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)

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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-Kevin G Shinnick

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tv film radio books theatremusic storytelling horror mystery fantasy science fiction thrillers drama, Uncategorized

THE VAMPIRE IN FOLKLORE, HISTORY, LITERATURE, FILM & TELEVISION: A COMPREHENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY -Scarlet The Film Magazine Book Review

978-0-7864-9936-6

THE VAMPIRE IN FOLKLORE, HISTORY, LITERATURE, FILM & TELEVISION: A COMPREHENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY – compiled by J. Gordon Melton & Alysa Hornick -388 pages .McFarland  $45.00 paperback  $16.19 Kindle   http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-9936-6

A quick reference bibliography that covers books and magazine articles as well as stage ,film and other forms of entertainment since 1800 , as well as reports of vampirism attacks from the early 1700s.

The book is broken down into various chapters to make your search easier.  It is mindboggling how much work went into this tome, and it is one that anyone who is serious about vampires both in history and other diversions should have in their collection . Yours truly was surprised to see his name pop up for a piece he wrote for CHILLER THEATRE MAGAZINE back in 1994 so the researchers really have dug far and wide for their material.

The one problem with books of this nature is that popular subjects like vampires have new material appear nearly every day and the book only goes to 2013 .However, that said, for almost any research material before then , this is a must have book . Perhaps in a few years they will add addendums but even if they don’t you would be hard pressed to find such a well-researched bibliography.

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  • Kevin G Shinnick
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