In the introduction to SON OF UNSUNG HORRORS co-editor Eric McNaughton explains the criteria for including a film in the book. Which is a good thing because there’s bound to be some controversy over whether some of them are truly “unsung”. Very few are unknown, and some are certainly praised within certain circles of genre fans. But most of these films don’t get praised in the mainstream and this book aims to give them some recognition.
Over the span of four hundred pages, Eric McNaughton and Darrell Buxton and a collection of writers from WE BELONG DEAD magazine examine nearly two hundred films. There are true obscurities like SH! THE OCTOPUS and TOWER OF THE SEVEN HUNCHBACKS that I’d never even heard of. Films that many have heard of but fewer have seen such as THE MEDUSA TOUCH and John Landis’s SCHLOCK (Landis also contributes the book’s forward). Even a few major films like EXORCIST II and the 1976 version of KING KONG that may deserve better treatment.
A large part of the value of a book like this will depend on the individual reader. Newer fans will benefit the most of course. Not only getting interesting perspectives on familiar films but learning about others for the first time. The well-written overviews in SON OF UNSUNG HORRORS should please fans of all kinds though. And even a long time genre fan like myself encountered some previously unknown titles, a tribute to the depth of research that went into the book.
It can be argued that the original UNSUNG HORRORS took all the best titles. It does have many great ones. But having to dig a little deeper for the second volume means a lot of these titles are more interesting by way of being less obvious choices. LEMORA, for example, is well overdue for rediscovery. THE LAST WAVE is another film that’s faded from memory despite being directed by Peter Weir. And there’s a definite demented joy in reading a defense of THE SWARM.
This is a big book, coming in at four hundred oversized pages. But the light, enjoyable tone of the individual pieces and the plentiful illustrations keep it from getting dull. Whether you decide to go at it cover to cover or use it as a reference book it’s an enjoyable read.
SON OF UNSUNG HORRORS is available at http://unsunghorrors.co.uk/son-of-unsung-horrrors/ And there currently is a special deal for getting both books