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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies

Published in 2012, I caught up with this one last summer. I started reading it at the first of the year, a couple of reviews a day.

Books like this are hit and miss, but Normanton has a genuine passion for his subject, but an editor should have said something like, "You know, Peter, Zombie Flesh Eaters isn't really a "slasher movie." It's a zombie movie. It's a splatter movie. Are you confusing slasher movies with splatter movies?"

Right away, let me warn you, the contents of this book could be frustrating to anyone expecting 500 pages delving into the world of slasher movies. They're here, but so are flicks like 28 Days Later, 30 Days of Night, Alien, Cannibal Ferox, Dawn of the Dead and dozens of others.

I get that these movies have slashing, but they're not really "slasher" movies.

That quibble aside, I like Normanton's style and, like any fan of horror movies, I always love hearing what other fans have to say about movies I love. I was familiar with about 97% of the titles included here, so I'm curious about the other 3%.

Normanton is a U.K. scribe, so he includes a lot of information about the Video Nasties era from the mid-80s. That was when uptight do-gooders feared horror movies were turning impressionable youngsters into blood-sucking freaks.

Normanton uses a one to five blood splatter rating for actual on screen blood spillage. I don't think it is used effectively. Some of the blood ratings don't make a lick of sense of me, but I wonder if it's affected by edited versions of some of these movies. (There's no way Sleepaway Camp scores only a single blood splash while Mardi Gras Massacre gets three!)

Probably someone new to the genre would benefit just by having all these titles laid out for them to start searching out. For fans who have been visiting Slasher City on a regular basis for the last five decades, you will enjoy reading another fan's thoughts about these titles.

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