Dave Jay, William S Wilson, & Torsten De - It Came From The Video Aisle!( Book) [Schiffer/Full Moon Features - 2017]Any B-movie or cult film fan worth their salt will know the name Charles Band. Since the 1970ís this director, producer, writer, and publisher has been heavily involved in the B- movie market, producing near on 300 films, directing 55, and writing around 50. He was most known in the 80ís/ 90ís for his company Empire Pictures- which release such B classics such as Ghoulies, The Dungeonmaster, Terrorvision, Re-Animator and From Beyond. In the 1990ís, after the demise of Empire, he formed Full Moon Features- releasing cult fare such as the Puppet master series, Pit and the Pendulum, Castle Freak, and the Killjoy series. It Came From The Video Aisle!, is a 500-page book charting Bands career from the 1990ís up to present day- bringing together 50 exclusive interviews, honest overviews/ reviews of all his output from this period, plus a host of rare artwork, and behind the scenes pictures.
The book comes in the form of a glossy covered paperback- which features good quality paper stock & color illustrations through-out. And for a paperback, itís very much at the classy end of the spectrum- with nice perfect binding, and good production values- so itís a book you could go back to again & again, without fear of it falling apart in years to come.
It Came From The Video Aisle! is very much a sequel to the 2014 book Empire of the 'B's: The Mad Movie World of Charles Band, which was also co-written by David Jay & Torsten Dewi. It really picks up after the end of that book, and the demise of Empire- then follows Bandís exploits & career up to 2014/ 2015. Giving a balanced & often frankly honest overview of both Mr Bands successes & failures.
The 480-page book in broken up into eight often lengthy sections/ chapters- dealing mainly with a specific period- each of these sections run between twenty to a few hundred pages. These sections are then broken up into subsections- which bring together overviews/ criticises of said period & the related films, and often quite lengthy interviews with key players. Itís only in the seventh & eighty chapter we get more of general overviews- chapter seven looks at the unreleased films, and chapter eight at the franchise titles Band has released, series such as The Puppetmaster, Gingerbread Man, Tracers, Killjoy, Subspecies & The Evil Bong films.
Littered throughout the texts you get a good selection of colour pictures- and these take in poster artwork, production stills, concept art etc. Really the book is priming with pictures, which is a nice touch- though at times, due to space & how many they are, some of these are a little on the small side.
The writing is split between Jay, Wilson, Dewi, and a few others- yet it never feels disjointed or uneven, with the whole thing flowing well to chart the coming on for 30 years covered. The mix of write-ups & interviews works well, and each interview is well placed for its context.
For the most part the writers remain honest in their options of Bands output. So if they feel a film is great they say, but equally if a film is less successful, or even a failure(in their eyes) they also say- so once again thatís very much in line with the honest feel of the Empire of the 'B's book.
For my part I found It Came From The Video Aisle! an enjoyable & informative read. Iím certainly less of a Full Moon fan, & more of an Empire fan, but I found it worthy through-out, and itís made me interested in checking out some of the lesser known Full Moon titles I'd missed. So really if you have any interest in B-movies in general, its well worth picking this up- as itís balanced & well put together tome.Roger Batty