Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monsters in the Movies: 100 Years of Cinematic Nightmares (2011) Book Review

Monsters in the Movies (2011)

Written by:  John Landis

“Renowned filmmaker John Landis presents a personal celebration of the greatest monsters ever to rampage across the Silver Screen.”-Inside cover blurb

Movie director John Landis who has been responsible for some classic films in movie history, Schlock (1973), Animal House (1978), The Blues Brothers (1980), Trading Places (1983), and Spies Like Us (1985).  But it is his genre efforts that make him huge in the horror community, An American Werewolf in London (1981), Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983), Innocent Blood (1992), and episodes of Masters of Horror (2005).   It was his love of monsters that prompted him to create and author this book about movie monsters.  He has created a truly exceptional book detailing some of the Silver Screen’s greatest monsters.

Monsters in the Movies is not meant to be a critical essay detailing every monster movie ever made, but a labor of love by Landis exploring many of his favorite monsters.   Landis is quick to point out that a lot of the monsters noted in this book are way cooler than the movies they belong to.  The book doesn’t waste time with a lot of exposition; there are over 1000 photos with captions detailing each monster.  The book is broken down into chapters detailing each type of monster including, Vampires, Werewolves, Mad Scientists, Zombies, Ghosts, Mummies, Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales, Dragons and Dinosaurs, Monstrous Apes, Nature’s Revenge, Atomic Mutations, The Devil’s Work, Space Monsters, Monstrous Machines, Human Monsters, and The Monster Makers.

Since Landis has been in the film industry for over 40 years, he has a lot of friends in the business.  He has invited many of horrors biggest names to be interviewed at the end of each chapter.  Some of these names include, John Carpenter, Christopher Lee, Sam Raimi, David Cronenberg, Joe Dante, Guillermo Del Toro, Rick Baker, and Ray Harryhausen.

Monsters in the Movies will open your eyes to a fascinating world of movies, some classics, some quirky, some forgotten, some disturbing, and some unforgettably crazy!”-Inside cover blurb

The book itself is a large, coffee table book with over 300+ pages filled with beautiful photos and exquisitely designed.  I have been a monster fan ever since I can remember and this book is such a wonderful gift to all of us that love our monsters.   I cannot recommend this book enough; it is so lavishly designed and beautiful for any fan of the Monsters in the Movies.

Watch John Landis introducing Monsters in the Movies,

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMztPei8IcI&w=600&h=338]

About Michael Juvinall

Michael Juvinall
I am a Horror journalist, owner of Monster Man Productions, ravenous Horror fiend, aficionado of the classic Universal Monsters, Hammer Horror, Werewolves, and all things Horror.

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