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This one's a book I've been wanting to write for a while but didn't start truly chipping away at until I gave it a framework at Apocalypse Later Film. This was a feature I called Weird Wednesdays that alliteratively allowed me to review the weirdest movies ever made on Wednesday evenings. Before long, the book took over and I think I still have a few reviews to post online. Hey, they're in the book.
It's a simple concept but I wanted to ensure that I covered a few films that aficionados of incredibly strange cinema oiught to know, to give them a grounding, but then dive really deep into obscurities. The subtitle eventually became Films You Won't Believe Exist, meaning that, even if you have a grounding already before picking up this book, there should be a bunch of films that you'll be surprised at. I also wanted to avoid just detailing a couple of dozen Japanese movies, so kept it deliberately varied, in time, budget, genre, purpose and country of origin.
The best recognised film here, if not the most seen, is The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), which is the shallow end of the pool, if you will. From there I dive through relatively well known cult exploitation films like The Terror of Tiny Town (1938), The Crippled Masters (1979) and For Y'ur Height Only (1981) to dramatised religious sermons, 8-bit graphics demos and Peruvian Barbie porn; banned cautionary tales for children, anthromorphic art films and, inevitably, Japanese pinku weirdness. There's something for everyone to disbelieve here, but they're all real.
This one's dedicated to a couple of communities and an individual who may well be part of both. The communities are Cinemageddon, a grey market haven of access, and Incredibly Strange Films, a burgeoning Facebook group. The individual is Jim McLennan, editor of Trash City zine, curator ofGirls with Guns, co-founder of the Phoenix Fear Film Festival, which is now part of Phoenix FearCon, and aficionado of the most unusual psychotronic films. I absolutely love when we independently search for information about the strangest films ever made online and immediately find each other’s sites.
Here's a complete list of chapters which detail the films included:
I ran a lot of possibilities through my brain for the cover but nothing really worked. Then, out of the blue one day, I saw one of Dave Trombetti's experiments in fractal art, which asked the same question I was asking with the book, namely WTF!? and I knew I had a cover. I reached out to him and he was happy for his work to sit on a book cover, so we made it happen.
It's typeset in Gentium Plus, which is a newer version of the Gentium font I used in my first four books. It's the same great font but the spacing is much better. This is an source font, released under the SIL Open Font License, which means that it can be used, modified and redistributed for free.
All of that is routine by this point, but there was one difference here. In June 2023, Amazon, who own KDP, the online publishing arm through which I publish, changed their pricing. The price for regular books (i.e. a colour glossy cover but a black and white interior) went up slightly, albeit not enough for me to change my pricing. However, the price for standard colour books (i.e. the same cover but a colour interior on regular paper) went down quite substantially.
That gave me the ability for the first time to offer a colour version of a full length book at a price under $20. I wasn't willing to charge more than that but obviously can't sell anything at cost. So this book exists in two versions that are identical in every way except for three. The obvious one is that every graphic inside is in colour (even the screenshots for a black and white movie like The Terror of Tiny Town, which are no longer in grayscale. The others are just a different ISBN and the word on the spine under the catalogue number, so that I can differentiate between copies without having to open them.
Current copyright law in the US tells me that I should be able to profit from my work until 75 years after I've been buried. I don't buy into that because copyright was always intended to benefit the public (not creators) by ensuring a constant flow of work into the public domain where the public could do whatever they liked with it. It's how Disney got famous! To ensure that creators kept creating, it also gave them a temporary monopoly on their work, which was originally 14 years. If I can't make money off a book in 14 years, then let the public have their turn.
I toyed with the idea of copyrighting my books for 14 years and then releasing them into the public domain, but quickly realised I'd never remember to do that. Instead, I chose to license my books through Creative Commons, using the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 copyleft license. That means that you are legally allowed to copy and distribute them, with my blessing, as long as you:
So please download a PDF of A Horror Movie Calendar from the link below, read it and share it with others so that it can reach as wide an audience as possible.
Please feel free to upload it to peer to peer networks, translate it into your own language or read it aloud and circulate it as an audiobook. Just obey the licensing terms above.
Remember, piracy is not the enemy; obscurity is the enemy!
Buy a Print Copy
Of course, I don't get paid anything from a free download so, if you enjoy the book, please consider buying a print copy to show your appreciation and help me pay my bills. If you don't have room for dead tree products, then please consider buying a print copy for a friend or donate one to a library instead. Either way, I get paid and someone gets to read a good book.
Signed copies are available from the Dog Eared Pages used bookstore in Phoenix. Trust me, it would not be a hardship for me to travel to a great used bookstore to replenish my stock!
Review the Book
Even if you only read the free PDF, please consider writing a review of it on Amazon.com. Reviews are like gold at Amazon, who will promote books which have obtained enough of them. Getting fifty reviews at Amazon would be like a Christmas present to me.
Of course, the same goes for other independent authors too. If you review their books at Amazon as well as mine, you can help to make it Christmas every month in indie world and we'll love you all the more!
WTF!? Films You Won't Believe Exist is my eighth book on film. Other technical details are:
Catalogue Number: ALP008
Last update: 3rd August, 2023