By Tom Weaver
272 Pages, B&W
Dimensions: H=22.9cm W=15.3cm D=1.5cm
As the cover amply illustrates, we are going 'old skool' here, with such icons as the Gillman (AKA 'The Creature From The Black Lagoon') amongst others. The eagle-eyed amongst you may very well have spotted a familiar robot from various cliffhanger serials lurking in the bottom right hand corner too. Some people foolishly maintain that you cannot judge a book by the cover, but let's be honest here...monsters, killer robots and beautiful women make a persuasive visual shorthand which certainly triggered my buying reflexes. I mean, what else do you need to know, exactly?
The book itself is a collection of interviews (14 in all) with various famous names from the Golden Age of science fiction and horror, both from in front of and behind the camera. The fourteen names in question are as follows:
Peter Mark Richman
Irwin S. Yeaworth, Jr.
The interviews have all seen print in an abridged form at one time or another, in publications such as 'Starlog' and 'Fangoria', but this is apparently the first time they have been presented in all their unexpurgated glory.
It's a mixed bag (as you would expect), but all good. For me personally, as a fan of the serials, the William Witney interview is worth the price of the book alone. The bad news is it has me jonesin' to get a copy of Witney's book 'In a Door, Into a Fight, Out a Door, Into a Chase' for my reading pile, and books related to cliffhanger serials tend to priced at a premium., dammit!
While we're talking about the price of the book, you're probably asking yourself whether I think it is worth the $20 price tag? The answer is yes, I think it's very reasonably priced. I got mine for around the equivalent of $12-14 from Ebay, but had I have paid full price for it, I wouldn't have felt ripped off in any way, shape or form...$20 feels just about right, if I'm honest. It's a tidy little package, all told, and my first experience of Midnight Marquee's stuff. If it is any way indicative of their usual output, then suffice to say it won't be my last either.
If you're a fan of the movies and TV shows of that era, or any of the personalities featured, then I'd suggest you check it out.