Wednesday, August 5

Books That Should Be Translated: Million Mook's Splatter Carnival


Unsure why I bought this from a few years back. Besides the fact literature seems dirt cheap in Japan, I don't speak or read a lick of Japanese. Well, I can say "help me" in creepy voice from K. Kurosawa's outstanding Kairo. This film reference guide, Splatter Carnival 2001, was as far I could tell part of a series of seven pocket-sized cinema guides. The only others I can remember were devoted to action flicks and Kaiju.

Unfortunately, the binding is so tight there's no way to scan pages without breaking the spine, but I'll do my best to describe the contents. Running at 286 pages, this guide covers everything from Japanese classics, American slashers, Italian gore, British creekers, and a shitload of stuff in between. The bulk is in black and white with colors ads and a "nightmare gallery" scattered throughout. The nightmare gallery consists of glossy color images of posters, memorabilia, garage kit statues, and soundtracks. There's one particular soundtrack CD for Lustig's Maniac pictured in which the disc is in the shape of Joe Spinell's head with him looking all sweaty psycho! I want that, dammit!

The layout is a bit puzzling. The guide is mostly chopped up with "Horror Maker's Profiles" followed by little write-ups on the given director/actor/make-up artists films with (many) small stills. Many recognizable names like Clive Barker, H.G. Lewis, George Romero, Jess Franco, Tom Savini, Dario Argento, Pete Walker, David Cronenberg, Paul Naschy, Jean Rollin, Mario Bava, Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, Sam Raimi, Joe D'Amato, and Giannetto De Rossi are covered. The strange part comes in with portions seemingly having a randomized order to the reviews, especially towards the back end of the guide. The Shining is featured next to The Boogeyman which is followed by The Lift and Death Ship. Though it seems like subgenres like vamps, zombies, Hammer's output, and Japanese horror are loosely sectioned off. It's also cool to see Re-Animator called "Zombio", Scanners "Telepathy 2000", and Phantasm "The Never Dead."

There's also an interview with Ryûhei Kitamura concerning Versus. The last few pages are dedicated to a grid listing of a plethora of films dating from 1944 to 2001 by year. Most feature English titles and include release year, director (in Japanese), leads (in Japanese), and abbreviations of the studios who released them on VHS and DVDs (if applicable) in Japan.

Very cool indeed, if only it was ported for English-speaking readers!


Anthony1138 said...
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Anthony1138 said...

Wow, sounds like an awesome book. I'll have to look for it in the Japanese used bookstore near my office. BTW, the Spinell head shaped OST disc came in the AB "Maniac" tin. ;)

Jayson Kennedy said...

Thanks for the info Anthony! I had no idea of this, damn Maniac tin is expensive...

Anthony1138 said...

Yeah, it's one of the AB tins that actually comes with something unique that hasn't been rereleased... the Spinell head disc! you dare tread upon the staircase?

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