Thunderbook: The World of Bond According to SmershPod, by John Rain (Polaris, 2019)

An overview of the Eon James Bond films to date. And not a very good one, either. Unlike the genial podcast which this book spins off from, this film-by-film precis doesn’t add much more than scattershot snark and the same overworked observations. A few useful bits of trivia emerge, but this is a disappointing, laboured, and repetitive effort.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Shining [Devil’s Advocates], by Laura Mee (Auteur Publishing, 2017)

A monograph on the Stankey Kubrick adaptation of the Stephen King novel. And a good one too; a smart, detailed and perceptive commentary on the movie, its production and its reception. Academic but accessible, and even-handed in its analysis of the continuing significance of the movie as a popular culture touchstone. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Silence of the Lambs [Devil’s Advocates], by Barry Forshaw (Auteur Publishing, 2013)

A smart, clear, and diligent monograph on the Jonathan Demme-directed adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel. Straightforward and effective, this short book covers the movie and its source material, as well as the wider impact of Lecter in print and film, as well as in genre. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Descent [Devil’s Advocates], by James Marriott (Auteur Publishing, 2013)

A monograph on the 2005 Neil Marshall-directed horror film. Leaning on Freud for much of its insight, this is an academic but nevertheless readable text on the movie, making clear its associations and being careful to site it in both the director’s wider work as well as in a cycle of mid-00s underground-fixated flicks.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Blair Witch Project, by Russ Gomm (Arrow Books, 2018)

A folk history of the making of and the later life of horror movie The Blair Witch Project. Taking a fan perspective, but able also to offer contrary opinions, this monograph successfully presents an overview of the movie and indicates why – not least in production and in marketing terms – Blair Witch is still an influential film.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

The Hitcher, by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Arrow Books, 2018)

A monograph on the 1986 road movie/horror hybrid, patterned after the approach of the BFI Classics series. While there’s some interesting material on pre-production and casting, this is not a good effort. Variable writing and editing, with assertions rather than arguments cluttering the thin text. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

Odeon Relics: Nineteen-Thirties Icons in the Twenty-First Century, by Philip Butler (Art Deco Magpie, 2019)

A photo-book of the surviving Art Deco cinemas originally built for the Odeon chain. A lovely bit of social history; each image is presented with a brief overview of the building in question’s life. Some continue as movie houses, others are bingo halls, are derelict, churches, shops, nightclubs. As the book indicates, fewer than half of the 140 built remain, and none of them are unchanged.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

‘Broadsword Calling Danny Boy’: on Where Eagles Dare, by Geoff Dyer (Penguin, 2018)

The author comments on a favourite and formative film (and reading) experience. Like a transcribed audio commentary, or a fledgeling BFI Classics monograph that didn’t make it. An odd little book, but one that’s at least well-written and engages with the flick interestingly, even if it takes unprofitably to snark on occasion.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.