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CULT CINEMA: AN ARROW VIDEO COMPANION (Book Review)

ARROW_BOOK_COVERCult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion Lmtd Ed. HC 
Edited by Anthony Nield
Introduction by Ben Wheatley 
Cover Illustration by Graham Humphreys
Written by Robin Bougie, Michael Brooke, Paul Corupe, David Del Valle, David Flint, Cullen Gallagher, Kevin Gilvear, Joel Harley, David Hayles, Pasquale Iannone, Alan Jones, Tim Lucas, Michael Mackenzie, Maitland McDonagh, Tom Mes, John Kenneth Muir, Kim Newman, James Oliver, Vic Pratt, Jasper Sharp, Kenneth J. Souza, Mike Sutton, Stephen Thrower, Caelum Vatnsdal, Douglas Weir
Published by MVD Entertainment Group
Available April 12, 2016
ISBN: 978-0993306013 / $69.95

Arrow Video are no stranger to cult film devotees worldwide, for years they have been releasing some of the most sought after special editions in the U.K. market and have more recently branched into the North American market.

Whether you are looking for a zombie film, a blaxploitation film, or a Japanese gangster film Arrow Video has it all in their catalogue and many in superb collectors editions at that. So seemingly as a way to cement their place as a one-stop entrée into the world of bizarre cinema they have released the book Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion, which provides a thorough overview of the many facets of cult cinema be it notable actors and directors, insight into specific genres, or even a look at the behind the scenes workings of distribution in the B-movie world.

Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion compiles the many essays that have been included in the booklets of their special edition releases along with a new introduction by filmmaker Ben Wheatley.

The essays themselves have been provided by some of the biggest names in underground film criticism. Some of the authors include Kim Newman, Robin Bougie, David Del Valle, Tom Mess, Maitland McDonagh, and Tim Lucas: all of whom are well known and well regarded for their own research projects and books.

Content wise Cult Cinema: An Arrow Companion really gives the reader a comprehensive survey of the cult, exploitation, horror film world while also offering up a fair amount of well researched information for even the seasoned exploitation addict to gain some new insight into the genres they love. The topics covered in the book range from pieces on directors like George A. Romero, Lloyd Kaufman, and Seijun Suzuki as well as actors like Hervé Villechaize and Pam Grier.

Other writers tackle the subjects of specific films, like Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale or Dario Argento’s Deep Red and even film sub-genres such as the Italian murder mystery genre known as the Giallo and the ever controversial topic of Christmas Horrors.

All building to the most informative section of the book covering cult distribution avenues as in the original road show days of film exhibition, the introduction of super 8 film as a home viewing medium, and even how the late 1990’s DVD boom aided the growing fan base for Asian cult cinema as a whole.

All of that is only about half of the essays contained in Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion just to give you an idea of how much awesome cult goodness is contained.

Plus the book is chock full of the cool new artwork Arrow Video has had commissioned for many of their special editions along with quite a few film stills to round things out. Much like their track record with great home video releases Arrow Video have made a great cohesive package for the collectors market as well as those looking for a good read much like how the content of the book will be of interest to both the introductory cult fan as well as to the decades deep cult film fanatic.

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