Book review: The Seduction of the Gullible by John Martin

seduction_gullible2The Seduction of the Gullible by John Martin

[From Critical Wave #34, 1994. Originally released by Procrustes Press, Seduction of the Gullible – its revised title – is now available from the Dark Side imprint, Ghoulish.]


Several years in the pipeline, through no fault of its author’s, this genuinely timely cocktail of informed journalism and film analysis finally lets one of the horror genre’s leading movie critics sink his teeth into the lies, damned lies and Tory-backed scare campaigns which placed “video nasty” in the dictionary and allowed the BBFC to effectively outlaw an entire generation of European horror movies.

Just how valuable this guide to the players and key films involved is has been underlined by the absurd scaremongering over the James Bulger case (where links with Child’s Play 3, dismissed by the police involved, continue to be drawn by parties more interested in political capital than the truth) and more recent revelations that BBFC chief James Ferman has sacked his team of 13 examiners rather than accept their pleas to liberalise the classification structure. These are dark times, but Martin’s worthy investigations offer illumination to those whose eyes are not firmly welded shut.