Book of the Dead
By Jamie Russell (Fab Press)
by John Bikowski
I was fumbling aimlessly through Amazon.com and I came across a book review that described this book as follows: “Book of the Dead from FAB Press is to zombie fans what the Bible is to Christians.” Them be strong words, tongue in cheek or not. However, as a Christian and a zombie fan, I’m going to have to agree. For lovers of horror/gore/exploitation, Book of the Dead is an absolute must-have. It works on every level: You can use it as a comprehensive reference book, a bridge to new films, or simply for the enjoyment of reading about flesh-eating ghouls. Even if there weren’t a single word in this book, it’d be worth the cover price for the 300 pictures alone. Many of the gory stills and posters are very rare, and there are 64 pages of glorious glossy olor shots. An excellent layout and flow to the text complete a package that you’ll proudly display on your bookshelf.
As for the written content, Jamie Russell has certainly done his research. It’s obvious from the start that he has a love for zombies and a zest for trivia. I thought I knew plenty, having grown up drooling over films like Dawn of the Dead and The Gates of Hell, but I learned a ton from each chapter of this book. We begin with the origins of the zombie in the 1800s in Haiti and move to the golden age of horror in the 1920s. However, the majority of time is spent on more recent walking dead films, from the ’70s to present day. Russell gives time to all types of maggot-infested gut-noshers, from House by the Cemetery to Shaun of the Dead and even Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. Who knew zombies had branched out into porno? One crazy little film is even entitled Porno Holocaust! This one has a zombie who rips victims apart with his monstrous-sized phallus. No, I don’t think that one’ll make the new release section at Blockbuster. Some of the films discussed may take some effort to track down, but in many cases, it’ll be well worth the trouble.
An awesome part of the book is the zombie filmography, offering 76 pages of more than 300 alphabetical reviews of zom-horror films. I enjoyed the inclusion of some of my all time obscure favorites like Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. And how about these for rare titles: Gore Whore, Erotic Orgasm, Nudist Colony of the Dead, and Die You Zombie Bastards?
I love this book and won’t part with it. You can pick one up online or go directly through the publishing company. On the site you’ll find more rare books, CDs, DVDs, memorabilia, and magazines. Where else can you buy tee shirts with Camp Crystal Lake or Last House on the Left proudly displayed? We need more companies like FAB (which stands for Flesh and Blood) Press over here in the U.S.!