Of Gods and Monsters

A Critical Guide to Universal Studios’ Science Fiction, Horror and Mystery Films, 1929–1939


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SKU: 9780786421534 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

While Universal’s Dracula and Frankenstein (both 1931) have received the most coverage of any of the studio’s genre releases, it is the lesser known films that have long fascinated fans and historians alike. Starting with The Last Warning, a 1929 movie released as both a silent and a talkie, Universal provided a decade of films that entertained audiences and sometimes frustrated critics.
Each of Universal’s horror, science fiction and “twisted mystery” films receives an in-depth essay for each film. The focus is first on the background to the making of the movie and its place in the Universal catalog. A detailed plot synopsis with critical commentary follows. Filmographic data for the film conclude the entry. Universal’s The Shadow short film series is covered in an appendix. Many rare illustrations and movie posters are also included.

About the Author(s)

John T. Soister is a teacher of modern and classical languages, and lives in Denver, Colorado.

Bibliographic Details

John T. Soister
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 405
Bibliographic Info: 132 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2153-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0499-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix

Preface     1

Introduction: In the Beginning There Was Carl     5

The Films     15

Appendix 1: The Shadow Detective Shorts     377

Appendix 2: The Radio Murder Mystery     381

Bibliography     383

Index     387

Book Reviews & Awards

“concise, definitive essays…in-depth analyses of each film…libraries will definitely want a copy of this intense work”—ARBA; “a fine read”—Midnight Marquee; “thoroughly-detailed…recommended”—Interzone; “43 Universal sci fi, horror and mystery films…are covered in detail…many of these obscure mysteries haven’t been written about at all. Soister has done research [and] discovered new info”—Psychotronic; “fascinating…the book is lavish with its illustrations”—Video Watchdog; “seldom written-about films…. One of the best books of 1999”—Little Shoppe of Horrors; “covers more than 40 films…. The period is significant”—AB Bookman’s Weekly; “in-depth…a must”—VideoScope; “entertaining”—Film Review; “full credits are provided”—Classic Images; “enough new material…to make Soister’s book a welcome addition to any film buff’s library”—Cult Movies; “exhaustive”—Haddon Life; “Soister wisely decides to include critiques of borderline forgotten horrors, mysteries, Crime Club dramas and movies that were included in the Shock Theater television package…commentary is superlative and thought-provoking…infinitely readable…many rare photographs and posters”—Midnight Marquee; “exhaustive guide”—Northeast News Gleaner.