Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

Video Dungeon
The Collected Reviews of Kim Newman


Author: Kim Newman
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £14.99, US $18.95, Cdn $21.95
ISBN: 978 1 78329 939 3
Publication Date: 29 September 2017

Kim Newman is a home grown writer, film historian and reviewer. His novels include An English Ghost Story, The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School, and the critically acclaimed Anno Dracula. This release – subtitled The Collected Reviews – brings together around 500 of his critiques of low-budget films originally written for Empire film magazine. It is published in paperback and eBook formats by Titan Books...

Being a long-time horror reviewer myself, I can’t miss the opportunity to say I already have three Graveyard Horror Reviews eBooks available (check out my website for details). Now I’ve blown my own trumpet I’ll move on by saying that, in my opinion, Newman is probably the most entertaining televisual film reviewer after the good Doctor himself, Mark Kermode. He has an eccentricity which is compelling. Each time I have seen him on TV or raving on a movie DVD documentary I couldn’t help but be drawn in by the sheer enthusiasm for his subject.

Therein lies the problem. It seems I have been spoilt somewhat by this personal view of how it should be. I realise that many of these films are awful (nearly all of them are awful); however, it doesn’t help that Newman’s reviews come across as dry. Yes, he points out their faults but it would have been so much better had he had a little fun with them. People want to read film reviews, and there are countless horror film fans out there; so how about making it less of a formal reference and more of a fun read?

The reviews are compartmentalised into ten chapter-categories: Confinements and Dangerous Games (Tied Up in the Basement or Hunted Through the Woods), Criptids and Critters (Bigfoot, Mermaids, Gill-Men, etc.), Famous Monsters (Frankenstein and Dracula), Found Footage, Hard Case Crime, High Adventure (Lost Kingdoms and Fabulous Voyages), Secret Agent Men (And Women), Serial Killers and Cops, Weird Hippie Shit, and Wildlife (Fish and Reptiles).

My view is that, while many horror fans will be happy to incorporate Serial Killer movies as a sub-genre, they would be less likely to pull Hard Case Crime and Secret Agents to their bosoms. With this many reviews I think the categories would have worked much better as alphabetical chapters, A to C, D to F, etc. For one thing it would mean not so many very similar films being encountered together (you can get sick to the ‘eye teeth’ of Dracula, and Frankenstein can become a ‘pain in the neck’), and the reviews would be easier to look-up via a single index rather than a categorised one.

In truth, I’d rather buy a DVD with which I can watch the charismatic Mr Newman telling me (like a mate down the pub) about these movies he’s seen.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Kindle edition
iTunes GB
Digital Download
Kindle edition