1930S, 1940s, 1950s, book, BOOK REVIEW, books, british, Classic Hollywood, crime drama, cult, Encyclopedia, fantasy, FILM NOIR, genre, ghosts, Horror, international, McFarland, obscure, rare, review, SCIENCE FICTION, Silent, SILENTS, thriller, tv film radio books theatremusic storytelling horror mystery fantasy science fiction thrillers drama, Uncategorized, wierd

DOWN FROM THE ATTIC (book review)

13435459_10154240547066585_1488151168196027998_n                           

Down from the Attic: Rare Thrillers of the Silent Era through the 1950s
By John T. Soister and Henry Nicolella -(McFarland; June ,2016 )248 pages $39.95

 http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-9831-4

This wonderful follow up to UP FROM THE VAULT: RARE THRILLERS FROM THE 1920S AND 1930S (McFarland ,2010) has author John T Soister joined by Henry Nicolella to track down and view where possible twenty-four films that are ignored and unknown by the majority of genre fans.

Horror-1932-dvd
Some are at present lost (i.e. deteriorated nitrate negatives and thus no longer in existence) and others available in truncated forms. Yet that we have still so many of these films for viewing is in itself miraculous, as according to Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation claims that “half of all American films made before 1950 and over 90% of films made before 1929 are lost forever.”

250px-1937_derhundvonbaskerville_affiche0

FOG 33

Beginning with the silent era and going up to 1951, the pair of author sleuths tracked down films and prints from around the world, viewing whatever prints are still extant, and delving deeply into research about productions and reviews buried long ago in musty volumes and microfilm. Their summaries and plot synopses of the films covered makes one seek to look for many of these films, and some make you wonder why a few of them are not better known. Hopefully, their research may bring a few of these films to being found and perhaps preserved.6676769_1

What also makes this book invaluable is their willingness to seek out films that were made outside of the United States. Movies from The U.K. Germany, the Czech Republic, and South America are also explored, many perhaps for the first time in such detail outside of their borders.

THE EMPERORS BAKER

Plus, they cover the odd career of filmmaker Bud Pollard, responsible for the elusive and obscure THE HORROR (Bud Pollard Productions ,1932) as well as the first sound version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O8kbTi4WNo .

horror-the

Soister and Nicolella have done a wonderful job of finding these films and bringing them to the attention of genre fans. As they point out, not all of the films can be considered classics, but their importance cannot be denied.

UNA LUZ EN LA VENTANAa-15-00

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

sweeney2

-Kevin G Shinnick

Please LIKE and FOLLOW
SWEENEY TODD 1928https://www.facebook.com/SCARLETreviews
and
https://scarletthefilmmagazine.wordpress.com/

just-imagine-movie-1930

Advertisements
Standard
1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, BOOK REVIEW, cult, diy filmmaking, Encyclopedia, fantasy, ghosts, Horror, McFarland, obscure, rare, review, tv film radio books theatremusic storytelling horror mystery fantasy science fiction thrillers drama, Uncategorized, vampire, wierd, zombies

HORROR FILMS BY SUBGENRE

HORROR FILMS BY SUBGENRE by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay (McFarland, January 2016) softcover 252pages. $35.00

http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-9837-6

 

k2-_0a30cd36-e003-4824-98a7-a70bc4f0d169.v2

When I first received this book, I was a bit unsure that I’d have any interest in it. The idea of breaking the genre down into sub categories seemed to me a bit anal to say the least. Plus, glancing through it, I was huffy, saying that the authors were missing a lot of old films when referencing suggestions for films that best illustrated the subcategory.

MV5BNzY5MjM0ODQ2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTY3MjU4Nw@@._V1_SY1000_SX708_AL_
Then I began to read further and I realized that the authors had a great understanding of horror on screen, and that the choices the made were wonderful ways of introducing fans and the curious to recent films that many of us may have missed.

MV5BMTc1MDM5MTI0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTMyODI1MDE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_

I began making a list of titles that they suggested, and I found that if the films were not classics, they were definitely entertaining and I am very glad that they brought movies to my attention.

 

MV5BMjMxNDEyMzU2M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTg4ODQ3Nw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,679,1000_AL_

Yes, as I read further there WERE some of the usual suspects like CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (Decla-Bioscop AG ,1920) for example, but I had missed ASYLUM BLACKOUT (Artemis Productions,2011), which is sort of a house of crazies variation on ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13(Turtle Releasing ,1976). Plus, there were relatively new categories (single person horror) that had some movies which, while I have not caught them yet, the descriptions convinced me they go into my must see list (THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH (Rue Morgue Cinema ,2012) by Rue Morgue founder Rodrigo Gudino, which I had heard about, but this book reminded me I had shamelessly missed viewing.

MV5BNTQ4MzE3NTk3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDAyODAzMDE@._V1_
Several other tasty morsels were promoted that I wish to view such as Nazi horror in THE DEVIL’S ROCK (Entertainment One ,2011), found footage horror of A NECESSARY DEATH (Brickwall ,2008), and buried alive horror in OPEN GRAVE (Tribeca Films ,2013). The authors champion filmmakers that I have enjoyed in the past such as the works of Larry Fessenden (THE LAST WINTER, Glass Eye Pix, 2006 among many) and so I do understand what they are doing with this reference tome.

the devils

You might question why certain titles were chosen while others were overlooked. I feel that the two writers wanted to stimulate debate and discussion, as well as have you seek out little gems that might have slipped through the cracks. Isn’t that what a good film book should do?

Recommended.
Kevin G Shinnick

the-devils-rock-2

Standard
1930S, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, book, BOOK REVIEW, books, cult, Encyclopedia, fantasy, genre, Horror, humor, McFarland, obscure, rare, review, rpg, SCIENCE FICTION, Silent, SILENTS, t.v., tv film radio books theatremusic storytelling horror mystery fantasy science fiction thrillers drama, Uncategorized, Western, westerns, wierd

Encyclopedia Of Weird Westerns -a SCARLET book review

wierd westerns cover

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WEIRD WESTERNS by Paul Green (McFarland, publication February 2016) 320 pages-softcover $39.95 www.mcfarlandpub.com .

RqwYh

 

Ever since seeing PHANTOM EMPIRE (1935, Mascot) on television, I have enjoyed westerns that not your typical gunslinger tale. It seems that I am not alone in my enjoyment of these genre mash ups, as author /comic artist Paul Green has tracked down horror, fantasy, sci fi tales of the Old West (or western tinged tales).

Green casts a wide lasso to hog tie in film, stories, games, and comic books that touch on these hybrid tales.

Some of the titles may raise a few eyebrows for their inclusion (STAR WARS, Fox 1977) as Space Westerns, and a few for their omission (THE TERROR OF TINY TOWN, Principal 1938) though the author clarifies why he feels certain titles don’t fall under the definition “Weird Western”. However, where is GHOST TOWN (Empire,1988)? He lists several other Charles Band produced films so I am surprised he missed this one.

 

big

(GHOST TOWN disappeared from the book )

Most fascinating was how far back in literature these oddball oaters went. In 1868, “The Huge Hunter or The Steam Man of the Prairies “by Edward Sylvester Ellis was published, featuring a steam powered robot (true STEAM punk!) . Dime novels, pulps, and magazine serials all spun out tales of when the uncanny went West.

images(3)

I do recall in the 1960s a lot of comic books have science fantasy and outright horror stories mixed in with the six gun slinging chronicles. Many of these inspired big (and not so big) budget films and tv series such as COWBOYS & ALIENS (Universal ,2011).

THE DARK

There are even several role playing games for those so inclined ,such as DEADLANDS (Pinnacle Entertainment Group,1996 )and it’s follow ups.

ad2f4ad2679b1b8387d6a07c2fbadce5-d6tenpg
Author Green choses some pretty choice illustrations for the comic art, giving small bios on artists like John Severin who did a lot of work in the craft. Likewise, he provides some rare lobby cards and photos from the cinematic world.

All and all, a pretty good research book on this subgenre of sage brush strangeness.

Kevin G Shinnick

SpaceWestern40

 

Standard