Growing up in the late ’60s and early ’70s, it was pretty easy to know who Michael J. Pollard was. We might not of known his name, but we definitely remembered that face. Whether it was from his appearance in the original Star Trek series or Lost in Space (both in 1966), or his role in the famous Bonnie and Clyde (1967). But he had a face and voice that was always memorable. Later in the ’80s and ’90s, you’d see him in everything from comedies, action films, dramas, and everything in between. In the horror genre, there’s American Gothic (1987), Sleepaway Camp III (1989), or as the rat catcher in Split Second (1992). Of course, of later day fans, he was one of the best parts in the opening of Rob Zombie’s debut, House of 1000 Corpses (2003).
Movie fans have lost this iconic boyish face, as he passed away on Nov. 20th from a cardiac arrest, at the age of 80 years old. No matter what film I would be watching, when his face came on screen, it made me smile. Because I knew no matter the size of the role, I was going to remember it because his screen presents. He really was one of a kind. Gone, but definitely never forgotten.
This October, Jonathon Rigby gives us an updated version of his 2007 book American Gothic, which has been long out of print. But now, in a version that has been “extensively revised and expanded”, as well as being released for the first time in hardcover, you will be able to add this essential volume to your library.
This 400 page book from Signum covers the Hollywood Horror history from the beginnings in the 19th century to covering six decades of gothic horror films, from Universal, to Warner Bros., M-G-M, and beyond. If you never got around to picking up the original version, now is your chance to get an even better version.
Of course, if you haven’t gotten around to picking up Rigby’s other two volumes, English Gothic and Euro Gothic, well…what are you waiting for? You can pre-order it now through Amazon.
If you’re a fan of British horror and have a few reference books around on said genre, then you just might have one by author Jonathan Rigby. I know I have a few of his titles proudly in my library. He’s one of the guys from across the pond that really knows his stuff. Back in 2005, Rigby wrote a book called English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema, which covered the British horror film from pretty much the beginning of film to the current era (at that time…more on that in a bit). Filled with tons of photos, the book covered different eras of the genre, like the early works of Todd Slaughter, moving onward to of course Hammer Films, but many others as well. Certain films are highlighted with cast & crew info, and some quotes about the film, either a review or from someone involved in the film.
In 2007, Rigby put out another edition in what seems to be a series, called American Gothic: Sixty Years of Horror Cinema. It pretty much followed the same format as the previous book, except this one covers films from the states, and has an insert of some color pages, mainly showing poster art. For some reason though, this out-of-print title goes for over $50 on the market. Not sure why, other than maybe it was a small number of books published. But again, worth it if you can find one.