Minds of Fear (2005)
By: CJ on October 31, 2006  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
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Writer: Calum Waddell
Publisher: Midnight Marquee
Pages: 278
In a market that is so full of material on genre product, it must be a daunting task to try and write something fresh and original and approach the subject from a unique perspective. It's certainly not something I would like to have to try and attempt – but Calum Waddell is brave enough to enter into the fray and offers his own entry into the library of books on genre films. And furthermore, he succeeds in his endeavours and his book Minds of Fear is a triumph and a joy to read.

I'm often less than impressed with books on horror movies, as they tend to be flat and tedious with very little new insight on this genre. Calum takes a different approach, however, and it works a treat. The formula he concocts is an effective one; he pinpoints 30 milestones of the modern horror film and then not only does he give an insightful overview of the work, but he also consults in great depth and detail with the creators of these works. All the great directors and their works are covered here: Tobe Hooper, John Landis, Wes Craven etc. But even more impressive are the lesser known directors and their no less impressive films: Charles E. Sellier Jr., Scott Spiegel, Gary Sherman and so forth. More impressive, in many ways, because these lesser known directors are often overlooked and their films largely neglected or ignored by other genre historians – but to genre fans like myself they are very important works in the history of horror cinema and have helped shape the horror movie as we know it today. Their importance cannot be ignored.

Calum's interviews with the directors are very insightful and he has a keen talent for getting them to reveal hitherto unknown facts about the making of their movies. It's also interesting to read how these masters of horror cinema now view their films all these years later – it's a fascinating read.

I was very impressed with the standard of writing and with the amount of knowledge and new information contained in the pages of this publication. This really is essential reading and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you think you know all there is to know about the horror genre, then think again. This book is chock full of facts and anecdotes and is a very entertaining read. This is well worth your time and I genuinely hope that Calum becomes a firmly established author of quality genre publications.

Minds of Fear is published by Luminary Press and can be purchased at www.midmar.com/exploitation.html.
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