A couple of days ago, on 4-28-19, Doug Gibson of Plan Nine Crunch posted a rather thoughtful review of my latest book BELA LUGOSI AND THE MONOGRAM NINE (written in collaboration with Gary D. Rhodes). A few paragraphs follow....
Since we heard about this a year or so ago, we Bela Lugosi super-fans
have been -- at times impatiently -- waiting for the release of "Bela Lugosi and the Monogram 9,"
(BearManorMedia, 2019), a collection of essays from academics Gary D.
Rhodes (who's written more than several books on Lugosi) and Robert
Guffey, on the series of features Lugosi made for the poverty-row studio
during the first half of the 1940s.
That's a handful of a paragraph/sentence, so what to make of this
collection, ranging from "Invisible Ghost" to "Return of the Ape Man"?
Short answer: I liked it a lot. However, and this is important for the
casual Lugosi fan -- these are not production histories/movie reviews of
the films. The 10 essays, two are reserved for "Invisible Ghost," are
artistic criticism and analysis. Some of it's deep; you may want to
Google individuals such as the surrealist Andre Breton and the eccentric
but talented artist Stanislav Szukalski. Their philosophies relate with
some of these two-week productions [...].
The Monogram 9 were for the most part remarkable achievements given
budgets and time constraints. Their legacies were fueled by an iconic,
charismatic star and directors forced to rely on their first instincts
to create a finished film within a two-week period. Monogram profit
margins were tiny; no allowances were given for wasted time and money.
It's a credit to Rhodes and Guffey that these films have been rewarded
with a bit of scholarship that took far longer to create than the films
To read Gibson's entire review, click HERE.