Universal Terrors, 1951–1955

Eight Classic Horror and Science Fiction Films


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About the Book

Universal Studios created the first cinematic universe of monsters—Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and others became household names during the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1950s, more modern monsters were created for the Atomic Age, including one-eyed globs from outer space, mutants from the planet Metaluna, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the 100-foot high horror known as Tarantula.
This over-the-top history is the definitive retrospective on Universal’s horror and science fiction movies of 1951–1955. Standing as a sequel to Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas and John Brunas’s Universal Horrors (Second Edition, 2007), it covers eight films: The Strange Door, The Black Castle, It Came from Outer Space, Creature from the Black Lagoon, This Island Earth, Revenge of the Creature, Cult of the Cobra and Tarantula. Each receives a richly detailed critical analysis, day-by-day production history, interviews with filmmakers, release information, an essay on the score, and many photographs, including rare behind-the-scenes shots.

About the Author(s)

Tom Weaver, Sleepy Hollow, New York’s, favorite son, has been interviewing moviemakers since the early 1980s. The New York Times called him one of the leading scholars in the horror field and USA Today has described him as the king of the monster hunters. Classic Images called him “the best interviewer we have today.” A frequent Blu-ray audio commentator, he is the author of numerous reference and other nonfiction books about American popular culture.
David Schecter has been a writer for more than three decades, and also produces soundtrack recordings for his Monstrous Movie Music CD label, which operates out of Chatsworth, California. He lives in Chatsworth.
Robert J. Kiss is a film researcher and translator whose work has been published by the British Film Institute, Cinegraph and Routledge. He lives in Heidelberg, Germany, and has lectured extensively in Britain, Germany and at the Library of Congress.
Steve Kronenberg is the managing editor of Noir City, the e-magazine published quarterly by the Film Noir Foundation. He lives in Millville, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Weaver with David Schecter, Robert J. Kiss and Steve Kronenberg
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 440
Bibliographic Info: 368 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3614-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2776-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Strange Door (1951) 3
The Black Castle (1952) 52
It Came from Outer Space (1953) 88
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) 164
This Island Earth (1955) 209
Revenge of the Creature (1955) 279
Cult of the Cobra (1955) 309
Tarantula (1955) 359
Notes 411
Index 423

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “[Weaver is] one of the leading scholars in the horror field”—New York Times
  • “[Weaver is] the king of the monster hunters”—USA Today
  • “[Weaver is] one of our foremost fantasy film historians”— Sight & Sound
  • “McFarland hits another home run with Universal Terrors. This over-the-top history is the definitive retrospective on Universal’s Horror and Science Fiction Movies of 1951–1955…all I can say is, ‘Wow.’ You must have this book…fascinating…. I can’t imagine any stones have been left unturned…the definitive resource for anything and everything about Universal Pictures during this era…the information in this volume is unsurpassed”—Classic Horrors
  • “Addictive entertainment”—Video Scope
  • “[Weaver’s] books are always so informative, giving a ton of details about the movies and their production, as well as the people that worked on it, from the directors and writers to the actors…if you want to learn about as much as you can about these eight films, then this book is definitely a must…highly recommended”—Kitley’s Krypt
  • “another Whale of a Weaver Book”—Greenbriar Picture Shows