We got the opportunity to ask author and Bloody Flicks writer Michael Vaughn some questions about his new book The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema.
Tell us where the idea came from for the Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema?
The idea partly was inspired from friends of mine. All the time they would ask for recommends for the really weird little known or seen stuff. It got me to thinking about how much fun I had as a youth reading underground fanzines and discovering all these titles for himself. I figured why not write a book. My goal is to help other film fans to find some of these titles and maybe even a new favorite film.
What do you class as ‘strange cinema’?
That term ‘strange’ I’m sure varies from person to person but generally anything on the fringe of cinema. It was certainly a question a asked myself a lot when I was researching the titles. The stuff that really got me excited was the really grimy no budget oddities. I really tired to stay far away from Hollywood films and for the most part (with a small exception) did.
But again that term is subjective but I tired hard to really meet that definition. Most people think this is just about horror movies and if I wanted to take the easy route I would have just focused on that genre but I wanted to challenge myself and make it more interesting for the readers.
Why do you think the films you’ve wrote about attract their audiences?
I think strange cinema in general attracts an audience because people get tired of glossy big budget Hollywood films and want something edgier and raw. Its exactly why I started to be attracted to them myself.
What was the most fun to research and write about?
All of it was all a lot of fun to research really. But if I had to pick one chapter I`d have to say the horror genre was the most enjoyable. I found this movie called Devil Fetus and wow it really is a mind melting title. And I actually discovered what is in my opinion thee weirdest slasher film ever made. But as they say you`ll have to read the book to find out what it is.
Is this book just for die hard film fans or who is the target audience?
No. When I set out to write this book I wanted it to please both hardcore fans and those who might be casual fans or cinema buffs that are just starting out. I really tired to dig up some rare titles that would make it a more enjoyable read for those fans who have been around the block. But also fun for those who are new to these types of films.
Its also important when doing something like this to not talk down to your readers so I like to keep it part scholarly but also casual and relate able. Basically I wanted it to feel like your best friend was telling you about a film not some cinema snob, but I also dont dumb it down either. I will say this book is aimed towards the adventurous film fan as a lot of the titles are of course barking mad and not really for conventional movie goers.
And this book isnt just reviews correct?
Correct. I wanted to make this stand out and have it not be just complied reviews. The main thing I did was actually track down these filmmakers/actors and get quotes and full interviews. For example I was able to get cult legend Larry Cohen of such gems as Its Alive etc. I was also able to get some really rare interviews and quotes as well. Besides the interviews the book is choked full of fun trivia (some of which was gathered from the filmmakers themselves.
Why will this make the perfect gift for a fan of genre cinema?
It makes a great gift if your really just tired off the same old boring big budget movies and want to discover some really mind warping movies. Like I said the book isn’t just for hardcore fans and I tried to keep it a fun read but also have it more insightful with the addition of the interviews and trivia.
As corny as it sounds I just really hope fans dig the book and maybe even discover a next favorite film.
Order The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema HERE