Down from the Attic

Rare Thrillers of the Silent Era through the 1950s


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SKU: 9780786498314 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

   Much has been written (and rewritten) about classic horror and science fiction films like Nosferatu and Metropolis, as well as not-so-classic pictures like Bride of the Monster and The Hideous Sun Demon. Yet some genre films have fallen through the cracks. The 24 films—some elusive, some easily found on YouTube—examined in this book all suffered critical  neglect and were prematurely stacked in the attic. The authors bring them back into the light, beginning with Der Tunnel (1915), about the building of a transatlantic tunnel, and ending with The Emperor’s Baker—The Baker’s Emperor (1951), a bizarre Marxist take on the Golem legend.
   A variety of thrillers are covered—Fog (1933), Return of the Terror (1934), Forgotten Faces (1928)—along with such sci-fi leaps into the future as The Sky Ranger (1921), High Treason (1929) and Just Imagine (1930). Early adaptations include The Man Who Laughs (1921), The Monkey’s Paw (1923), Hound of the Baskervilles (1937) and Sweeney Todd (1928). Rare stills and background material are included in a discussion of Hispanic vintage horror. The career of exploitation auteur, Bud Pollard (The Horror, 1933) is examined.

About the Author(s)

John T. Soister is a teacher of modern and classical languages, and lives in Denver, Colorado.
Henry Nicolella, of Syracuse, New York, retired from a ministry of working for the homeless.

Bibliographic Details

John T. Soister and Henry Nicolella
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 111 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9831-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2544-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Nota Bene viii

Introduction 1

Der Tunnel; Transatlantic Tunnel 7

Sherlock Holmes 20

The Sky Ranger (The Man Who Stole the Moon) 34

First Looks: Das grinsende Gesicht; Die Insel der Verschollenen 52

The Monkey’s Paw; Sweeney Todd 62

The House Without a Key 76

Forgotten Faces 91

High Treason; Men Must Fight 99

Les Fantômes de Paris: Chéri-Bibi; The Phantom of Paris 110

Just Imagine 125

Fog; Terror Aboard 139

The Horror: The Patchwork Cinema of Bud Pollard 149

Return of the Terror 168

Death Takes a Holiday 176

Hispanic Horrors 188

Der Hund von Baskerville 202

Císařův Pekař a Pekařův Císař (The Emperor’s Baker, the Baker’s Emperor) 213

Chapter Notes 225

Bibliography 229

Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating…a brilliant book…well written. Fun to read. Incredible research…really, really good photo and illo reproduction…a great read and a great book”—Little Shoppe of Horrors; “Soister and Nicolella have done a wonderful job of finding these films and bringing them to the attention of genre fans”—Scarlet The Film Magazine; “Soister and Nicolella dust off nearly two dozen films of the early twentieth century for vintage horror fans and present fresh critique of these mid-level films, aiming for an eclectic mix of pictures that have been neither repetitively dissected nor rightfully consigned to obscurity”—ProtoView; Reviews from the first volume Up from the Vault: “unique…highly interesting…important piece of history”—Monsters from the Vault; “magnificent…a must…important…wonderful”—VideoScope; “very interesting…a good job…recommended reading”—Silents Are Golden; “fluid writing style…[the author has] done his homework”—Video Watchdog; “sheds light on 21 undeservedly neglected films”—C&RL News.