KING OF THE Bs: An Anthology of Film History and Criticism by Todd & Charles Flynn -- Eds. McCarthy

KING OF THE Bs: An Anthology of Film History and Criticism

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

B""-films were those cheaply made, unpolished little genre pictures which accompanied the main features during the period 1935-1955 when audiences expected to see a new and different double-feature performance at their local theatres, week in and week out. The falling-off of film attendance and the subsequent decline of the double-feature system all contributed to the demise of the ""B""-film proper. But out of the ashes of the original ""Bs"" there soon arose a new form of cheapo production, whose natural habitat was the drive-in, the suburbs, and the sticks. Still with us today (and still doing well), the ""exploitation film"" formed a category which successively generated cycles ranging from ""rock,"" ""wild youth,"" and bikini-beach-surfing pictures to soft-core porno, horror and ""black pride"" mini-epics. Taking as its subject both the original ""Bs"" and the more recent ""exploitation"" films this marvelous collection of articles and interviews provides a fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyable, introduction to the whole range of ""schlock/kitsch/hack movies"" spawned by the American industry over the past forty years. Concerned neither with camp nor with trivia-for-its-own-sake, the editors have set out ""to resurrect forgotten artists without being obscurantist; to celebrate little glories in minor movies without being disproportionate; to praise odd genres and artists without being perverse."" King of the Bs is, thus, an excavation into the depths of disreputability, populated by the likes of Joe (""Know the market, screw the critics"") Solomon, Herschell (Two Thousand Maniacs, Monster-A-Go-Go!) Lewis and Joseph (Bad Man of Deadwood) Kane, director of no less than one hundred and nine films for Republic Studios. To top it all off there is an invaluable filmography, listing credits for more than three hundred directors (including Bretaigne Windust, H. Bruce Humberstone and Ozzie Nelson). Great dreck!

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Dutton