The Films of Larry Buchanan

A Critical Examination

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About the Book

Films such as The Naked Witch, Zontar, The Thing From Venus and Mars Needs Women have gained large cult followings, and movies like A Bullet For Pretty Boy, Free, White and 21 and Goodbye, Norma Jean became box office hits. Still, no other independent filmmaker of the latter 20th century may elicit such a disparity of response from general movie audiences and cult film buffs alike as the late, legendary Larry Buchanan.
This study, the first serious examination of Buchanan’s body of work, addresses consistent themes such as the end of suburbia, the rebel outsider, the oppressive establishment, the curse of fame, and “creatures of destruction.” The highly political subtext found in virtually every one of the filmmaker’s projects is also explored. Chapters are devoted to more than 20 of Buchanan’s films; information on some of the unfinished, unreleased (and in at least one case), deliberately destroyed projects is offered, as well. Photographs illustrating nearly all the films are included.

About the Author(s)

Rob Craig has been writing about cult film for more than twenty years. His work has been published in such magazines as Videoscope, Screem and Horror-Wood. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Bibliographic Details

Rob Craig
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: 75 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2982-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0740-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Orphan in the Storm      5

2. Among the Missing      13

3. That’s Exploitation      20

4. The Naked Witch      32

5. Naughty Dallas      42

6. Free, White and 21 and Under Age      53

7. The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald      67

8. The Azalea Pictures      76

9. The Eye Creatures      84

10. Zontar, the Thing from Venus      96

11. Curse of the Swamp Creature      110

12. Mars Needs Women      122

13. In the Year 2889      133

14. Creature of Destruction      144

15. It’s Alive!      159

16. A Bullet for Pretty Boy      171

17. Strawberries Need Rain      177

18. Goodbye, Norma Jean      184

19. Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell      193

20. Mistress of the Apes      202

21. The Loch Ness Horror      209

22. Beyond the Doors      218

23. Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn      226

24. The Ghost of Larry B      233

Filmography      237

Chapter Notes      247

Bibliography      253

Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“impressive…first critical interpretation of this otherwise obscure director…unbelievably thorough…valuable”—Maximumrocknroll.