I was so excited to receive this book in the mail this morning, that, before heading to the gym, and then catching afterwards my second viewing of the new, horror/sci-fi film, "Skyline", I placed the book, neatly on the top pillow on my bed, turned the table lamp down low, scattered out a few cookies on a tiny plate, and,for extra ambiance, clicked on the stream of multicolored christmas lights that decorates my room and tracks along the poster frames of some of my all-time favorite horror movies ("The Burning", "The Funhouse", "Bloody Valentine", "Dorm that Dripped Blood", "The House on Sorority Row" "Humongous" and "Terror Train") just to name a few.
As you can tell, I'm an avid fan of 80's horror. However, I also enjoy Hammer, Universal Monsters, British and especially Italian Horror! But after reading through this crappy book, I suddenly learned what 'real' horror truly is.
"Time Capsule" opens with a terrific catch phrase in the book's first pages, "To all those wasted years in darkend theatres." Beautiful! Awesome! I smiled like a freakin' big kid when I read this. I got it! Being an 80's brat, I could relate. I basically 'lived' in movie theaters, or drive-ins, or, waiting each week at the video stores to rent new videos to watch and tape.
I adore movies, and LOVE B-FILMS, which is what caught my attention to this book. When I saw the list, on Amazon, of the amazing titles that author 'Judy Harris' were discussing, (great little gems like "Remote Control", "The Outing", "The Guardian", "Halloween 4", "Clownhouse" etc) I was overjoyed.
But, instead, I found myself, horrified at the way she pratically dumps all of them. There's over two hundred movie titles, with a few TV shows scattered throughout for good measure, that she degrades.She also seems to have a short vocabulary because she uses phrases like..."it's dull." or "Boring" quite often.
She also seems to be bitter against films like "Child's Play 2" and "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" for the sole reason that the story involves a child in danger? What? Excuse me Judy? I would of thought classics like "The Exorcist", "Assault on Precinct 13" and even "Dawn of the Dead" broke that Taboo years ago?
The author even remarks, on page 37, in the middle of her lame Child's Play 2 review that, and this is her words directly, "My love for horror films began when I was a child and saw all those great 1930 Universal black and whites,....but kids today see Hellraiser's S&M and Child's Play's doll coming to life...blah, blah...while the majority of the audience laughs...blah,blah...it is sick."
Hey, Judy, I think it's fantastic that you had the chance to watch all those wonderful Universal Monster Movies back in the day, and, I'm an avid fan of the classic Mummy films (it's Michael Myer's before Halloween, how could I not like them, chuckle!) but, growing up in the 80's,and proud of it (!) I was introduced to a new generation of horror films.
My question is.....Why would someone write a book, or showcase their little opinions, about a certain genre,from a certain time, if all they wanted to do was spit on them? Granted, we don't have to see eye-to-eye on all films, but your flavor of distaste floods throughout the entire book.
When you trash something like "Near Dark" which, though I'm not a fan, has a huge cult fan base, I think you should study a little more than you preach.
And finally, the author does make clear that her reviews are 'raw' and from a certain time when she was sending them to CINEFANTASTIQUE. Once again, this walks a questionable line...she wasn't on staff or worked for that publication, she was just, a freelancer..? And that some of her work either saw the light of day, or didn't?
If you are thinking about buying this book, just remember, even though the author may have her heart in the right place, it seems that she is clearly NOT (or perhaps just incredibly fickle) a fan of 80's great cheese. i'M SORRY that I wasted good money on this book. Try to find a copy of "Terror on Tape" by James o'Neil or the "Horror Films from the 70's and 80's" books by John Kennith Muir. Gooood Stuff!
Finally, I will rest on one last thought. I wonder what she, or any fellow film fan, who looks back at the slasher films from the early 80's with utter disgust,could fairly say that, compared to the invasion of overly, gory movies that splatter our movie screens today (Hostile, Saw, most remake)....those films back then seem pretty tame.
Thanx for reading, KEVIN BRIAN
THIS 'REVIEW' HAS BEEN HAUNTING ME EVER SINCE I POSTED it on AMAZON. (Why, you may ask?) It dawned on me that this author may not be 'around' anymore, (considering that she had the pleasure to watch horror films, as a child, from the golden-age of Cinema). If she is still 'around' God bless her! If not, My Bad! I feel funny talkin' trash about someone's work that may not be in the land of the living to defend themselves. Plus, after rolling in her grave, she may go all 'CreepShow' on me and come back as a Zombie to chase me down for revenge!! Thanx Amazon for letting me 'jump' back in for one last word! Kevin Brian