BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951-1967” by Mike Bogue

There have been so many genre movie guides out there and to be honest, I didn’t think anything could be done that was new and exciting. I was very glad to be proven wrong with the book “Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951-1967,” published by McFarland. McFarland has had a long history of excellent movie guides, particularly those in the horror and science fiction genre, and this one promised to rate among the best! This book was not only fun to read but to review as well.


This guide stands out to me because it is specific in its subject matter, that of atomic films. Author Mike Bogue, a regular contributor the magazines such as G-FAN and Scary Monsters, has a love for these types of films and upon reading this book, made me want to revisit many of the films covered here. For me it is nice to see a fresh take on these films, sometimes opening my eyes to things I had not thought of before.


Personally I have always been a huge fan of science fiction films of the 50’s so, when I found out about this book, I knew it was something I had to had. Of course, you never know what you are going to get so you do take a risk, especially with pricier titles. This book did not disappoint. Bogue’s excitement and love of these films is reflected in each and every review. As I read each review I found myself pulling many of these very films out of my movie collection to be watched again, looking to see the things he sees in a whole new light. I have always had an appreciation for these films and this book helped to make me appreciate them even more.


The book is broken down into three categories; Mutants, Monsters and Mushroom Clouds. Each film then gives information such as credits, cast and basic film info (such as black and white or color, length, etc.). Then a detailed synopsis is given, explaining why it falls into the realm of atomic cinema. One of my favorite parts of the book is that it goes beyond American films and includes Japanese movies, especially those by Toho. What makes it interesting is that it shows two sides of a coin since the United States is the only country to actually have dropped atomic bombs and Japan was the recipient.


This really is a great book all around and it is highly recommended. The cover is beautiful and it is a fun read. To order your own copy please click on the image below. Don’t forget to read the other blogs in my BASEMENT BOOK SHELF series.

~David Albaugh

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