Item description for Nightmare, USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents by Stephen Thrower...
From Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) to Eli Roth (Hostel), the young guns of modern Hollywood just can't get enough of that exploitation film high. Between 1970 and 1985, American Exploitation movies went berserk. With censorship relaxed, excess, wide-open, horror -- the Exploitation genre par excellence -- offered a vibrant alternative to mainstream American cinema. Luridly titled wonders like The Headless Eyes, Scream Bloody Murder and Hitch Hike To Hell played at Texas drive-ins and NYC grindhouses, touting a combination of mind-bruising violence, weird sex and drug-soaked delirium. Massively popular around the world, these movies have remained persona non grata in most serious studies of American film, until now. * Explores the development of America's subterranean horror film industry * Spotlights the wildest films * Revealing the fascinating true stories behind classics and obscurities
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.75" Width: 10" Height: 11.75" Weight: 5.7 lbs.
Release Date Jul 24, 2007
Publisher FAB Press
ISBN 1903254469 ISBN13 9781903254462
Reviews - What do customers think about Nightmare, USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents?
Excellent Resource Jul 5, 2008
Nightmare U.S.A. is an extremely informative and well written book. The author keeps it fun throughout by putting a sense of love into his work. I found, as I read through this hefty tome, a true feeling of 'being there' watching the films that are presented. I'm looking forward to the next installment. All in all, a wonderful read for those interested in the study of exploitation films.
A History of Violence 1970-85. [Sections below] Apr 22, 2008
Price: I've talked to many people that feel the price is a bit steep and I agree the book isn't cheap. It is however 500 pages filled with interviews, pictures (everywhere), and essays. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger's The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised size wise but about horror films. I mean the book is no joke and there could be an exploitation horror film made about a serial killer who uses this heavy book as his weapon, that's how big it is. I felt the price was well worth it as a horror fan and film lover in general.
For those of you who aren't the biggest readers: Basically, all you have to do is read section I The Exploitation Independents which is the history of American independent exploitation films during 1970-85 and goes from page 11-48. After you start reading you'll want to keep going and after that it's basically a reference book with essays and reviews, so you could read up on a particular film. What I'd do is either read up on a film I found prior to watching it or after I watched it to learn more.
THE BOOK: Stephen Thrower appears to know film even though he made a rule to not include reviews on classics, foreign, and studio made films, he still makes tons of compare and contrast references to classics and mentions great directors such as Bergman and Fellini. I highly recommend this book to horror and film fans, my friends in everyday life not so much but I think my horror this site friends will love it, specifically reviewer Clint Bronson. Clint has crazy knowledge on horror and from my readings of his reviews 1970s imparticular which, after much thought, is the best decade for horror hands down. Be sure to check out Clint's reviews as well.
Section I- As I mentioned details the history of the exploitation film from 1970-85 Here is how Thrower breaks down section I and the history, this was a great read. The roots and the Godfather of gore H.G Lewis. Romero and the Modern Horror Pantheon Critical Responses to Exploitation Cinema Drive in Massacres 42nd Street Monsters Serial Killers Psycho-Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est? Slashers- J'adore When Blood Is Not Enough Torture R ape It Came from the Stars/Swamp/Bushes/Caves Things That Go Bump in the Night - One of my favorite avenues of horror being the ghost story. Thrower is honest in this area saying a bigger budget with good acting helps this area of horror. Art of Perversity-Horror and Incoherence Decline-Carpenter, Hooper, Romero, Craven Hollywood Trash
Section II Essays on Films and Filmmakers This goes from 73-373 and like I said at this point it's a reference book. You can skip around read films that interest you and as you see others go back to the book and read up.
Section III Reviews 118 Additional reviews. These are done in a shorter format then the essays above.
Section IV Appendices and Index Including an exploitation independent checklist Horror, 1970-85 A Bibliography Index
I actually learned about this book in a non horror magazine Film Comment which gave it very high praise as well.
If anyone wants to know if a particular director or film they like is talked about in the book feel free to ask.
BOOK OF THE DECADE FOR EXPLOITATION FANS Jan 8, 2008
Being somewhat obsessed with the period and films covered in this mammoth tome I can unreservedly say that reading this was a religious experience for me. The amount of research gone into this project is extraordinary and the enthusiasm author Thrower has for forgotten gems like THE CANDY SNATCHERS, DEATH BED, BOARDING HOUSE and others is truly infectious. Not since Mike Weldon's original PSYCHOTRONIC came out in the early 80s have I been this giddy about a movie book.
Part 2 is announced in the back of the book which means the good times keep coming.
Nightmare USA Dec 26, 2007
So great a book I bought two one for my business partner and one for me!
Essential Reading Nov 20, 2007
I've written a longer, more extensive review for Film Threat, but I'm going to do another one here because I believe this book belongs on the shelves of every horror/exploitation fan, film buff and film journalist. Yes, it is expensive, but it's also a 500+ page oversized hardcover with color and black and white photos (many from filmmakers' personal collections), movie reviews and interviews (many with directors who have never spoken about their films publicly before). As I said in my previous review, this is probably the best film book of the decade.
If exploitation films are your cup of tea, you need this book. Period. At some point this should become some sort of mandatory college text book, as it is not only a history in filmmaking that is rarely covered by more "serious" journalists, it's also a crash course on filmmaking.
Once you read this incredible book, which will cause you arms to fall off if you try to do it in one sitting, you'll be thrilled to know it's only the first volume (the second one, according to the author, is scheduled for 2010). And you thought things couldn't get any better.
Simply put, you aren't a fan of exploitation/horror if you don't have this book in your library.