BooksNonfictionReviews

Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film (book review)

There is a certain beauty in old books, any bibliophile can tell you that. And if you are into movies, either as a newbie finding his way through the maze of gazzillion movies made, or a seasoned veteran of many all-night-long-moviethons, as such one always appreciates movie related books, usually as a source of discovery of previously unknown moving pictures.

Sure, there are many movie books or encyclopedias, many review compendiums etc. I usually buy anything interesting, but there are just a few books I am trully happy to obtain.

One such movie book – a true bonanza of information – is Michael Weldon’s seminal work Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film. Considering the fact it was released in 1989, it’s still being perused by movie enthusiasts all around the world to this very day (and yours truly get lost in its pages just yesterday… again). This should tell you without any doubts it’s something you should consider to check.

So, what’s the Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film about? Well, it’s an 800+pages long book full of short alphabetically sorted entries for various movies considered “psychotronic”. It was derived – in turn – from Michael Weldon’s great magazine Psychotronic Video Magazine (which, unfortunately, is no longer being published) and if you want to get yourself familiarized with various (mostly) B-movies and such from 1930s to 1980s, this book is one togo to.

Apart from short synopsis of every movie presented, a reader can find there an additional info for producer, director and screenwriter(s), plus the year of released and the movie studio responsible for the release of a particular movie, all of which is quite useful when looking for movies from specific director or studio (and when we remember the fact many movies were released and re-released under various titles,only then one appreciates such information).

Accompanied by illustrations in a form of lobby cards, posters and/or movie stills (or the photos of the various actors/directors), this is truly a treasure of information for about 3000(!) movies and one can readily see why I usually jump to Google to find available DVD/Blu Ray releases of movies I’ve read in this book’s pages.

Now, one sad fact – this book is out of print. And it’s been OOP for along time. But with a little bit of luck you can find an used copy either through Abebooks or similar portal, or on eBay. Believe me, those money will be well spent.

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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