MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT
Vol. 15, No. 28
Editor: James Clatterbaugh
Publication Date: Winter 2011
Publisher: Monsters From the Vault
Color covers/B&W interior
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $8.98
You may be familiar with the classic ad slogan: "A diamond is forever." Well, I'm here to tell you, so is MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT! Still considered a "fanzine" on most lists, MFTV is far and away better in style, substance and overall panache than any number of other so-called "pro-zines". Mr. Clatterbaugh never fails to distinguish himself as a master monster 'zine maker by maintaining a level of professionalism that is too much in short supply among magazines in any genre. His writers are always top-notch and the quality of the printing is second to none. And the photos? Well, Jim has plumbed the depths and trolled the waters for any number of hitherto never-before-seen pics to dazzle and delight.
This issue sports yet another Daniel Horne masterpiece illustrating the Bride of Frankenstein. And, why not? Last year marked the 75th Anniversary of the release of what many have called the penultimate Universal horror film.
On a somber note, editor Jim Clatterbaugh dedicates this issue to his brother and sister, both who passed away last year. I can't imagine having to make it through a tragedy like that, but Jim has seemed to have done it. Returning to his love of monsters and publishing his magazine I'm sure has had a lot to do with it.
The issue then heads into a retrospective of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, celebrated by writers Bryan Senn, Greg Mank, Mark Clark, Steven Thornton, David Colton, and Gary Don Rhoades. Each offers a selection that when taken as a whole, provide a wonderful tribute to a film that genuinely deserves to be called, "classic".
Michael A Hoey, son of actor Dennis Hoey (Inspector Lestrade in Rathbone's Sherlock series), had the opportunity to meet Roy William Neill when he was 9 years old on the backlot of the original Universal Studios. What follows is an absorbing personal reminisce of his movie career and controversial passing in 1946. You may remember Neill as the director of such horror classics as Karloff's THE BLACK ROOM and, one of my personal favorite guilty pleasures of all time, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN.
Gregory Mank writes a lengthy and exhaustive article on John Barrymore's THE MAD GENIUS, which came after Barrymore's other movie about a manipulative man, SVENGALI. Mank performs his usual stellar job in researching obscure facts and places the character's private lives in context of the times. These two elements make up the bed rock of Mr. Mank's singular writing style.
Gary D. Rhoades offers a brilliant piece on Bela Lugosi's post-war non-cinematic work. He frames his topic by stating: "While it is tempting to focus on Lugosi's poor decisions and bad luck, it is easy to overlook these moments when fortune smiled at him." What happens next is a description of his stage work and other non-film appearances that kept him employed and with food on the table for his family, as well as better quality cigars to smoke.
Rounding out the issue are the usual, fun to read departments: Letters From the Vault, Films From the Vault, and Books From the Vault.
I have only a short list of the magazines that give me a thrill when I find out a new issue is available. This is one of 'em. And, for that and many more reasons, MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD gives MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT an enthusiastic two claws up!