Friday, 3 December 2010

Trashfiend review

This has been out for a while but is still available. A feast!

Scott Stine – Trashfiend: Disposable Horror Fare of the 1960s & 1970s, Volume One; Headpress 2009; 321pp; profusely illustrated; £13.99. Available, amongst other delights, from:

Having just finished Clive Barker’s A-Z of Horror (BBC Books, 1997), I was wondering if there was another ‘reference’ book out there that was more out there...covering the more obscure and neglected gems of this weirdly persistent genre that has spread across the globe to infect countless impressionable youngsters like some magic fungus ejected from unexplored secret stratas. And Hurrah!, Headpress (who previously published THE book on the ‘Video Nasty’ phenomenon: David Kerekes & David Slater’s See No Evil, 2000) have come up with the goods yet again, in the form of this vibrant cornucopia by longtime American collector-trader and self-confessed “trashfiend” Scott Stine: one of that dedicated, pro-psychotic legion engaged in an unending quest for the elusive gold/Grail of “Qualcrap” (“Crap of Quality” – geddit?), as another initiate once dubbed it.

So what do you get for your money? A large(ish) format, glossy-papered journey into the roaring, blood-soaked, stygian abyss that was the 60s-70s apogee of horror/exploitation. Loads of its quivering tentacles are lovingly examined: reviews, reports, interviews, rare illustrations and technical info on the films (including 8-MM cine), comics, magazines, posters, personages; even toys, games and other novelties – too numerous to list here (and many of which I’d never heard of before and will now have to seek out). Neat 4-page colour section also. It’s biased towards US-made items, but also features some curious nuggets from farther afield.

Overall, Trashfiend is a satisfying, informative product of passionate obsessive fetishism and unashamed nostalgia; the author’s unquenchable enthusiasm for this material shines through in every sentence, evoking an intoxicating gore-feast for green or old hands alike, that also engenders definite psychedelic after-effects. Get culturally armed – buy this book! And that’s not all folks, for Mr Stine promises a sequel...

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