End of the Summer Reading

Summer is coming to an end and I thought I’d make mention of a couple of new and upcoming book releases that I’m looking forward to reading.

John Phillip Law: Diabolik Angel

First up is John Phillip Law: Diabolik Angel written by Carlos Aguilar and his wife Anita Haas. They worked closely with John Phillip Law on the book before his unfortunate death this summer and it promises to be one of the most interesting biographies of the year. Carlos has written many wonderful books that I admire on directors like Sergio Leone and Jess Franco. He was kind enough to send me some information about his latest book as well as a wonderful picture of himself and his wife with John Phllip Law so that I could share it with my readers.

John Phillip Law in Hollywood
Above: Carlos Aguilar, Anita Haas and John Phillip Law.

Here’s a brief blurb about the book from the back cover that should grab your attention:

“John Phillip Law is one of the most cosmopolitan and charismatic actors of his generation. He is best remembered for his fantasy cult films Barbarella, Danger: Diabolik and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, the European western Death Rides a Horse, and the American classic The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! and Von Richthofen and Brown. But apart from that, his novelesque personal and artistic journey bears a unique intercontinental link between diverse phenomena, both inside and outside cinema: from Hollywood in the 50s to Broadway in the 60s; love affairs with actresses Faye Dunaway, Barbara Parkins, Marisa Mell and Barbara Bouchet; the world of the hippies, with its free love and drugs; the Playboy empire; la dolce vita in Rome, Almeria of the spaghetti westerns and European co-productions of all kinds; Spain’s dictatorship, the beginning of the West’s fascination with martial arts, Asia’s economic awakening and Dracula in the theatre. John Phillip Law has, in one way or another, been part of all these phenomena. This extensive interview, in which he shares his memories with straightforward honesty, is accompanied by an exceptional collection of photos. An extraordinary work about an extraordinary life.”

At the moment John Phillip Law: Diabolik Angel is only available from SciFiworld in Spain but hopefully this bilingual book will get a wider release in the future.

Behind the Pink Curtain book

Another interesting upcoming release is Midnight Eye contributor Jasper Sharp’s new book Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema. According to the publishers at FAB Press it’s based on extensive interviews with many of the leading figures in the field and offers to take readers on “a wild joy ride deep into the hinterlands of Japanese culture, society and radical politics.”

From the FAB Press website:

“Just how close are the links between the arthouse and the grindhouse in Japan? Read about the ins and outs of Japanese censorship from the wartime onwards, and how topless deep sea diving girls came to woo local audiences in the ’50s. Learn how a TV nature documentary maker ended up helming nude female Tarzan movies, and how ’60s mavericks Kôji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi met up with John and Yoko at Cannes while on the way to the Golan Heights to make a film about Palestinian revolutionaries. How Deep Throat’s Harry Reems wound up in Tokyo starring in a zany sex comedy about a penis transplant gone awry, and how one of Japan’s most famous literary figures ended up the subject of the country’s first gay porno movie. How one of Nikkatsu’s leading directors went it alone to make a film about powerboat racing and ended up in the bad books of the yakuza, and how the anti-Bush sex farce Horny Home Tutor: Teacher’s Love Juice came to be re-titled as The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai and became one of the most talked-about Japanese films of recent years, playing at over twenty international film festivals.”

Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema is available from Amazon.

The Legend of Time Tunnel book

Last but not least, is Marcelo Abeal’s new book The Legend of Time Tunnel which is a tribute to Irwin Allen’s terrific television series of the same name. Abeal’s book includes detailed chapters on all the main actors involved with the production such as Robert Colbert, James Darren, Lee Meriwether, Whit Bissell, John Zaremba, Sam Groom and Wesley Laus as well as Irwin Allen himself. The book also boasts a special introduction by Robert Colbert, an episode guide and detailed information about the stunts performed on the show. I briefly wrote about Irwin Allen’s contributions to television last year and I’m happy to see that his television work is getting more attention.

Marcelo Abeal is an Argentinian actor and professional stuntman himself and his book seems to be a limited release. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy please email Bob Frassinetti at: admin@frassinetti.com and tell him I sent you!

14 thoughts on “End of the Summer Reading

  1. Welcome back! I’m currently reading a not new bood, Outlaw Masters of the Japanese Film by Chris D. I might be writing to you about those films available to be seen on DVD that you may be more familiar with than I am, to see if you are as enthusiastic about certain films or filmmakers touted by Mr. D.

  2. Looks great. I hadn’t checked your blog in awhile. Hope your summer has been going well. Mine has been a nightmare. Long story. I’ve been reading a lot of men’s action/adventure novels from the 60’s and 70’s.

  3. Go Time Tunnel! I love Allen’s stuff from the sixties. If I had the money to get all of his shows on DVD I would. But for now I only buy cheap twofers and stuff from TCM that goes for around 7 bucks. Maybe Netflix has them. Anyway, thanks for the heads up on reliving my childhood.

  4. Peter – Thanks! Hopefully I’ll be updating a little more regularly from now on. Outlaw Masters is a great book and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Please feel free to email me and I’d be happy to offer recommendations any time.

    Keith – Hi Keith! Sorry you’re having a rough summer. Obviously mine hasn’t been a walk in the park either but things are really looking up at the moment. Take care and I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    Johnathan – I actually thought of you when I was writing about the new Time Tunnel book so I’m not surprised it caught your eye. 😉 Netflix does have the show on DVD for rent since I watched all the episodes last year and really enjoyed them.

  5. Ah, the return of our Fearless Leaderette!

    Say was that weighty tome from the Boodlian Liberry?

    Irwin Allen’s sci-fi was so retro, even then – it was the kind of old-timey space opera-ish stuff “Star Wars” was made of. Half the time I expected Sleestaks to wander into the frame – the production values were sometimes good, sometimes bad – but I loved Time Tunnel! Thanks for the tip on the Pinks and the late, lamented Mr. Law, too.

  6. Don’t you love books? Isn’t it astonishing that there are millions of people in this country with high school and even college educations who would never buy a book without the word “diet” in the title?

  7. I split the difference and put stickers that say “Diet” on the covers of all of my books. I have a dog-eared copy of “Diet Naked Lunch” that remains pretty tasty.

    Seriously, though, I’m totally drooling over all of these. Hopefully I’ll pull together the cash to get at least a couple.

  8. Vanwell – I find it incredibly amusing that you referenced Bodleian. I’m in the process of going back to school after dropping out many years ago and my main goal is to get into an English program that will allow me to study at Oxford for a summer. p.s. Sleestaks scare me!

    Richard – Indeed I do love books. Too much for my own good sometimes. I wish what you said wasn’t true but I fear Americans are getting dumber every year.

    Neil – Ha! I’m glad my recommendations were useful. There’s a lot of good books getting released all the time and I have a hard time keeping up with the all but I had mention these.

  9. Your blog is always thoroughly marvelous, and one of my utmost faves. John Phillip Law was incredibly enjoyable to watch – and always will be. And Time Tunnel – I love it! Thanks for sharing with us. I always learn something new here.

  10. Richard – It’s a shame that those diet books are utterly worthless. I wish I could find a simple solution to inherited genes and that boring activity known as exercise.

    Kevin – Thanks Kevin and I hope you get the opportunity to read them!

  11. Good to see you back, and thanks for the info on the books.I share your hope that the John Phillip Law book gets a wider release, and will certainly put Behind The Pink Curtain on my Xmas wish list. It’s an area of cinema I knew little about until I began reading your blog. The guys at Fab Press have always put their money and sweat behind winners and I’m sure this will be another success story.

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