I love film. I love books. So I love film related books. Whether they are biographies, histories, or reference guides, I’ve got a stack of them and love learning about the broad and strange world of film from across the globe and across time. Rare is the book that crosses my path that doesn’t easily fit into one of aforementioned categories. Death By Umbrella – The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons by Christopher Lombardo and Jeff Kirschner is one of those anomalies.
Authors Christopher Lombardo and Jeff Kirschner are podcasters that run Really Awful Movies and run a blog of the same name. They are also unabashed horror lovers who have dug deep for this book. In a nutshell the book graphically details the bizarre weapons used in (mostly) horror movies. The more strange, the better. Films covered include big name genre titans like The Toxic Avenger, Friday the 13th, Leprechaun, Final Destination, Halloween, and others. They have also dug very deep to bring us crazy kills from movies like Homicycle, The Lift, and Dead Meat among other lesser known gems. Each passage is succinct and written to be funny which of course makes it very enjoyable to thumb through.
We all love lists when it comes to movies. The “Best” horror movies, the “goriest” horror movies, “best horror films you haven’t seen” that sort of thing and that’s what this book is. It’s a list of the most ludicrous ways characters in films have been dispatched. If you enjoy checking out those kinds of lists then this book is for you. If you want a deeper knowledge of horror including some very deep cuts, this book is for you. If you like to thumb through books, looking for the next cinematic treat to watch, this book is for you. If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis of each film, this book is not for you. We do get a succinct synopsis of each film and the scene in question. The authors layout the film and get straight into the meat of the matter making each weapon review fun, short, and clear. The book is organized by types of weapons like, around the house, kitchen nightmares, sports and recreation, tight squeezes etc. Each chapter begins with original hand drawn art followed by poster art and images from the films themselves. The book also has an introduction by the captain of weird kills, Lloyd Kaufman.
In short, Death By Umbrella – The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons, published by Bear Manor Media, delivers exactly what you want it to. It features fun writing, well researched picks, and well organized chapters featuring original art as well as images from the films. It’s a love letter to the genre we love the most, obsessively compiled into one place. It’s a fun book and one worth checking out.