NIGHTMARE USA: The Untold Story Of The Exploitation Independents by Stephen ThrowerNIGHTMARE USA: The Untold Story Of The Exploitation Independents by Stephen Thrower

NIGHTMARE USA: The Untold Story Of The Exploitation Independents

byStephen Thrower

Hardcover | July 24, 2007

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Running to 528 large-format pages, Nightmare USA is a veritable encyclopedia of grindhouse cinema - it's one of the most acclaimed genre film books ever published, and after having Sold Out three times over already, it's finally back in print!From Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) to Eli Roth (Hostel), the young guns of modern Hollywood just can't get enough of that exploitation film high. That's because, between 1970 and 1985, American Exploitation movies went berserk. With censorship relaxed, and the gate to excess wide open, horror offered a vibrant alternative to the mainstream of American cinema. Luridly titled wonders like The Headless Eyes, Scream Bloody Murder and Hitch Hike to Hell were everywhere, from the drive-ins of Texas to the grindhouses of New York. Massively popular around the world, American exploitation movies added immensely to the richness of the nation's cinema.Built on five years of research, Nightmare USA explores the development of America's subterranean horror film industry, spotlighting some of the wildest films imaginable from an era unchecked by censorship or 'good taste.' Ranging from cult favourites like I Drink Your Blood to stylish mind-benders like Messiah of Evil and shockers like Don't Go in the House, Nightmare USA goes where no other in-depth study has gone before, revealing the fascinating true stories behind classics and obscurities alike. Author Stephen Thrower has explored the attics and cellars of American cinema, delved beneath the floorboards, peered between the walls, searching for the strangest, most exotic cine-lifeforms... Nightmare USA is the reader's guide to what lies beyond the mainstream of American horror, dispelling the shadows to meet the men and women behind fifteen years of screen terror: the Exploitation Independents!This massive overview of the Horror genre's development through the 1970s and 1980s features:In-depth EXCLUSIVE interviews with twenty-five grindhouse movie makers, many of whom are discussing their work for the first time ever in print, including David Durston (I Drink Your Blood), Robert Endelson (Fight for Your Life), Frederick Friedel (Axe), Don Jones (Schoolgirls in Chains); and Joseph Ellison (Don't Go in the House).Over 175 individual films reviewed, with full cast and crew credits.Vast quantities of previously unpublished stills, posters, press-books, plus behind-the-scenes photographs from the filmmakers' own collections.
Title:NIGHTMARE USA: The Untold Story Of The Exploitation IndependentsFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:528 pages, 11.5 × 10 × 1.5 inShipping dimensions:11.5 × 10 × 1.5 inPublished:July 24, 2007Publisher:Fab PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1903254469

ISBN - 13:9781903254462


Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I own Absolutely indispensable.This massive tome goes through the American independent exploitation filmmaking of the past in an exhaustive, thorough, but always entertaining manner. These filmmakers don't have stories like, "... and then the studio gave us a budget of such and such and we went and shot the film". These film's stories are unique and often times, inspiring. Any film fan's library is incomplete without this great book weighing down a shelf.
Date published: 2016-12-06

Read from the Book

The 1970s were fertile years for American horror cinema, with movies such as The Last House on the Left (1972), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Halloween (1978) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) opening up bold new directions for screen terror. Nowadays these films are regarded as classics of the genre, but this wasn't always so; in the 1970s they were just as likely to be attacked for being crude, nasty, despicable, and unnecessarily graphic. Part of the issue was snobbery about their origins: these were not the standard products of respected major studios, with name actors and prestige technicians. Instead they belonged to a subterranean film industry, the 'exploitation' arena, where some of the wildest and most shocking films imaginable proliferated, unchecked by censorship or the dictates of 'good taste'. Films like The Headless Eyes (Kent Bateman, 1971), I Drink Your Blood (David Durston, 1971) and Bloodsucking Freaks (Joel M. Reed, 1976) were recklessly bizarre journeys to the outer fringes of horror, and they thrived commercially thanks to a complex network of independent distributors and exhibitors. Gloriously unregulated, this network established a country-wide free-for-all where all that mattered was the hard sell. From Texas drive-ins to the grindhouses of New York, sex and violence ruled the roost, and the race was on to be more extreme, more horrific, more bizarre. With only potential profits to guide tone and content, the rulebook went out the window. Consequently, marginal or eccentric filmmakers found the exploitation industry the perfect place to explore their obsessions: as long as you made a buck, you could go as far out as you pleased! Of course the 'exploitation independents' also created some of the most hopelessly inept movies ever to run through a projector. Some are hilarious, others are dull beyond belief: what matters is that taken together, both good and bad constitute a parallel cinema where imagination and daring trump taste and respectability.These movies added immensely to the richness of American cinema. In their oddness and imperfection, their cheapness and occasional amateurism, they provide a glimpse of a freer, less mediated film environment. Their great value was in challenging the notion that cultural power in cinema was located entirely in Hollywood, encouraging optimism and engagement in the medium at a local level. For these reasons the exploitation independents deserve our admiration.

Editorial Reviews

"The best book about the blood-drenched, scream-inducing, golden era of US independent horror cinema imaginable. Buy or die!"-- Billy Chainsaw, Bizarre