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"Cramming more info than you can brandish a cleaver at into 277 pocket-sized pages, Jones opens with a breakneck charge through the genre's literary origins before scorching across 100 years of movies - decade by decade, innovation by innovation. Then we get to the real meat - The Canon: 50 Horror Classics. Authoritative reviews packed with historical context and illuminating quotes from the featured talent (many barked directly into Jones' dictophone during 30 years of set visits and interviews, they bleed with passion, twitch and insight. If it's a smart, spirited and pretty damn sexy user's manual you're after, this hits the spot"

"As affectionate as it is knowledgeable…Beginning with a nice tribute to Alan Jones from DOG SOLDIERS/THE DESCENT director Neil Marshall, including an amusing anecdote that only confirms Jones' clout as a leading authority, the book's structure is faultless. Firstly addressing horror's roots in literature, before presenting a succinct chronicle of its last 100 movie years, and, finally, celebrating icons of the genre - from characters to filmmakers - the wealth of information is truly staggering".

Book: Rough Guide to Horror Movies

Now I consider that I know my biz when it comes to horror movies and the genre in general.

With that spat out, as I was reading this book; this thought arose: "There's always somebody out there who knows more than you". In this case, Alan Jones, the man behind THE ROUGH GUIDE TO HORROR MOVIES; knows a whole damn more than me. This little book that could did the impossible; it covered our beloved genre from its "Step 1" inception within literature (c.2000 BC) right up to horror onscreen today in 2005. And all that in 288 thought out and filled to the brim with info pages.

What's on the menu waiter? Well today for your reading pleasure, Chef Jones will dissect The History of Horror, The 50 Essential Horror Films in History according to the author (Horror of Dracula, Freaks, The Exorcist, Halloween, Eye Without a Face etc...all picks that I agreed with...), Horror Icons (Argento, Bava, Carpenter, Chaney, Craven, Cronenberg, Cushin etc.), Horror from Around the World (name a country that does horror, it's in here) and the top genre festivals/conventions/books/mags and websites (Yes! AITH made it in the book...yeehaw!).

The syrup on this mammoth ball of thick ice cream was that along the way, the book addressed many topics that came with our beloved genre over the years; like Seasonal Horror (Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly night), the Horror Gimmicks (William Castle baby), the Hammer Company, Video Nasties (The f*cking 80's, gotta love em), the Troma phenomenon, the Asian Boom, Fantastic Factory, the best Film Soundtracks and much, much, mucho freaking more!

Tag to all that tap dancing a foreword by director Neil Marshal (Dog Soldiers-The Descent), an Intro by Mr. Jones as to his individual love affair with horror, countless photographs (black and white) and an engaging, insightful and free flowing writing style that made it all effortless and you get a meaty offering that aimed to cover all that is horror and pretty much succeeded in its quest while being a breeze to read at that!

Any drawbacks? Other than being cockblocked by my friend last night at the Pub; not really (Yes, I just wanted to use the term cockblocked in this review...I just learned it). Sure when I read the book, a couple of titles sprung to mind that I wished had made it in there; but to be honest; I don't even remember what those titles were as I write this; I guess they weren't that important.

On the whole; you want to feed your brain with some potent horror juice while exploring the genre's every nook and cranny? Let The Jones Man lead you into his own grey matter and learn a thing or two about a thing or tree. The dude knows his shite!

by: The Arrow