Tag Archives: Alien

Reel Terror

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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.

http://us.macmillan.com/SMP.aspx

 

Alien: The Archive

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Alien – The Archive

Titan Books – 2014
ISBN: 9781783291045
320 pages, $50.00

Titan Books has done it again.  They’ve created a beautiful, thoroughly engaging large size book that covers the entire Alien franchise.  This is first book dedicated to showing how Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection were made.

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You will be blown away with the all the sensational photographs, storyboards and other production artwork displaying how each of the films were made.  Titan takes you behind the scenes with comments made by various people who worked on each production.  You even get the scoop on film versions not shot (like Vincent Ward’s infamous abandoned version of Alien 3) and I found all of that beyond fascinating.

Sigourney Weaver writes a foreword about her involvement in the whole series and her relationships of working with Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.  She’s honest about how she felt about playing “Ellen Ripley”, saying she was is very much against guns and her concerns about each movie following the ground-breaking classic.

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I also loved reading the thoughts from the visual effects artists who brought the late H.R. Giger’s surrealistic artistry to life and hearing from the Swiss artist himself.  I had never seen most of the photos contained, which in itself is worth the price of this book alone.

This is not a text heavy book but features just enough details scattered amongst stunning pictures & art that tell the story beyond words.

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With the holidays fast approaching, I’d get Alien – The Archive for yourself or a friend.

www.titanbooks.com