Sunday, July 06, 2008


When it comes to classic monster magazines, Jim Clatterbaugh's MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT is in a league unto itself. Published twice a year, MFTV is in many ways the magazine that FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND should have matured into. Its exclusive focus is classic horror cinema (from the silents through the 1960s) and it manages to address a popular readership while at the same time presenting intelligent, well-written articles on such interesting arcana as Bela Lugosi's controversial performance as the Frankenstein Monster in FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN, memoirs of various stage productions starring the greats of classic horror, and the cinematography of Golden Age monsterfests. Many of VIDEO WATCHDOG's favorite guest contributors also appear regularly in MFTV: among them Tom Weaver, Greg Mank, Gary D. Rhodes, Gary L. Prange and the unsinkable Bob Burns. Every issue is also impeccably designed, with a glossy black-and-white interior and a typically breathtaking cover that brings the FM style of monster cover into the 21st century.

MFTV's current issue, #25, features articles on WEREWOLF OF LONDON star Henry Hull, written by his descendant Cortlandt Hull (also the subject of Daniel Horne's wonderful cover painting), Greg Mank's production history of Val Lewton's CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (containing many photos not seen in VW's recent Ann Carter coverage), an interview with actor David Hedison about his work on Irwin Allen's remake of THE LOST WORLD, and a riveting Gary Rhodes article about 1930s screenwriter Manley P. Hall and his treatment for an unfilmed sequel to Universal's DRACULA.

Also included in MFTV #25 -- and the reason prompting our appreciation -- is a staggeringly complimentary, three-page review of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK by Mark A. Miller, author of CHRISTOPHER LEE AND PETER CUSHING AND HORROR CINEMA: A FILMOGRAPHY and co-author of THE CHRISTOPHER LEE FILMOGRAPHY. Miller calls ATCOTD "without a doubt, the most well-researched and and detailed study of any filmmaker ever written" and "a unique masterwork of of film scholarship that will probably never be equaled."

I encourage you to visit the MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT website for ordering information, and collect their back issues while they are still available.

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