Best of 2013

Best of 2013


Best:  Crystal Lake Memories – The Complete History of Friday The 13th (Blu-ray)

Runner–up:  Halloween – 35th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

Honorable Mention:  Evil Dead (Blu-ray)


Best:  Marco Sfogli – Remarcoable

Runner–up:  Craig Padilla & Zero Ohms – When Earth is Far Away

Honorable Mention:    Benedictum – Obey
                                                  Evil Dead – Score by Rogue Baños
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance
                                                  Stryper – Second Coming


Best:  The Friedkin Connection by William Friedkin

Runner–up:   On Location in Blairstown: The Making of Friday The 13th by David Grove

Honorable Mention:  Jamie Lee Curtis: Scream Queen by David Grove

Bang Your Head – The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal



Bang Your Head: The Raise and Fall of Heavy Metal

Written by David Konow

Three Rivers Press – 2002
ISBN 978-0609807323
480 Pages, $16.00



Written before his outstanding tome on horror films Reel Terror, author David Konow wrote another fantastic book that covers the world of heavy metal in its heyday.  Konow is one of the guys that can talk about the music form because he is passionate about it.

I’ve been a listener of heavy metal since its inception, so I know the music very well.  What struck me most about this paperback is the overall careless attitude the majority of the musicians held  about their success.  It’s almost if as all the rock stars from the 80s felt they were entitled to act like spoiled little brats; trashing hotel rooms and blowing money because they could.  Rampant drug/alcohol abuse, inhabited sex and generally acting like teenagers fighting amongst themselves.

The worse part of their immature actions was that many of the groups we came to love split up and we lost music that could have been.  If those folks would have been more mature and appreciated what they had, maybe this type of music would have carried on a bit longer and the fickle listeners would have not turned against them.  But in some ways it’s almost as they deserved to go down.

This volume has far too many good stories for me to relay them here.  I will say Konow talks about the greats like; Alice Cooper, Kiss, Van Halen, AC-DC and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.  He especially focuses in on his home turf of the Los Angles scene with all the famous bar-clubs that broke bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken and Poison. Konow origins thrash metal with Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  Then he moves onto Pantera, Guns & Roses and so many more.

Konow has interviewed not only the musicians, but record producers, band managers, record label executives, MTV hosts, groupies and fans to get a complete overview of this rocking story.

I found much of it funny, some of it dramatic, definitely nostalgic and quite a bit of it sad and in some ways tragic.

The coolest thing about this written work is that it will give you a chance to go back to a time where the type of music I love to listen to was more out in the open whether it be on radio, live, when MTV actually showed videos and when these bands were at their prime, making their best music.

Live it again by reading the rise and fall of heavy metal in Bang Your Head.






Reel Terror



Reel Terror
by David Konow

St. Martin’s Griffin – 2012
ISBN 9780312668839
$18.99, 608 pages   



I’m a lifelong fan of horror films.  I’ve read too many books to count and watched thousands of scary movies.  So when I went to start reading this written literary work I was looking forward to it, but I didn’t expect much.  When something covers the entire genre from start to present day is usually too general in nature to really make a dent with me, but boy was I wrong about this essay.  

What I like most about Reel Terror is David Konow’s conversational writing style.  The man definitely knows his horror history and is able to share countless fascinating stories about films and the people who made them.  The second best thing about this tome is that Konow writes about how the movies were made rather than reviewing the films.

I heard quite a few things about many of the horror classics that hadn’t before and the way Konow tells it, made me not want to put the book down.

I really appreciated the amount of time and attention given to movies like THE EXORCIST.  There were quite a few instances where quotes from Father O’Malley (who served as an advisor on the film) and the man responsible for the marketing of the film had me laughing hysterically.

There are chapters on; TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, JAWS, CARRIE,  THE OMEN, HALLOWEEN, DAWN OF THE DEAD, PHANTASM, ALIEN, THE FOG, FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE EVIL DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR, SCREAM, THE SIXTH SENSE to name just a few, which are all just simply stellar reading.  Konow is able to connect us to the people behind the films, rather than just being a glorified studio press kit.  I think it makes the stories more intimate and brings the people behind the movies closer.  He cuts the veneer of the normal corporate B.S. out of the loop.

To tell you the truth Reel Terror is one of the best books of its kind.  If I could only recommend one paperback for you to pick up this Halloween or even the rest of this year, it would absolutely be Reel Terror.