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Horror Film Criticism

See also: Film Criticism, On Individual Films, General Film History, Manuals, Dictionaries & Guides and Reference/Annuals.

Monsters in the MoviesMonsters in the Movies
John Landis
A lushly illustrated guide to all the best mummies, vampires, werewolves, zombies, mad scientists, ghosts and more from throughout the world history of film. An unparalleled guide to all things nasty in the cinema. Hardcover, 340 pp. $45.00.

Shock ValueShock Value

Jason Zinoman
The classic horror films of the 1970s conquered both the multiplex and the art house, and they have taught us what to be afraid of. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of the most important artists in horror, Shock Value is an enormously entertaining account of a hugely influential golden age in American film. Hardcover, 275 pp. $30.00.

Hammer Films: The Unsung HeroesHammer Films: The Unsung Heroes

Wayne Kinsey
This is the story of the creative team behind the legendary production company. Wayne Kinsey presents an oral history, detailing the fascinating biographies of Hammer's key players, many telling their stories for the first time in all new interviews specially commissioned for this book. The book is filled with 1000 rare, behind-the-scenes photos. Softcover, 484 pp. $45.95.

The Vampire Film

Alain Silver & James Ursini
In this volume with nearly 800 colour illustrations and a filmography of over 700 titles, you will discover why the 21st-century undead are thirsty for more than blood. For this fourth edition, editors Alain Silver and James Ursini has compiled the definitve encyclopedia of vampires in film and tv. Softcover, 488 pp. $32.95.

Horror Movie FreakHorror Movie Freak

Don Sumner
You'll scream with delight while reading this fun and engaging book that discusses all of the classics of the horror genre. The movies themselves have been divided into various categories including Asian horror, homicidal slashers, supernatural thrillers, and zombie invasion. Softcover, 255 pp. $23.99.

Horror ZoneHorror Zone

Ian Conrich
Horror is still immensely popular but its assimilation into our culture continues apace. In Horror Zone, leading international writers on horror take horror into the world outside cinema screens to explore the interconnections between the films and modern media and entertainment industries, economies of production practices, cultural and political forums, spectators and fans. Softcover, 306 pp. $37.50.

Hammer Glamour: Classic Images from the Archive of Hammer Films Hammer Glamour: Classic Images from the Archive of Hammer Films

Marcus Hearn
Bursting at the seams with an astounding collection of rare and previously unpublished photographs from Hammer's archive and private collections worldwide, and featuring many exclusive new interviews, Hammer Glamour is both a lavish celebration of Hammer's female stars and a fascinating insight into a bygone era of movie publicity. Hardcover, 160 pp. $37.00.

Monsters: A Celebration of the Classics from Universal StudiosMonsters: A Celebration of the Classics from Universal Studios

Jennifer Osborne
With today's fantasy and horror films ruling the box office--and special-edition DVDs available of Universal's masterpieces--Monsters is an invaluable guide for a new generation. It shows where the "creature feature" began, from the twenties silent classic The Phantom of the Opera to fifties favorite Creature from the Black Lagoon. Frightening and fun, this splendid volume is perfect for monster fans of any age. Hardcover, $39.95.

Hammer Films: A Life in PicturesHammer Films: A Life in Pictures
Wayne Kinsey
Through rare and mostly previously unseen images, many from original Hammer negatives in the BFI National Archive, Hammer Films: A Life in Pictures tells the visual story of Hammer's output. This book explores the wider and fascinating side of one of the British film industry's greatest success stories, showing once and for all that Hammer was not just a purveyor of cheap horror pictures. Hardcover, $65.99.

Beyond Hammer: British Horror Cinema Since 1970Beyond Hammer: British Horror Cinema Since 1970

James Rose
Critically neglected after the decline of Hammer Studios, the British horror film remains a significant -- and popular -- body of work within a nationally grounded cinema. These 'post-Hammer' films move beyond their predecessor's Gothic traditions by situating their threats within contemporary Britain. Beyond Hammer provides new critical readings of several classic, contemporary, and lesser seen films from this period. Softcover, 173 pp. $33.95.

Introduction to Japanese Horror FilmIntroduction to Japanese Horror Film
Colette Balmain
This book is a major historical and cultural overview of an increasingly popular genre. Starting with the cultural phenomenon of Godzilla, it explores the evolution of Japanese horror from the 1950s through to contemporary classics of Japanese horror cinema such as Ringu and The Grudge. Divided thematically, the book examines key motifs, situating them within traditional japanese mythology and folk tales. Softcover, 214 pp. $38.95.

101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die

Steven Jay Schneider
Fascinating and disturbing, horror films expose our most primal fears: our nightmares, our terrors, our vulnerability and revulsion, our terror of the unknown, and our fear of sex, death, or loss of identity. With insight from critics, historians, and academics, this book explores and illuminates the enduring popularity of this genre. Softcover, 415 pp. $17.99.

Dark Places: The Haunted House in FilmDark Places: The Haunted House in Film

Barry Curtis
Horror films revel in taking viewers into shadowy places where evil resides. Whether a house, a graveyard or a disused hospital, these mysterious spaces foment the terror at the heart of horror movies, empowering the ghastly creatures that emerge from them. In Dark Places, Barry Curtis leads us deep inside these haunted spaces to explore them - and the monstrous revenants who dwell there. Softcover, 240 pp. $20.00.

Horror FilmsHorror Films

James Marriott
From the slick horror of Alien, Scream and The Ring and the cult classics Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy to the slasher icons Jason, Freddy and Leatherface, horror just won't stay dead. James Marriott gives an incisive account of the definitive works of the genre over the last 80 years - from silent Expressionist classics to Japanese wraiths. Softcover, 341 pp. $14.95.

The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films

Alan Barnes & Marcus Hearn
The Hammer Story is the definitive, authorised history of Hammer Films, and the company has provided unlimited access to its archives. The crypt doors have been thrown wide open, revealing a treasure chest of nearly 500 rare posters, photographs, press books, clippings and even ticket stubs. Hardcover, 192 pp. $44.00.

Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die ForZombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For

Arnold T. Blumberg & Andrew Hershberger
Zombiemania takes an in-depth look at one of the most popular horror film categories of all time. What is it that makes us so scared of and yet so intrigued by the living dead? Why is it that shambling corpses with a taste for brains, or mindless automatons controlled by a voodoo master still retain such relentless power? This book is illustrated with many still photographs from films of this genre, some published for the first time. Softcover, 497 pp. $29.95.

The Curse of the Werewolf
The Curse of the Werewolf: Fantasy, Horror and the Beast Within
Chantal Bourgault du Coudray
Embodying our primal fears, the werewolf has revealed in its various lupine guises radically shifting attitudes to the human psyche. Tracing the werewolf's 'use' by anthropologists and criminologists and shifting interpretations of the figure - from the 'scientific' to the mythological and psychological - Bourgault du Coudray also sees the werewolf in Freud's 'wolf-man' case and the sinister use of wolf imagery in Nazism. The Curse of the Werewolf looks finally at the werewolf's revival in contemporary fantasy, finding in this supposedly conservative genre a fascinating new model of the human's relationship to nature. Softcover, 224 pp. $31.95.

Pretend We're DeadPretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture
Annalee Newitz
In Pretend We're Dead, Annalee Newitz argues that the slimy zombies and goresoaked murderers who have stormed through American film and literature over the past century embody the violent contradictions of capitalism. Newitz looks at representations of serial killers, mad doctors, the undead, cyborgs, and unfortunates mutated by their involvement with the mass media industry. Pretend We're Dead shows that as literature and film tell it, the story of American capitalism since the late nineteenth century is a tale of body-mangling, soul-crushing horror. Softcover, 224 pp. $28.95.

Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema

Jamie Russell
Covering hundreds of movies, from America, Europe, and Asia, this exhaustive history chronicles the zombie's on-screen evolution from Caribbean bogeyman to flesh-eating corpse. Along the way, Book of the Dead takes in Bela Lugosi, B-movies, Italian gore films, blind monk movies, shot-on-video backyard epics, and genre classics like Night of the Living Dead. Complete with hundreds of stills and artwork including 64 stunning pages of colour illustrations, and an exhaustive filmography, this is the ultimate zombie movie resource. Softcover, 319 pp. $38.95.

Eyeball CompendiumEyeball Compendium
Stephen Thrower
Culled from the pages of Eyeball Magazine this omnibus of interviews, essays and reviews focuses on the very best of cinematic sex, horror, art, and exploitation -- everthing from Argento to Zulawski. Fans of off-beat genre films will appreciate this brilliantly written and generously illustrated volume. Softcover, 395 pp. $38.99.

Creeping FleshCreeping Flesh: The Horror Fastasy Film Book, Volume 2
Creeping Flesh takes horror and fantasy cinema from around the globe and combines it into one thrilling volume. Compiled into a zine-like book, it takes a focused look at obscure and vilified horror movies, the discovery of "lost" films, and American and British exploitation. Softcover, 159 pp. $26.95.

Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters
William Tsutsui
In November of 1954, Godzilla crawled out of his radioactive birthplace onto the silver screen and into our imaginations. Today Godzilla stands as a pop icon of Japan -- the third most recognizable Japanese celebrity, according to a New York Times poll. In this short reflection on Godzilla, William Tsutsui, a life-long fan and professional historian, gives us a light-hearted look at 50 years of the big, green, radioactive lizard. Softcover, 240 pp. $18.95.

The Lure of the VampireThe Lure of the Vampire: Gender, Fiction and Fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy
Milly Williamson
Over one hundred years after Bram Stoker's influencial novel was published, the vampire is as ubiquitous as ever in popular culture. The Lure of the Vampire explores the enduring myth of Dracula and vampires and just why it has remained so popular for so long. Milly Williamson examines several movies and television shows in this stimulating volume. Softcover, 213 pp. $33.95.

Shocking RepresentationShocking Representation
Adam Lowenstein
In this imaginative new work, Adam Lowenstein explores the ways in which a group of groundbreaking horror films engaged the haunting social conflicts left in the wake of World War II, Hiroshima, and the Vietnam War. Lowenstein centers Shocking Representation around readings of films by George Franju, Michael Powell, Shindo Kaneto, Wes Craven, and David Cronenberg. Softcover, 255 pp. $31.95.

A Vault of HorrorA Vault of Horror
Keith Topping
From Night of the Demon to House of Whipcord, this book profiles 80 British horror films which collectively made a lasting impression on the psyche of a nation. Author Keith Topping examines the films which shaped his childhood, taking a wry and often irreverent look at their triumphs and failings, their stars, their continuity blunders and impact on the genre as a whole. Illustrated with many rare colour and black and white photographs, this is one film guide guaranteed to raise a smile as we take you back to the terrors of yesteryear. Softcover, 427 pp. $24.95.

Japanese Cinema EncyclopediaJapanese Cinema Encyclopedia
Horror / Fantasy / Science Fiction

Thomas Weisser & Yuko Mihara Weisser
Within the pages of this exhaustively researched text you'll find expertly written reviews of Japanese genre films -- horror, fantasy, and science fiction -- post-1950. Remarkably, this is only the first volume of the co-authors' life-long project to chronicle the entire canon of modern Japanese cinema by genre. No cult film aficionado will want to be without this remarkable encyclopedia. Softcover, 327 pp. $29.95.

Fangoria's 101 Best Horror Movies You've Never SeenFangoria's 101 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen
Adam Lukeman
Fans of horror films will scream with delight over this movie guide of 101 lesser-known horror classics. Inside you'll find everything from foreign gems and box-office disappointments, to straight-to-video sleepers and under-appreciated works by genre directors. Whether you like low-budget slasher films, tales of the supernatural, stylish giallos, or wall-to-wall splatter-fests, this book will guarantee you 101 sleepless nights. Softcover, 270 pp. $20.00.

The Rough Guide To Horror Movies
Alan Jones
The Rough Guide to Horror Movies
is a comprehensive guide to the world's scariest films. Conjuring up vampires, monsters, ghosts and zombies, it tells the stories behind the movies that have frightened us from the birth of cinema to the present day. Softcover, 277 pp. $21.99.

Framing Monsters: Fantasy Film and Social Interaction Framing Monsters: Fantasy Film and Social Interaction

Joshua David Bellin
This academic volume reconsiders the cultural significance of this storytelling mode by investigating how films which are seemingly divorced from reality are actually encoded with the social practices and beliefs of their era of production. Golden era classics like King Kong and The Wizard of Oz, are discussed alongside contemporary classics such as Jurassic Park, Edward Scissorhands, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Softcover, 240 pp. $49.50.

Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror FilmPlanks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film
Revised Edition
Barry Keith Grant & Christopher Sharrott
The original edition of Planks of Reason was the first academic critical anthology on horror films: a book that explored the genre with a rare degree of understanding. This revised edition retains the spirit of the original, but also offers new takes on rediscovered classics and recent developments in the genre. Robin Wood, Steven Neale, and Noel Carroll are amongst the contributors included in this valuable volume. Softcover, 416 pp. $67.95.

Horror Film: Creating & Marketing FearHorror Film: Creating & Marketing Fear

Edited by Steffen Hantke
In this exciting anthology, a wide variety of critical approaches are used to discuss how film technology, marketing, and distribution effectively create the aesthetics and reception of horror films. Nosferatu, The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist, Peeping Tom and several other seminal horror films are examined in these previously unpublished essays. Hardcover, 261 pp. $76.50.

The Horror FilmThe Horror Film
Stephen Prince
In this volume, Stephen Prince has collected essays reviewing the history of the horror film and the psychological reasons for its persistent appeal, as well as the discussions of the developmental responses of young adult viewers and children to the genre. This well-balanced collection will appeal to anyone interested in serious scholarship about horror cinema. Softcover, 272 pp. $37.95.

Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide To Slasher Movies
Jim Harper
The "slasher" movie is the bloodiest incarnation of the modern horror film. Although reviled by most critics -- objecting, particulary, to the apparent misogyny -- the genre has nevertheless had enduring appeal. Legacy of Blood is a serious attempt to identify and explain the essential traits of the genre and to provide a historical context in which to view its evolution. This book is also the most exhaustive catalogue of the genre, boasting more than 200 astute film reviews. Softcover, 192 pp. $26.95.

The Astounding B MonsterThe Astounding B Monster
Marty Baumann
Based upon the award-winning website of the same name, this priceless compendium of personality profiles, interviews and reviews, will delight B-movie fans of all ages. This nostalgic collection features interviews with Beverly Garland, Bruce Campbell, Pamela Duncan, Anne Robinson, James Arness, Robert Clarke, Jack Hill, and several others. Softcover, 239 pp. $19.99.

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Last modified October 29, 2011.
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