It’s strange how the name of Frankenstein always puts images of the monster that was pieced together by a mad doctor in our heads, when in fact the name is of the creator, not the creature. And the man who is considered to be the first Frankenstein (yes, I know there were others, but I did use the word “considered”), was Henry Frankenstein and played by British actor Colin Clive. He was the one to utter those famous lines “It’s alive! It’s alive!”. But much like the curse his character fell upon, the actor himself seemed to be cursed as well.
Now thanks to Gregory William Mank and Midnight Marquee, you’ll be able to read all the details about his life and death, in “One Man’s Crazy!” The Life and Death of Colin Clive, which should be out anytime now. I’ve read several of Mank’s books and he always fills them with so much information, details, stories, as well as heart and soul, that really shows us his subject for who they were. Mank is top-notch scholar who always delivers with his books. I can’t wait to dig into this one.
This book retails for $30 but if you order it directly from Midnight Marquee, you can get it for only $19! For ordering details, head over to their website HERE, or drop them a line at email@example.com.
Fans of Hammer Horror should be well aware of the name of Ralph Bates. He was one of the next generation stars of Hammer, one to take the lead from the likes of Cushing and Lee and continue the tradition that they started. Unfortunately, Hammer didn’t last that much longer. In that short time though, Bates did appear in a few of their pictures and always turning a memorable performance. He appeared in Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), The Horror of Frankenstein (1970), Lust for a Vampire (1971), Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971), and Fear in the Night (1972). It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Hammer would have continued their ran of cinematic terrors.
But now you can learn all about those films, as well as the rest of Bates career and life in this new biography from author Christopher Gullo, entitled simply Ralph Bates: A Biography. Published by Midnight Marquee, it covers the actor’s life from his childhood, where he started to develop an interests in the theater, as well as once he started working with Hammer, and the multiple television appearances that he made.
With 165 family photos, including many never-before-seen ones, as well as getting to hear from over 70 different family, friends, and co-workers that the author sought out for this book, all helps to show the life of this incredibly talented man. Gullo is donating all his personal proceeds from the sale of this book to the Ralph Bates Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. This was created to honor Bates, who passed away in 1991 from this disease.
To order it from Midnight Marquee, just click HERE.
One of the many things that I’ve loved about the fact that this year is the 200th Anniversary of when Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, was first published, is the attention that it has been getting. Especially in the book world! I think I have picked up more books on Frankenstein, the original novel, Shelley, and the movies, this year than I have in over the last decade. And that is definitely a good thing, that Shelley’s creation and all its decedents are getting this much attention. And now, coming out later this month, is another title, The Vault of Frankenstein: 200 Years of the World’s Most Famous Monster, by Paul Ruditis.
Since I’ve just ordered my copy, all I can say about this book is what is listed on the Amazon page, but it looks pretty fun and will be a welcome edition to my Frankenstein section in my library. It retails for $29.99 and is a 176 pages that is filled with different aspects about Shelley, the novel, the films, as well as the cultural impact that it has made over the last two centuries.
A bonus to this book is the memorabilia replicas that have been created for the book, that comes in an envelope that has little movie posters, the playbill for the first stage adaptation of Shelley’s novel, and much more.
The book comes out in a couple of weeks, I’m sure I’ll have a full review posted at some point. But until then, let’s keep this Frankenstein celebration moving!
Phans of director Don Coscarelli take note! This true independent filmmaker will be coming to Chicago’s Music Box Theatre to celebrate the release of his autobiography, True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking, as well as a screening of his film Bubba Ho-Tep (2002).
His book gives us story after story of working in the filmmaking industry, but still able to remain independent and not be sucked into the evil world of Hollywood, one thing that I’ve always admired about him. He would continue to turn out very unique and unusual films, always creating entertaining pictures, from his Phantasm series, to the dark and strange comedies Bubba Ho-Tep and John Dies at the End, Coscarelli continues to shine as a truly independent and dedicated craftsman to the industry. And we get to read about all those stories in his book, which we can only imagine how many good ones he has to tell. Such as having his own office on Universal Studios’ lot while he was still in his teens, or where he almost drowns actress Catherine Keener, to setting his face on fire during the making of Phantasm, to even meeting and working with heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio.
Any Hammer fan worth their weight in blood knows of the infamous Bray Studios, where the they unleashed countless horrors onto the willing masses. But now with it being gone forever, we can be thankful that Peveril Publishing will be immortalizing it in their new book, Inside Bray Studios, coming early next month.
By Hammer authority Wayne Kinsey, we get a virtual tour of the studio, both inside and out, as well as the history of the place once Hammer took over. We’ll get to see how Hammer used the cramped space in the studio to create some of the most unbelievable movie sets, making these period pictures come to life and jump off the screen.
There is also three separate chapters on the “Bray Days”, back in 1998, 1999, and 2007, where the studio opened its doors to both fans as well as a ton of Hammer alumni, with a ton of photos. I wish I could have made it to even one of those events.
At 344 color pages, this hardcover edition will be another must-have for any fan of this famous British Studio. The price is set at £35 plus postage, but it really is an investment, since most of Peveril’s books go out-of-print quickly and their prices skyrocket shortly there after. So don’t be left out!
Head over to Peveril’s website HERE and sign up for their newsletter so you’ll know when the pre-orders start.
One of my favorite books that I read in 2016, which still remains as a favorite, is Mark Thomas McGee’s You Won’t Believe Your Eyes!, published by BearManor Media. It’s a recollection from a young Monster Kid as he went to see those amazing films of the ’50s. It is a very funny and entertaining read, which I reviewed on my site back in 2016, where you can still find the review if you search for it.
But now, there is an all new “Revised and Updated Monster Kids Edition, that has just been released by BearManor, with almost a 100 pages of more fun recollections. McGee’s writing is full of humor and admiration for this pictures, even if they might not be the greatest of movies. I found a lot of great titles from that era that I had missed out on, but thanks to McGee and this book, I quickly fixed that error.
If you’re a fan of that era of sci-fi and horror films, then I really think you’ll enjoy this one. Plus, with the holidays right around the corner, it would make a great gift. It is available in both hardcover ($35.95) and softcover ($25.95) editions. For more information, head over to BearManor Media’s site HERE.
Back in 2012, J.A. Kerswell published The Slasher Movie Book, which was a beautifully laid out volume covering the slasher film genre. With tons of color photos and poster art, it did a great job covering the popular sub-genre.
But now Kerswell has updated and revised this book, now releasing it under the title The Teenage Slasher Movie Book. I’m a little confused on the title, but it is 16 pages longer than the original volume. But unless you have a copy of the first edition already, this new one is the way to go, since the first release goes for $100 to $200!?!?! Yeah, not sure what that is about. But at least you won’t have to worry about that and you can order a copy of the updated version when it comes out this October.