on 6 June 2012
i was pleased to learn that this book was re-printed as it had been rather a scare title.
packed with dozens of photos and information about the classic horror and sci fi films, the author has presented a detailed and interesting account of the history of the two genres from the late 1800s to the late 1960s. naturally, the reader won't agree with all of the opinions of the writer. a case in point: the author states that he doesn't really rate the vampire german classic "nosferatu." personally, i find this hard to understand, given the fact that this particular horror film has the ability to genuinely frighten its audience. still, his opinion only.
this is an easy book to read and it doesn't lose focus on its subject matter, unlike other books of this kind.
on 9 March 2012
This book first came out in the late 1960s and was one of the earliest to take a serious look at fantasy, horror and sci fi films.
It still reads well today however some of Clarens' opinions are based on memory and film versions available at the time. In the age of DVD, serious film restoration and new eyes some of his opinions seem strange - he dismisses Nosferatu, but celebrates Dracula - which is contrary to current attitudes (of course opinion is subjective)and one should bear this in mind. Some films were lost at the time of his writing but have since been rediscovered, equally some films that were still available in the 1960s have since been lost. These factors apart the book is easy to read entertaining and enjoyable.
on 26 January 2014
This book is a fantastic read.
However, in this particular edition, the stills used for illustration are very dark. In some cases they are dark enough to be almost unrecognisable.
There really is no excuse for this, as previous editions have had good quality reproductions.
Had I known this I wouldn't have ordered it.