Book Reviews

DARK STARS RISING

By • Jul 31st, 2012 •

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The first thing you notice with this completely unique and wonderful book is the craftsmanship and love that has gone into designing this collection of interviews, twenty-seven in all. The book is overwhelming in the material that collides on every page – there is not a blank space to be found anywhere in the entire work. Shade Rupe is a man who loves cinema very deeply and this is in evidence on every single page of this book. In the entire 568 pages of ‘Dark Stars Rising’ you get the sense that this was created by the light of a 42nd street grindhouse cinema of which Shade Rupe was the ticket-taker.

The collection of interviews runs the gamut of transgressive Personalities, many of whom I knew as well. There is Udo Kier, always delightful and very naughty when given a chance, and Shade does just that, of course!. The fantastic Tura Satana reveals a diffrerent side of herself to Shade and this is his forte – the abilty not to judge his subjects but to let them just be who they are. I am so impressed with his knowledge and respect for his subjects. Divine is seen, perhaps for the last time, as a very sweet man who happens to impersonate the world’s most dangerous drag queen—at least on film. The great Jodorowsky grants Shade an audience and we are the better for having read it.

Richard Stanley (whom I had the great pleasure of meeting at Barbara Steele’s one afternoon when he talked her into acting in his version of THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU, only to have it taken away after they did their work together) reveals his craft in an insightful way, just for our Shade.

The jacket and the occult feel of the book is almost Lovecraftian in concept and execution. It is a book for those who like their cinema raw and without apology. I must make the comment now that this collection is not for everyone: it is a serious book for those who wish to know more about the fringe artists as well as the cult figures of a cinema filled with contradictions.

This is perhaps the first collection drawn from the Apocalyptic culture we now inhabit. Its inventiveness and daring is a wonderful treat to the senses. I am the richer for Shade Rupe having put it together. I can only hope we will see more of his work in the very near future.

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