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Monsters in the Movies Hardcover – September 19, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delicious romp through the film world, this book provides a nostalgic pull for anyone who grew up a fan of the great horror flicks." – Booklist

About the Author

John Landis is a household name and the award-winning director of horror hits such as American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson's Thriller video, and Innocent Blood. He has also directed a host of classic films not in the horror genre, including The Blues Brothers, Animal House, Trading Places, Three Amigos! and Coming To America.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DK; First Editon edition (September 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075668370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756683702
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.1 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The writing is easy to read.
Barry Smith
If you know any monster movie fans, or are one yourself, I would really recommend this book.
tckld_pnk
This is a wonderful coffee table book!
Happy Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jean Valjean on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. It represents a fast and pleasurable romp through the history of movie monsters from the silent era to today. John Landis, as almost everyone knows, directed some of the most well known and culturally influential movies, including An American Werewolf in London and The Blues Brothers. Landis's love for Dark Fantasy films really shines here and hooks the reader. The pictures are very attractive and the interviews with well known personalities involved with monster movies were educational. Landis is a very opinionated writer which I find to be refreshing. In his interviews, he is able to draw out blunt observations from those he talked with.

The monster movies are grouped into broad categories throughout the book. They are: Vampires, Werewolves, Mad Scientists, Zombies, Ghosts, Mummies, Myths/Legends/Fairy Tales, Dragons/Dinosaurs, Monstrous Apes, Nature's Revenge, Atomic Mutations, The Devil's Work, Space Monsters, Monstrous Machines, Human Monsters, and The Monster Makers. At the beginning of each section, Landis would provide a two page overview about the subject or topic. His writings are clear, succinct, and knowledgeable, with the right touch of humor.

This is a book that any fans of Dark Fantasy movies will want to obtain and read (and re-read) during any "dark and gloomy nights."
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. Banks on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An incredibly lavish collection of hundreds of amazing pictures of all your favorite movie monsters ... many I have never seen before. You will spend some serious time looking at this. But, don't just look. Read. The interviews with Joe Dante, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter, Ray Harryhausen, Guillermo Del Toro, Rick Baker and David Cronenberg (and the captions of the photos) by the highly-opinionated and highly-entertaining and well-informed Landis are just great.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tom Dupree on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's like thumbing through the best issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS you ever held in your hand -- and then you get to go back and *read it*! I only saw one egregious error my first time thru: on page 81, they mistakenly credit a shot from the original 1958 THE FLY [that movie was in color, as many traumatized kids can attest] to RETURN OF THE FLY, the cheapo b&w sequel that featured the HUGE fly-head. Oops. But since they printed the shot from the color movie in b&w [why?], maybe nerddom can forgive. Landis is so well connected that your bonus, besides the usual brilliant D-K page designs, is a series of ruminations from the best directors in the genre. Even the cover is scary.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful coffee table book! No one has yet resisted the temptation to open my copy, and once they start paging through it, they can't stop! I'll quote John Landis from his Foreward: "There are many books about the movies, and like the movies, most of them are not that good. So I feel the need to clarify that this has been a labor of love and not a class assignment. This book is meant to be fun. It is not some heavy tome on the meaning of violence in the cinema, or a ponderous examination of film theory. This is a book with a lot of photographs of monsters in the movies."

Landis fulfilled his promise - this is a FUN book. He also goes on to say, "As for any monsters that are omitted, my only excuse is the finite number of photos my publisher would allow."

That may be true, but every "monster" I thought of, from a favorite movie, is in here! And lest you think this is a book only for hard-core horror film lovers, which I'm not, I'll list some of my favorites: "Edward Scissorhands" - yes, under "Mad Scientists"!. "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" - yes! "The Ghost Breakers" with Bob Hope - yes! "I Am Legend" with Will Smith and Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" - YES! YES!

And it also has the films that aren't my style, such as "Basket Case", "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (in the chapter "Human Monsters") and "Child's Play". This book was published in 2011, and it includes movies up to 2010.

Most of the book is taken up with the fabulous photos, each accompanied by Landis' brief caption.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By EE on November 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up with the classic Universal Monsters, graduated to Hammer and am disappointed with many of today's films. I feel that John Landis is an up and down director. Some of his stuff (Animal House) is great and some so-so (American Werewolf in London. I really still feel it's disjointed and both The Howling and Dog Soldiers are better werewolf films). This book is a bit too self serving. Why is Masters of Horror (which was actually mostly bad) in this? Why does he feel he has to damn The Lord of the Rings (and get Christopher Lee's character wrong, several times). The information within isn't new. It feels like he mined his collection of Famous Monsters for much of the text This book really needed some editing on the narrative,to make it more informative and far less smarmy, Sad that so many great pictures accompanied such a mundane narrative. This is worth a look, but it didn't stay on my shelf.
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