40s Universal Monsters: A Critical Commentary (hardback)
Nominated for the Rondo Award!
“I have here collection of the world’s most astounding horrors” boasted Professor Lampini in House of Frankenstein, but really all he had to offer was Dracula’s bones. We can do far better than the hapless professor. These pages offer Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man, a mummy in search of his lost love, invisible intruders, ape women, a spine-breaking serial killer, and twisted mysteries, including ones that it takes Sherlock Holmes to solve. And if that’s not enough, there’s Lon Chaney sporting a dapper mustache and a business suit rather than mummy wrappings. In addition to that, there is a collection of crooks and spies that made the Shock Theater TV package without being shocking in the least. All these came from Universal, the greatest monster factory of all time. Audiences weary of and dismayed by the real horrors of World War 2 could escape into a universe where evil was encountered and inevitably defeated in a neat 75 minutes. For the most part, the films lacked the gravitas - and the budgets - of the 1930s horror classics, but they filled the (double) bill and are regarded today with great affection by lovers of vintage movies.
A monster of a book at 800 pages!