Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Cult Movie Stars

It's been awhile since we just grabbed a book off the shelves here at the Library to write about so let's remedy that today. Okay, let me close my eyes and spin around...then reach out and grab...CULT MOVIE STARS by Danny Peary! Whatever happened to Danny Peary, author of a number of minutely detailed books on classic movies, cult films and baseball? Anyway, this volume came as a bit of a disappointment to me when published in 1991. After three incredible and amazing volumes of CULT MOVIES, this one seemed a natural. The problem is that it is NOT as detailed as his other books, preferring instead to use its 600 plus pages to offer capsule summaries of a decidedly mixed bag of actors ranging from silent films to contemporary porn films. Thus, Marilyn Chambers ends up with nearly equal coverage to that of both Eddie Deezen and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr! Deezen, of course, is the type of star who really deserves coverage in a book like this because he was unlikely to get it anywhere else. Other true cult figures covered include Joy Bang, Michael Berryman, Bud Cort, Linnea Quigley, Laird Cregar, Sid James, Uschi Digart, Bruce Dern, Jacques Tati, Steve Reeves, Caroline Munro and yes, Linda Blair! Although they certainly fit a broader definition of the word "cult," it seems a little wasteful to me to include Brando, Nicholson, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe. And while it's nice to see a reference on the "classic" era adult stars like Sharon Mitchell, Shauna Grant, Lisa De Leeuw and John Holmes, they still seem somehow out of place here. A fascinating read but it probably works better overall as a bathroom book than a useful reference.

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