So yeah… so this whole “Print is Dead” propaganda….
McFarland has some great new books coming out this year that I can’t wait to add to my library, let alone dive into them. Yes, McFarland’s titles tend to be on the expensive side, especially for their softcover editions. But their hardcover editions, especially from the likes of Gregory Mank or Tom Weaver, are probably worth the investment. Granted these are books to read, but at these prices, they are an investment, and usually go up in value. I know it doesn’t make it any easier to drop $75 to $100 for one book, so you have to pick your battles. With some special edition Blu-rays hitting the $40 and $50 range for just one movie, it doesn’t seem that much more really. But then again, I’m a sucker for these kind of books and know I’ll be adding most of the ones listed below to my own library at some point. So let’s take a look at some of these great titles they have in store for us this year:
Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy by Gregory William Mank – Cregar was best known for his role in the film The Lodger (1944) and Hangover Square (1945). An actor that made a big impression on the audiences, not just because of his size, who was over six feet tall and weighed more than 300 lbs., but also because of his incredible acting talents. Unfortunately for all of us movie fans, he passed away at the age of 31 after trying to change his look, size, and image.
Now, film historian Mank is first to tackle Cregar’s biography is this new hardcover edition. It is set to be published in May of this year, with a price tag of $49.95. The book will not only feature never before published photographs, but also list his theater and radio work as well. This is one title that I am very anxious to read once it comes out, even though I know it really is going to be a sad story.
Universal Terrors, 1951-1955: Eight Classic Horror and Science Fiction Films – This next title is from another icon in the world of horror and sci-fi reference material, the Lord of the Interview, Tom Weaver, along with David Schecter, Robert J. Kiss and Steve Kronenberg, are giving us coverage on eight different classic Universal films such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), This Island Earth (1955), Tarantula (1955), The Mole People (1956) and a few more. The book will have the complete cast and crew listings, plenty of behind the scenes info, production information, detailed analysis, and commentary from both the cast and crew.
This new hardcover, which will feature over 700 photos, is also a bit pricy at $75, but again, most stuff by Weaver is well worth the investment. This is set to be released sometime this spring or summer.
Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company, A-Z by Howard Maxford – Sorry, but when someone puts out a book on Hammer Films, I most likely am going to buy it. Which is probably why I already have well over two dozen books on Hammer now! And when this one comes out, yes, it will be added to it. One of the books I have already is by this same author, Howard Maxford, so one can only assumed he’s in love with Hammer like I am!
Unfortunately, there is no cover released for this title yet, but is due out in June of this year. But the price tag is $95! I can only hope this is a massive tome for that price, but there isn’t a page listing either. But what it does tell us is that this book covers it all, not just the normal Hammer classics like Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein, but everything they did, from the musicals, comedies, fantasy epics, and even travelogues. The title will be a “lavishly illustrated two-volume encyclopedia” with will cover every single Hammer film and television production. But it doesn’t end there. It will also cover the actors, supporting actors, writers, directors, composers, and everyone in between, not to mention tons of other information like shooting schedules, publicity, budges and so much more. This sounds like an amazing book and well worth the investment. Which I know I’ll be doing just that.
Vampira and Her Daughters: Women Horror Movie Hosts from the 1950s into the Internet Era By Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter – If you are a fan of horror hosts, then Mr. Cotter’s new book is going to shed some light on the female side of horror hosting. This particular job was first made famous by the one and only Vampira, but then taken to far beyond with Elvira. But the tradition continues with people like Moona Lisa, Crematia Mortem and many more.
This softcover book is $35 and is 172 pages. We have several books by Cotter and have enjoyed them all.
Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren – Now this book isn’t a new one, but we wanted to mention it because it is now available in a softcover edition, which comes in two volumes (over 1000 pages), for only $45. Which, for the size and information in this book, that is a great price. But honestly, if you’re going to spend that, I’d fork over the extra money and get the hardcover edition for $99. It is one massive book and well worth every penny.
Anytime I am doing research on a horror or sci-fi movie of the ’50s, I always go to this book for information. Even though I might not agree with Warren’s opinion all of the time, there are tons of facts in here, along with some great writings and fun stories. This was original published in 1982 and again in 1986. But this edition was expanded quite a bit to create this huge volume that really is a must for serious reference book fans.