Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 049 Top 100 Horror Movies

TITLE-Top 100 Horror Movies
AUTHOR-Gary Gerani
FORMAT-Trade Paperback

During one of the Science Fiction book clubs sales I ordered this oversized book.From IDW's book publishing arm it is a list of the top 100 horror movies of all time. I loved the Bravo made 100 scariest movie moments show. And figured since IDW does good comics this book would be of the same quality.

Now any list of top 100 horror films there will be films whoever is reading it will think don't belong on the list. But then there is also horror films that 90% of horror fans believe deserve to be on a top 100 list. With this book there was two films that stood out to me because they were not on the list. Those are first up Phantasm. Now I would personally have it in my top 5. But most horror fans would agree it should be in the top 100. The other film is one that almost every horror fan will agree is a modern classic. And it not being on the top 100 list causes this book to lose major amounts of credibility. That film is the original Dawn of the Dead. Yes Dawn of the Dead isn't in the author's top 100. Even horror fans that don't like Dawn still think it is a top 100 film. Hell I hate the Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby,but if I was making a list of the top 50 horror movies ever they would be on the list.

Then you got films on this list that puzzle me why they made the list. The one big one is Tim Burton's Sweeny Todd. To me it isn't a horror film.And  in my eyes there is no reason this over rated Gothic shite gets on the list when a true classic like Dawn isn't on the list.

My other complaint about the book is what the author chose for number 1. People that know me know I am not a fan of most of the Hammer horror films. So when I saw that Horror of Dracula was number 1 I was shocked.Going in I figured one of the following would be number 1. Stuff like the Exorcist,Psycho,the original Night of the Living Dead or the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The author explains a bit why he chose Horrors of Dracula. And I do agree it's influence and impact on the horror genre are big.

One thing I do love about this book is all the great pictures. They are all nice and clear. I also like how for each film they list it's original aspect ratio. This is something I haven't seen before in a book of movie reviews. And it is something I wish was done more often.

Top 100 Horror Movies gets a 2.72 outta 5

2015 Reading Challenge Book 048 Gamemaster Conquering Super Nintendo Games

TITLE-Gamemaster Conquering Super Nintendo Games
AUTHOR-Jeff Rovin
COST-10 cents

When I was younger I loved this kind of books. Most Schoolastic book fairs I would buy at least one. For the younger readers this is how we learned about various video games. We didn't have people with highly annoying voices doing Lets Play vids on youtube. Hell we didn't have shows on tv that talked about video games. You had books like this,a handful of video game magazines and word of mouth.

I had actually forgotten about these books until I started watching the Game Chasers show on youtube. They pick up this type of books when they find them cheap. And I did some research and found out some of these books have decent resale value.

This was found at my local library.All the neon colors on the cover caught my eye.And since I recently added a Super Nintendo emulator to my computer I thought a book like this would be handy in choosing what games I wanted to play.

There is over 100 game reviews in the book. With each one getting at least a page.Mr Rovin does a good job. In a small space he tells you the story of the game,gives you some tips on the harder parts of each game. And even sometimes gives you cheat codes and/or passwords. The tips for EVO Search for Eden have been really handy. I hadn't even heard of the game before. After reading about it in the book I knew I had to try it out. And it has become one of my favorite games.

My only complaint is there is no pictures in the book.Some screenshots would help break up the walls of text.

Gamemaster Conquering Super Nintendo Games gets a 3.15 outta 5.

2015 Reading Challenge Book 047 Asia Shock

TITLE-Asia Shock
AUTHOR-Patrick Galloway
FORMAT-Trade Paperback

Back in 2008 I was ordering the first Cinema Sewer book off Amazon. I wanted to add something to the order so I would get free shipping. Saw this book and took a chance.

Before reading this collection of 47 reviews I had seen maybe 10 Asian films Since reading this book I have watched many many more.

The author does a good job of not only describing the films. But putting them in the proper cultural context. Which is very helpful when dealing with cinema from countries you don't know much about.

Most of what is covered is horror,dark fantasy and black comedies. And I am a fan of two of those genres. With fantasy films just being a genre that while I don't hate it,I am not a huge fan  of.

Mr Galloway also gives lots of background info on stuff like the infamous Hong Kong Category III rating,directors like Takashi Miike,and all kinds of great bits of history on the film industries in the various Asian countries.

The only real flaw with the book is something that couldn't be avoided. When this book came out the Asian horror explosion hadn't yet happened in the States. So finding some of the movies mentioned wasn't that easy. So Patrick gives a list of websites where you can buy or find out more info on the various films he covers. Of course with this book being from years back lots of these websites do not exist anymore.But as I said this couldn't be avoided.

Asia Shock gets a 2.98 outta 5