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Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of the 1970s

Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of the 1970s [Kindle Edition]

John Kenneth Muir
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir is a detailed history and analysis of more than 100 genre films produced between the span of 1970 - 1979. The book looks at the historical context of dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and outer space movies of the day, and reveals how these movies are both a look at tomorrow and a product of their times.

About the Author

John Kenneth Muir is the award-winning author of more than two-dozen film reference books, including Horror Films FAQ (2013) and Horror Films of the 1970s (2002). He is the creator of the web series The House Between, and his popular blog is at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6529 KB
  • Print Length: 461 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1492962422
  • Publisher: The Lulu Show LLC (25 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G7X2CW8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as ever 3 Jan 2014
By Bodie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All of John Kenneth Muir's book have been great, an this is no exception. His reviews are so in depth they always shine a new light on films you think you know inside out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for anyone interested in sci-fi and fantasy films 6 Mar 2014
By Roman Martel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Kenneth Muir is a fine writer who loves the 1970s and he loves movies, so really is it a surprise that this book is an excellent read? If you are familiar with Mr. Muir’s blog than you already know that he prefers to delve deep into films, not stopping with simple story recaps and opinions on how entertaining the movies are. He goes beyond, digging into themes and concepts that the films explore.

That same type of focus appears in this book, but with additional perspective. Mr. Muir places the films in historical context with the events of the time as well as in context with each other. It is fascinating to read how the films of the early 70s ended up charting the course for the sci-fi and fantasy of the later 70s. He exposes trends in the two genres and how these trends fed off each other, creating sub-genres that would mix and cross over each other.

For a film fan like me, I loved reading about movies I’d never heard of like “ZPG” or “Starship Invaders”. He reminded me of some films I had completely forgotten about, but watched and loved as a kid like “The Land that Time Forgot”. He offered some interesting perspectives on acknowledged classics like “Soylant Green”, “A Clockwork Orange” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. And while I didn’t agree with all his assessments, (I’m still not convinced that “Silent Running” is a four star film), all of his explorations are well reasoned, thoughtful and engaging.

In particular I enjoyed his spirited defense of films that have often been looked down on, such as “The Black Hole”, “King Kong”, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” and the sequels to “Planet of the Apes”. You can tell Mr. Muir loves these films, and although he acknowledges their faults, he also points out elements of them that will inspire readers to give the films another go with a fresh perspective.

All that said, the presentation could have used a bit of work. In the Kindle version the layout and formatting was often slightly off. There were also a surprising number of typos. It was just distracting enough to cause me to drop the rating. However, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the content and know I will revisit the book frequently, especially to broaden my knowledge of this decade of films from my favorite genres.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have book for any genre fan. 9 Nov 2013
By Pierre Fontaine - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The 1970's were my teenage years and my life was waiting for the next issue of Starlog, Fantastic Films and eventually Cinefantastique and Cinefex magazines. The latter half of the decade was dominated by Star Wars but the 1970's produced a number of significant genre films that sparked the imagination of young and old alike.

This wonderful book by John Kenneth Muir has rekindled my boyhood fascination with so many films that I had forgotten about or only heard of from the pages of these magazines of my youth. Even better, the book covers many genre films that I have never heard of and now want to see for myself.

The 1970's were a fascinating decade for movies in general and for genre films specifically. Film technology was changing so quickly and the big studios were no more. This freedom allowed film-makers to try new ideas on smaller and smaller budgets without the weight of the studio system dictating what the public would and wouldn't want. Even high profile genre films like Rollerball, Soylent Green and Logan's Run all had something fascinating to say about this turbulent period where institutions that once seemed so strong were beginning to crumble and fall. Mr. Muir's essays call to attention the social and political connections many genre films were making, especially during the first half of the decade.

What ultimately makes the book so enjoyable is picking through his essays about specific films and seeing what the author has to say about them. For instance, I absolutely adore "StarCrash", an Italian Star Wars ripoff movie that is so bad, it's good. Mr. Muir's essay mirrors my own feelings about the film. There's a naive quality to the film that makes "StarCrash" hard to dislike, as if the film was made by a bunch of giddy 11 year old boys. It's the kind if film I tried making many times over with my own Super 8 camera in the 1970's.

Mr. Muir also reexamines films that many consider to be failures such as the King Kong remake and the first Star Trek feature film. His long and detailed essay on Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a refreshing analysis of the film's themes and characters, bringing a newfound appreciation for this often maligned film.

The book isn't without a few technical problems. The typesetting is amateurish at times but that ultimately doesn't take away from the content. Mr. Muir has written about the genre for many years and its great have this collection of essays published in one comprehensive book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who grew up during the 1970's or has an interest in the decade that has so much to offer beyond Star Wars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and insightful take on many classic (and not so classic) films. 10 Mar 2014
By David P. Ackerman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr. Muir provides a fun walk down memory lane with his reviews of many of the important -- or often just plain silly -- sci-fi films of the 1970s. He is obviously a sci-fi fan and gives many of these movies considerable license given their genre and period, but I often found myself agreeing with his assessments, both positive and negative. One thing that I found quite revealing was his examination of the decade itself and how these films reflected it. It reminded me what a turbulent time the 1970's was and how much 2014 echoes it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi and Fantasy in the Disco Decade 14 Jan 2014
By Michael Thomson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I remain a huge fan of John Kenneth Muir's work. Some of the films covered here have been featured on his website and others covered (from a different perspective) in his two volume tome Horror Films of the 1970s but the book collects reviews of the major science fiction and fantasy films of "Me Decade" and offers a year-by-year examination of genre from the dystopian visions of the early 1970s to the "popcorn films" released in the wake of Star Wars later in the 1970s. It was a very good decade for genre films and I agree with Muir that I prefer Chuck Heston taking on Anthony Zerbe in The Omega Man to Will Smith taking on dated-CGI effects in I Am Legend and prefer Christopher Reeves portrayal of Superman to the most recent remake. As someone who watched both The People That Time Forgot and Star wars in 1977 and enjoyed both films as a kid and still enjoy them as an adult I enjoyed this book greatly. And purchasing it allows JKM to continue blogging, which is a bonus.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 70s get What's Coming to Them 4 Jan 2014
By Richard A. Kirkham - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of 70s cinema, this book is for you. A comprehensive review of the science fiction films of the decade. Some entries are merely descriptive but many are detailed and analytical in a very sophisticated and thoughtful manner. Well organized and easy to read in one setting or over a period of time.
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