I love documentaries on the horror / sci-fi genres, especially when you get to hear from the people that were directly involved with them. There are ALWAYS great stories that we usually never get to hear unless you catch one of them at a convention, or maybe an extra on DVD or Blu-ray. So when I first heard of this new 3-disc documentary called Monster! Martians! Mad Scientists! Horror in the Atomic Age!, it had my interests. When I discovered the price was only $15, I did have some doubts because it was so cheap, especially for 3 discs, but I figured at that price, it was worth taking the chance.
I’m glad I did!
The 3 discs are divided into time frame categories. The first one, entitled The Atomic Age, starts in the early ’50s and gives us a look back at that time and the films that were coming out. While this is about the movies, we get to hear and understand what was going on at that time period, with the constant threat of atomic destruction hovering over their heads, and how that effected the movies. The second disc, entitled A World Gone Mad, covers the second half of the ’50s with the big-bug movies, alien invasions, 3-D movies, and more. The last disc, called Fade to Red, covers the early ’60s and how times were changing, due to the Vietnam War, the Civil unrest, and how the films were reflecting that with more realistic gore and terror. Continue reading
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.
First off, just want to give fair warning that this is going to be a bit of a rant. And something that you’ve heard me mention many times before. And again, this isn’t about any convention specifically out there, just in general, so don’t anybody get their panties in a bunch. But being at this last convention, I noticed something that I feel I need to mention. Another one of the reasons that I had finally made the decision to head east to Monster Bash this time was because of books. Followers of this site know my affection towards horror reference books and my ever increasing library, so the fact that several authors were going to be at this show, made the trip even more attractive.
On the guest list for this show was Gregory William Mank, who is a film historian and author of many great books. One of the things I love and admire about Mank’s work is that he isn’t just writing about the bigger names like Karloff and Lugosi, but also about the smaller and lesser known names from the genre that we love, such as Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, Dwight Frye, and many others. I had brought along several of his books from my collection, such as the wonderful book Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration and a few others, to get signed. While at his table, we had a really nice conversation about his work and how much I enjoy as well as appreciate it. He mentioned that his upcoming book will be on actor Laird Cregar, best known for his roles in The Lodger (1944) and Hangover Square (1945). The book is entitled Hollywood Ripper: The Rise and Fall of Laird Cregar, and according to Mank’s website, “explores the true story of Cregar and examines his film performances, the blessings and curses of the Hollywood contract system of the 1940s and the legacy of an actor who might have become one of the cinema’s greatest horror stars – and character actors.” It will be published by McFarland & Company.
For the 6 books that I got signed, the cost was….nothing.