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in Karo syrup. His privileging of the political over the aesthetic also leads to some rather odd critical proclamations, such as his inclusion of Dino De Laurentiis’ KING KONG in the canon of “great re- makes” solely on the basis of its pro-environmental message, while ignoring its innumerable artistic shortcomings.


Dale Sherman’s ARMAGEDDON FILMS FAQ is more successful in offering a comprehensive over- view of its subject—in this case, films depicting the end of the world through natural disasters, human agency, alien invasion, and supernatural interven- tion. Although well-organized and demonstrating a sincere effort to be both thorough and comprehen- sive, Sherman’s emphasis on plot summary over analysis means that those already familiar with the films in question will find little of major interest, while the uninitiated will be ill-served by his habit of spoiling the ending of every film he discusses—of- ten with little justification. Written in an unpolished, joke-laden style reminiscent of 1990s-era fanzines, Sherman’s prose can occasionally come across as plodding—especially when he enumerates the similarities and differences among various cin- ematic adaptations of novels such as I AM LEG- END and WAR OF THE WORLDS. He does deserve credit, however, for having the sensitivity to treat


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topics like nuclear war and global contagion with the gravity they deserve. Dave Thompson’s DOCTOR WHO FAQ, hope- fully the nadir of the series, resembles those hastily and indifferently-written cash-in paperbacks that used to appear in every drugstore in the wake of some pop-cultural fad. Sparsely illustrated and haphazardly organized, WHO FAQ offers very little information about the show’s production, devel- opment, writers, or cast, and instead focuses on the author’s personal reminiscences and largely unsupported critical assertions. It is remarkable that a mere 250 pages printed in large font can be such a chore to negotiate, but Thompson’s prose—alter- nating between snarky and strident—calls to mind the type of unwelcome comic-store pontificator who drones on about his chosen topic, blissfully unen- cumbered by any thought for his audience’s com- prehension, let alone enjoyment. The only relief from the tedium is the perverse fascination one might find in the author’s penchant for long, tangential introductions—covering, for example, the early his- tory of the BBC and the mysteries of the sea—that abruptly end right on the verge of relevance. If you’ve ever wondered what a bad British parody of THE JOE FRANKLIN SHOW might sound like, look no further. All others are advised to steer clear.


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