I love books on Cult and Trash films. So, naturally, I bought VideoHound's Cult Flicks & Trash Pics. After perusing through it for a while, I thought that the book was good but it's woefully incomplete, padded and many reviews are filled with mistakes. The package is great and the inclusion of movie quotes is a great idea but those things aren't enough to compensate for the bad aspects of this hefty book.
The first obvious mistake is that it's incomplete. For example, there are only 6 William Castle movies listed in the book, such as I SAW WHAT YOU DID or HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, but it doesn't have HOMICIDAL, Mr SARDONICUS or PROJECT X. A lot of Russ Meyer films are listed but UP! is not. Also, there's a lot of obscure but well-known B-movies that are missing from the book. Titles like TERROR IN THE JUNGLE, SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT, THE BOOGEYMAN or even VISITING HOURS aren't listed. A major point of these types of Cult movie guides is to list the extremely obscure titles, titles that would never be listed in standard movie guides, so we can track them down with the provided information. And the fact that a wide range of titles that have a cult following, from big studio oddities like XANADU to low-budget obscurities like HORROR HIGH are missing from the bunch makes the book look seriously incomplete.
Second, many of the review I've checked from my first reading contain errors. The review for BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE says that the movie starts with a murder. It doesn't start with a murder but an attempted murder. If you know the movie, this is a significant detail to the story-line. The review for another Dario Argento film, SUSPIRIA, states that Udo Kier plays the blind man when in fact Udo plays a psychiatrist in a brief role. These mistakes are so obvious that I wonder if they actually saw the movies.
In another example of errorneous information, this time about the technical aspect of the film, the book says that ILSA SHE-WOLF OF THE SS is only 45 minutes long. Huh? The book points out that ILSA is available on DVD, which it is (distributed by Anchor Bay) but the version of ILSA on the DVD is 96 minutes long, not 45 minutes.
And third mistake, the 800+ pages book is remarkably padded. 40% of the book is just filled with a series of indexes. That's something like 300+ pages just for indexes. I could have used more reviews of missing titles than having such a voluminous index.
Still, the guide is good and some reviews are well written, even if I don't agree with all of them. It makes for a great starting point for those who are new to Cult movies. But if you want remarkable guides on B-movies and trash films, buy the two Psychotronic guides by Michael Weldon, which are much better and more complete than this and don't contain as many errors.