Opinions, Opinions, and More Opinions

There is a new book that just came out called 40s Universal Monsters: A Critical Commentary, covering all of the monster films that Universal put out during that decade. Author John T. Soister had published a similar book back in 2001 covering the Universal films of the 30s, entitled Of Gods and Monsters: A Critical Guide to Universal’s Science Fiction, Horror and Mystery Films, 1929-1939. Now, along with contributors Henry Nicolella, Harry H. Long, & Dario Lavia, they take on the ’40s, covering 66 titles from The Invisible Man Returns to Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

But what does have to do with opinions? Hear me out. Looking through my own library, I have several books that deal with the early days of cinema. If we’re talking about the silent era, we have Silent Screams by Steve Haberman, or Wayne Kinsey’s entry in his incredible Fantastic Films of the Decades series, as well as Troy Howarth’s own series, Tome of Terror, who has covered the decade of the ’30s as well. Kinsey is already up to halfway through the ’40s with his ongoing series. But then I also have Universal Horrors by Tom Weaver, Michael and John Brunas, Soister’s aforementioned Of Gods and Monsters, Mank’s Hollywood Cauldron, Senn’s Golden Horrors, and even a few others titles. Then we move into the ’50s and beyond with multiple titles in each of those as well.

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Giant Monster Sale at McFarland Books!

In conjunction with the release of Godzilla vs Kong, McFarland Books is having a 30% off sale on all their books dealing with Kaiju and all the other giant monster books they have, through April 30th. Just using the code KAIJU30, you can save some gigantic $$ here on some really amazing and some even essential titles for your library. Such as David Kalat’s A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series. Normally retail price is $29.95 now you can get it for just over $20. Or maybe Jason Barr’s The Kaiju Film: A Critical Study of Cinema’s Biggest Monsters.

All you need to do is click the link HERE and start adding some titles and saving some money. If you ever wanted to do some series study of Japan’s famous monsters, this is a great place to start. There is a wide variety of titles here, even including not just Godzilla type films, but all giant monsters, such as listed in the book Apocalypse Then. Plus, I’m sure the more you read about these films, you’ll discover some titles that you’ll want to seek out to further your kaiju education!

The Real Elvira’s Biography!

Coming this September, fans of Elvira will be able to read the real story behind those … eyes! Cassandra Peterson, the real person inside everyone’s favorite hostess with the most, has her biography coming out right before Halloween. Entitled Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, from Hatchette Books, you’ll learn about how she left home at age 14 and by 17 was performing at the famous Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones, as well as a chance encounter with some guy named Elvis.

You’ll read about her early career trying to make it as a singer, dancer, and actor, even joining the famed comedy improv troupe, The Groundlings, with fellow members like Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman. As well as that fateful date when she auditioned for a job at a local LA tv station as a hostess for late night screenings of classic horror films. The rest is history.

But within the 272 pages, we’ll read about how she made a career out of this loveable, funny, sexy, and always entertaining horror host, while also pulling no punches on how she got there.

Being that grew up with watching Elvira host all those movies on Thriller Video, I can’t wait to dig into this one and will definitely be adding it to my library!

New Volumes for Your Horror Reference Library!

So I just finished reading the last book in my library… okay, that might not be entirely true. Or even close. But I do know that I have plenty of wonderous volumes just waiting for me to dig into when I do have the time. Plus, these numerous tomes all there when I need to do a little research, so just like they say, you can actually learn things from them!

Anyway, I was scrolling through McFarland’s website and came across several new book titles that are (hopefully) coming out this year that immediately got my interests. None of these have any release dates, and some don’t have a lot of information about the actual book, such as page count, but I think you’ll be able to get an idea of what the book is about.

The first one is Global Horror Cinema Today by Jon Towlson, which according to the cover, it represents 28 films from 17 different countries, with each chapter focusing on a particular country, looking into what frightens the native people there, and how it can cross over to an international audience. Some of the films covered are It Follows (2014), Grave aka Raw (2016), Busanhaeng aka Train to Busan (2016), and Get Out (2016), as well as discussing another 100 titles.

The thing that I really love about the concept of this book is to show horror fans how big the genre is and that to limit oneself to only films from our own country, or in your own language, makes you missing out on some amazing cinema. Especially with all the films available online in different streaming outlets, it gives fans even more opportunity to see some incredible cinema. So I really look forward to this title to maybe show me some titles I have missed, as well as hearing what Towlson has to say about these films and the countries where they are from.

It is priced at $39.95 and is in softcover format. Continue reading

More Hammer Scrapbooks from Peveril Publishing!

If you have any of the amazing volumes put out by Peveril Publishing, then you know how simply amazing they are. Yes, they are a bit pricy, especially when you’re getting them shipped over here to the US, but they are worth every single penny. So start saving those now because (hopefully) this summer, they will be unleashing the Hammer Vampire Scrapbook!

This volume will be covering the following films: Brides of Dracula (1960), Kiss of the Vampire (1963), Vampire Circus (1972), and Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974). This is just a possible cover image right now and may change, but what we do know that inside whatever cover they do decide on, it will be filled with the usual array of amazing facts and photos about our favorite Studio That Dripped Blood!

And don’t freak out because they didn’t mention any of the Karnstein films, like Vampire Lovers (1970), because that is getting it’s own volume! Wait… isn’t Captain Kronos part of the Karnstein series…. ?

Nonetheless, you can also look forward to Fantastic Films of the Decades Vol. 4 which is expected to be out at the end of the year, or early next year.

Head over to their website HERE for all the latest info. Or even better, sign up for their newsletter!

So again, start saving those pennies! 

Holiday Ideas for Horror Book Lovers

If you’re looking for a gift for someone that is an avid book lover that also loves the horror genre, there are so many titles out there to choose from. And they just seem to keep coming out too! In fact, it’s really hard for me NOT to buy them for myself! Yes, having a library of horror reference books is not as cheap as it once was, but I’m not complaining. To be fair, I do not have copies of any of these yet. Key word… YET! But I know at some point, I’m going to have to kick my son out of the house so my library can take over his room!

If you know a big fan of Dario Argento, then I would highly recommend the latest book by Troy Howarth, Murder by Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento. If you’re not familiar with Howarth’s work, this would be a great place to start. I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but I have never been disappointed by his work, always making them not only very informative, but entertaining as well. This covers not only his work as director, but writer and producer as well. You’ll read about everything from his early work in westerns to his move into the director’s chair, giving us plenty of memorable films, from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) to Suspiria (1977) to Sleepless (2001). You read new interviews with Argento himself, along with daughter Fiore Argento, actress Sally Kirkland, Irene Miracle, composer Claudio Simonetti, cinematographer Luciano Tovoli. Continue reading

A New Look at Dracula

For years, some horror fans have concluded that even though Bela Lugosi’s performance is highly memorable, that the original 1931 version of Dracula itself doesn’t hold up well today. Honestly, I would have to agree with that. Which makes me even more excited to read this new book that has recently come out from Hemlock Books and author Matthew Coniam, entitled Dracula AD 1931.

In this 182 page volume, author Coniam wants fans to give this film a second chance, with his aim “of bringing it back to Undead life and to counter the accusations of staginess and anti-climax that have dogged it for 90 years. Through a detailed study of the film that makes much use of original research, he offers a new way of seeing Dracula that restores the urgency and excitement with which it was embraced by its original audiences.”

Now, as I said, I’m not the biggest fan of this movie, but do understand and agree why it is considered a classic. But I am very anxious to read this book to maybe learn a few things I wasn’t aware of, or even hearing another person’s insight that might shed new light to my thoughts about it. I mean, being open to different ideas about films is something all film fans should embrace, isn’t it? You never know what you might learn then.

Priced at £17.95 (approx. $24), one can order this title directly from Hemlock Books at their website HERE. Now if these books weren’t so darn expensive to import over here in the states….

Texas Schlock Book

Some of you that have been following the Krypt for a while might have heard me speak of my love of Texas filmmaker Larry Buchanan, who made films with a budget that would make even Roger Corman shudder. So when I came across this new book entitled Texas Schlock: B-movie Sci-Fi and Horror from the Lone Star State. It even has a chapter on Mr. Buchanan, I knew I had to have a copy for the Kryptic Library. And once it comes and I get to it, you can bet there will be a review posted here.

In the meantime, this 274 page book is priced at $29.95, and was written by Bret McCormick, who directed The Abomination (1986) and enough other similar titles to completely understand what “schlock” is. According to the write up on Amazon, “McCormick perfectly captures the crackpot appeal of low-budget classics like ZONTAR the Thing from Venus and rounds up an amazing rogue’s gallery of schlockmeisters to tell their behind-the-scenes tales.” 
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Scored to Death 2!

Regulars to the Krypt know my love of soundtracks, especially in the horror genre. Back in 2016, J. Blake Fichera put out a book of interviews with different composers that had worked in horror genre, entitled Scored to Death. This was an amazing read because we got to hear from the people behind these incredible scores that we’ve enjoyed while watching the films, sometimes not even aware of the effect it was having on us! Composers tend not to get the attention that actors, directors, or even special effects people get, but Fichera wanted to change that and he did.

And now, he continues to do it with Scored to Death 2.

With this new volume, Fichera has interviews with 16 more renowned composers such as Richard Band, Charlie Clouser, Brad Fiedel, John Harrison, Bear McCreary, Robert Colbert, Disasterpeace, and many more, covering movies like Martin, Creepshow, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Terminator, Burnt Offerings, just to name a few.

Published by Silman-James Press, this new 492 page volume will be priced at $24.95, and is set to be released on Dec. 1st, just in time to order your copy to make a great gift for the holiday!

Halftone Horrors: The History of Horror Movie Comic Books

Are you fans of horror movies that were adapted into comic books? Then I think this is going to be a book you’re going to want to pick up! The first in a series of collector-based hardbound books, Halftone Horrors is a 240-page, full-color tome giving you the history of officially licensed comic book adaptations of horror movies, from the cult and obscure to the more popular titles. It will be a visual guide to this particular medium, giving readers a history lesson, as well as being a guide for every issue published, even including variants, one-shots, promotional comics, and more.

According to the press release, “This guide covers everything from Nosferatu, Frankenstein, and Night of the Living Dead to A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, and Army of Darkness.” Continue reading