January 01, 2006

Japanese and Korean Horror Film

by Jeremy Lassen

Jeremy Lassen, Borderlands' DVD buyer here.  I've been continuing to bulk out the Borderlands DVD selection, and one of the things I emphasized on my last big order was Asian horror movies.  Not the sad, tepid U.S. remakes, but the originals.  Here are just a few suggestions for some quality Asian Horror.

The obvious first suggestion is the original Japanese Ring movie, Ringu, and its sequel Ringu 2, which are now available.  Both of these films are excellent and far exceed the thrills-and-chills quotient of the U.S. versions.  For the completist, there is:  Ringu: Anthology of Terror, which features all four Japanese "Ring" films (Ringu, Rasen, Ringu 2, Ringu 0).

Another very solid Asian horror movie is the Korean knock-off of The Ring, called Ring Virus.  Obviously derivative, but in many ways it is better then Rasen and Ringu 2.  Ring Virus is worth checking out.

Speaking of Korean horror, one of the most stylish and well-done Asian horror films of the last few years is A Tale of Two Sisters, directed by Kim Jee-Woon.  Based on a traditional Korean folk tale, this movie is the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" of Asian Horror films -- a big budget, high quality film that will appeal to those who have never seen an Asian horror film before.  A Tale of Two Sisters is a great starting point for someone who wants to test the waters of this particular sub-genre.

December Bestsellers

   1)  A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin
   2)  Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
   3)  Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson
   4)  Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
   5)  Learning the World by Ken MacLeod
   6)  Accelerando by Charles Stross
   7)  Vellum by Hal Duncan (UK Edition)
   8)  The Secret Art of Dr. Suess by Theodore Geisel
   9)  Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link
  10)  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

   1)  A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
   2)  The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
   3)  The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
   4)  Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
   5)  Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
   6)  Newton's Wake by Ken MacLeod
   7)  Forty Signs Of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson
   8)  Coyote Rising by Allen Steele
   9)  Witches of Karres by James Schmitz
  10)  Flash by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Trade Paperbacks
   1)  The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
   2)  The Wizard by Gene Wolfe
   3)  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
   4)  Alone with the Horrors by Ramsey Campbell
   5)  TIE - When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
                     Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Other Bindings (Oversized, Undersized, etc.):
   1) Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir by Graham Roumieu
   2) Wizardology by Douglas A. Steer
   3) Wormwood Literature of the Fantastic vol. 5, edited by Mark Valentine

Happy New Year

by Alan Beatts

Happy New Year, everyone. I'm lucky enough that the first part of this column hasn't changed much in the past seven years. 2005 was a good year for Borderlands, the staff and me personally. Everyone is healthy and happy. Business has been strong and our sales are up once again. We've made a few changes around the shop (though, regrettably a number of the suggestions that you made last year have yet to be put into place -- believe me, I'm not ignoring them, I'm just slow). One of the most recent changes has been a big reorganization of the shelves at the back of the store. Everything is still pretty much in the same place, but the shelves have been rearranged. Everyone seems to think that it looks much nicer plus the new arrangement leaves more room for browsing and our book club meetings.

As always, none of the good things that happened last year would have been possible without two groups of wonderful people. First, my staff -- Jude, Jeremy, Claud, Cary, Francis, and Heather together make up the best staff that any business owner could ask for and more than that, they are the finest group of people I've ever had the pleasure to know. Why they put up with me will be forever a mystery.