Paul Blaisdell, Monster Maker

A Biography of the B Movie Makeup and Special Effects Artist

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About the Book

Paul Blaisdell was the man behind the monsters in such movies as The She Creature, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Not of This Earth, It! Terror from Beyond Space and many others. Working in primarily low-budget films, Blaisdell was forced to rely on greasepaint, guts and, most importantly, an unbounded imagination for his creations. From his inauspicious beginning through The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959), the construction of Blaisdell’s monsters and the making of the movies in which they appeared are fully detailed here. Blaisdell’s work in the early monster magazines of the 1960s is also covered.

About the Author(s)

The late Randy Palmer has written for Fangoria, Cinefantastique and other genre magazines. He lived in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Randy Palmer

Foreword by Fred Olen Ray
Foreword by Bob Burns

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, filmography, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [1997]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4099-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0729-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Fred Olen Ray      1
Foreword by Bob Burns      3
Preface      5
A Note Concerning the Text      7

1. Turning Hollywood into Horrorwood      9
2. The Eyes Have It      18
3. The Mutant of Topanga Canyon      35
4. Venusian Vegetable      55
5. Blaisdell in Drag      75
6. Voodoo and Venom      100
7. Here Comes Mr. Gordon      118
8. Cosmic Creeps      134
9. Bert Gordon Strikes Back      168
10. Missing Monsters      183
11. Mars Needs Hemoglobin      191
12. The Last Her-rah      209
13. Beyond the B’s      218
14. Black and White and Bled All Over      225
15. Travesties and Tributes      243
16. Sunset      251

Appendix      263
Filmography      283
Index      291

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “an enjoyable read”—Choice
  • “[Blaisdell’s monsters are] capable of making us laugh and scream at the same time…interesting”—San Francisco Examiner Magazine
  • “affectionate and informative…technical information is wonderful…crisply reproduced photos, drawings and half-tones”—Filmfax
  • “a book dedicated to the rich imagination and ingenious talents of one of Hollywood’s most creative fringe dwellers”—International Theatre Information
  • “fascinating”—Classic Images
  • “wonderful…recommend[ed]”—bare•bones
  • “recommend[ed]”—Famous Monsters of Filmland
  • “a tremendous resource”—Fangoria
  • “thoroughly readable and informative…highly recommended”—Cult Movies
  • “of keen interest to anyone who enjoys the heyday of teenaged drive-in theater monster movies”—Midnight Marquee
  • “scrupulous detail…this book is a treat”—Shivers
  • “the definitive book”—Little Shoppe of Horrors
  • “comprehensive…required reading”—Crimson Celluloid