Universal Terrors, 1951-1955: Eight Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Films
Published by McFarland, 2017. 440 pages.
By Tom Weaver, with David Schecter, Robert J. Kiss, and Steve Kronenberg
Anytime I do research on an older classic, if I’m looking for quotes, interviews, or anything type of information, going through the many volumes of books I have from Tom Weaver is one place that I always start. The reason for that is that his books are always so informative, giving a ton of details about the movies and their production, as well as the people that worked on it, from the directors and writers to the actors. Since he’s interviewed so many of these people over the years, the details he’s getting comes first hand. When news of a new book Weaver was working on that covered some of Universal’s films of the ’50s, since I’m a huge fan of that era, I couldn’t wait for it to come out so I could dig into it.
So yeah… so this whole “Print is Dead” propaganda….
McFarland has some great new books coming out this year that I can’t wait to add to my library, let alone dive into them. Yes, McFarland’s titles tend to be on the expensive side, especially for their softcover editions. But their hardcover editions, especially from the likes of Gregory Mank or Tom Weaver, are probably worth the investment. Granted these are books to read, but at these prices, they are an investment, and usually go up in value. I know it doesn’t make it any easier to drop $75 to $100 for one book, so you have to pick your battles. With some special edition Blu-rays hitting the $40 and $50 range for just one movie, it doesn’t seem that much more really. But then again, I’m a sucker for these kind of books and know I’ll be adding most of the ones listed below to my own library at some point. So let’s take a look at some of these great titles they have in store for us this year:
One of the great things I loved about Monster Bash is the presence of not only books but authors as well. Last year, I got over dozen books signed by a few different authors that were there. And it didn’t cost a penny! It would have been a lot more books but author Tom Weaver wasn’t able to make it to the show. But this year he was, and I was prepared for his return to the Bash, bringing well over a dozen of his books alone for him to sign. Weaver is a deity when it comes to horror history, spending his time seeking out and interviewing stars of the movies we love, both bigger names and not-so-bigger names, and getting their stories and memories down in print for us monster fans to read and learn even more about them.
Any fan of cult movies, turkeys, MST3K, or just a lover of crazy sci-fi/horror films, knows of the 1953 classic Robot Monster. You know the one…featuring a man in a gorilla suit wearing a space helmet? An image that is kind of hard to forget. It is usually found at the top of most Best of the Worse Film Lists. But no matter how bad some might think it is, or that it was supposedly shot in only 4 days, or that the title terror has to be one of the most unique movie monsters ever, it is still an entertaining movie, even if you are shaking your head through most of the time! And if you are entertained, then it is not a bad movie, right?
But what is even more astounding is the fact that someone has written a book about this movie and the people behind it. And not just a book…but one that is just shy of 700 pages!!!
Robert Clarke To “B” or Not to “B” – A Film Actor’s Odyssey
By Robert Clarke & Tom Weaver
Published by Midnight Marquee, 1996, 247 pages