100 books like Mario Bava

By Tim Lucas,

Here are 100 books that Mario Bava fans have personally recommended if you like Mario Bava. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Vampire Cinema

Leon Hunt Author Of Mario Bava: The Artisan as Italian Horror Auteur

From my list on European horror films.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television with a particular passion for the horror genre – the first film books I ever read were about Horror. I'm also a confirmed Italophile. I became fascinated by Mario Bava – and later, Italian horror more broadly – before I saw his films from accounts and images of them in books and magazines. The films weren’t easy to see before video, DVD/blu-ray or streaming, and so I was on a mission over time to track them all down. This is how cult reputations often develop – from obscurity to re-evaluation – and that was one of the things I wanted to address in my book. 

Leon's book list on European horror films

Leon Hunt Why did Leon love this book?

This is one of the first books to introduce me to Horror films beyond Britain and the US – it might even have been where I first heard Mario Bava’s name alongside directors like Jess Franco and Jean Rollin.

It obviously looks at vampire films more broadly but introduced me to a body of films I wanted to know more about. It’s also a beautifully illustrated and intelligent book, essential reading for anyone interested in vampires. 

By David Pirie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Vampire Cinema as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Horror

Leon Hunt Author Of Mario Bava: The Artisan as Italian Horror Auteur

From my list on European horror films.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television with a particular passion for the horror genre – the first film books I ever read were about Horror. I'm also a confirmed Italophile. I became fascinated by Mario Bava – and later, Italian horror more broadly – before I saw his films from accounts and images of them in books and magazines. The films weren’t easy to see before video, DVD/blu-ray or streaming, and so I was on a mission over time to track them all down. This is how cult reputations often develop – from obscurity to re-evaluation – and that was one of the things I wanted to address in my book. 

Leon's book list on European horror films

Leon Hunt Why did Leon love this book?

This is possibly the film book I flick through more than any other, usually to check a review. 

Again, it covers the Horror genre broadly (year by year) but introduced me to a lot more European entries that I had never heard of, as well as horror films from Japan and other countries. I disagree with many of the critical opinions in the book but that doesn’t make them any less interesting.  

By Phil Hardy (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Horror as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the best single volume book on the horror film, the definitive reference work devoted to the subject. It contains entries on every movie even remotely connected to the genre, whether it is a 19-century silent, a grade "Z" schlocker, or an "art" film by the likes of Fritz Lang or Ingmar Bergman. Each entry contains a full list of credits and a descriptive review. Hardy writes about horror movies with such enthusiasm and intelligence that you feel you're getting the low down on the genre from a sincere and learned friend.


Book cover of Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema

Leon Hunt Author Of Mario Bava: The Artisan as Italian Horror Auteur

From my list on European horror films.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television with a particular passion for the horror genre – the first film books I ever read were about Horror. I'm also a confirmed Italophile. I became fascinated by Mario Bava – and later, Italian horror more broadly – before I saw his films from accounts and images of them in books and magazines. The films weren’t easy to see before video, DVD/blu-ray or streaming, and so I was on a mission over time to track them all down. This is how cult reputations often develop – from obscurity to re-evaluation – and that was one of the things I wanted to address in my book. 

Leon's book list on European horror films

Leon Hunt Why did Leon love this book?

An engagingly written, erudite, and intelligent critical history of horror films made in Europe from silent cinema to the modern day.

Rigby is one of the best scholars of the horror genre and gives closer critical attention to some of the classics produced in Italy, France, Spain, and Germany. You may not agree with all of his critical opinions, but his expertise is never in doubt. 

By Jonathan Rigby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Euro Gothic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Euro Gothic is the most extensive survey of Continental horror cinema ever published. From the Expressionist reveries of the Weimar Republic to the transgressive nightmares smuggled past the Franco regime, via surrealist Gallic fever-dreams and psychedelic shockers from Cinecitta, Jonathan Rigby applies his incisive scrutiny to the most important European horror films, ranging from the early years of the 20th century to the video revolution of the 1980s.


Book cover of Italian Giallo in Film and Television: A Critical History

Leon Hunt Author Of Mario Bava: The Artisan as Italian Horror Auteur

From my list on European horror films.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television with a particular passion for the horror genre – the first film books I ever read were about Horror. I'm also a confirmed Italophile. I became fascinated by Mario Bava – and later, Italian horror more broadly – before I saw his films from accounts and images of them in books and magazines. The films weren’t easy to see before video, DVD/blu-ray or streaming, and so I was on a mission over time to track them all down. This is how cult reputations often develop – from obscurity to re-evaluation – and that was one of the things I wanted to address in my book. 

Leon's book list on European horror films

Leon Hunt Why did Leon love this book?

Curti is an Italian film critic who also writes in English and brings a singular expertise to Italian genre cinema.

The giallo, the Italian murder mystery, isn’t technically Horror but often incorporates it in gory murder scenes. A lot has been written about the genre, but there has never been a more thorough account than this one, as close to definitive as one might get, and it will certainly broaden your understanding of the giallo as well as introducing you to films and TV shows you might not have heard of before. 

By Roberto Curti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Italian Giallo in Film and Television as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since the release in 1929 of a popular book series with bright yellow covers, the Italian word giallo (yellow) has come to define a whole spectrum of mystery and detective fiction and films. Although most English speakers associate the term giallo with the violent and erotic thrillers popular in the 1960s and 1970s from directors like Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and others, the term encompasses a wide range of Italian media such as mysteries, thrillers and detective stories-even comedies and political pamphlets. As films like Blood and Black Lace (1964) and Deep Red (1975) have received international acclaim,…


Book cover of The World of Star Trek

Jill Sherwin Author Of Quotable Star Trek

From my list on behind the scenes of TV series.

Why am I passionate about this?

In a life that has thus far led from reader and fan to writers’ assistant to author and journalist to television story writer to editor, these are the books that helped define my passions for storytelling worlds as well as the path of my career and informed me along the way. 

Jill's book list on behind the scenes of TV series

Jill Sherwin Why did Jill love this book?

David Gerrold had a lot to say about the experience of writing his first episode of television in The Trouble With Tribbles. But that wasn’t all the insight he had behind the scenes of the Star Trek series. So he wrote another entire book about the show and the fandom that adopted it. Once again filled with wit and wisecracks, this book is another must-have for fans of the Original Series. At the time it came out, it was a book about a show that had only just begun to make its mark on popular culture. So the production and studio “machine” was not yet in control of what could and couldn’t be said about the property. Another raw and fascinating book by someone who was actually in the room where it happened. And one that made my entry into Star Trek fandom more understandable.

By David Gerrold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of Star Trek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The World of Star Trek, David Gerrold opens up dialogue on the people, places, and events that made Star Trek one of the most popular series ever. Gerrold discusses what was successful and what wasn't, offering personal interviews with the series' legendary stars and dissecting the trends that developed throughout the seasons.

The complete inside story of what happened behind the scenes of the Star Trek universe, from scriptwriters' memos to special effects and more, The World of Star Trek is the companion all Trekkies need for the most all-encompassing breakdown and analysis of Star Trek.


Book cover of The Immediate Experience: Movies, Comics, Theatre, and Other Aspects of Popular Culture

David Mikics Author Of Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker

From my list on the movies.

Why am I passionate about this?

It all goes back to growing up in the 1970s, when PBS would show the same handful of classic foreign movies over and over—Bergman, Truffaut, Fellini. And there was the rest of TV, too, where I discovered John Ford, Orson Welles, Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and much more. On the late late show, you could usually find Casablanca. I saw Kubrick’s 2001 a few years after it came out and was knocked out by the first mainstream movie that asked its viewers to wonder—to actively speculate in awestruck fashion about what was happening on screen. The movies have always been a passion for me. The movie screen is where we dream and float away and sink within ourselves all at once. As the critic David Thomson put it, “Not even heroin or the supernatural ever went this far.”

David's book list on the movies

David Mikics Why did David love this book?

If I had to pick the two most basic, and most enthralling, essays for understanding American movies, they would be Warshow’s "The Westerner" and "The Gangster," both included in this book. Warshow, who died tragically young, also gives us the two finest pieces ever written about Chaplin, in which he argues that the flaws and stresses in Chaplin’s film art somehow make it more, not less, impressive. Add Warshow’s properly skeptical account of Soviet cinema—he is appreciative, but also aware of how Communist ideology distorted Soviet film—and you have the very best from a star among the New York intellectuals.

By Robert Warshow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Immediate Experience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection of essays, which originally appeared as a book in 1962, is virtually the complete works of an editor of Commentary magazine who died, at age 37, in 1955. Long before the rise of Cultural Studies as an academic pursuit, in the pages of the best literary magazines of the day, Robert Warshow wrote analyses of the folklore of modern life that were as sensitive and penetrating as the writings of James Agee, George Orwell, and Walter Benjamin. Some of these essays--notably "The Westerner," "The Gangster as Tragic Hero," and the pieces on the New Yorker, Mad Magazine, Arthur…


Book cover of Ghost World

Priya Huq Author Of Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin's Hijab

From my list on graphic novels that use environment as storyteller.

Why am I passionate about this?

Environmental storytelling in comics is something that I’ve always admired and want to be better at. As a cartoonist I’m always thinking of better ways to tell visual stories, because it’s fun.

Priya's book list on graphic novels that use environment as storyteller

Priya Huq Why did Priya love this book?

I don’t think I like Ghost World, but it belongs on this list. When I think of Clowes’ work I think of caricature, but the environments in Ghost World pull most of the storytelling weight. You can hear the hum of the fluorescents in the grocery store and the wind between buildings on an empty street.

By Daniel Clowes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ghost World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1998 Ignatz Award Winner, Outstanding Graphic Novel: The inspiration for the feature film and one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever.

Ghost World has become a cultural and generational touchstone, and continues to enthrall and inspire readers over a decade after its original release as a graphic novel. Originally serialized in the pages of the seminal comic book Eightball throughout the mid-1990s, this quasi-autobiographical story (the name of one of the protagonists is famously an anagram of the author's name) follows the adventures of two teenage girls, Enid and Becky, two best friends facing the prospect of growing up,…


Book cover of From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film

Bob Whalen Author Of Casablanca's Conscience

From my list on books about the best movies (for movie fans).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian, with a special interest in the 20th century. I’ve written about Freud’s Vienna, the aftermath of the First World War, strikes in the 1920s and 1930s in America’s cotton South, the plot to assassinate Hitler, and the notorious 1940s gangsters nicknamed “Murder, Inc.”. What intrigues me about the 20th century are the era’s underlying values and the shocking and violent collisions among them. In Casablanca’s Conscience, I use the great film as a lens with which to take another look at the tumultuous times just a generation ago.

Bob's book list on books about the best movies (for movie fans)

Bob Whalen Why did Bob love this book?

Kracauer was a German film critic in the Weimar years. This classic text, first published in 1947, relates the crisis of German culture in the 1920s and 1930s–which climaxed in Hitler and Nazism–to famous Weimar films, like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and M. Kracauer’s effort to track Germany’s cultural zeitgeist in the movies. This relation is not without controversy.

His book remains a fine example of the struggle to see mass psychology in the movies and the movies in the context of mass psychology. 

By Siegfried Kracauer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked From Caligari to Hitler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An essential work of the cinematic history of the Weimar Republic by a leading figure of film criticism

First published in 1947, From Caligari to Hitler remains an undisputed landmark study of the rich cinematic history of the Weimar Republic. Prominent film critic Siegfried Kracauer examines German society from 1921 to 1933, in light of such movies as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M, Metropolis, and The Blue Angel. He explores the connections among film aesthetics, the prevailing psychological state of Germans in the Weimar era, and the evolving social and political reality of the time. Kracauer makes a startling…


Book cover of Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939

Chris Yogerst Author Of The Warner Brothers

From my list on bringing Hollywood history to life in the present.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Hollywood’s Golden Age when I first watched Psycho. From there, every new film and book from or about the era has been a journey into Hollywood’s history. I got into higher education and writing because I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others as much as I enjoy the learning process itself. What interests me most about Hollywood history is how the industry has interacted with American and global history. Hollywood has always had either a front-row seat or a seat at the table of history in the making. Not always on the right side of history, but always fascinating. 

Chris' book list on bringing Hollywood history to life in the present

Chris Yogerst Why did Chris love this book?

I should first point out that Tom Doherty has been a mentor of mine for nearly a decade.

Before I met him, however, his book on Pre-Code Hollywood and censorship was pivotal for me understanding the machinations and implications of censorship. Hollywood and Hitler woke me up to the significant influence the film colony has had in both fighting fascism as well as others who turned a blind eye to it. It was Tom who sparked my interest in the relationship between Hollywood and antisemitism.

In fact, it was also Tom who first suggested I write a book on the 1941 Senate Investigation into Hollywood’s anti-Nazi films. Long story short, Hollywood and Hitler is a great book and Tom is a great scholar and even better mentor. Read all his work. 

By Thomas Doherty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Between 1933 and 1939, representations of the Nazis and the full meaning of Nazism came slowly to Hollywood, growing more ominous and distinct only as the decade wore on. Recapturing what ordinary Americans saw on the screen during the emerging Nazi threat, Thomas Doherty reclaims forgotten films, such as Hitler's Reign of Terror (1934), a pioneering anti-Nazi docudrama by Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr.; I Was a Captive of Nazi Germany (1936), a sensational true tale of "a Hollywood girl in Naziland!"; and Professor Mamlock (1938), an anti-Nazi film made by German refugees living in the Soviet Union. Doherty also recounts how…


Book cover of 1939: The Making of Six Great Films from Hollywood's Greatest Year

Thomas S. Hischak Author Of 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year

From my list on 1939 Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing books about film, theatre, and popular music since 1991 but my love of old movies goes back much further. Before VCRs, DVDs, and streaming, one could only catch these old films on television (often cut to allow for commercial time) or revival houses. Today even the more obscure movies from 1939 are attainable. Writing 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year gave me the opportunity to revisit dozens of old favorites and to see the many also-rans of that remarkable year.

Thomas' book list on 1939 Hollywood

Thomas S. Hischak Why did Thomas love this book?

Because this book concentrates on only six 1939 movies – Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Adams is able to go into much more detail about the making of each film and the critical reaction each received. I'd be hard-pressed to pick only six movies from that eventful year and movie fans will disagree with Vieira's choices somewhere down the line. But once you get past that, this book is filled with important information and plenty of trivial details that it is a great read.

By Charles F. Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1939 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Film critics and historians are virtually unanimous in considering 1939 the greatest year in the history of motion pictures. This one year produced many of the greatest films of all time, including “Gone with the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and marketed the height of the careers of such legendary stars as Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and Judy Garland.   To commemorate the 75th anniversary of this amazing year in Hollywood history, “1939: The Making of Six Great Films from Hollywood’s Greatest Year” profiles of six of the greatest films of the year:…


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