Tuesday, April 30, 2019


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 being discussed.

To read Gibson's entire review, click HERE

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