|Keywords: DVD, cult film, weird movies
Title: DVD Delirium Vol II
Editor: Nathaniel Thompson
Publisher: FAB Presss
Reviewer: James Marriott
DVD has quickly, like CD before it, become a godsend for unearthing obscure gems both old and new, but it's often difficult to know exactly what you're getting. Enter DVD Delirium, FAB Press's 'international guide to weird and wonderful films on DVD'. 'Weird and wonderful' covers a pretty broad range, including Bond movies in the first book and Claude Chabrol in this one, but it goes without saying that there's plenty more ultra-obscure stuff covered, and the reviewing criteria for any book that covers both Stan Brakhage films and Umberto Lenzi's Spasmo (the first film I ever bought on video, weirdly enough) gets my vote. Basically, if you have a DVD player and are interested in the kinds of films FAB Press cover ('weird and wonderful' will do as well as any other description) then you'll find this book, and its predecessor, invaluable.
The reviews are concise and authoritative, written by a variety of reviewers including Kim Newman and Tim Greaves (though Eyeball's Stephen Thrower seems to have begged off for the second volume), and the tone as exhaustive and entertaining as I've come to expect from this publisher's books. As you'd expect, special attention is given to DVD extras and the relative merits of different region releases, but these books also work well as general reference guides, with the second volume in particular covering a vast number of films I'd never even heard of, from the 'extremely disturbing' Scrapbook to Swedish fantasy Ronja Rövardotter.
Volume 2 also covers films from Hammer, Takashi Miike, Tartan's Extreme Asia range and Mexican wrestling hero Santo, along with relatively mainstream fare such as Far From Heaven and arthouse obscurities such as The Saragossa Manuscript, which should give you a good idea of the kind of range on offer. The only real problem with a book like this is that it makes the temptation to shell out for what appear to be must-see films that won't be stocked in your local video shop overwhelming; since receiving the second volume my wallet is considerably lighter. But fortunately (?) some of the films aren't that easy to come by. Anyone got a copy of the Arrabal films or Death Bed they'd like to lend me?
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