Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things You've Always Wanted To Know About Monsters But Were Afraid To Ask!

Things You've Always Wanted To Know About Monsters But Were Afraid To Ask! (1977, Tony Tallarico) is a primer for the monster kid looking to get up to speed in the horror film genre. The book is set up like a giant FAQ, with the history and lore of the horror genre communicated in a question and answer format, supplemented with full-page black and white stills throughout.

Of course the classic Universal cadre is covered in full, including Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and the Mummy. Other well-known horror icons like King Kong, the Phantom of the Opera, the Invisible Man, the Creature From the Black Lagoon, and Godzilla are here as well.

But you'll also learn about Tod Browning's "Freaks", lesser known films like "The Monolith Monsters" and Toho Company's "The Mysterians", the AIP "Poe" pictures, Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion creations, George Pal's morlocks from "The Time Machine", and Peter Lorre's child murderer in Fritz Lang's "M".

This still from AIP's "The Black Cat" seems comical as I look at it today. But as a kid, it kind of freaked me out.
He's taking off the guy's head---and laughing!!!!

That's fairly deep coverage for a book intended for children. There are even brief asides into the mythology and history behind some of our more popular monsters. We'll learn how Mary Shelley came to write Frankenstein, how Dracula may have been based on the real-life Vlad the Impaler, and delve into cryptozoology with the Yeti, Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot.

1 comment:

Catherine Olen said...

My parents bought this book for me when I was 6 years old and I didn't sleep for a week. I would LOVE to get my hands on a copy now.