Book Review: Bela Lugosi & Boris Karloff

Lugosi Karloff

Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration By Gregory William Mank Published by McFarland, 2009. 701 pages

If you don’t want to read our whole review, then to put it as simply as we can get: Buy this book.

Originally published in 1990, under the title Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration, it was almost ten years later when Mank released a massively updated and revised version in 2009. So much time had passed since its first publication, where he had interviewed so many more people, giving him even more information and stories about Lugosi and Karloff, that he felt the need to update this book. And I’m so glad he did, since it was one of the most enjoyable, enlightening, and entertaining books that I’ve read in a long time. Really an essential volume for any monster kid.

I have to give Mank credit for not just updating this book because of new interviews and information, but to correct a few things, namely stories about Hope Lugosi, the last true “Bride of Dracula”, who in the past was not treated well by the media and journalists, including himself. But after interviewing her and getting to know her, he wanted to make sure that her side of the story was out there. So for that, I give him a lot of credit for wanting to make sure it was heard.

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Book Review: The Werewolf Filmography

werewolf filmographyThe Werewolf Filmography
By Bryan Senn
Published by McFarland, 2017. 408 pages.

Why a book like this has never been written before is beyond me. Yeah, there was the The Illustrated Werewolf Movie Guide by Stephen Jones, but that just quickly goes through titles with very little written about them, as well as it covering movies having ANY connection to werewolves or changing into a creature listed. A nice book to chew on, so to speak, but not one to go to for any real meat. But it can also be said that maybe the reason a book like this hasn’t been written before was, as author Senn puts it in his introduction, since the werewolf sub-genre is so huge, there are many, many titles that are far from good. So since the bad definitely outweigh the good, it would be a very tough hill to climb to watch and write about all of them. But Senn has taken on that task, and has done an admirably job!

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Book Review: Book of Lists: Horror

bookoflistshorror

The Book of Lists: Horror
By Amy Wallace, Del Howison, and Scott Bradley
Published by Harper, 2008.  410 pages.

I can’t remember the last time that I picked up a book and was just completely taken over by it. This is one of the most entertaining books I have read in quite some time. This is the kind of book that you can pick up at any time, even if you only have a couple of minutes, open it up to any page, and start reading. And after a couple of minutes, you will have a smile on your face.

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Book Review: Rungs on a Ladder

Rungs on a LadderRungs on a Ladder: Hammer Films Seen Through a Soft Gauze
By Christopher Neame

Published by The Scarecrow Press, 2003. 131 pages.

If there is a book published about Hammer Films, more than likely, at some point in time, I will be adding it to my library. I mean, when you have an official Hammer section with over two dozen titles in said library already, it’s kind of a must have. So when I came across this title on Amazon, I added it to my wish list. The problem I had right away was that it was priced from $30 to $50, and it was for a book that was just over a hundred pages. That’s a tough sell, even for a diehard collector like myself. Okay, sure, I bought it eventually anyway, but just saying.

Now, let’s not get this Neame confused with the actor of the same name that appeared in a couple of Hammer titles, Dracula A.D. 1972 & Lust for a Vampire. The author Neame started at the bottom of the business and worked his way up. It was only a matter of time for him, since the film business really was in his blood. His father was Ronald Neame, a director and cinematographer, and his grandfather Elwin, was a director who worked in silent films.

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Book Review: Mondo Macabro

mondomacabreMondo Macabro: Weird & Wonderful Cinema Around the World
By Pete Tombs
Published St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998.  192 pages.

Any fan of horror or just strange cinema has heard of the DVD/Blu-ray label Mondo Macbro and most likely has a few of their titles in their own collection. Well, this is where it all started from.

In 1995, Pete Tombs and Cathal Tohill wrote the book Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984. It talked about different European styles of cinema, like from German, French, Spanish, and Italian. They also covered directors like Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, Jose Larrez, and a few others. Well, four years later, Tomb follows it up with this title, Mondo Macabro, which goes even farther in his quest for bizarre cinema.

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Book Review: Splatter Movies

splattermoviebook

Splatter Movies: Breaking the Last Taboo of the Screen
By John McCarty
Published by St. Martin’s Press, 1984.  197 Pages.

Any collector of horror reference books knows the name of John McCarty, since he has written several books on the genre over the years. From Psychos, The Modern Horror Film, to Movie Psychos and Madmen, he’s definitely spent his time watching and learning about the genre. Now maybe its because he’s watched so many that a factual error might slip by. Also, sometimes ones opinion of a title might not be the same as everyone else’s. Which is fine as well, but maybe you should state that it is your opinion.

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