I was excited to receive a review copy of The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema by Michael Vaughn. Strange and cinema? Two of my favourite things!
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but everything about this book's cover makes me want to read it. It's both clean and fun, which describes the book perfectly. The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema covers a wide variety of genres, from a wide range of cultures, and that helps keep things interesting. We've seen a lot of films (A LOT) but there were films in here that even Jay hadn't seen. That takes some digging!
Basically, I wanted more. I wanted a set rating system for each movie. (In keeping with the cover, why not gory eyeballs? 3 eyeballs out of 5? Sure!) I wanted more stills and posters to fill up all the white space. I wanted each movie to have its own page (two to a page, max) with more trivia, more interviews, more crazy connections, more "goes well with"... just MORE of everything.
In addition to a set rating system, a set verdict would have been nice, too.
The best part of The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema has to be the snark! It's full of humorous quips and puns that had me laughing out loud. Here's a taste, from the introduction to The Devil's Sword (1984): 'Are you a fan of Conan but wished it was made by someone tripping balls?'
If that doesn't recommend this one, I don't know what does!