Fantastic Films of the Decades – Volume 1: The Silents | A cult film fan must-have!
From film historian, Wayne Kinsey, comes the first in an ambitious nine volume series, which sets out to present an informative, pictorial history of cobweb cinema (including horror, fantasy, sci-fi and spine-tingling thrillers), from the silent era to the blockbusters of the 1970s.
Kinsey begins his epic journey with the seminal silent era, where many a cinematic mad doctor, monster and screaming heroine were first given life by early film pioneers like George Méliès, FW Murnau and Fritz Lang.
Providing the same kind of detailed background information (production history, credit lists, and fascinating facts on the cast, crews and film-makers) that he employs in his many Hammer history tomes, Kinsey unearths and revisits 65 genre films, a mixture of classics and obscurities, and seven famously lost gems.
Designed with ‘Fantastic’ film fans in mind, Kinsey packs his labour of love with tons of wonderful images (many new to my well-informed eyes – and pristine thanks to the superb Blu-ray scans), as well as some vintage poster repros.
He also intersperses the filmography with sections honouring the era’s Legends: including actors Lon Chaney Sr, Conrad Veidt and the Barrymores; directors Karl Freund, Alfred Hitchcock and Tod Browning; make-up artists Perc, Wally and Bud Westmore, and iconic studios like Universal. There are also Series Link pages devoted to a range of themes (including supernatural, vampire and dinosaur films) and iconic characters (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Opera Ghost).
Though Kinsey tends to end his series around the time The Exorcist inexorably changed the horror cinema landscape and before the 1980s VHS boom put the final nail in the coffin of the ‘classic’ Fantastic genre, I would have preferred his Series Link pages to be more up-to-date. But that’s a minor niggle (as are the odd typo).
Overall, Kinsey has conjured an impressive, informative and – above all – invaluable film reference book, one that belongs on every film fans bookshelf, and right next to those seminal Alan Frank and Denis Gifford’s books which many a 1970s Monster Kid (myself included) still treasure.
Fantastic Films of the Decades Volume 1: The Silent Era is limited to 500 copies and is available only from Peveril Publishing
Click HERE to place an order.
Posted on August 12, 2015, in Books, Cult classic, Cult Film News and tagged Classic horror, Fantastic Films of the Decades Volume 1: The Silent Era, Fantasy, Horror, Peveril Publishing, Sci-Fi, Silent movies, Thriller, Universal Horror, Wayne Kinsey. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.