I know, I’ve been gone a while. I’m hoping to change that.
My excuse, such as it is, is that I’ve been busy. I spent 2012 editing Razor Days and putting together a pair of books, the first of which made its triumphant debut at the Spring Horror Realm in Pittsburgh:
Hot off the presses at McFarland Publications comes my first “mainstream” publication in years. While “labor of love” has become an overused term, it pretty much applies here because, above all else, I never ended up hating it.
The title comes from the publisher and I’m not wild about it either. I preferred their previous suggestion of “No Holds Barred Cinema”, even though that too is a bit cumbersome for the human mouth. See, the title gave us all sorts of problems because the book contains essays on a variety of movies that barely—if at all—relate to each other.
I write about cult films like Forbidden Zone, Ralph Bakshi’s Coonskin, The Projectionist, and Stephen Sayadian’s Dr. Caligari.
I also cover old and new indies like The Prodigy, All About Evil, Deadwood Park, Sixteen Tongues, Shatter Dead and Hey, Stop Stabbing Me.
And there are some eccentric foreign films in there—Peter Greenaway’s The Baby of Mâcon, Renais’ Je T’aime, Je T’aime, Bigas Luna’s Anguista (aka Anguish with Zelda Rubinstein).
More than a few under-the-radar movies—Meet the Hollowheads, Twice Upon a Time, The Boneyard, The Return of Captain Invincible, Alex Cox’s Straight to Hell.
And a couple of movies very few people have ever seen for one reason or another, like The Dueling Accountant and Roberta Findlay’s infamous final, unreleased film, Banned.
The only things these movies have in common is that they’re all relatively obscure and completely off the wall. Some in unhinged glee like X-tro, and others in quiet ways like Bertrand Travernier’s La Mort en direct. In the majority of cases, if not all, the filmmakers had near-complete control but either failed to reach the right audience or were saddled with distributors who couldn’t fathom what the audience might be.
I like underdogs. So I wrote about some. It encompassed a good chunk of the first half of 2012, while I was finishing the Razor Days cut, and once the writing was complete I spent another goodly few weeks running down photographs for the chapters, some of which had never been published. I’m pretty proud of the damned thing.
If there’s any drawback to you running out and buying this book immediately is McFarland’s pricing. McFarland, a company with a lively mixture of pop culture and text books, sets their prices for the specialty market. As I write this, there are copies of Fervid Filmmaking in libraries across the country and can be special-ordered from Barnes & Noble and whatever other “major” bookstore is still standing.
But, like the movies I cover, the target audience gets the shorter end of the stick as Fervid Filmmaking retails at $39.99. I’m sure over the coming months that it’ll become easier to find at “used” and “like new” prices on Amazon, but for right now, that’s a chunk. I understand it all too well as I can barely afford to buy copies for myself!
On the plus side, it seems to be worth the cost, at least as far as them what done bought it’s concerned. The first review it received was from Rod Lott at Bookgasm and I don’t even know that guy (even though he's now my new best friend). I had seven copies with me at Cinema Wasteland and returned home with only two. So I think this book just might have some legs under it. I might even do another one if it sells particularly well, but I won’t know the numbers until next March.
Of course, if you’re not one for pages and physical space, it’s available to download for Kindle and will be offered in other digital formats very soon. The eBooks are a little lighter on the wallet and still contain all those valuable nouns and verbs I love so much.
I’d like to close with a little plea: if you do roll the dice and choose to purchase a copy of Fervid Filmmaking for your very own, please do me the favor of reviewing it on Amazon. Doesn’t have to be a lengthy review, just a few words of “yea” or “nay” (honestly, I don’t care if a review is negative as long as both my name and the book’s title are spelled correctly). I don’t think the cockroaches will worship it after the apocalypse, but I’m pretty proud of it and I think you’ll like it.
Yes, even you.
More press and links:
and, of course, the official FACEBOOK PAGE