Official Splatter Movie Guide, The Vol 1 & 2 - Fantago | St. Martins Press
Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Creepy's Retro Bookshelf Corner: The Official Splatter Movie Guide Vol 1, 2 on Severed Cinema CREEPY'S RETRO BOOKSHELF CORNER

The Official Splatter Movie Guide Vol 1 on Severed Cinema

Book: The Official Splatter Movie Guide
Volume: 1, 2
Edited by: John McCarty
Written by: John McCarty, Ken Hanke, John Brent, Walter Gay and others
Art by: H. Roberts
Year: 1989, 1992

Published by: Fantago, St. Martins Press

John McCarty has written a multitude of books about the horror genre. Guides, things about directors, one about psychopaths in films... on and on. The Official Splatter Movie Guide Volume 1 of this duo emerged in the late ‘80s and, if we're honest, there wasn't much about then which was similar other than Chas Balun's legendary paperbacks, and LA Morse's Video Trash & Treasures series. So John had really a free hand to write for a hungry audience which were living off Fangoria and Gorezone (not mentioning various small press fanzines which were hard to obtain).

John (and three other buddies) cover literally hundreds of movies in bite size paragraphs, accompanied by a good selection of black and white gory photographs, from well-known blockbusters, to low grubby lesser mortals. “McCarty knows what he's talking about.” quotes Fangoria on the back of Volume One. Fair enough, the man does, but he's so bloody unhappy and picky. He has to find faults! “I've tried to have fun...” says the man himself. He has a bone to pick with bigger budget movies though and drags the reader down. Yes, he applauds the effects of Aliens, Predator and An American Werewolf in London, but then Predator is “unsuspenseful”, American Werewolf... is “hollow, pointless...” and courtesy of Aliens, he started looking at his watch!

I have no idea who reviewed what, so for arguments sake, it's all Mr. McCarty! You miserable bugger. Poor John Carpenter's The Fog is slapped with “transparent characters” and “telegraphed scares” (I bet McCarty's dictionary is well thumbed.) Carpenter fares better with Prince of Darkness and Halloween (of course, nobody dare criticize that one, it's royalty like Dawn of the Dead).

John does prefer such diverse titles as From Beyond to Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters (damn right!). He remains of no opinion when writing about the Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises. Classics get the thumbs up like Re-Animator, Raw Meat, The Hitcher, etcetera. He's not a bad guy, but I cannot find the fun he mentioned in his introduction. Good ol' Chas Balun, if he didn't like a film, it sucked a dog's dick or whatever. It was hard to disagree with his reviews because it was like he could be sat in the room chatting to you. I find myself shaking my head at a majority of John’s, as opposed to nodding in agreement.

Volume 2 slithered out in the early ‘90s and John seemed to have mellowed. Bad Taste, Neon Maniacs, Black Gestapo, and even Waxworks are treasures to him. This man slated The Howling in his previous tome (aside from the effects) and now he likes Neon Maniacs???!!! Okay, weird and wild. Maybe it's because there's now five other chaps scribbling away this time round. They seem jolly and ready to be fair. Foxy Brown and Indiana Jones get inserted in a splatter movie guide for some reason or other, but they (and others madcap choices) lend a shake up and unpredictability to the pages.

Book 2 concludes (after Zombie Lake) with 'recent' releases that didn't make it into the book, a huge director's list, then an attempt to shoehorn everything into categories. Overall, John's paperbacks contain a priceless guideline to the titles around since the 1960s, but not always a fair viewing. With this being the golden age of the internet and its endless library shelves, there seldom is any need for books on these subjects nowadays. I'm old school, however, and sometimes I like to sit quietly after browsing my bookshelves and turn the pages reminding myself of certain memories and movies.





The Official Splatter Movie Guide Vol 2 on Severed Cinema

 VOLUME 1: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1/2No 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 VOLUME 2: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema




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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 February 2017 )