There is a new book that just came out called 40s Universal Monsters: A Critical Commentary, covering all of the monster films that Universal put out during that decade. Author John T. Soister had published a similar book back in 2001 covering the Universal films of the 30s, entitled Of Gods and Monsters: A Critical Guide to Universal’s Science Fiction, Horror and Mystery Films, 1929-1939. Now, along with contributors Henry Nicolella, Harry H. Long, & Dario Lavia, they take on the ’40s, covering 66 titles from The Invisible Man Returns to Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.
But what does have to do with opinions? Hear me out. Looking through my own library, I have several books that deal with the early days of cinema. If we’re talking about the silent era, we have Silent Screams by Steve Haberman, or Wayne Kinsey’s entry in his incredible Fantastic Films of the Decades series, as well as Troy Howarth’s own series, Tome of Terror, who has covered the decade of the ’30s as well. Kinsey is already up to halfway through the ’40s with his ongoing series. But then I also have Universal Horrors by Tom Weaver, Michael and John Brunas, Soister’s aforementioned Of Gods and Monsters, Mank’s Hollywood Cauldron, Senn’s Golden Horrors, and even a few others titles. Then we move into the ’50s and beyond with multiple titles in each of those as well.
McFarland has published a ton of different books on the horror genre, quite a few of which I’ve reviewed here on this site. Typically they are a bit on the pricy side, but now is your chance to save some big bucks this horror season because they are having a huge sale. You can now get 40% off each and every one of their huge selection of titles, if you order before Friday, October 16th. Use the coupon code HORROR to get your discount.
They have so many titles that I would consider must have for any library, such as Gregory Mank’s Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together. Normally priced at $40, for $24! Or what about learning about the underrated and talented Paul Blaisdell in Randy Palmer’s excellent biography Paul Blaisdell, Monster Maker: A Biography of the B Movie Makeup and Special Effects Artist. Normal price is $20 and now you can get it for only $12! Or want to learn everything you need to know about The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequels? Then pick up Tom Weaver’s The Creature Chronicles. Normally priced at $40, now you can add it to your library for only $24. Not to mention so many other great titles they have listed. Just click HERE to start browsing. Pick up a few for yourself for the Halloween season, or, with the other holidays coming up and you have a horror fan that you need a gift for, now is the time to save some $$.
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
In 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.
Now that Cinevent is in the books, lets look ahead to our next two shows coming up real soon.
Next month we head to Mars, PA, once again for the Monster Bash. Damn, do I just love this show. They have a great guest lineup this year, including Ricou Browning, the last living classic Universal monster! Their other guests include: Beverly Washburn, Martine Beswicke, Veronica Carlson, Christopher Neame, Sharyn Moffett, Cortlandt Hull, Kris Yeaworth, Tom Savini, and John Russo. They also have a few notable authors there, another reason I love this show, such as Troy Howarth, Frank Dello Stritto, Tom Weaver, Gregory Mank, Deborah Painter, and Robert Michael Cotter. Continue reading
The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy
Published by McFarland, 2014. 408 pages.
By Tom Weaver, David Schecter, & Steve Kronenberg
This should be a very simple review. If you want to know anything about Creature from the Black Lagoon, or its two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and/or The Creature Walks Among Us, then just buy this book. Just about anything and everything you need to know about those films is in this book. Tom Weaver, along with Schecter and Kronenberg, have researched and compiled so much information, from the cast and crew, premieres, design teams, press, music, down to all the screenwriters involved in them, all here in this book. It even has an introduction by Creature star Julia Adams.
Thanks to BearManor Media, fans of Bela Lugosi and of Universal’s Son of Dracula just might be adding a couple of new book titles to their library! I know I will be.
The first book, Scripts from the Crypt # 9: Son of Dracula is written by Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Dr. Robert Kiss, and Robert Guffey and contains all the wonderful information in this series of books. You’ll get the production history, fun facts, the pressbook, essays by Robert Siodmak and Curt Siodmak, as well as the script! These are great titles when you’re wanting to more about a particular film. You can get the softcover edition for $29.95 or the hardcover edition for $39.95.
After having another excellent time at the Cinevent Classic Film Convention’s 50th Anniversary show, we are now getting ready for the next stop in the Kryptic Anniversary Tour, which will be the Monster Bash Conference. This show is taking place in Mars, PA, from June 22nd to the 24th and continues to be one of our favorite stops on our annual tours. Now only does it have one of the best dealer rooms around that is tempting every single dollar I make at my own table, but there is so much stuff to do throughout the whole weekend. There’s plenty of panels and Q&A’s with the guests and other scholarly types, such as Victoria Price, Brandy Gorcey, Joyce Meadows, Janina Faye, Sharyn Moffett, Kris Yeaworth, Gregory Mank, Tom Weaver, and many more.
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: