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Offbeat (Revised & Updated)

British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems

Think you know British cinema? Think again.

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For years there has been consensus about the merits of Britain’s ‘cult films’ — Peeping Tom, Witchfinder General, The Italian Job — but what of The Mark, Unearthly Stranger, The Strange Affair and The Squeeze? Revisionist critics wax lyrical over Get Carter and The Wicker Man, but what of Sitting Target, Quest for Love and The Black Panther? OFFBEAT redresses this imbalance by exploring Britain’s obscurities, curiosities and forgotten gems — from the buoyant leap in film production in the late fifties to the dying days of popular domestic cinema in the early eighties.

Featuring essays, interviews and in-depth reviews, OFFBEAT provides an exhaustive, enlightening and entertaining guide through a host of neglected cinematic trends and episodes, including:

  • The last great British B-movies
  • ‘Anti-swinging sixties’ films
  • Sexploitation — from Yellow Teddy Bears to Emmanuelle in Soho
  • The British rock ‘n roll movie
  • CIA-funded British cartoons
  • Asylums in British cinema
  • The Children’s Film Foundation
  • The demise of the short as supporting feature
  • Val Guest, Sidney Hayers and the forgotten journeyman of British film
  • Swashbucklers, crime thrillers and other non-horror Hammers


Now updated with more than 150 pages of new reviews and essays, featuring:

  • The Beatles in Colour!
  • The History of the AA Certificate
  • Ken Russell’s 1980s Films
  • Iris Murdoch’s A Severed Head
  • Curating Offbeat films in the Digital Age


And much more!

Contributors:

Darrell Buxton, Sam Dunn, Mark Goodall, Graeme Hobbs, Peter Hoskin, David Hyman, Martin Jones, David Kerekes, Sarah Morgan, Kim Newman, James Oliver, Gary Ramsay, David Slater, David Sutton, Andrew Syers, Phil Tonge, Julian Upton, Jennifer Wallis

Specifications Paperback

Title: OFFBEAT
Subtitle: British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems (Revised & Updated)
Editor: Julian Upton
ISBN: 978-1-909394-93-3
Street Date: April 7, 2022
Category: Film
Retail Price: UK £22.99 / US $37.95
Binding: Paperback
Size: 216mm x 140mm
Pages: 604 
Illos: 400 B&W stills and ads

Special Edition

As the trade paperback, except the special hardback edition comes with an additional 16 colour plates.  

This special NO-ISBN hardback is exclusive to this website. Because it carries No ISBN number, this edition of the book is off the grid in as much as it doesn’t appear on any database, in any library, cannot be ordered through mainstream bookshops or online retailers. 

 

Press
Christopher Fowler
Christopher FowlerThe Independent
Read More
“You have to love OFFBEAT, Julian Upton’s perverse guide to British cinema’s strangest films because it disinters Peter Cushing’s ghastly low-point Corruption and lists The Impersonator, in which (spoiler alert) the killer is a pantomime dame. Behind You!“
Adrian Smith
Adrian SmithCinema Retro
Read More
“Every so often a book comes my way that I wish I had written. OFFBEAT is one such title...“
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Andrew Syers

ANDREW SYERS is author of the novel Long Distance Sleepwalker (2010) and the play You’ve Been a Wonderful Audience (2008). longdistancesleepwalker.blogspot.com

Darrell Buxton

DARRELL BUXTON is the editor of The Shrieking Sixties: British Horror Films 1960–1969 (2010). He is also a freelance lecturer, resident ‘cult movie historian’ at Derby’s Quad arts centre, and was a frequent contributor to the UK fanzines Samhain, Giallo Pages and We Belong Dead.

David Hyman

DAVID HYMAN was born in London. He has enjoyed watching films from an early age and often thinks some short films are more memorable than the main features they supported. He is currently employed as an Examiner at the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification).

David Kerekes

DAVID KEREKES co-founded Headpress and its imprint Oil On Water Press. He is author of Mezzogiorno (2012) and Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jörg Buttgereit (1994), co-author of Killing for Culture: An Illustrated History of Death Film from Mondo to Snuff (1994 & 2012) and See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy (2001) and has written extensively on popular culture.

David Slater

DAVID SLATER co-founded Headpress. He has worked as a technician in the electronics and engineering industries, co-authored Killing for Culture (1994 & 2016) and See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy (2000) and has written several articles. His interests include movies, books, open country and forteana.

David Sutton

DAVID SUTTON is editor of Fortean Times magazine, and has written on film for numerous publications. He has a PhD in Film Studies, has lectured on British cinema history and is the author of A Chorus of Raspberries: British Comedy Films 1929–39 (2000). He divides his time between London and the Kent coast.

Gary Ramsay

GARY RAMSAY is a freelance journalist and editor. He has contributed to numerous film and music publications including Creeping Flesh, interviewed cult figures such as Tura Satana and Mike Mignola and is currently writing the book Sonic Celluloid — film and music soundtracks.

Graeme Hobbs

GRAEME HOBBS lives in the Welsh borders, where he writes and podcasts on film for MovieMail and makes eclectic chapbooks in his Colva Books series. A regular correspondent for Vertigo and Artesian, a collection of his writing entitled Let Yourself Be Broken, and which is far happier than it sounds, is currently in preparation.

James Oliver

JAMES OLIVER has written for Sight & Sound, Total Film, The Idler and many other less acclaimed (and, indeed, less salubrious) publications.

Jennifer Wallis

JENNIFER WALLIS is a historian and lecturer based in the UK. Her recent publications include the edited volume Fight Your Own War: Power Electronics and Noise Culture (Headpress, 2016) and ‘Small screen shockers: Rape-revenge narratives in the made-for-TV movie’ in Julian Petley and Xavier Mendik (eds), Shocking Cinema of the 70s (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Julian Upton

JULIAN UPTON has written on US and British film for publications such as Filmfax, Bright Lights and the Journal of British Cinema and Television. He is the author/editor of the Headpress books Fallen Stars and Offbeat: British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems. He lives in Leicestershire, UK.

Kim Newman

KIM NEWMAN is a critic, author and broadcaster. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines. His books about film include Nightmare Movies and Kim Newman’s Video Dungeon. His fiction includes the Anno Dracula series, The Hound of the D’Urbervilles and An English Ghost Story. He has written for television (Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema), radio (Afternoon Theatre: Cry-Babies), comics (Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland) and the theatre (The Hallowe’en Sessions), and directed a tiny film (Missing Girl). His latest novel is Something More Than Night (Titan Books). His web-site is at www.johnnyalucard.com. He is on Twitter as @AnnoDracula.

Mark Goodall

MARK GOODALL is an academic who teaches and writes about film and music. He is also a musician and composer, filmmaker and has worked as a journalist, bookseller, community artist, printer and cheesemonger.

Martin Jones

MARTIN JONES is the editor of Bedabbled! British Horror and Cult Cinema. He is also the author of Psychedelic Decadence: Sex Drugs Low-art in Sixties and Seventies Britain (Headpress, 2001) and editor of Lovers Buggers & Thieves (Headpress, 2005).

Peter Hoskin

PETER HOSKIN has written for — among others — the Times, the Daily Beast, the Telegraph, the Paris Review, and the Spectator, where he ran the daily political blog, Coffee House, from 2008–12. He also co-authored The Spectator’s 50 Essential Films with former editor Matthew d’Ancona.

Phil Tonge

PHIL TONGE is a cartoonist, writer and painter born and raised in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. His work has meandered through a multitude of so-called ‘outsider’ publications from the 1980s to the present day. He currently lives in Nottingham and has ‘plans’ but no money or internet presence.

Sam Dunn

SAM DUNN is head of video publishing at the British Film Institute (BFI), and was previously general manager at Tartan Video. A champion of little-seen and under-appreciated British films, he has contributed writings to Sight & Sound and is responsible for shaping the cultural direction of the BFI’s internationally acclaimed DVD and Blu-ray label.

Sarah Morgan

SARAH MORGAN is a TV Editorial Writer at PA Media’s northern HQ in East Yorkshire. She’s also a film and book reviewer for the On Yorkshire website and has penned articles for Bedabbled! British Horror and Cult Cinema. She has a degree in Fine Art and has completed a postgraduate course in Film Journalism at the BFI. When not watching obscure movies, she can usually be found supporting Sheffield Wednesday.