There are lots of horror books about horror films out there and distinguishing one from any other can be a tough thing. Gary Gerani’s “Top 100 Horror Movies” is no special book but what it does have is Gerani’s unique choice of what he thinks are the best of the best horror films ever made. His breakdown of each of the 100 films discussed is pretty simple. He gives the production credits and the required breakdown of the plot of the film but he also gives his insight on why each of his choices are relevant.
Gerani has written about horror films in various publications including “The Monster Times (1972)” and for the Topps Company, among others, but of most interest to horror fans is his co-writing credit on the classic monster film Pumpkinhead. Most of the required entries are included on his list such as The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween, to name a few but what his list includes that other lists may not have included are such gems as Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), It’s Alive (1974), I Bury the Living (1958), Dark Intruder (1965), Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975), and many more. Gerani has diversified his list tremendously for fans to get a glimpse at films of all decades (including the silent films (Nosferatu, A Symphony of Terror & The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and foreign films (A Chinese Ghost Story & Let the Right One In). The one pitfall of Gerani’s list is the overbearing presence of too many vampire films.
I’m not a huge fan of the vampire genre but Gerani’s book has way too many vampire films that he considers some of the Top 100 films of all time. I agree that Horror of Dracula (1958), Vampyr (1932), Fright Night, and Interview of the Vampire should be included but Gerani also includes such questionable entries as Kiss of the Vampire (1963), House of Dark Shadows (1970), Mark of the Vampire (1935), From Dusk Til Dawn (1996), The Lost Boys (1987), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Brides of Dracula (1960), and Dracula (1931). Either he’s just a huge fan of the vampire genre (he even grants Horror of Dracula the #1 horror film) or I just really don’t think there’s that many great vampire films out there. I did find it a trough to believe that Near Dark never made the list when some of his other choices were inferior but Gerani states in his intro to the book that this is “his” list of films and for that reason alone it will differ from others.
What Gerani’s book does offer to readers is a huge library of posters and production stills from all the films discussed which is one of the assets to the book. This alone is worth the price of the book (only $24.99) and a great addition to most horror fan libraries.
One of the worst things about the book is the bad book binding. I didn’t have my copy for longer than a few days before the pages started to fall out due to the poor binding of the book itself. I hope that the publisher realizes this and fixes the problem on subsequent editions including Gerani’s next book “Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies.”