Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Quaint & Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore


This is a fine (and fun) book for all fans of "classic" monsters.  With an analytical eye towards classical mythology, Frank J Dello Stritto takes a look at Frankenstein, Invisible Men, and other creatures of the imaginative ilk.

The cover shown above represents a "cut-out" image of the complete cover art, seen below:

Lots of our friends are haunting some poor guy's "sleep of reason."  Below is Goya's original, "The  sleep of reason produces monsters."

If you're like me, you'll almost prefer the new version on the book cover.  Who needs cats and owls, when you can have Renfield guarding your sleep?  (also, notice on the book cover that Kong is lurking in the background, along with cornices featuring Erik the Phantom and Kharis)

As to the INSIDES of the book, Dello Stritto has done a fine job of doing what I have always appreciated:  take the silliness or quirkiness of the monster movies as a given.  Go on from there!  Examine the strange ideas and characters either examined or, perhaps, left unexamined.

I liked the chapter discussing good ol' Larry Talbot and his more cultured parallel, Doctor Henry Jekyll.

There are just so many ideas and movies discussed.  Dello Stritto makes a lot of comparisons between the movies and mythology, too.  Since I've gobbled down several other books since I finished this one, its details aren't as clear in my memory as I'd like.

Guess I'll have to reread it!

This book not only makes you think about how things seemingly unrelated -- mythology and monsters -- do indeed share common ideas; it also makes me want to watch some of the films again.  And seek out those I haven't yet seen.  And that's a great service to the movies.

There are plenty of illos throughout, mostly of posters and lobby cards, that make the essays even more fun.

So, for a fun stroll down Monster Memory Lane, read this book.  I bought mine direct from Cult Movies Press, at:

CULT MOVIES PRESS

644 East 7 1/2 Streeet
Houston, TX
77007

You'll be glad you read it!

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