Saturday, 16 March 2013

Incredibly Strange Films

Re/Search #10: Incredibly Strange Films was one of the books that launched the cult movie boom (along with Danny Peary’s Cult Movies). Like Peary’s books its great strength is that the authors actually like these movies. They’re not trying to make fun of them.

The book covers just about every cult movie genre you can think of - sexploitation, biker films, juvenile delinquent movies, even beach party movies.

The book was published in 1986, at a time when most of the movies it was dealing with were exceptionally difficult to find. It’s obvious that in many cases the authors have only seen a handful of movies by many of the film-makers they’re writing about. Jean Rollin for example is mentioned in passing as a director who sounds interesting but the authors had been unable to find a single one of his films. Today of course all his movies have been released on DVD and many of them on Blu-Ray as well. It certainly makes you appreciate the DVD age a lot more.

On the other hand the 1986 publication date did have one major advantage - most of the film-makers covered in the book were still alive and were able to be interviewed for the book. It includes interviews with Russ Meyer, Doris Wishman, Joe Sarno, Ted V. Mikels and many others. These interviews are the major reason for buying the book today.

The introduction includes some silly political nonsense but mercifully the rest of the book is free of this bunkum.

There are some interesting movies covered here, movies I hadn’t heard of before. Despite its age this book is still worth getting hold of.

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