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In Association with Amazon.co.uk Reading matter

So, here we are. A sort-of definitive list of books on the subject of British horror films, just in case what I've been doing on this web site isn't good enough for you. I don't know, you work your fingers to the bone and what thanks do you get?

Seriously, though, I'd really appreciate it if you'd consider buying your reading matter through this site. It costs me a bloody fortune to run britishhorrorfilms.co.uk and every little helps, so if you click on these links to Amazon UK and buy one of these books, I get a little bit of cash back. And it won't cost you a penny more than you'd pay anyway! Ah, go on. Go on. Go on, go on, go on.

Go on.

Recommended reading:

English Gothic

This is the one. The guv'nor. The reason why we're all here. Jonathan Rigby gives a hugely readable and utterly spot-on critique of the entire bloody lot of 'em (British horror films, that is). If you only want to buy one book from this list, make it this one.

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English Gothic: A Century of Horror...

Paperback version of the above. Bendy or straight? Bendy or straight? Ooh look, it's got a different cover to my now-knackered paperback version. Two plugs - now that's got to be worth a free copy, hasn't it Jonathan? Jonathan?

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Creeping Flesh: The Horror Fantasy Film...

There's stuff about British horror a-plenty in this excellent publication, including a few of my favourites. What's more, some of the contributors also frequent this very site's message board! Buy it, read it, then come on here and argue with 'em. That's what I do.

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Fragments of Fear: An Illustrated...

A great book for starting out your obsession with British horror films. But be warned, reading this book is guaranteed to make you set up a wildly successful and frankly superb British Horror Films website, which will suck away your life and leave you a dried-out, friendless husk. You have been warned...

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House of Horror

Now this is more like it! I urge you to buy this book, it's great. Like horror film books used to be (it's actually a re-release of that old Hammer book your mates used to hand round in the playground). Loads and loads of grainy black and white pictures of women with no tops on, and quite a lot of interesting facts, too.

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Hammer Films: The Bray Studios Years

Just in case there was anything we didn't know about Hammer, author Wayne (yes, really) goes into amazing detail about just about everything they did during the Bray Studios years. The stuff about what the censor cut out is fascinating, and worth the price of the book alone.

 
Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood

A cracking read, some fantastic pictures, and, let's face it, the only place (other than this web site) that gives The Mind Of Mr Soames the credit it deserves. Highly recommended.

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Great Ghost Stories

R Chetwynd-Hayes was one of the greatest short story horror writers of the last 50 years, and you might be interested to learn that many of his works were turned into British horror films - notably From Beyond The Grave and The Monster Club. Buy this collection and I promise you you won't be disappointed.

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A Vault of Horror

As I write this, I've not actually read this book. So it's not exactly a recommendation. But Mr Topping has written some excellent stuff in the past, and although he's frankly ripping off my idea, I'm sure this is a worthwhile buy. Apparently he mentions this site occasionally in it (as he should, if he knows what's good for him). It's a book about British horror films written in a comeday stylay, by the way.

 
Vincent Price: The Art of Fear

Vincent Price, eh? What a legend. What a big bloke! What a beard. What a strange voice... Anyway. Let's all hear it for a book about everyone's favourite nutcase.

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Hammer Films

Contender for cheapest book in the list, but it is about everyone's favourite film company called Hammer.

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Inside Hammer

Freddie Francis lifts the lid on life inside the studio. Cardigan dependency! Pipe smoke addiction! Enormous moustache growing competitions! And even the occasional film being made! (Actually, he only talks about the films)

 
British Horror Cinema (British Popular...

Yet another all encompassing history on the genre we all know and love. Probably. Must read a few of these at some point.

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Lord of Misrule: The Autobiography of...

Christopher Lee, perrenial curmugeon and all-round miserable old sod, tells us all about how great he is, and how pissed off he was that he was cut out of that film, and how the Wicker Man is the best film he's ever been in, and probably refuses to talk about Dracula (again). Honestly. And what's with that "I read LOTR every year" stuff? What's the matter, Chris, can't you afford any other books?

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Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen...

And here he is again. But this one's written by Jonathan "English Gothic" Rigby, so it probably does mention Dracula. And Death Line, which he's only in for a minute. One minute more than The Return Of The King, then.

 
Hammer and Beyond: the British Horror...

Ouch. This one's a bit pricey, and "recommended" is probably a bit too strong a word as I haven't ever even seen it. But it is about British films, so it's up to you if you think it's worth 30-odd quid, I suppose.

 
The BFI Companion to Horror

Holy shit, if you thought that one was expensive, get a load of this! It may well be "definitive", but at over a hundred quid it's also "taking the piss".

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Uneasy Dreams: Golden Age of British...

Lots of concise (ie. short) reviews of these here films n' stuff. With a picture from Plague Of The Zombies on the front, so there.

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Other genre stuff:

Horror Poster Art

80 years of horror film poster art, including a section on Hammer and classics like Polanski's Repulsion and the ever-wonderful American Werewolf In London.

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Horror Films (Virgin Film S.)

It's meant to be "incisive" (whatever that means), but on the plus side, it's got a picture of Christopher Lee as Dracula on the front. So I suppose it must mention that film inside somewhere, alongside more continental and US fare.

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Fangoria's 101 Best Horror Movies You've...

They reckon these are films you've never seen. I think we know differently, don't we? For one thing, it's got Lair Of The White Worm on the cover.

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The Vampire Film: From "Nosferatu" to...

Ah, vampire films. Where would Hammer be without 'em? Come to think of it, where are Hammer?

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See No Evil: Banned Films and Video...

Not about British films per se, but the peculiarly British video nasties thing was fascinating, wasn't it? Especially now we can watch them all and see how shite they were.

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Behind the Mask of the Horror Actor

Pinhead! No, not an insult. That's the bloke this chap played in that British horror film. You know - deep voice, dressed like Ann Robinson.

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Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein": The...

Not the world's greatest film, I know, and hardly the world's greatest "Frankenstein" either (Branagh's lurking some way behind Sting in those stakes, which is saying something). But it is a British film. Go on, treat yourself. For completism's sake.

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Still not happy? You can also see all of Amazon's horror film books by clicking this link.

 

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All photos, posters, sounds and videos are reproduced in good faith with the sole intention of promoting these films. Why should I be the only one to suffer watching them? If any film makers feel particularly strongly about abuse of copyright on the site, they obviously haven't got anything better to do. You could try Watchdog, but frankly, I think they've got bigger fish to fry...