THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO EXPLOITATION MOVIES Trash compacted
released 16 sePtember 240 pages | Hardback/paperback Author alan Jones Publisher Fab Press
The first in a series, this latest extension of the horror festival brand feels like a throwback to the days when review-compilations like the Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film – and the zines they sprang from – were a popular way to gen up on trash cinema.
After a brief, terms-defining A-Z, the lion’s share of this slim volume consists of reviews of 200 films, dating from 1930 to 1985. SF and horror rub shoulders with biker movies, blaxploitation and nudist films. The odd selection stands out – did Hammer’s The Curse Of The Werewolf really play the 42nd Street fleapits? Gosh. But many are pleasingly obscure.
FrightFest co-founder Alan Jones has a cruel wit, and does a good job of highlighting interesting connections. A love of alliteration and corny rhymes means his prose has something of the fairground barker about it. This seems fitting.
What really sets it apart is the presentation: full colour, awash with lurid posters and dynamic cutouts. The result is a book that, though no essential reference work, is a pleasure to dip in and out of. Calvin Baxter
In 1975, Alan Jones worked in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop SEX.