Best Film Book - The Phantom's Annual "B"wards 2017
Larry Cohen: The Stuff of Gods and Monsters traces the extraordinary career of the legendary writer/producer/director responsible for such cult and classic films as Black Caesar, It's Alive, God Told Me To, The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, Q - The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, Maniac Cop, and Phone Booth. Creator of some of the most diverse and thematically rich genre films that have been made in American independent cinema, Cohen's oeuvre has embraced horror, science fiction, thrillers, Westerns, comedies, the biographical film, and blaxploitation gangster movies. At turns provocative, disturbing, and humorous, his distinctly personal works in film, television, and theater are distinguished by their ferocious intelligence, biting satire, and powerful emotionalism. Over the course of 28 chapters, this in-depth career-length interview is an entertaining, enlightening, and gripping account of the singular career of a true American original.
"For those of us who love the works of Larry Cohen, this is the most revealing and informative material ever published about him. And if by some chance you don't know about Larry's remarkable career, take this opportunity to learn how one maverick writer/director/producer has been able to survive and flourish in the ever changing madhouse of show biz."
-- Joe Dante, director of The Howling, Gremlins and The 'Burbs
"Basically a 600-page Q&A followed by extensive notes and appendices, Larry Cohen delivers the longtime maverick moviemaker’s story straight from the auteur’s mouth. Following a recounting of Cohen’s youth, early success as an episodic TV writer, and subsequent work as a big screen scenarist, Cohen and Doyle explore the writer/director’s prolific output film by film, from his provocative 1970 racial fable, Bone, and subsequent Blaxploitation fare (Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem), through such subversive scare classics as the It’s Alive trilogy, Q:The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, and the Maniac Cop series, up to his 2005 Masters of Horror episode, “Pick Me Up.” Having interviewed the auteur during his Phone Booth and Cellular thriller resurgence (VS #48), we can attest to the filmmaker’s storytelling skills, on more than ample display in this massive volume. Cohen-heads will not want to miss."
"This amazing, 702-page book is essentially one gigantic interview conducted over a three year period, covering every niche of Larry Cohen's life, beginning with his Washington Heights childhood, sneaking into the NBC Studios, early television writing gigs, and his fondness for tackling controversial themes. Containing dozens of photos from Larry's personal collection and over 100 pages of footnotes and credits, this is an absorbing, in-depth celebration of Cohen's unique brand of guerilla filmmaking."
- Shock Cinema