Said review can be found here. It means even more considering the iconic graphic of the razor-fingered ghoul on the site’s name plate. So much more disturbing than Freddie past or present.
I was pleasantly surprised by the great review of The New Horror Handbook in Rue Morgue magazine 95 (November). As there doesn’t seem to be an online version of that piece, I’m reprinting Brad Abraham’s piece below:
“It isn’t easy being a horror movie fan in this still-young century; years of repeated abuse in the form of terrible films have left us bloodied, bruised and battered, yet we still go back to the well again and again, hoping that maybe this time it won’t hurt so much. Author A.S. Berman feels your pain, but also gives fans reasons to rejoice because, as his New Horror Handbook illustrates, things aren’t as bleak as they seem.
Comprised of equal parts interview and analysis, Berman hits the ground running with chapters on current genre heavyweights Eli Roth and Greg McLean, discussing what forces drove them to create their most memorable works. Canadian horror gets ample examination with the Ginger Snaps series and Vincenzo Natali’s Cube — in the process Berman reveals just how interconnected the Canadian horror scene is. Likewise France’s New Horror Wave receives coverage in the form of in-depth analysis of Inside and Frontieres, which links them thematically to the current wave of xenophobia washing over that nation (as exemplified by the fear of “the other” in these titles). We would also be remiss in mentioning that there is a chapter devoted to Rue Morgue‘s creation and operation, but for the sake of professionalism we decline comment, other than agreeing that it is quite comprehensive.
Berman is also not afraid to critique and criticize; the Saw sequels get an evisceration that would make Jigsaw proud (ditto the Ginger Snaps sequels). He is equally unafraid to defend controversial figures such as Roth, and while his praise is unlikely to earn the filmmaker many new fans (especially among those who’ve already dismissed his work), Berman raises many valid points in Roth’s defense.
Ultimately The New Horror Handbook succeeds in its goal of demonstrating that even in this first decade of the century, horror is just as vital as ever, especially if you’re not afraid to travel off the beaten path and face what lurks in its shadows.”
Many thanks, Rue Morgue.
Hey gang. Those of you who’ve put off buying your copy of The New Horror Handbook (see me after class about that) can actually win a copy courtesy of Rue Morgue magazine. Subscribe to Rue Morgue through the latest issue (#95), and you could be one of 15 winners of a copy of the book packed with my blood, sweat and sleepless nights.
I also understand there’s a review in there of the book, though I haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully it’s a kind one, but Rue Morgue is more wittily, brutally honest than it is the type of magazine to coo softly in your ear, so you never know. If they torpedo the book, I’m sure they will at least do it in a clever way. I’m cool with that. So, what are you waiting for?
(Now, about that whole not-buying-the-book thing….)
Cheers to Dan Auty and Ben Howard at the Mondo Movie podcast for their kind words regarding The New Horror Handbook on Episode 93. It’s always nice to be included in the same breath as Deep Red magazine creator Chas Balun.
I’ve been a fan of this UK duo’s podcast since discovering it on an iTunes search nearly three years ago. If you’re a movie lover, there’s nothing quite like spending a rainy afternoon listening to these guys intelligently explore the dynamics of everything from Bava and Argento to far more obscure, and occasionally mainstream, works. They’re as equally at home dissecting a spaghetti western or Lars von Trier’s latest as they are the works of Cronenberg or a long-forgotten giallo.
Many thanks to Gareth Walters over at The Amazing Movie Show Web site for his extremely thoughtful examination of The New Horror Handbook. His review is especially meaningful to me because 1) He is no stranger to writing extremely insightful reviews of genre releases, and 2) He looks at the Handbook as a whole rather than simply reviewing specific chapters which, admittedly, is a big temptation with a book of this nature.
He’s also the first person to mention the design of the book. I personally think that Pamela Norman has really made this book what it is, especially with the way she handled the marginalia that runs throughout the text.
This fact was really brought home to me early on in the process when I raided my own sizable stash of genre books, looking for a design to use as inspiration for The New Horror Handbook. I was immediately disappointed to discover that, though I have many favorite books, I’ve yet to see one on the subject of horror movies with any truly distinctive style. Some are printed on better paper than others, some feature many gorgeous color photos, but none really break out of the simple picture/text format that has ruled book printing since the early ’90s.
And speaking of design, be sure to check out The Amazing Movie Show site — really one of the best designed genre sites I’ve seen in a long, long time.
The New Horror Handbook also belongs on every horror fan’s bookshelf. I know I learned a few things about several of these films that I had never known before – just the bit on the Ginger Snaps series was fascinating.
I really appreciate all of the support the horror community has shown for this book. For all the guff we fright fans take for our love of the genre, horror enthusiasts still remain some of the nicest folks anyone will ever meet. (Just don’t piss us off…)
Our thanks to RogueCinema.com for the kind review written by James L. Neibaur that was posted this week. It’s a great feeling when someone tells you that your book’s thesis
a) is ambitious, and more importantly,
b) holds up.
Many thanks, Rogue Cinema!