Saturday, April 11, 2009


Before the advent of the Internet there was a series of over sized trade paperback periodicals called Re/Search. They were about all sorts of bizarre counter-culture subjects, from strange outsider music to pranks to bizarre fiction, movies, and other off-the-wall treasures that you could find nowhere else. The Re-Search series flourished throughout the 1980's through the very early 1990's. Most were edited by V. Vale and Andrea Juno and featured articles, interviews, and essays by a wide variety of writers. My favorite of these books was "Incredibly Strange Films"(Re/Search #10, published in 1985). This book helped turn me on to wide variety of bizarre directors and films. Some in the book I already knew about, but this book helped me learn more about them and discover more of their films. Others I had never heard of, and I immediately and hungrily sought out their work.

"Incredibly Strange Films" is a real treasure trove of information on bizarre American cinema. It is chock full of in depth interviews with directors, essays, and other information on several pieces of classic and unheard of cult cinema, some of which you may have seen reviewed here. There is also exhaustive coverage of several cult cinema sub-genres, such as mondo films, women in prison films and LSD flicks. There are interviews and in-depth coverage of some of my favorite directors their lifetime production of films.

I will give you a list of some of the directors featured in this book, and the movies in parenthesis are the ones that have been reviewed here so far.

Russ Meyer (Faster Pussycat Kill Kill)

Ted V. Mikels ( Corpsegrinders 2, Mark of the Astro Zombies)

Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case 2, Brain Damage, Frankenhooker)

Larry Cohen (Black Caesar)

Herschell Gordon Lewis (Bloodfeast 1 and 2, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore-Gore Girls)

Ray Dennis Steckler (Rat Phink a Boo Boo)

Essay on Jack Hill's Spider Baby

There are a lot of movies featured in this book, many that I have yet to discover, and some that I have yet to share with you. Just pick this book up if you can. Even though it came out in the 1980's, I have not seen another publication to cover so thoroughly the joy and wonders of the American cult film.

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