Book Review: Here There Be Monsters

Here There Be Monsters
Published by BearManor Media, 2021. 464 pages
By Bryan Senn

Being a lover and collector of horror reference books, it should be no surprise that I’ve been a fan of Senn’s work and have quite a few of his books in my library, even before I met him at a Monster Bash show in 2016. His work is always a joy to dive into because he not only packs it full of information, but you can tell it is coming from a fellow fan. And while we might always agree on some films, I still enjoy reading his take on whichever film he is writing about.

With this book, it is a collection of essays, reviews, and other writings that were either published in magazines or other books but were cut down due to size limitations or just didn’t fit in that particular publication. In this new volume, we get it all. Plus, we get a LOT of it. This volume is huge and is filled to the brim with just about every classic horror subject there is. The films covered go from the early classics of the ‘30s through the ‘60s, as well as a huge section on Mexican monster films, which I particularly enjoyed. There are even a few book reviews and some personal essays included as well.

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Any Black Christmas Fans?

Black Christmas is one of those early horror films that made a huge impact, though it seems to get lost in the shadow of another big title that came out 4 years after Bob Clark’s ground-breaking film. But now you can learn even more about this film and why it is important in our horror film history. Author Paul Downey & David Hastings give us It’s Me Billy: Black Christmas Revisited, a 320-page volume going into the history and discussion of the film’s themes and characters, with interviews with the cast and crew. The book not only covers the original, but the remakes as well.

Published by BearManor Media this Feb., you can get it either in either a hardcover edition ($43 only from BearManor’s site), or in Softcover ($33). I know I’ll be adding this to my library as well, and know that once I dig into it, I’ll be revisiting the classic film once again!

Here There Be Monsters

I think it was either his book Golden Horrors or Drums of Voodoo when I first became aware of author Bryan Senn. Funny thing is that I had probably read several of the articles that he had written over the years for magazines such as Filmfax and Shivers, to the many books I owned from Midnight Marquee. Several years ago, I got to meet him at a Monster Bash show and we’ve become good friends since then. So anytime he has a new book coming out, I know I’ll be adding it to my library. Not just because we’re friends but because Senn knowns what he’s writing about! He’s just like the rest of us, having a huge passion for the genre, so we know what he’s writing about, comes from the heart.

His latest book, Here There Be Monsters, from BearManor Media, is a collection of “interviews, histories, tributes, and overviews on the diverse world of horror and science fiction cinema” that he’s done over the last 30 years. Some of these pieces are expanded from their original form while some are completely new. Within these pages, you’ll read about the Universal films to Hammer horrors from across the pond, Euro gothic chillers, and even heading south of the border for some mask wrestlers duking it out with all sorts of monsters. From the well-rounded genre cinema fans to ones craving to learn more about titles you might not have heard of, this book sounds like a great way to learn about, or learn more about this great selection of cinema.

It is available only in hardcover format from BearManor Media for only $38. If you get it from Amazon, it will set you back another $10, but then you’ll get probably get free shipping. Either way, I think this will be a nice addition to everyone’s library. And just think, Christmas is coming, so for any horror fans that you’re looking for a gift idea, there you go.

Becoming Dracula: Volume 2!

Earlier this year, Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger released the first volume in Becoming Dracula: The Early Years of Bela Lugosi. Well now, it continues with Volume 2 just being released by BearManor Media. At 436 pages, it is available in both hardcover ($46) and softcover ($36) versions. This sheds even more light on the early days of the man who would become forever known as Dracula, and just like every other book from Rhodes and Kaffenberger, both editions are a must for anybody that is a fan of Bela Lugosi.

For more information, you can head over to BearManor Media or Amazon.

More Books for Your Library

Since I’m always on a quest to add more titles to my ever-growing library of non-fiction titles on the horror genre, I’ve recently come across a few more that I wanted to let everyone know about. Most of these haven’t been released yet, or even listed on the publisher’s website just yet. But I figure the quicker I put them on your radar, you’ll look for them.

The first one is entitled Dead or Alive: British Horror Films 1980-1989, edited by Darrell Buxton. This one has been published by Midnight Marquee and you can order it either through Amazon or their site, though they don’t it listed just yet.

The next one has only been announced by the author, Bryan Senn, and that it is coming from BearManor Media, called Here There Be Monsters, which is a collection of interviews and essays on “Classics (And Not So Classic) Horror Cinema”. Coming from Senn, I’m sure it will be well worth the read!

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Creepy Bitches: Essays on Horror from Women in Horror

Now if that title doesn’t tell you exactly what this book is about …

While we haven’t read this one (yet), I know we will be adding it to our library. One of the most important things one can do as a fan of this genre is listen to other voices. Not everyone thinks the same way you do so even if someone has a difference of opinion, you still should listen to them. Might not change your own feelings but maybe it will open your eyes a bit so at least you can see and understand another point of view. Women in horror is one voice that has been struggling to be heard for years, namely because most won’t listen. So let’s fix that. One step would to simply buy this book and read some essays on the genre by female writers, from the film industry, fandom, growing up in a video store even more in depth like exploring the gender roles in The Creature from the Black Lagoon trilogy. It also covers the “therapeutic benefits of watching horror” that I know a lot of us have been preaching for years!

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Book Review: 1000 Women in Horror

1000 Women in Horror1000 Women in Horror: 1895 – 2018
Published by BearManor Media, 2020. 600 pages.
By Alexander Heller-Nicholas

This book is amazing for a few reasons. First of all, it is an incredible source of information about women in the horror genre, from directors, screenwriters, costume designers, actresses, and just about every other job there is in the business. As the title states, we get to learn about women from way back to 1895 to the more recent 2018, as well as from all around the world, from Thailand to Turkey, from California to Canada, and everywhere in between. It shows this talent is everywhere.

It also proves a couple of fallacies within the horror genre. By the numbers listed in this book, it is obvious that there has been, and still are a great number of women working in the horror business, in a variety of jobs, some of which that have become immortal, such as actresses Fay Wray or Gloria Stuart. This also proves that the horror genre is definitely not just for the guys! Just by reading the author’s introduction, you’ll quickly realize there are plenty of women within these pages that are just as passionate about the horror genre as some of the men that I’ve met over the years, some even more so. It shows that gender has no bearing on one’s love of cinema. We’re all going to like and dislike different titles, which is to be expected. But sharing one’s love for the genre should not have any boundaries or hurdles. Continue reading

1000 Women in Horror

1000 Women in HorrorBack in Feb. of 2018, we posted a mention about this upcoming book. Well, now it is officially out and can be ordered! In this 600 page book, the author gives us a “love letter to both the stars and often-invisible women who have made the genre what it is today. From Classical Hollywood to alt-Nollywood, mumblegore to J-horror, this book offers a tiny global snapshot of the vast number of women who have worked in the creation of dark and spooky movies for well over a century, both behind and in front of the camera, and in films both widely known and comparatively obscure.”

The book covers over 700 feature films that were either directed by or co-directed by women, and also interviews with a ton of women who have been contributing to the genre over the years. In other words, this is a must for all horror fans because part of the learning about the genre is learning about those within it and the struggles and challenges they have. 

This is available in both paperback and hardcover editions, which I would recommend going through Amazon since you can save on the shipping charges that way. The book might seem a bit pricey, $44 for paperback and $54 for hardcover, but at 600 pages, I think that is more than a fair price. So order your copy now!

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

Weaver and The Brute Man

scripts from the crypt brute manIn the latest volume of Tom Weaver’s Scripts from the Crypt series, No. 10 will cover the 1946 film The Brute Man. By Scott Gallinghouse, Dr. Robert J. Kiss, George Chastain, David Colton, Andrew J. Fenady, and Gary D. Rhodes, they give us a look into not only this film, it’s production and release, but there is also a biography chapter on Rondo Hatton himself.

Hatton, who became a B-Movie villain due to his particular looks that were caused by acromegaly, a disease that causes disfigurement in the hands, feet, and face. He appeared in films such as The Pearl of Death (1944), House of Horrors (1946), and his final film, The Brute Man.

It will be a very interesting read to learn more about this film, but especially more about Hatton himself. I’m sure he’d be thrilled to know that his name and likeness has become synonyms with Monster Kids around the world because of the Rondo Awards!

This has been released by BearManor Media and is available in a hardcover edition ($39.95) or a paperback edition ($29.95). You can order your copy at their website HERE.