Video Spinegrinder (2015)

9781909394063-Spinegrinder_600

I watch a lot of movies. On a year basis I watch over 500 films. By most people’s standards, that’s a lotta films. Honestly I’m often embarrassed when asked how many films I watch in a year. Sometimes it even depresses me a bit when i start to add up the hours and realize what other accomplishments I could have achieved using that time. By author Clive Davies standards, that’s pathetic.

Video Spinegrinder is a massive tome dedicated to all kinds of films. Think of it as a modern Psychotronic Video guide. This thing is so massive that it actually maxed out Headpress’ printing capabilities and about 800 reviews had to be excised due to that limitation. I’d say it looks like a phone book but it’s thicker than that. It’s over 1,000 pages and contains over 7,200 reviews. That is a staggering amount of reviews. To put it in context, it would take me close to 15 years to watch and review that many films. That is extreme dedication.

Davies, who hails from the U.K., moved to Japan in ’99 and began watching hordes of films, including super rare Japanese flicks which are sprinkled throughout the book. The book contains horror, sci-fi, action, and just about any other genre type flick you can think of. It spans all eras from silent right up to today. The reviews are arranged alphabetically which makes for some very odd reading. You’ll find a giallo on the same page as a kids film which is on the same page as a noir from the 40s for example. It truly gives equal footing to every film by ramming them all together. Each review contains the film’s name, date of release, other names for the film, who directed it , the country of origin, and other misc information. Each review is anywhere from one long sentence to several sentences but none are exhaustive. They couldn’t be. The book is already huge. The economy of words used do not hurt the reviews though. They are still clear if very concise. We know if he liked it or not and why. Just like a good exploitation film, the reviews are quick and dirty and never boring.

Video Spinegrinder belongs on your shelf right next to your Psychotronic Video Guide and your copy of Nightmare U.S.A. and World Gone Wild. That is, if you can find room for it.

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  • Clive Davies says:

    Thanks for the great write-up, much appreciated. Believe me, i can fully relate to the depression that comes with contemplating how much time i’ve wasted watchig shite! By the way, the book is not called Video Spinegrinder (although i understand why the cover layout would lead you to believe that); it’s just Spinegrinder.