Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shangrila Shock-Tober 2011 - Shock Festival

All Hallows' Eve draws near, and, as usual, Shangrila Towers will be running a series of themed posts covering all sorts of scares, spooks, and shocks. Today's post features the ultimate coffee table book for grindhouse cinema afficionados...

"Shock Festival" brings Jorge Luis Borges to the world of schlocky B-movies. Written, illustrated, and designed by Stephen Romano and a team of artists and publishers (including Mike Broom, Tim Bradstreet, and Thomas Jane), the book is a glorious, grue-soaked "alternate history" of movies that never were, a mockumentary that both celebrates and makes fun of the excesses of low-budget cinema. Take a look at the trailer for the book's companion DVD to see what I mean:

If it were just words, "Shock Festival" might have been a tedious or self-indulgent exercise. Thankfully, the book plasters fake movie posters on every page (here's a gallery) - posters good enough to let you picture each fictional movie in your mind's eye (granted, a title like "Lone Star Living Dead Axe Maniac Showdown" doesn't leave much to the imagination). After awhile, Romano achieves the satirist's greatest goal: you'll swear you've seen "Universe of Bloody Zombies" and "Space Robot Massacre" in some grimy theater somewhere.


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