Monday, September 26, 2016

...A Horror-Mood Horror Book Review... “Fantastic Films Of The Decades - Volume 2: The 30's”


Your "Horrible Host" is back once again and better late than never with a brand new hot off the “Horrid Press” “Horror-Mood Horror Book Review”

By way of introduction, readers of horror film books about the legendary Hammer Films Studios are no doubt familiar with the name of author and acclaimed Hammer Film expert Wayne Kinsey… Kinsey, who made his debut with a 24 issue series of prozines which chronicled the history of the fabled British film outfit under the title of “The House That Hammer Built” along with an additional “Dracula Special”, went on to write two of the most sought after tomes about the UK film house, “Hammer Films - The Bray Studios Years” and its follow up volume, “Hammer Films - The Elstree Studios Years” for Tomahawk Press… After the success of these initial efforts, Kinsey would go on to script two additional volumes for Tomahawk, “Hammer Films - A Life In Pictures” and Hammer Films - The Unsung Heroes”… Having his next effort, “Hammer Films On Location” failing to be picked up by his previous publisher, Kinsey made the decision to set up his own publishing house under the banner, Peveril Publishing… Besides “On Location”, Peveril’s catalogue has grown to include “The Peter Cushing Scrapbook”, “Hammer’s Film Legacy”, “Running Scared” and the highly anticipated and forthcoming “The Hammer Film Scrapbook Series” with the soon to be newly minted “The Hammer Dracula Scrapbook” taking its rightful place as the initial volume…

Which brings us to Peveril Publishing and Kinsey’s current release, “Fantastic Films Of The Decades – Volume 2: The 30’s”…


Breaking the book down after having read it cover to cover, I decided to start with the content… Following Mr Kinsey’s Introduction, 118 of the finest 30’s era genre films are covered in detail, with separate discussions of 30’s film legends (actors and prominent filmmakers), amongst them Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, James Whale, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, Colin Clive, Peter Lorre, Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesinger, Claude Rains, Tod Slaughter, George Zucco and Basil Rathbone, along with Special Effects Legends Kenneth Strickfaden and John P Fulton and “Murders In The Rue Morgue’s” “Mirakle’s Manglers” Charles Gemora and Noble Johnson…



Series Links are also included for Fu Manchu, Universal Dracula Films, Universal Frankenstein Films, Universal Mummy Films, Zombie Films, Universal Invisible Man Films, King Kong Films, Karloff and Lugosi Films, Werewolf Films and Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes Films…





Universal Films Directors such as Robert Florey, Edgar G Ulmer, Lew Landers, Stuart Walker, Lambert Hillyer and Rowland V Lee are covered along with separate text pieces including Composing Fantasy, Meet The Girls, Meet The Guys, Motion Picture Production Code and UK ‘H’ for Horror and a series of 1930’s - News Headlines…



And then there are the films, which are covered in detail with little known facts and featuring separate entries, such as “What’s it about?”, “What’s it like?”, “Did you know?”, “Look out for”, “Who’s in it?” and “Who made it?” Two Lost Films: The Cat Creeps and The Gorilla are covered as well…




Last but not least, a skull rating system of one to five skulls has been introduced for this volume as well…

As with the previous volume, the second edition in this series isn’t as text heavy as Kinsey’s other tomes (but the copy is enjoyable, informative and thoroughly researched), with the emphasis being placed rather on the visuals instead, and what visuals are found within! Rare images, screen grabs, and posters both foreign and domestic (and all in sumptuous color) are included, resulting in a veritable visual smorgasbord of this oft forgotten and overlooked era of filmmaking… Steve Kirkham’s Tree Frog Communications design and layout work is as always exemplary (coming from one graphic designer to another) and I’ve peppered this review with a plethora of numerous examples of his outstanding work which one must surely hold a physical copy in their hands in order to truly appreciate Mr. Kirkham’s craftsmanship…




This is an excellent follow up to this series of books which, when completed, will take us all of the way up to the 70’s, covering the finest in Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy…

Please note that this book is available as a numbered limited edition of 500 copies and is available only direct from the publisher (it is not available in book stores or other online markets)… I’ve included the link in this review below as well as in the links section…

In closing, your “Repulsive Reviewer” can only say that these will go fast so… …Miss It Not…

To order Fantastic Films of the Decades Volume 2: The 30’s...

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