Shock Value by Jason Zinoman

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Synopsis

Much has been written about the storied New Hollywood of the 1970s, but at the same time that Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese were producing their first classic movies, a parallel universe of directors gave birth to the modern horror film. Shock Value tells the unlikely story of how directors like Wes Craven, Roman Polanski, and John Carpenter revolutionized the genre in the 1970s, plumbing their deepest anxieties to bring a gritty realism and political edge to their craft. From Rosemary’s Baby to Halloween, the films they unleashed on the world created a template for horror that has been relentlessly imitated but rarely matched. Based on unprecedented access to the genre’s major players, this is an enormously entertaining account of a hugely influential golden age in American film.


 

About Jason Zinoman

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JASON ZINOMAN is a critic and reporter covering theater for The New York Times. He has also regularly written about movies, television, books, and sports for publications such as Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Economist, and Slate. He was the chief theater critic for Time Out New York before leaving to write the "On Stage and Off" column in the Weekend section of The New York Times. He grew up in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published July 7, 2011 by Penguin Books. 292 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shock Value

Kirkus Reviews

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An entertaining history of the metamorphosis of the horror film during the 1970s from a cult genre to a major part of mainstream Hollywood.

Jun 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

The New York Times

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And it leads to the sleek twin horrors of the late 1970s: the nightmarish extraterrestrial of Ridley Scott’s “Alien” and Michael Myers of John Carpenter’s “Halloween.” Describing that character — the serial killer as blank slate — Mr. Zinoman writes of Mr. Carpenter, “Influenced by the t...

Jul 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

The Wall Street Journal

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Andrew Stuttaford reviews Jason Zinoman's "Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric
Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, And Invented Modern ...

| Read Full Review of Shock Value

The Wall Street Journal

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As such, it signaled the arrival of the New Horror a little ahead of Mr. Zinoman's schedule, something that returns us to the question of what was so new.

Jul 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

AV Club

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Shock wastes a little too much time trying to answer tired old questions about the genre (“Why do people watch such awful movies?” should’ve been retired ages ago—it isn’t as though Bonnie And Clyde is all sunshine and rainbows), but Zinoman is such a literate, intelligent defender of the cause t...

Jul 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Entertainment Weekly

In Shock Value, New York Times scribe Zinoman attempts to give these directors the same treatment Peter Biskind gave Spielberg, Scorsese, and Coppola in his magnificent Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.

Jun 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

We Love This Book

But hidden away in towns across America, a number of directors were putting together low-budget films that were set to change the face of the horror genre forever.

Jan 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Independent.ie

By the mid-1960s the horror genre was in a parlous state.

Feb 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Bookmarks Magazine

Drawing on interviews with hundreds of the most important artists in horror, Shock Value is an enthralling and personality-driven account of an overlooked but hugely influential golden age in American film.

An enormously entertaining account of the ...

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Monsters and Critics

An enormously entertaining account of the gifted and eccentric directors who gave us the golden age of modern horror in the 1970s, bringing a new brand of politics and gritty realism to the genre.An enormously entertaining account of the gifted and eccentric directors who gave us the golden age o...

Jul 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

SF Crow's Nest

‘Shock Value’ by New York Times film critic Jason Zinoman covers how a few young directors shook up the system and redefined horror.

Oct 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Military.com

"Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror" (Penguin Press), by Jason Zinoman: Rack up another dubious achievement for the 1960s.

Jul 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Artswrap

An enormously entertaining account of the gifted and eccentric directors who gave us the golden age of modern horror in the 1970s, bringing a new brand of politics and gritty realism to the genre.

| Read Full Review of Shock Value

Alternative Control

Director and producer, William Castle, who owned the film rights to the novel, Rosemary’s Baby, was of the “old horror.” He directed films with fake plastic monsters (you can see the strings on some of the puppets) that starred Vincent Price.

Oct 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

The Oxonian Review

Noted horror producer Val Lewton, who receives one single mention in the book, pioneered a distinctly ambiguous type of horror cinema in the 1940s with films such as Cat People and The Seventh Victim;

Jul 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Shock Value

Reader Rating for Shock Value
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 60 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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