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From the Expressionist reveries of the Weimar Republic to the transgressive nightmares smuggled past the Franco regime, via surrealist Gallic fever-dreams and psychedelic shockers from Cinecittà, Jonathan Rigby brings his incisive scrutiny to bear on more than 100 key films, starting in the aftermath of World War I and winding up with the video revolution of the early 1980 From the Expressionist reveries of the Weimar Republic to the transgressive nightmares smuggled past the Franco regime, via surrealist Gallic fever-dreams and psychedelic shockers from Cinecittà, Jonathan Rigby brings his incisive scrutiny to bear on more than 100 key films, starting in the aftermath of World War I and winding up with the video revolution of the early 1980s.


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From the Expressionist reveries of the Weimar Republic to the transgressive nightmares smuggled past the Franco regime, via surrealist Gallic fever-dreams and psychedelic shockers from Cinecittà, Jonathan Rigby brings his incisive scrutiny to bear on more than 100 key films, starting in the aftermath of World War I and winding up with the video revolution of the early 1980 From the Expressionist reveries of the Weimar Republic to the transgressive nightmares smuggled past the Franco regime, via surrealist Gallic fever-dreams and psychedelic shockers from Cinecittà, Jonathan Rigby brings his incisive scrutiny to bear on more than 100 key films, starting in the aftermath of World War I and winding up with the video revolution of the early 1980s.

30 review for Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema

  1. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Five stars all around for this one. It is a brilliant history of European horror films.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    Not long ago, I was watching an item on the Bonus Features supplement to the Blu-ray release of “The Blood-Spattered Bride.” (If your initial thought is, “What kind of sicko would watch something called ‘The Blood-Spattered Bride’?, you can stop reading now.) Usually, these segments have someone who was involved in the production and vaguely remembers it, a genuine Fan-Boy who thinks it’s a great work of Art, or folks who are trying to impress the Viewer with how much they know. But, this one ha Not long ago, I was watching an item on the Bonus Features supplement to the Blu-ray release of “The Blood-Spattered Bride.” (If your initial thought is, “What kind of sicko would watch something called ‘The Blood-Spattered Bride’?, you can stop reading now.) Usually, these segments have someone who was involved in the production and vaguely remembers it, a genuine Fan-Boy who thinks it’s a great work of Art, or folks who are trying to impress the Viewer with how much they know. But, this one had an interview with Jonathan Rigby. It was not a long discussion, but I was impressed with how all of the information was “on point” and how much I learned about a film that I’d seen several times before. I didn’t know Jonathan Rigby at all, but I learned that he had written something called ENGLISH GOTHIC. In trying to find it, I discovered that it had sold out and that it was only available for exorbitant prices. Two others were available, AMERICAN GOTHIC and this one. I ordered them right away. EURO GOTHIC was even better than my hoped for expectations. I own many, many film history books, but none like this one. It provides the requisite details of films and the filmmakers with plenty of photos, but it also puts those films in perspective by describing the historical, political, social and cultural environments in which they appeared. This was done NOT in a lecture format, but more of a coffeehouse discussion with an extremely well-read friend. This is not to say that I agreed with all of the assessments. (My favorite film critic is Roger Ebert, but I don’t agree with all of his evaluations, either.) However, Rigby doesn’t make his points from a “because I say so” position. He points out the elements that allows the Reader to follow his logic. We didn’t have many disagreements! Two things bothered me: * The “Euro” in the title refers to France, Italy, Spain and Germany ... so there are significant omissions. Occasionally, he will make reference to an influential film from a different country. Of course, this is a large volume already, and including additional countries would certainly make it unwieldy. * He provides 113 “Focus” boxes that place special emphasis on certain films. For the most part, I could see why they were included. But, he’ll also include something like SEDDOCK (which I saw as ATOM AGE VAMPIRE) for which he states, “... the Italian cut is just as lumpy and sluggish as the cut-down export version, and to make matters worse it runs for a seriously taxing 107 minutes.” He then omits featuring LEONOR which he states, “... it’s brilliantly acted, beautifully photographed (Luciano Tovoli) and scored (Ennio Morricone), and makes Bunuel’s subsequent defection to TV seem regrettable.” Go figure. Suffice it to say that you cannot count on the Focus boxes to create your own preferred viewing list. Those things said, I learned a great deal that has already increased my viewing enjoyment. On the other hand, it did nothing to change my perception that the bulk of Jess Franco’s films are worthless. And it did cause me to update my list of films I definitely want to see. In the end, I ended up paying 10-times the cover price for a new copy of ENGLISH GOTHIC, so it is safe to assume that I feel Rigby is a most worthwhile writer with exceptional knowledge to share. (As I write this, the lowest cost new copy of ENGLISH GOTHIC I can find is 15-times the cover price.) And here’s an item for my wishlist. How about penning an ASIAN GOTHIC? Sign me up for a copy right now!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill Wallace

    Superb, comprehensive history of European horror cinema -- more specifically the films of Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. Consistently erudite, beginning with the silent German masterpieces and ending with the gory excess of Fulci, Rigby puts each film he discusses into the context of film history, but also does a terrific job of tracing literary roots and cultural/political trends that shape the contents and receptions of these films. Although he seems capable of finding something to like in Superb, comprehensive history of European horror cinema -- more specifically the films of Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. Consistently erudite, beginning with the silent German masterpieces and ending with the gory excess of Fulci, Rigby puts each film he discusses into the context of film history, but also does a terrific job of tracing literary roots and cultural/political trends that shape the contents and receptions of these films. Although he seems capable of finding something to like in almost every movie, he is also adept at deadly, hilarious ridicule when he finds a deserving target. Rigby discusses pretty much every work of horror or dark fantasy made in the 7 decades covered here, but 113 films are identified as the best of their eras and given detailed analyses. I'd seen many of the movies on his list, though much of the Spanish and Italian output arrived stateside in horribly dubbed and sometimes censored versions, but the book has given me a long list of films to find and watch -- a relatively easy thing to do in today's world. This is film history done right and its usefulness will extend through many haunted hours in the future.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Forrest

    I doubt that there is a more comprehensive examination of the European horror scene than this book. Starting with the earliest silent films Euro Gothic runs all the way up to the mid 1980's and picks out several key films for each era and with each step the author makes you want to sit down and revisit the films you have enjoyed from the past and that maybe you have missed. Only the other 2 volumes in this series (English Gothic and American Gothic) and Stephen Thrower's Nightmare USA, come clos I doubt that there is a more comprehensive examination of the European horror scene than this book. Starting with the earliest silent films Euro Gothic runs all the way up to the mid 1980's and picks out several key films for each era and with each step the author makes you want to sit down and revisit the films you have enjoyed from the past and that maybe you have missed. Only the other 2 volumes in this series (English Gothic and American Gothic) and Stephen Thrower's Nightmare USA, come close to the breadth and depth covered here, although they are all subtly different in eras and / or subject matter covered. I felt on a more personal level that the book ends on a poignant note, as if detailing the end of a time in horror movies which is unlikely to return, either through seminal filmmakers dying, moving on or simply failing to live up to those expectations born out of their earlier works - but maybe I was reading more into the final chapter then was actually there. Either way this is a fantastic book for any lover of film and horror movies in particular.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Samerdyke

    This one started strong, and then it got lost in the weeds. The opening chapter of this book was superb. It covered movies I have seen and heard about, mostly Weimar era classics, in a clear and thoughtful way. The next few chapters were also good, as Rigby covered some French classics and the Italian Gothic cinema. But then, in the late Sixties, things just bogged down. The book covers movies from Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and with Spain added in, I think there was just too much. There w This one started strong, and then it got lost in the weeds. The opening chapter of this book was superb. It covered movies I have seen and heard about, mostly Weimar era classics, in a clear and thoughtful way. The next few chapters were also good, as Rigby covered some French classics and the Italian Gothic cinema. But then, in the late Sixties, things just bogged down. The book covers movies from Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and with Spain added in, I think there was just too much. There were scores of movies, all of which had at least three titles, most of which Rigby didn't think were that good. And after page after page, I began to think that I never wanted to see the bulk of these movies, so why was I reading about them. The book became a slog, which is a shame. "English Gothic" and "American Gothic" are far better than this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trey Lane

    Easily one of the best books about movies I've ever read. Obscure foreign horror films of yesteryear are an avid and lifelong interest of mine, but somehow this book was able to aim me at literally dozens of interesting specimens that I'd not been previously aware of. Easily one of the best books about movies I've ever read. Obscure foreign horror films of yesteryear are an avid and lifelong interest of mine, but somehow this book was able to aim me at literally dozens of interesting specimens that I'd not been previously aware of.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    Excellent book

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andy Parsons

  9. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Vindici

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Kuykendall

  12. 5 out of 5

    Perfectmask

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pascal

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Wright

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debra Manskey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Russell Smith

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Paul

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lauri Timonen

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steve Douglas

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Blanton

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melvin Van t hof

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bence

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tim Smith

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mikel J Koven

  26. 5 out of 5

    Billie doris adams

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fragrant Flower

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fragrant Flower

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