Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poverty Row Horrors! : Monogram, PRC and Republic Horror Films of the Forties (1991), Tom Weaver.

By fans, for fans!  Great little paperback by Tom Weaver, who casts a perceptive eye over a number of studio B horrors.  Not a highly analytical work, but thorough:  there are synopses for over two dozen films followed by more historical information about the production -- how the film was promoted (or not) and even contemporary reviews, some of which are pretty scathing.  I for one think Hollywood could come up with some better ideas to promote movies nowadays.  In 1941, Monogram Studios suggested this promotional strategy for Invisible Ghost:  hire a tall man in dark clothing, armed with a rope or a prop revolver, and ask him to tap passersby on the shoulder.  "If you get a real ballyhooer, he could really do a job!"  (and maybe end up in the clink)?  The book also contains a filmography for poverty row actors and actresses, many of whom reappear over and over in Bs.   Weaver has some definite opinions on the films and his views seem to fall into either the "love it" or "hate it"category, which is a good place to start if you are a film dork who wants to argue with another film dork for hours on end.

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