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….

Mr. Murder: The Life & Times of Tod Slaughter

Mr MurderWithin our horror history, there are still names that we need to not only remember, but know why they are important. One of those names is Tod Slaughter, who some call Britain’s first true horror star. Slaughter didn’t start making films until he was 50, after a long career of acting on the stage. But making films, especially when he appeared as the villain, is when Slaughter not only shined, but he seemed to just love it. Probably his most famous role, was that of bloody barber Sweeney Todd, in The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936).

Coming this November from Hemlock Books and authors Denis Meikle, Kip Xool, and Doug Young, you will be given your chance to learn more about Slaughter than ever before. Mr. Murder: The Life and Times of Tod Slaughter will us a definitive biography of this unsung hero of horror. The book will even feature extracts from Slaughter’s unpublished autobiography, as well as tons of information on this actor who just relished being over the top and chewing the scenery. Appearing in other films such as The Face at the Window (1939) and Horror Maniacs (1948), Slaughter is a name you need to know within your horror education.

This 280 page book will be available in hardcover format, and will be fully illustrated throughout the book, with 8 pages in color. The retail price is £29.95, which is about $38 over here. It will be a bit pricy once you throw in the postage, but I know it will be one title I’ll be adding to my library! For more information, head over to their site by clicking HERE.

Book Review: The Hammer Vampire

HammerVampireThe Hammer Vampire
By Bruce G. Hallenbeck
Published by Hemlock Books, 2010. 240 pages.

Now being pretty familiar with Hammer films already, I was wondering just what I was going to be able to learn that I didn’t know already. But this just goes to show you that when it comes to horror history, we are all students of the genre. I have been a fan of Hallenbeck’s work every since I discovered Little Shoppe of Horrors magazine quite a few years ago. I believe it was issue # 8 which came out in May of 1984. It had a shot from The Vampire Lovers on the cover and the main article was written by Hallenbeck. In fact, believe in most of the issues, the main article was written by him. There is a reason for that. Mr. Hallenbeck knows his Hammer. With each issue of the magazine, we learn more and more about the “studio that dripped blood” and the people that worked there. This book is no different.

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New AIP Book Coming from Hemlock

RocknRoll MonstersWhat better way to start off the new year than talking about a new book! I don’t really have much information about this new title coming from Hemlock Books over in the UK, other than it should be out sometime in June, and is being written by Bruce G. Hallenbeck. Of course, that should be enough info to wet your appetite and to put it on your future want list!

While I’ve already got a couple of books on American International Pictures, I think the more information and stories about this production company the better. They cranked out some of the most entertaining movies of that era, thriving at the drive-in market and beyond.

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Revised Price Book Now From Hemlock

merchant of menanceBack in 2003, Vincent Price: The Art of Fear by Denis Meikle was published. But now, over a decade later, a new expanded and revised edition is coming out from Hemlock Books, under the title Merchant of Menace: The Life and Films of Vincent Price. This new version is almost 400 pages and contains well over 300 illustrations, with 8 pages in color.

This book is a celebration of not just Price’s work but his life as well. It covers all of his films with a lot of information about them. If you’re a fan of Price, then I’m sure you’ll need to add this volumen in your collection, even if you already own the Price of Fear title. I know I will be. Besides, Hemlock always puts out some nice editions.

This is available in both softcover and hardcover editions. For more information, head over to Hemlock Book’s website HERE.