Thursday, 3 January 2013

Too Much Horror Business

As a book by a celebrity Too Much Horror Business (the title coming from a Misfits song) could easily be labelled as a cash-in based on the author’s fame. Crucially, however, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett knows his stuff and demonstrates a near lifelong interest in horror film and its assorted memorabilia.

That his interest is genuine was already confirmed, for me, by a 1987 Metallica fan magazine, which included a shot of Hammett and some of his collection as it was then.

The main difference between Hammett and you or I is, of course, one of money: via multi-million sales of Metallica albums, tickets, and merchandise Hammett has enjoyed a quarter century or so being able to afford those rarities that we cannot. He is also able to employ a fellow collector to seek stuff out.

Yet just because Hammett has more money than you or I does not mean that he comes across as in any way superior: his genuine enthusiasm is such that you could imagine giving him a call, turning up on his doorstep 30 minutes later, then shooting the shit about Nosferatu, The Bride of Frankenstein, Black Sunday, and so on for hours, as friends, on an equal footing.

Hammett’s collection is presented by time period and/or media type. There’s a heavy bias towards the classic Universal horrors of the 1930s over more recent films, with little material from the 1980s and almost nothing from the 1990s or later.

Whatever one thinks of Hammett as a guitarist or member of Metallica, the book is well worth getting for the reproductions of posters and other materials.

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