CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I recently go the chance to review the brand new book Bonkers Ass Cinema by Matt Rotman, and let me tell you, this was one I was immensely pleased to own. I’m a huge fan of genre cinema (can you tell?), and Rotman clearly is as well. The book contains his musings on various films, broken down into several different categories, like Animal Attacks, Sexploitation, and, of course, Bigfoot. Rotman is a true student of cinema, and as big a fan as I am of the type of movies he reviews, I can honestly say I hadn’t heard of many of the films he reviewed. He also managed to get some great interviews with some of the creators of these movies, giving his audience an inside look at the folks who make our favorite “bad” movies.
The book is wildly entertaining, genuinely funny, and heartwarming in its appreciation of the movies that a lot of us grew up on. As a devout collector of all forms of physical media, many of these films are now on my watchlist for films that I have to see, if not own. Exploitation is totally my jam, and there were so many underappreciated gems that Rotman shares with his audience that he at least makes sound interesting. He also does an excellent job of prepping the stage for the reviews, breaking down the history of each subgenre, some of the most important auteurs responsible for it, and what to expect when watching these films for those who might have never come across them before. His brand of humor is unique in the industry of movie reviews, where so many people are focused more on skewering films that they didn’t like in order to uphold the status quo of movies that are already more appreciated than they deserve. Rotman ain’t having none of that shit, because he states right from the get-go that people who laugh at these movies aren’t seeing them for what they’re worth.
Which leads to an aside, and perhaps an explanation for why this book hit so close to home for me. Like Rotman, I feel that people who mock and cast aside these genres just genuinely don’t get the point. Are they all good? Of course not. Are most of them terrible, bad movies? Of course they are. The point is that they’re movies, and they’re just as much art as anything else. You will always have your own personal appreciation for whatever genre strikes your fancy the most, but you simply cannot tell me that there is any difference between someone who appreciates Project Metalbeast and someone who loves You’ve Got Mail. Both movies suck, but there’s no metal werewolf that fights Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, so that’s a huge strike in favor of Metalbeast in my book (though you could argue that contending with Meg Ryan is way worse). Throughout Bonkers Ass Cinema, Rotman gives us an appreciation for these films that is unparalleled, and his love of each genre he goes through is literally dripping from every page. You will never find a better review of Abar, the First Black Superman, I can tell you that.
Who this book is for: Genre film fans, Book lovers, People looking for some new recommendations
Bottom line: All in all, the book is an absolute blast to read, and it is must-own material for any fan of genre film. It is an enjoyable, quick read from start to finish, and if you don’t pick up at least a handful of films that you’ve never heard of before and are now dying to see, you’re dead inside and we can’t be friends. Thank so much to Matt Rotman for giving me the opportunity to read his book, he’s got a new fan in this kindred soul!
Click here to order your own copy of the book! It’s got free shipping with Amazon Prime, so you can’t afford not to buy it!