Death by Umbrella! The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons by Christopher Lombardo & Jeff Kirschner
Available now in Paperback & Kindle (links at bottom of review)
I don’t much like lists. If I go shopping, I prefer using my increasingly colander-like memory to go over what I need for the week. I avoid Buzzfeed as much as possible, and if people ask me what my Top 3 somethings are – well, I don’t have a Top 3 anything. Why collate likes on some mental spreadsheet? I like to enjoy things on the fly, apart from chili. That’s probably my favourite foods. And I do have favourite bands, movies, books, authors… Hypocritical? Maybe, but that’s what makes me OK with loving Death by Umbrella so much.
Lovingly curated by Christopher Lombardo and Jeff Kirschner, Death…is a list of 100+ unusual & creative movie weapons. After a suitably Tromaesque introduction by Uncle Lloyd Kaufman, I dove in expecting a few brief rundowns of gloriously daft death scenes, but this book has a lot more to offer than that.
Like a Buzzfeed article pumped up on the brain juice from Gremlins 2, Death… takes a gleeful yet insightful look into the world of movie gore, celebrating bizarre offings in schlockfests like Leprechaun 2 and Killer Rack to more surprising inclusions like There Will be Blood and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. The deaths from these non-horror titles deserve their place as much as the corny (ha!) killing in Sleepwalkers, showing that the authors really know their stuff when it comes to cinema.
And that’s what makes this so much more than a read-and-forget coffee table book. Every article goes beyond a simple recounting of death scenes to include making-of trivia, references to related movies, nods to classic literature and more. The authors clearly know horror, but it isn’t their only area of expertise, which makes for a fascinating read. Of course, you could just skim through to the juicy bits – and for the far less attentive, there are plenty of stills, theatrical posters and illustrations to gawp at – but take your time and you’ll find yourself up to your eyeballs in well-researched facts. Now there’s a way to go!
Even though this is out on Kindle, I’d recommend picking up the paperback. This is one you’re going to want to keep handy every time you watch an Asylum movie and think “there’s nothing stupider than that out there, is there?” Not a page or sentence is wasted, and I genuinely can’t think of another non-fiction horror movie book that’s gripped me as much as this one in a long time. Though that could just be the lack of oxygen from laughing so hard.
Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1593939310/
Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/1593939310/
You can get more goodness from Lombardo and Kirschner by checking out their podcast Really Awful Movies, their website of the same name, and their twitter @awful_movies