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on 18 July 2013
Offbeat is by far the best book on british cinema that i have ever read.It is that good.Tired of reading about the same old cult films such as get carter and the wicker man,this book on obscure and forgotten brit films from the fifties to the eighties has now set me off on a journey to locate films such as i start counting,and soon the darkness,and flight of the doves.The boys in blue has always been a guilty pleasure,but how many fans of cult cinema have ever seen the tv-spin off The lovers starring the genius that was richard beckinsale.This book will point out to you things that you never realised-such as the fact that in get carter the gangster jack carter played by michael caine supposedly returns on a vengeance mission to his native newcastle without retaining even the slightest hint of a regional accent.It is these observations that make offbeat a must buy for any cult movie geek like myself.
Mi verdict-just buy the flipping thing!
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on 20 April 2013
A labour of love on the evolution of the inventive, but often derided, British B Move. A must for all film fans and aspiring film directors. The writers involved are extremely knowledgable and offer authoritative (and often witty) insight into the productions which were usually made under the constraints of a miniscule budget. This book has opened my eyes to the hidden history of British cinema and I will definitely be tracking a lot of these films down on the back of these reviews. The artwork for the British B movie was often entertaining and the book is copiously illustrated throughout. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A must buy for cinephiles!
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on 20 April 2013
OFFBEAT consists of over 100 reviews of obscure, forgotten and neglected British films from the mid-fifties to 1985 in chronological order interspersed with short overviews of trends in UK cinema such as Rock'n'Roll, Sex (of course) and The Children's film Foundation. These are not the obvious or widely known 'cult films' (so no Get Carter or Peeping Tom) but the lesser known, curios and oddities from Sitting Target to Slade in Flame, Girl in the Headlines to And Soon the Darkness, from the obscure B-movies to the inexplicably popular. Of course, the target audience for this book will have heard of most of these, (and argue what should have been included) but this is a wonderful, flawed, collection which encourages re-watching, revisiting and re-appraisal. There's rare stills, ads and posters on nearly every page but, this being a truly independent publisher, the quality is not as great as a book like this deserves. Each review consists of a small paragraph synopsis and a two or three page discussion, each written by a different author so some emphasis trivia or background others re-appraisal and context, often illustrating what British cinema was really like rather than the 'official' history of film.
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on 3 January 2015
An effort like this using so many contributors requires a strong editor, otherwise clichés abound, and we get every writer trotting out the old 'It was such a low budget, it wouldn't have even covered... (insert big budget comparison here). We understand. British films had lower budgets. It's really something we all need to get over, and move on. Here there are some odd inclusions, odd omissions - inevitable I suppose, but US studio financed films are hardly offbeat. Surprised not to see, say, The Brute, The Final Programme or The Fiend. Slightly smaller type, and pretty much every British 1970s production could have been given a mention. At it's heart is a plethora of laddish views, sometimes well-researched, sometimes embarrassingly wide of the mark, haranguing you in the way a mate down the pub would. So a little goes a long way. (No one down the pub is going to have anything worthwhile to say on the subject of Altman's Images, for example).

The collective failing of the contributors (I can take a pretty accurate guess at their age range) is that they cannot believe the X certificate was for any other purpose than horror or titillation. In fact, the X certificate, particularly in the 1960s, was used for films that appealed to an adult sensibility, something that the infantalised film-goer of today finds hard to credit. So films that dealt with uncomfortable sexual and social topics got an X. Yes, schoolgirls thought about sex, (e.g. I Start Counting). And yes, film-makers portrayed that - in the days when films weren't just appealing to 12-year-olds. If you want to see real bravery in dealing with inappropriate relationships, try Charles Crichton's The Third Secret. Now that's offbeat!
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on 23 June 2013
Great book, just buy it if you have more than a passing interest in cult films, you wont be dissapointed, oh and very funny too !!!!
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on 16 April 2016
fantastic book with lots of rarities.would love to see a second book with such titles as the mini affair(1967).praise marx and pass the ammunition(1970).a touch of the other(1970).wedding night(1969).run with the wind(1966).face of darkness(1976).mini weekend(1967).etc
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