Paging Mr. Psychotronic... Paging Mr. Psychotronic...

A quick jaunt up the coast this past weekend to Santa Rosa for a Capricorn party has left me practically movie-less for the past week (with one awesome exception), but not without some unexpected gains to my film library. And by "film library," I mean my actual library about film, not DVDs or videotapes. I'm talking books, people!

An unplanned side trip into Treehorn Books, a used bookstore in Santa Rosa, left two dog-eared -- but in far better condition than my original edition -- copies of Michael Weldon's The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film in my happy little hands. Long out of print (to my knowledge), I cannot stress enough how important this 1983 book was in developing my love of outré cinema, and while I still have not seen every film mentioned in its interior, I have made a pretty good run at seeing most of the pictures contained within its covers. (One of these copies is getting shipped up to Anchorage immediately to my fellow movie nut Aaron, who will appreciate its lurid cover, wonderfully descriptive film entries and black and white reproductions of a host of crappy movie posters greatly.) Weldon also started The Psychotronic Film Guide Magazine, and he doesn't so much review a film, as he does give you a list of all the reasons that you should see a film, whether or not it is a bottom-of-the-barrel scraper. Horror, sci-fi, juvenile delinquent, rock n' roll, jungle, and gorilla pictures, beach and surf flicks...really, exploitation of any sort. If you like any of these genres, this book is a must-have for your collection and further cinematic edification.

I also discovered a gorgeous hardcover copy (with protective book cover) of Astaire Dancing by John Mueller from 1985, and also long out of print. I have yet to break into its text, but much of the book is devoted to frame-by-frame breakdowns of many of the dance sequences from the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical series, covers the majority of Astaire's career, and will be great fun to go through in conjunction with the DVD set that was recently released (and which Jen and I will naturally now have to purchase).

A not-unexpected gain, since I left the book behind on my trip to my brother's in November, was a hardcover copy of Cut! Hollywood Murders, Accidents and Other Tragedies that Mark and Marci passed on to me. I've already noticed that they left Marie Provost out of the book (nothing like being devoured by dachshunds!), so I am unsure as to how complete the research is in the book, but I will wade into it the next time I am in a particularly gory mood. Maybe it will keep me from cracking my ancient copy of Hollywood Babylon again.

A two-hour wait in the San Francisco Airport left me with time to wander about Compass Books, where I snagged a copy of Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy - The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy. I am about a third of the way through this very concise history of the boys, and even if the author (Simon Louvish) gets a little too lavish with his historical overview of comedy in the beginning, I am finding it a most intriguing read.

Didn't really have time to read on the flight, though... the flight is only an hour, and by the time the beverage service shows up and leaves, you are pretty much landing, so it is hard to really get into anything heavy on such a short zip. 

And don't get me started on that crappy little bag of pretzels that they term a "snack". Grrrrr...


You know, for some reason I'm not on your mailing list. I somehow thought that maybe you hadn't been writing that much. But then a quick jump over to see what your up to proved me wrong, now I have pages and pages to read! I just read about the Pyschotronic, and you have no idea how cool that is. I've been trying to hunt one down for, well, i guess it would be years now. If I am indeed that Aaron you mentioned, thanks!

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