Dec 022020
  December 2, 2020

Just released, a collection of my 109 reviews of 1930s horror films.

A collection of my 109 reviews of 1930s horror films.

Here you’ll find a complete guide to the horror films of the 1930s. There are 109 surviving horror movies from the decade and this book examines each one. It discusses the good and bad, and places them within the three legs of Hollywood horror: Classic Horror, Poverty Row, and Old Dark House films, before switching to Britain for Quota Quickies and then investigating what Germany, Mexico, China, and the rest of the world had to offer.

The Birth of Monsters covers the social changes, people, and important events that influenced the creation of horror cinema. It discusses how Universal and Carl Laemmle Jr. led the way, and the rest of the Big 5 and Little 3 studios followed grudgingly. And then Joseph Breen brought it all tumbling down. It’s filled with details and stories that make the movies even more enjoyable and places them in the context of the times. Which film was a scam? Which promoted quack science? Which picture got around the Production Code, and what was the first movie made from the work of a Black playwright?

But this isn’t a history book. The Birth of Monsters is about the films themselves: the themes, plots, and characters. Which films are masterpieces that changed popular culture and which are best forgotten? It is a book of reviews, 109 of them. If you want to know which Golden Age, horror films to seek out, The Birth of Monsters will point the way.

Come join Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Hjalmar Poelzig, Ewin Drood, Richard III, Ygor, Svengali, King Kong, Fu Manchu, Dr. Jekyll, Count Zaroff, The Bat, Dr. Moreau, Alraune, The Golem, Murder Legendre and his zombies, Death, Sherlock Holmes, and Sweeney Todd, as well as Boris Karloff, Dwight Frye, Fay Wray, Tod Browning, Vincent Price, James Whale, Myrna Loy, Humprey Bogart, Ginger Rogers, Cantinflas, Basil Rathbone, Charles Laughton, Claude Rains, Max Steiner, Gloria Stuart, and Bela Lugosi.