on 2 February 2010
A long time ago, well over thirty years anyway, when the lucky television watching public had three channels to choose from and most of them closed down well before they should have done, my young eyes feasted themselves on many a visual delight. We were treated to seasons of monster movies, Tarzan adventures and the many Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone that used to be shown in the early evening. As I turned from innocent young boy to horror obsessed teen, I graduated to late night horror double bills, and many an obscure horror film shown at the dead of night.
So, thirty years on, and the old grey cells have started to dissapear one by one. The memories of these fantastic times and films have clouded, and all I can say is thank God for Michael J Weldon and his brilliant encyclopedias. All those monster movies, Tarzan in all his incarnations etc are to be found in these pages, with humourous, honest reviews by the author. If you need to find the title of an obscutre 1950's science fiction film or an Italian Zombie fest, I'll guarantee that this book will find the answers to your questions. Even better is that many of the reviews reference other films, so you'll find youself constantly flicking from page to page in the quest for new knowledge. The only drawback to this is you will be wanting to seek out and buy many of the more obscure films that Weldon reviews, so a healthy bank balance or an understanding bank manager are the order for the day.
On a personal note, this book meant a lot to me, as after having my love for B-Movies and obscure 70's horror films ridiculed for many years, in Michael Weldon I found a kindred spirit. Not only that, but a kindred spirit who had written a book about the films I loved.
Of course, this book was published in the early 1980's, so if you're looking for reviews of films post 1983, you might be dissapointed. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that Weldon brought out his 'sequel', 'The Psychotronic Video Guide', an update to embrace the video age, but more than an update, as it contained many new reviews. This book, it goes without saying, is also an essential purchase. I'd also like to add that both book have many fantastic photos and illustrations of the films, television programmes and serials that are reviewed.
Absolutely essential for all lovers of the slightly more obscure horror and science fiction films from the last century, as well as lovers of films in general. 5 out of 5