Sweeney Todd (Book)

Sweeney Todd book review!Reviewed by Morgan Elektra

Written by Mark Salisbury

Published by Titan Books

Happy Holidays, horror fans! For those of us whose heads are full of visions somewhat darker than sugarplum fairies, this holiday season is shaping up to be pretty jolly with a couple of horror offerings in the multiplex. We’ve got a good idea how most fans felt about Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem (review), and to be honest I wasn’t holding my breath, but we know for sure that Sweeney Todd (review) is delivering us some Christmas goodies.

If you’re still looking for something to get that special horror fan in your life – or to add to your own creepy wishlist – look no further than the Sweeney Todd companion from Mark Salisbury and Titan Books. I’ve never really gone in for the whole “movie companion book” thing, but I guess if they all were as interesting and gorgeously done as this, I might change my mind.

With 173 pages of behind-the-scenes photographs, interviews with everyone from Burton, Depp and Sondheim to screenwriter Logan and Depp’s longtime friend Witkin (who helped him make the decision to take the role of Sweeney), concept art for wardrobe, sets and Burton’s own ideas for the look of the film, it’s a visual banquet fit for a holiday feast.

Salisbury details the creation of the film from its beginnings on the stage and how it inspired each of the people involved (it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Bonham-Carter was called Mrs. Lovett in high school, according to a friend), all the way to its final days in post-production with well crafted prose, making even seemingly mundane details full of fancy. Sprinkled liberally with concept art, production stills and behind the scenes photos, the story of Sweeney’s journey from stage to screen makes for a quick, entertaining read. But that’s not all; also included is the actual story of Sweeney Todd, told with stills and excerpts from the script.

For any fan of Burton, Depp, Bonham-Carter or Sweeney Todd, this beautifully done hardcover is a must have and well worth the price. So, this holiday season, be sure to get out and see Burton’s barbarous barber doling out those nice, close shaves … and afterwards, pick up a copy of Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street companion.

And of course, Merry Christmas to all and to all a ghoul night…

4 1/2 out of 5

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Morgan Elektra