Welcome to Coolasscinema.com! This is a site dedicated to the propagation of strange and exciting cinema (and television) from all over the world as well as America's own grand tradition of exploitation cinema classics. From the front (and back) seats of drive in's across the nation, to the sleaze pit theaters of New York's famed 42nd street, to the comforts of home watching fantastic cinema on the Late Show, remember those classic (and sometimes classless) films of old and even discover some new ones.
Cool Ass Cinema Book Reviews: Horror-Sci Fi Reference Guide Edition!
CLAWS & SAUCERS: SCIENCE FICTION, HORROR AND FANTASY FILM 1902-1982 -- A COMPLETE GUIDE By David Elroy Goldweber 630 pages; softcover; no photos; 1st edition June 14th, 2012
I don't always agree with every review, but that's what makes cross referencing entries all the more enlightening, and Goldweber tackles his subjects with a leisurely frankness
that differs from the work of others in the same field. The reviews
themselves are done in a unique, if unorthodox fashion that is
refreshing in itself.
As a child, I remember scouring the bookshelves of our now long gone bookstore, Waldenbooks for anything genre related. Film review guides were a favorite, but the most widely accessible at that time were those written by the likes of Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin -- neither of which were particularly kind to horror and monster pictures.
In 1984, it was a revelation for my young 11 year old eyes to pick up a copy of John Stanley's terror-ific review book, The Creatures Features Movie Guide. Having bought a number of other genre review guides in the intervening years (as well as accumulating hundreds of the films on DVD), the need for purchasing genre review books had waned, at least from my perspective.
Along comes this hefty, review packed encyclopedia covering 70 years worth of horror, sci fi and fantasy films from around the world... and it brings back those memories of sitting and reading about those Late Show offerings covered in Stanley's loving tome to terror cinema. Within its 630 info packed pages there are over 1,500 entries by Goldweber. There are entries missing, but then there's a ton of other entries that aren't typically found elsewhere. Goldweber's equally dedicated website fills in these blanks (see updates) and is linked below. It also becomes obvious rather quickly how big of a fan he is of the films he's discussing; even going through the trouble of offering very brief summations from other reviewers (including John Stanley) on many of the titles. I don't always agree with every review, but that's what makes cross referencing entries all the more enlightening, and Goldweber tackles his subjects with a leisurely frankness that differs from the work of others in the same field. The reviews themselves are done in a unique, if unorthodox fashion that is refreshing in itself. They're are set up like this: Title (director, running time, color or B/W and year of release) What's Happening is a brief line or two about the basic plot of the film.
Famous For equates to whatever notable quality said film in question is best remembered whether in cult circles, or the mainstream.
A few paragraphs (occasionally an entire page) cover the mechanics of the film reviewed, analyzing its good points and bad.
Following the guts of the review, you'll find a numerical system rating the Action, Gore, Sex, Quality and Camp. To my knowledge, Chas. Balun's Gore Score books were the first to utilize a gore rating, but Goldweber's version isn't about the quantity of viscera strewn across the screen, but the "quality", as he puts it in the books Introduction. His vast compendium expands this number system by an additional four categories. Again, this system of reviewing entries is explained in detail in the Introduction. Below the numbered ratings, there are an additional two categories -- these vary, but mostly they consist of Don't Miss(noting a particular standout moment) and Quotable Line.
If you're a collector of film reference guides, this one is a welcome addition to anyone's collection. The lack of images isn't a hindrance, and you may find yourself too busy scouring to find what the author thought of a particular title to notice. Click HERE to go to Goldweber's Claws & Saucers website where you will find links on where to order your preferred version (paperback, kindle, ebook, etc) and also many other things related to this massive, and massively recommended reference guide to those great movies you grew up with at the Drive In, or on the television late at night.
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I've been a huge movie buff since childhood catching old horror and monster flicks on Shock Theater and kung fu movies at the drive-in during the late 70's and early 80's. I've had a long time fascination with, and appreciate all genres of fantastic cinema, good and bad. One fans cheese is another fans juicy steak. I like both equally and seldom find a film I truly dislike as I will find something of interest in just about anything. The bulk of the films or tv series' seen here are mostly from my childhood, or films I own in what has become an Amazing Colossal DVD collection.