Review: Eyes of Blood / Author: Jack Hunter / Publisher: Glitter Books / Release Date: Out Now
This dainty pocket-sized volume covers the seven Hammer films – some seminal horror classics, some not so much – in which Christopher Lee donned the cape and fangs of the Prince of Darkness, Dracula. And with masses of b/w stills and 12 pages of lurid posters reproduced in full colour, it's quite nice to handle and skim through.
The trouble with it (as with Glitter Books' recent title about Jean Rollin) is the text. To be fair, this seems plentiful enough at first glance, but upon closer inspection you discover that the bulk of it consists of scene-by-scene synopses. Awesome, if you're the kind of person who really hates surprises and hence likes to know exactly what's going happen before you sit down to watch a film. Each title also gets a brief critical commentary, but these are clumsy and turgid in a student essay kind of way. We learn, for instance, about Dracula's 'polar opposition to the notion of the nuclear family' and that 'his female victims become deranged psycho-sexual cannibals.' As for Dracula A.D. 72, 'although it now appears hopelessly dated, it can still be viewed as a partial success, as least.' Er, right, thanks for clearing that up.
Here at Starburst HQ, we don't like to kick small publishers. But Glitter Books could surely have come up with something more informative, especially considering the wallet-busting RRP of £10.95. As it stands, Eyes of Blood is pretty anaemic stuff.