Books: Cult Epics: Comprehensive Guide To Cult Cinema - Reviewed

The history of cinema is comprehensive and wide, almost as much as cinema itself. Even with the thousands of books that have been written, the story isn’t over yet. Thousands of books will continue to be written because of the wide scope of the medium. Histories about the truly iconic moments in cinema are written on a constant basis but there is one niche that is underserved by film writing today. Cult cinema is one niche that needs more and more writing. Cult Epics is a beautiful hardcover that examines the wide scope of controversial cinema and is a must have for cult film lovers. 

Cult Epics is a book that celebrates and treats the history of cult cinema with a loving and exploratory gaze. Designed as a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Cult Epics – the controversial arthouse, horror and erotica video label, this book analyzes the history of it’s label and the filmmakers and films that defined it as a cultural touchstone. This commemorative hardcover book covers essential releases from filmmakers such as Tinto Brass, Fernando Arrabal, Radley Metzger, Walerian Borowcyzk, Jean Genet, Abel Ferrara, George Barry, Rene Daalder, Agusti Villaronga, Jorg Buttgereit, Gerald Kargl, Nico B, Irving Klaw, and pinup legend Bettie Page. 

The scope of the releases by this label just shows the depth and variety of the films they released. I was amazed and impressed by the films and the credits of everybody involved. I have not heard of some of these films but after reading it, I wanted to watch several films in here and learn more and more. The poster themselves were stylistically and visually fascinating. They are so engaging and interesting I wanted to buy them and frame them in my house. I learned that I had not known as much about cult cinema as I thought I did and I think this is a book that will expand the radar and minds of cult fans that are hungry for more knowledge about the subgenre. 

My favorite aspect of this book is how in-depth this book is. It is filled to the brim with details and analysis of the films and the history behind them. The reviews of the films, interviews, and essays on directors by film critics Nathaniel Thompson, Mark R. Hasan, Michael den Boer, Ian Jane, Stephen Thrower, Marcus Stiglegger, Heather Drain and others – fully illustrated in color with rare photos, poster art, and memorabilia. I would highly recommend this book for any genre aficionado who wants to read an engaging and interesting book about a cult cinema label. 

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-Liam S. O'Connor