Sunday, July 18, 2010

MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT 27

MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT
Vol. 15, No. 27
Editor: Jim Clatterbaugh
Publication Date: Spring 2010
Publisher: Monsters From The Vault
Color covers/B&W interior
66 ppg. (including covers)
Cover price: $8.98

There was no way that I was gonna miss the next issue of MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT. After seeing it advertised in Diamond's Previews, I knew I had to have it. The cover showed an image of none other than one of my all-time favorite B-Horror movie monsters, the pig/dog/whatever critter dubbed THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS (1958). I love this film, and what's more, I love the magazine that was going to give me more of it!

Well, some months later (like LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT is published only two times a year), it finally showed up in my box at my local comic shop (EVERETT COMICS). I was extremely pleased to see it is still printed with slick cardstock color covers and glossy black and white interior pages just like it has for many issues now.

As far as the contents go, again I was not disappointed. The Piedras Blancas article turned out to be a looong interview with leading man, Don Sullivan. He was in a few other monster movies, like THE GIANT GILA MONSTER, so he had plenty to say about my beloved B-movies. What was also of great interest is that he left acting to become a cosmetics chemist, working for some of the biggest industry leaders in the world. This is what I love about interviews, and a good interview will let you know something of the person other than what they are immediately known for. Great job by Bryan Senn.

Gary D. Rhodes' article, Horror in a Christian Century, is a fascinating look at a periodal named "The Christian Cenury, A Journal of Religion", which had been running since the 1800s. In the 1930s, it began featuring capsule movie reviews, including many horror films of the day. They even came with their own rating system. Being a Christian magazine, it makes sense that it would give guidance for appropriate viewing. Here is an example:

"Island of Lost Souls (January4, 1933)
Grim horrors and morbid thrills on uncharted South Sea island where arch-villain scientist conducts fantastic experiments in turning animals into humans. Visiting hero and the 'panther woman' one of the scientist's products, supply weird sex interest. For Mature: Hardly. For Younger: Unhealthy. For Children: No."

What makes this material all the more amazing is that this little-known publication in actuality covered more monster territory than any periodical right up until that fateful day in 1958, with the release of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. The article includes every horror movie review that that magazine printed. A great, hitherto ignored historical find!

Concluding in this issue is the two-part Tom Weaver and Steve Kronenberg magnum opus that covers the Universal pot-boiler, THE STRANGE DOOR, starring Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff. Seems like a lot of space and coverage for a film of this type, but we must remember it is important to mine any kind of information that we can about these older films before the vein dries up.

The surprise of the issue, however, goes to a four-page "Photo Spotlight" of some incredibly rare shots from Universal's THE MOLE PEOPLE. I'd have to say that outside of one or two pictures, I'd wager that these photos have not yet to be seen by most fans. This type of material is exactly what MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT implies with its title -- the discovery of rare and scarce material and sharing it with its readers.

I have been a fan of MFTV for many years now. There are precious few magazines that cover vintage and classic horror films with the care and expertise like MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT does. The quality of the printing and photo reproduction is stunning (I'm not kidding, folks) and second to none. So, if you want to be enriched by the history of monster movies and entertained at the same time, then you should not hesitate to shamble over to the sidebar of this blogroll and make the necessary purchase to open up your own copy of MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT!

And if that isn't enough to create a palpitation in your cranium, next week MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD will begin a multi-part interview with the brains behind the monsters of MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT, Mr. Jim Clatterbaugh. Y'all come back now!

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