Books about genre film are tricky. Titles along the lines of "GOUGED EYE BALLS: THE GORE FILMS THAT CUT DEEP" they rarely have any new ground to cover You breakdowns on the same films, the same dry anecdotes and dusty critical concepts. Worst of all is when the author thinks that we want to read an entire beat by beat of the entire freaking plot.
Don't get me started on deep theoretical readings of the sub-conscious mind of the director as an auteur when it comes to something someone they made for a quick buck.
Please, just, don't.
I picked up PROFOUDNLY DISTURBING with trepidation. Written by Texan extraordinaire Joe Bob Briggs (Arguably the man that popularized Exploitation cinema in the mainstream) it promised to chronicle the history of some of the most culturally important cult films to ever grace our green earth. Obviously, a lot of the flicks under discussion have been documented a million times before (The first gore film BLOOD FEAST, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, RESERVOIR DOGS) bu there were still some interesting choices (AND GOD CREATED WOMAN, ISLA - SHE WOLF OF THE SS, THE WILD BUNCH). It's an odd mix that reads more like Joe Bob's favorite films of all time as opposed to the most culturally significant (CREATURE OF THE BLACK LAGOON....Really?).
None the less, the book is a fantastic read. It's well written, mixes in a healthy of interesting historical nuggets side to side with honest criticism and dosen't spend page after page giving a blow by blow of the film's plot. Hurrah! I'm not always a big fan of books that dedicate a whole two page spread to one picture, but heads up to the book's designer for whipping up a visualizing attractive package. Joe Bob even finds some refreshing perspective on the old chestnuts. This is the perfect tome for someone who wants to know about all that "weird cinema" you keep watching but you don't want to scare off with books written for fans by fans without any thought for the newbies. It's a rare feat to find a perfect book that works for the new kid on the block and the old curmudgeon. Cowboy hat salute of Joe Bob!