“Why do good people like bad movies?” B movie director, Bret McCormick, not only poses this question but gives us a 250-page answer courtesy of Texas Schlock: B-Movie Sci-Fi and Horror from the Lone Star State. In fact, this book presents such an incredible homage to Texas’ low-budget films of the ’60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, he made this lifelong Chicagoan feel like he’d grown up there. Not that you have to be a Texan nor seasoned movie fan to appreciate this as it’s the perfect resource for ingratiating younger fans to these movies while inspiring us older ones to nod with understanding.
Everything is bigger in Texas so it’s no surprise their contribution to the genre should warrant its own book. However, I was still genuinely surprised by how many of my favorites came out of there. McCormick is no stranger to this site having been featured last year in a review written by Jason Schoolcraft. Though he embraces his title of a B-movie maker, the book is top notch – loaded with interviews, stock photos, original movie posters, and enough information to inspire repeat visits. I’ve got a large collection of movie reference guides and this new gem is a worthy addition.
I particularly love the part dedicated to Terry Lofton and his film Nail Gun Massacre. Anybody close to me can tell you it’s one of my all-time favorite slashers. It’s got everything a great “bad” movie should be – hilarious acting, gratuitous nudity, and a huge body count despite some of the most implausible deaths ever put to film. When I discovered Lofton had died in 2011, I was deeply saddened because I’d always wanted to shake his hand. God bless you, Terry Lofton – after about fifty viewings of Nail Gun Massacre, I still get the biggest kick out of it.
In addition to warm waves of nostalgia, McCormick’s book also inspired me to try and hunt down many I’d somehow missed. This includes Keep My Grave Open (1977), Mongrel (1982), and Ozone! Attack of the Redneck Mutants (1986). It also had me digging into my movie collection and pulling out a few I already had but haven’t seen in a while such as Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) and Tourist Trap (1979). Any book about horror movies that makes you want to watch more horror movies gets an A+!
So why do good people like bad movies? To me, it’s a trick question. The only “bad” movies are the boring ones and that’s something the films featured in Texas Schlock could never be.