Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema
FAB Press, 2005
One of cinema’s most enduring monsters, the zombie has been terrifying audiences around the world for decades. Book of the Dead charts the ghoulish history of zombie cinema, from the creature’s origins in Haitian voodoo to its cinematic debut in 1932’s White Zombie, George A. Romero’s ‘Dead’ movies (which includes the two acknowledged classics of the genre, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead) and recent blockbuster hits like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and Land of the Dead.
Covering hundreds of movies from America, Europe and Asia, this exhaustive history chronicles the zombie’s on-screen evolution from Caribbean bogeyman to flesh-eating corpse. Along the way, Book of the Dead takes in Bela Lugosi B-movies, Italian gore films, Asian zombies, British zombies, blind monk zombies, shot-on-video backyard epics and the videogame phenomenon of Resident Evil.
Spanning seven decades of horror movie history with hundreds of stills – including an incredible 64 pages of blood-drenched full colour photos and rare international poster art – and an exhaustive filmography, Book of the Dead explains why we continue to be so fascinated with these fugitives from the undertaker.
First published in October 2005, Book of the Dead is currently in its fourth reprinting and is the best-selling book in FAB Press’s history. It has been translated into Portuguese.
“The most comprehensive critical history of zombie cinema yet published… discerning, thoughtful, meticulously researched… a feast for the eyes as well as the mind,” Fangoria
“The mother of all paeans to the walking dead… [Russell is] a vibrant, passionate writer [with] fanboy flair and intellectual seriousness… [Book of the Dead is] exhaustive, informative and thoroughly entertaining,” Rue Morgue
“Russell’s Book of the Dead is the kind of horror movie book you don’t see much anymore, in which high-minded text fleshes out a gallery of incredibly gory color stills from ghastly films. With dripping viscera and mutilated sex kittens on virtually every page, it’s something I hadn’t thought possible in this post-shame age – a book I was actually embarrassed to read in public. In other words, it’s an apt, brilliant look at a medium whose saving grace is that it can never become respectable,” Reason Magazine
“This is the book zombie fans have been waiting for… enough to keep deadhead enthusiasts happy the world over.” EatMyBrains.com
“As zombies continue to thrive at the cinema and in government, Jamie Russell’s Book of the Dead is the definitive history of the living dead,” John Landis, film director
Jamie Russell BBC Radio Interview