Home Horror Books Bleeding Skull Unleashes a 1990’s Trash Horror Deep Dive In New Book

Bleeding Skull Unleashes a 1990’s Trash Horror Deep Dive In New Book

by Jacob Davison
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The internet may very well be the greatest creation ever wrought by mankind. A wealth of human knowledge is available at the tips of our fingers through our smartphones and computers.  And in all honesty… it’s made movie searching a little boring. There was a time when the only way to look up movies were through guidebooks or word or mouth. Horror movies in particular would catch on by word of mouth, like a gory version of telephone hyping up a title until you could potentially find it. Or catching the tail end of something wild and bloody at random late at night on a local channel. Lately, it’s felt like there is no longer much uncharted territory. Which is why I’m so thankful for the cinemaniacs at Bleeding Skull and their latest book, A 1990’s Trash Odyssey!

Image via Fantagraphics

 

Bleeding Skull is a website that was founded in 2004 by Joseph A. Ziemba with the mission statement “to share a passion for obscure trash-horror films and honor the filmmakers behind them.” Since then, the website has reviewed and catalogued hundreds of independant, SOV, DIY, and lo-fi movies that most often defy categorization, logic, or sanity. A few years back in 2013, they released their first book, Bleeding Skull! A 1980’s Trash Odyssey and have now followed it up with the following equally trash filled go-go 90’s co-authored with Annie Choi and Zack Carlson and published by Fantagraphics.

 

Image via Fantagraphics

The book opens on a forward by SOV filmmakers Mark Polonia who was involved in numerous facets of dozens of video horror movies including HellspawnSaurians, and Savage House. Giving a history lesson and salute to those who made their own movies thanks to the more readily available technology that the 1990’s wrought and the drive and determination such a field entails. Sure, these movies are of varying quality, but you have to salute someone who went through all of that and came out the other side with a completed movie. After that is an introduction by Ziema, Choi, and Carlson that repeats their mission statement and prepares readers for the trash tome they are about to dive into.

What follows is an ‘A to Z’ guidebook of some of the most absurd and zonked out lo-fi horror you never could have imagined. from 5 Dark Souls to Zombie Genocide, you are certain to unearth something that will be of interest. Each entry featuring a usually anecdote laced review and partial synopsis by one of the authors along with a screencap, promotional, or poster to give just a brief glimpse into what kind of madness you can expect from any given title. And with 250 titles to read through, you have a bounty of b-movies to binge and all but guaranteed to discover something new you would have never even heard about otherwise.

Image via Fantagraphics

Sometimes the anecdotal sections of the recaps can feel a little distracting from the entry, but each author always makes each title enthralling to hear about even if you’re not as interested in actually watching the movie in question. It’s also fun to see a few titles that have had some form of revival through video labels such as Severin Films and The American Genre Film Archive to movies like Dark Harvest and Scary Tales for example, adding further credence to the worth of even ‘trash’ movies. Who knows what else from the book might find second life on DVD and blu-ray! The quality of the book itself is quite nice, being a softcover with glossy and colorful pages as opposed to the prior books black and white paper newsprint style. A bright upgrade to an arguably brighter decade cinematically.

Which is one of the highlights of the book and the foundation of Bleeding Skull! Though they highlight trash-horror, and they do poke fun at it, they celebrate it instead of tearing it down. Low budget titles like Dream StalkerJack-o, and Rot among many other have their follies and insanity examined but still get a recommendation for being what they are. In ode to those brave enough to bring their vision to life no matter if it defied budget or common sense.

At the end of the day, if you’re someone seeking new experiences and unknowns in horror and bizarro movies, this tome is your Hellraiser puzzle box and Bleeding Skull has such sights to show you and hours worth of entertainment!

Bleeding Skull! A 1990’s Trash-Horror Odyssey is available now from Fantastigraphics and wherever books are sold.