Tuesday, December 19, 2017

STEPHEN BISSETTE'S CRYPTID CINEMA

One of the reasons why I jumped straight away on Stephen Bissette's latest tome CRYPTID CINEMA - apart from my interest in the subject and the fact that Stephen is a very knowledgeable and entertaining writer - was the magnificent piece of cover art, which is also by Stephen and reminded me so much of his classic cannibal cover for the Volume 2/Number 7 (1993) issue of Craig Ledbetter's legendary (and much-missed) EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA magazine. I had Steven sign my copy of this magazine ("To John...Eat Up!") when I was lucky enough to meet him (and writer Joseph Citro) for a lunch at the Hartford Diner in Vermont back in late-2014.



Beautiful cover art aside (not to mention the title font used, which has the feel of a classic 70s/80s horror paperback novel), CRYPTID CINEMA is a massive volume examining the depiction of cryptids in cinema, both mythical creatures like the North American Bigfoot and purely cinematic creations such as EQUINOX (1970) and the great southern swamp monster ZAAT from 1971. Television, paperback pulps and comic books are also covered. Some of the material has been previously published in various forms, and it's not (and doesn't claim to be) a comprehensive filmography, but rather a loving and informative celebration of this rather neglected cinematic sub-genre. When it comes to cryptids the author absolutely knows his stuff, and this beautifully illustrated (B&W) book had me eagerly collating a list of "must-see" films before I was barely a few pages into it.

As a kid I was fascinated by faux documentaries like THE MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS (1975) and episodes of IN SEARCH OF that were devoted to Bigfoot, the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster. That kid in me loves CRYPTID CINEMA for the sweet nostalgic pangs that it elicits, while the adult me appreciates the astounding amount of work and research that Stephen has put into this big hairy beast.



An essential purchase that fans of outre cinema will love and refer to for a long time to come.

Available from Amazon here: CRYPTID CINEMA