Of Gods and Monsters: A Critical Guide to Universal Studios' Science Fiction, Horror and Mystery Films, 1929-1939: "While Universal's Dracula and Frankenstein (both 1931) have received the most coverage of any of the studio's genre releases, it is the lesser known films that have long fascinated fans and historians alike. Starting with The Last Warning, a 1929 movie released as both a silent and a talkie, Universal provided a decade of films that entertained audiences and sometimes frustrated critics. Each of Universal's horror, science fiction and 'twisted mystery' films receives an in-depth essay for each film: The focus is first on the background to the making of the movie and its place in the Universal catalog. A detailed plot synopsis with critical commentary follows. Filmographic data for the film conclude the entry. Universal's The Shadow short film series is covered in an appendix. Many rare illustrations and movie posters are also included."
Father of Frankenstein: "This novel--the basis for the critically acclaimed 1998 film Gods and Monsters--re-creates the last days of film director James Whale, who was found dead in his swimming pool, an apparent suicide, in 1957. Bram offers sharp insights into the darkly comic sensibility that infuses Whale's two most famous films, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, as memories of an impoverished English childhood, the trenches of World War I, and Hollywood studios compete for space in a mind whose defenses have been weakened by a stroke. Written in the fluid present tense of a cinematic treatment, Father of Frankenstein is a powerful evocation of an era before Hollywood celebrities could proclaim anything but domestic heterosexuality to the outside world."
Lugosi: His Life in Films, on Stage, and in the Hearts of Horror Lovers: "As Bela Lugosi became a star in American horror films in the 1930s and 1940s, publicists and fan magazines crafted outlandish stories to create a new history for Lugosi; he was transformed into one of Hollywood's most mysterious actors. This account of Lugosi's work in film, radio, theater, vaudeville and television provides an exhaustive career biography of the actor. The enormous merchandising industry built around him is also examined."
Boris Karloff: A Gentleman's Life: "Published on March 1, 1999, the book reveals the silver screen 'bogeyman' as one of the most sensitive, considerate and accomplished gentlemen ever to work in the film industry, as well as a pioneer on radio and television. Karloff's early years in England, his remarkable successes on Broadway, his labor activism and charity work, his contributions to the home front and the USO during World War II (including training with the Marines before starring in Arsenic and Old Lace for soldiers in the Pacific), his relationships with his wives, daughter and friends are only a few of the subjects covered in depth. Several appendices provide the most extensive listings of Karloff's stage, film, radio, television, and recorded performances ever compiled. 150 photographs illustrate the text."
In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires
: "Little did the coauthors realize at the time they embarked upon this project over a glass of plum brandy in Bucharest more than twenty-five years ago, that their work would result in the discovery of the authentic, bloodthirsty prototype for Bram Stoker's famous novel Dracula. This pioneering study, first published in 1972, became a collector's item, so this fully updated edition is welcome indeed. The authors' pursuit of the notion that Vlad the Impaler (1431-76) was the original Dracula--through treks both antiquarian (in old libraries and museums) and geographic (in areas of Romania that were once Transylvania and Walachia)--has the thrill of an adventure story. In Search of Dracula is also an entertaining introduction to vampire lore and to people's obsession with Dracula. It has a delightful cover by Edward Gorey and numerous illustrations, including antique woodcuts of Vlad's impaled victims and photos from the authors' trips to Romania."
Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead: "Re-staking" its claim as the most complete and authoritative source on the subject, this fully revised, expanded edition of The Vampire Book features more facts, 200 photos (including a color insert) and new features that are certain to quench the thirst of even the most die-hard fan of the undead.
The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings: "From movies like An American Werewolf in London to the best-selling game, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, to folklore and case histories, The Werewolf Book is the encyclopedic guide to all things lycanthropic. In this spectacular first edition, Brad Steiger takes you back to the 15th century to uncover the origins of the werewolf legend. From there he leads you on an eye-opening world tour through the ages to the modern-day monstrous duality of creatures like cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. The Werewolf Book, the perfect companion to Visible Ink's best-selling Vampire Book, is the eagerly anticipated work resulting from Mr. Steiger's lifelong studies. It contains nearly 250 entries, a filmography, and a resource guide with web sites. More than 125 photographs (including 16 pages in color), ranging from folk art to movie stills, will have you hair standing on end."