Item description for Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand by Patrick Galloway & Greg Lofrano...
Asian Extreme cinema is hot, and this book lays it out in all its gory glory. Patrick Galloway, who last looked at samurai movies in his well-received Stray Dogs and Lone Wolves, now takes on Asian masters of suspense, exploitation, the supernatural, and bone-chilling, blood-curdling fear and evil. The films featured here are pan-Asian, including Korea and Thailand, and represent a mix of classics and the contemporary cutting edge. Included are viewing tips and overviews of genres and cultures.
"Galloway has all sorts of interesting insights and facts that'll make you want to rewatch your favorites, or check out some that you've never seen." -- Wired
"It has a conversational feel, as if you're sitting down with a film buddy and just discussing the film." -- Twitch
"What with brain-sauce spaghetti, switchblade cellphones, and other wonders, could horror flicks from Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong be any better? PatrickGalloway savors the genre in Asia Shock." East Bay Express
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 7" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2006
Publisher Stone Bridge Press
ISBN 1933330120 ISBN13 9781933330129
Availability 0 units.
More About Patrick Galloway & Greg Lofrano
Film critic Patrick Galloway won over readers with film guides Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook, and Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. A lifelong student of Asian philosophy and culture, Galloway has traveled in Japan, Hong Kong, India and Nepal. He lives in the Bay Area.
Reviews - What do customers think about Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand?
Informative.... But Gives Away Too Much If You Haven't Seen the Movie Aug 27, 2008
I purchased the book because of the reviews and because there aren't that many books on J-Horror. A few things I didn't like- while the movie reviews are well written and quite obvious that the author has watched them- there is way too much detail, i.e. spoilers in the reviews. If you have not watched the movie yet, you won't need to as the author gives you pseudo spoilers in key areas of the movie. It's the equivalent of reading a Cliff's Notes version of the movie.
With the whole point of J-Horror focusing on mood, knowing what will happen ruins the tension and build up of the movie. I only read the reviews on movies in the book i had already seen and skipped the ones i plan on watching.
The other problem is the types of movies selected. Some are good, some are ok and some are just plain mediocre. For example , Takashi Miike's, "Visitor Q" was chosen for review (The author only picked movies he felt deserved recognition as a movie to watch), and while I am a fan of Miike, he goes from hot to cold and "Q" is definitely not one of his best, in my opinion (actually it was horrible). Plus a few of the movies are selected from the 70's and early 80's and definitely not in the same vein as what i expect in current J-horror.
Taste is subjective, so for better ideas skip the book, subscribe to Netflix and read the reviews/ratings and compare them against reviews/ratings at Rottentomatoes (RT tends to have more accurate ratings than Netflix user ratings).
A Great Read - Setting the Record Straight May 18, 2007
As an aspiring writer who was extremely impressed by the author's tone and style, as well as a fan of many of the films reviewed in Asia Shock, I am rather bemused by comments made by Vegan Viking from San Francisco. She writes: "Galloway mentions how Western audiences might not find cannibalism in Hong Kong such a stretch to imagine ... he shrugs it off by rationalizing along the lines of 'the Chinese eat a lot of weird food anyways,' implying that because the Chinese occasionally enjoy snake soup, it's only logical that they would break the universally held taboo against eating human flesh. I found this magnificently ignorant." These comments are just plain wrong. The movie in question is Three Extremes, a fictionalized account of real-life events in mainland China, and nowhere in his review does he say "Western audiences might not find cannibalism in Hong Kong such a stretch to imagine." Rather, Galloway discusses Chinese medicine's reliance on the body parts of some endangered species, then writes (pg. 69): "Such regrettable disregard for life has led many in the West to make the misguided leap of logic that Chinese people must not mind eating their own as well, whereas in reality, cannibalism is no doubt as abhorrent to Chinese people as any other group." Where Vegan Viking got the impression that Galloway was saying the exact opposite is beyond me!
Luckily most readers who love these movies and are interested in learning more will get so much from Asia Shock that I can't recommend it enough.
Enthusiastic Summary of Extreme Asian Cinema Mar 21, 2007
One of the most vital and exciting developments in the last decade has been the trans-national dissemination of horror films from the east. Often made with one eye firmly on the international market, these films travel very well, without totally foregoing their own cultural specificity. Hideo Nakata's "Ring" has become the totemic film from which all other J-horror has been inspired and although I think western audiences have finally tired of the creepy kids and the long haired ghosts, these films remain persistently innovative and challenging. Galloway's very readable and entertaining book brings together a number of films from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, that could be loosely categorised as Extreme Asia. It must be noted that Galloway's book is an entirely subjective summary of films which have left an impression on him. It is in no means academic, which lends itself to a wider audience. Therefore Asia Shock is more a device to generate debate and to encourage those with more explorative tastes to seek out material from more exotic climes. In this respect the book succeeds totally. I particularly liked the book because of the number of South Korean films include; films such as "Oldboy," Tale of Two Sisters," and "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" are nothing short of masterpieces and deserve too be recognised by a wide audience. This is Mr. Galloway's quest with Asia Shock and I for one certainly hope he succeeds.
Asia Shock is the connoisseur's definitive guide to the classics of this pop-culture genre. Mar 6, 2007
Written by multinational traveler and lifelong student of Asian film culture and philosophy Patrick Galloway, Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand is a movie buff's guide to the horror and shock cinema of the far east. Asia Shock is not a comprehensive encyclopedia of all films in the genre, but rather a "reviewer's choice" of top shocking picks, some with in-depth reviews and some with capsule reviews, nearly all with extensive notes on unique cultural paradigms, viewing tips, and genre considerations. Focusing on over 50 critical and fan-favorite gory, chilling, and startling Asian horror movies, Asia Shock is the connoisseur's definitive guide to the classics of this pop-culture genre.
Sometimes crosses the line between connoisseur and otaku Feb 27, 2007
Overall, as someone who enjoys "dark cinema" from Asia, I found this book very enjoyable, not only to learn about new titles that I may enjoy, but also to explore another person's perspective on films that I have already seen. Galloway definitely displays a genuine passion for the subject matter, as well as a profound knowledge of many aspects of Asian art and cinema. In addition to sitting back and enjoying the movies, he has clearly done a good deal of research on them.
However, I do take issue with the way in which some of the narrative veers towards the festishistic 'exotification' of Asia. Female cinemaphiles in particular will probably be put off by Galloway's repeated transformation into a dirty old Wan Chai cheek-toucher, unprofessionally slavering over the assets of various Asian actresses rather than over their performances.
I was also disappointed by an entry describing a Hong Kong cannibalism flick: Galloway mentions how Western audiences might not find cannibalism in Hong Kong such a stretch to imagine. However, rather than attributing such attitudes to racism and xenophobia, he shrugs it off by rationalizing along the lines of 'the Chinese eat a lot of weird food anyways,' implying that because the Chinese occasionally enjoy snake soup, it's only logical that they would break the universally held taboo against eating human flesh. I found this magnificently ignorant.
If you are a person who hates even the slightest hint of a spoiler, then this book is definitely not for you. Understandably, it's very difficult to write a movie review without revealing some of the plot, and Galloway is often put in the difficult position of writing about a movie that simply cannot be described or explored without tearing the gift wrapping of the film just a little bit. Ultimately, this book is best as a companion piece, and readers may wish to do as I did and skip the entries for the films they haven't yet seen, while revisiting and gaining new perspective on films they have already enjoyed.