The Austin Chronicle

Holiday Gift Guide: Film Fan

From up on the screen to under the tree

By Richard Whittaker, Marc Savlov, and Tucker Whatley, December 8, 2017, Screens

The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History

Brighten up your otherwise dismal existence with a copy of Stephen Jones' The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History. Complete with a foreword by John Landis and contributions from horror aficionados Kim Newman, David J. Schow, and Ramsey Campbell, this sprightly yet eldritch tome features over 600 rare artworks from the Thirties through the Nineties, including work by Dave McKean, the recently departed Basil Gogos of Famous Monsters infamy, and movie poster icon Drew Struzan (Star Wars, Blade Runner). Proof at last that not all coffeetable books are overpriced collections of cute baby animal photos. – Marc Savlov

Austin Film Tours

Alright, alright, alright. Who wants to see the iconic shooting locations for Dazed and Confused or Office Space, all from the comfort of a chauffeur-driven tour bus, with the voice of Sean Young retelling the tales of these pivotal Austin films? Or for the truly bold, try seven hours with the Sawyer family, as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre tour covers locations from the entire series, from the gas station in Tobe Hooper's classic to the Hewitt house from 2006's Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. While taking a hiatus for the holidays, these guys will be coming back strong in January with a Friday Night Lights tour. – Richard Whittaker

Horror Holiday Sweaters

Prices vary,
'Tis the season for horrific holiday sweaters even here in snowless Austin. We're not talking about Uncle Ted's red, white, and blue MAGA monstrosity with the Demander-in-Chief's Orangina image embroidered on the back, either. Film fans with a twisted nerve and an uncontrollable urge to freak out the rest of the family can hit up this collection of festively horror-themed jumpers. Why not celebrate Christmas Eve by watching Christmas Evil while sporting a nifty "Gimme some sugar, baby" Evil Dead pullover, complete with a tastefully blood-drenched chain saw emblazoned on the front. "Saw is family," after all. Designs range from Sleepaway Camp to Alien and more, and nothing says "I am a sadistic person who enjoys eating small children" like a crimson Krampus turtleneck. – M.S.

Support Your Local Filmmakers

2017 was a bumper year for movies by Austin-based directors arriving on DVD and Blu-ray. Honorary Austinite Terrence Malick headlined SXSW with star-studded music drama Song to Song (Broad Green Pictures, $15.99), but if you're feeling a little bit country, try Honky Tonk Heaven: The Legend of the Broken Spoke ($20, Prison drama Shot Caller (Lionsgate, $21.99) should scare you away from Santa's naughty list. For more uncanny frights, there's PTSD shocker Camera Obscura (Chiller Films $17.99), sleep terror Dead Awake (Film Rise, $19.99), and Latino eco-thriller Harbinger (Tomcat, $8.99). Meanwhile, the first film from the king of Texas horror finally comes home with the long-awaited release of Tobe Hooper's time-capsule debut Eggshells (UT Press, $19.99). Can't pick one title? Maybe join the Austin Film Society ( Starting at $30 a year, you can show your love for moviemakers in the ATX. – R.W.

AGFA Blu-ray Releases

Prices vary,
Austin-based AGFA has worked tirelessly since 2009 to save 35mm exploitation film prints from meeting their demise in landfills or at the bottom of the ocean. With their new 4K film scanner, AGFA can now distribute their rarest, most endangered, and weirdest material via Blu-ray in perfect quality, so you can blow the mind of the cinephile in your life with oddities like The Violent Years, Effects, and The Zodiac Killer (a film created specifically to catch the real serial killer!). – Tucker Whatley

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