland and Godmonster I had to find Hobbs and contact him if he was still alive, we’ve been friends ever since. Definitely check out Roseland, good flick. I’m in Seattle too and own Bob’s Homebrew Supply.
Cheers, Bob