Mr. Murder: The Life & Times of Tod Slaughter

Mr MurderWithin our horror history, there are still names that we need to not only remember, but know why they are important. One of those names is Tod Slaughter, who some call Britain’s first true horror star. Slaughter didn’t start making films until he was 50, after a long career of acting on the stage. But making films, especially when he appeared as the villain, is when Slaughter not only shined, but he seemed to just love it. Probably his most famous role, was that of bloody barber Sweeney Todd, in The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936).

Coming this November from Hemlock Books and authors Denis Meikle, Kip Xool, and Doug Young, you will be given your chance to learn more about Slaughter than ever before. Mr. Murder: The Life and Times of Tod Slaughter will us a definitive biography of this unsung hero of horror. The book will even feature extracts from Slaughter’s unpublished autobiography, as well as tons of information on this actor who just relished being over the top and chewing the scenery. Appearing in other films such as The Face at the Window (1939) and Horror Maniacs (1948), Slaughter is a name you need to know within your horror education.

This 280 page book will be available in hardcover format, and will be fully illustrated throughout the book, with 8 pages in color. The retail price is £29.95, which is about $38 over here. It will be a bit pricy once you throw in the postage, but I know it will be one title I’ll be adding to my library! For more information, head over to their site by clicking HERE.

Buyer Beware!

Everyone reading this knows I tend to collect horror reference books. More than your average fan. And because of my love of them, I always like to help promote them as well, either through reviews or just letting my followers know about upcoming titles that might be of interests. 

In the past, I’ve made posts about some books that publishers like to re-issue every couple of years, but change the title and cover a little to make it seem like its a new book. For example, Carlton Books have re-issued their Horror! title that was first published in 2006, at least 3 different times, all with a new cover and all with a slightly different name, adding a few pages at the end to “update” it to the current year. Sure, newer fans aren’t going to have the previous release, but at least they could do is state that it is an updated edition. Continue reading

Book News! Start Saving!

For those book lovers in your life, here are more than a few gift ideas for the upcoming holidays, or just because you want to support the print industry! I know each and every one of these titles will be added to my own personal library in the very near future! But these are a few that we’ve recently come across that sound pretty amazing.

Darkening the Italian Screen: Interviews with Genre and Exploitation Directors Who Debuted in the 1950s and 1960s by Eugenio Ercolani is a collection of interviews with names that might not be as familiar with most fans, but yet have had a huge impact on the Italian exploitation cinema. There are some of the usual suspects like actor George Hilton and director Sergio Martino, but then we’ll also get to hear from the likes of Uberto Lenzi, Alberto De Martino, Enzo G. Castellari, Franco Rossetti, among others. I can’t wait to hear some of their stories and tales from the trenches of getting some of their films made and released. Continue reading

Savini – The Biography

Savini BiographyYou can’t be a horror fan and not know who Tom Savini is. It really is simple as that. Growing on horror in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Savini was simply a god to us fans. We knew that if he worked on a movie, it was going to be worth going to see, on that fact alone. And he never disappointed. Just look at this filmography from that time. Friday the 13th, The Burning, Maniac, Prowler, and the list goes on and on. Over the years, fans idolized Savini because he even though he was a master in the special makeup effects world, he was also just like us… a fan.

Now we will get to read a little more in depth about this master of makeup effects, actor, director, and so much more, with the release of his biography, simply titled Savini.

Released by AM Ink Publishing, it will come out on Nov. 3rd, which just happens to be Savini’s 73rd birthday! There is a Limited First Edition Signed by Savini that is priced at $99.99. There is also a regular Limited First Edition that is $74.99. Or you can get it from Amazon priced at $59.99. It is 212 pages, and filled with over 400 images from Savini’s work and career. Truly a must for all horror fans. Our movie memories just wouldn’t be the same without Tom.

 

Hung, Drawn and Executed

Hung drawn and executedI’ve been a collector of horror movie posters for more years than I can remember, and have spent more money on them over the years that I want to remember! One of the great things about being a collector is that you start to learn more about not just the movies, but in case of the posters, you start to know who some of these artists were that created some of these incredible images. The real shame is that in the past, some of these talented people weren’t even allowed to sign their paintings, such as Reynold Brown, who created so many incredible poster art from the ’50s.

One of those current artists, Graham Humphreys, has released a book of his horror art, entitled Hung, Drawn and Executed: The Horror Art of Graham Humphreys. My first introduction to his work, without knowing it, was his fantastic piece for the British Quad for Evil Dead 2. Starting out in the collecting world, it was one that I always hope to acquire some day. Then you start to see other pieces of his talent, on not just posters but now on book covers and Blu-ray covers too! Humphreys work is unmistakable and is just incredible how he nails the likenesses of the characters. In fact, at this very moment, I have the recent quad artwork he did for the new Blu-ray release of James Whale’s Old Dark House hanging in my movie room, which you can see below. Once again, just incredible. But just take a second to google his work and I’m sure you’ll recognize quite a few of his pieces. Continue reading

Encyclopedia of Hammer Films!

Encyclopedia of Hammer FilmsLast year, McFarland published Howard Maxford’s massive volume on Hammer films, The Complete Hammer. Now comes another huge tome on the Studio that Dripped Blood, by author Chris Fellner, entitled The Encyclopedia of Hammer Films.

This 606 page book is a pricy one, retailing at $145 (though Amazon has it listed for $106.74), covers not only the films that made the studio famous, but it seems to go into much more detail about the productions the studio was involved with. From feature films, to featurettes, television, and much more. You’ll get production details, synopses, reviews, quotes,  and biographies. There is information on the people that worked both in front of and behind the camera, as well as things that Hammer had a connection to, such as the tax shelter companies to the British Board of Film Censors, as well as the many projects that Hammer never got off the ground.

We haven’t gotten our hands on this title yet so we’re just going on what we’ve read about it. Will it be worth the hefty price tag? I know at once point I’ll be trying to get a copy for myself, so we’ll have to see. But in the meantime, any book that comes out on Hammer, I’m going to be excited about. Titles like this help keep not only the movie titles alive and remembered, but also, more importantly, the people behind them that help create them for audiences to enjoy for decades to come.

Stay tuned for more details!

Discover the Horror Book Launch!

DtH 1

Last Saturday, we had the official book launch party for my book Discover the Horror, at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. I also had the wonderful opportunity to introduce the film The Giant Claw (1957) before the signing in the lounge area. Now honestly, going into this, I was hoping the film would have a good turnout, but expected it to be 4 or 5 of my friends that were coming out to support me. In reality, there was quite a bit more than that! In fact, we had several people there that had never seen the film before, so we knew they were in for a real treat. Continue reading