Edited by the late, great Chas Balun, The Deep Red Horror Handbook is one of those books that just keeps on giving: 25 years after it's publication I still find myself returning to its essays and referring to its reviews thanks to the expansive knowledge and sheer enthusiasm of its contributors.
The first two thirds of the book consists of entertaining articles, movie lists and profiles on stars of the genre accompanied by a fair smattering of black and white photos, but it is the final third that has proven the most useful to me over the years; entitled 'The Gore Score' it is a collection of reviews that not only rate each film on overall quality but also on how gory they are—perfect for those who enjoy their horror as splattery as possible. The Gore Score also features a nice 8-page colour photo section depicting some of the messiest moments in horror.
At the back of the book there is a neat bibliography plus a listing of 'zines from around the world, useful if you're into collecting such publications (very few of which I imagine are still in production but there's always eBay for finding back issues).
Essentiality rating (for gorehounds): 8/10.
Comprehensiveness: 6/10 — I'd have liked more reviews and a little more detail on the ones that are there.
Pretentiousness: 0/10 — Balun writes like a pro but it's clear that he's a regular fan at heart.