Three books which I read last year connect with my love of genre film, particularly horror: Tony Dalton’s hefty biography Terence Fisher: Master of Gothic Cinema from FAB Press; Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, edited by Samm Deighan and now available as an e-book from Spectacular Optical; and – somewhat more esoteric – Powers of Darkness, an alternate version of Dracula first published in a Swedish newspaper from 1899 to 1900 and recently unearthed and translated back into English, published in an impressive limited edition by Centipede Press.
Two Italian classics – Mario Bava’s Kill, Baby … Kill! (1966) and Pupi Avati’s Zeder (1983) – and an imaginative new movie – David Lowery’s A Ghost Story (2017) – offer differing thematic takes on survival after death.
Jon Fairhurst offers an original approach to film analysis by proposing the possible influence of a classic text on David Lynch’s Eraserhead in the form of a graphic novel, The Key to Eraserhead, released as an ebook on the 40th anniversary of the film’s first public screening at Filmex in Los Angeles on March 19, 1977.
With a three disk first volume, Arrow Video embark on an ambitious undertaking with the American Horror Project, which intends to gather together independent, fringe features from the ’70s and ’80s, surrounded by supplementary features which provide context and possibly a cumulative history of this genre niche. Set one gathers three movies of varying quality.
Criterion releases some high-end trash with an extras-packed edition of Valley of the Dolls, and a collection of journalistic reviews by Graham Greene offers interesting insights into movies in the ’30s.
I recently unearthed a university paper I wrote almost 30 years ago in which I tried to explain why Frank Capra’s work rubbed me the wrong way. It’s a glimpse of where I came from as a writer about film.