Friday, 23 January 2009

“The Shrieking Sixties” - blurb

Here is Darrell Buxton’s proposed blurb for “The Shrieking Sixties”, a book about British horror films of the 1960s, for which I’ve written up Corruption (1967) and Night, After Night, After Night (1969), as well as capsule reviews for a few borderline entries like 1966’s The Ghost Goes Gear. At the moment the book is about 80 percent completed, and hopefully should see publication this year.

The British cinematic landscape of the 1960s was a broad one - encompassing sweeping epics, kitchen sink drama, swinging London, and the commercial might of the Bond and Carry On series. Interspersed throughout all this, the horror movie struggled to retain the identity and impact it had achieved via Hammer's late-50s rise to glory - yet screen terror managed to survive and evolve during the decade. Established frightmasters such as Terence Fisher and Jimmy Sangster consolidated their position as kings of the genre, foreign talents such as Roger Corman and Vincent Price were attracted to our shores, and exciting newcomers like Christopher Wicking, Jose Larraz, and Michael Reeves burst on to the scene with a bang.THE SHRIEKING SIXTIES sets out to document and comment upon the British horror boom of the period. Edited by Darrell Buxton (UK horror expert and critic whose work has appeared in publications including 'Samhain', 'Creeping Flesh' and 'Giallo Pages') and written by a variety of contributors including Mike Hodges ('Fangoria'), Steven West ('Is It...Uncut?') and Christopher Wood ('British Horror Films' website), the book features informative and lively reviews of 140 creepy, macabre, and downright scary movies. Additional appendices cover the short films of the era, borderline titles, and a study of how the censors handled on-screen terror at the time.From Hammer's 'Brides Of Dracula' and 'Plague Of The Zombies', to cult classics like 'Witchfinder General' and 'Scream And Scream Again', THE SHRIEKING SIXTIES runs the full gruesome gamut. Of particular note is the book's coverage of Lindsay Shonteff's 1969 shocker 'Night, After Night, After Night', revealing daring new information about this ahead-of-its-time proto-slasher; and the rarely-seen and even more rarely discussed 'The Return Of Dracula', a specialist vampire movie presented in British Sign Language.In the tradition of recent successful publications such as 'English Gothic', 'Fragments Of Fear', and 'Ten Years Of Terror', THE SHRIEKING SIXTIES seems set to become a vital, essential addition to any fright film fan's library.

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