TWO GREAT CONVENTIONS
I gave a power-point presentation on Of Mice and Men at
both the 2023 Monster Bash Convention (on June 17 at the
Marriott Pittsburgh North, Cranberry Township-Mars, PA) and
the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention (on September 8
at the Hunt Valley Delta Marriott, Hunt Valley, MD). Well
attended and well received! Had fun, sold many copies of my
recent (and some not-so-recent) books, and saw a number
of fans who, I hope, consider me a friend as well as "that-
At next year's Monster Bash, fellow film historian Frank Dello Stritto, and I will be tag-teaming presentations on House of Frankenstein.
PLATINUM WIDOW: WHO KILLED JEAN HARLOW'S HUSBAND?
PORTER DOWN HOLLYWOOD MYSTERY #2
Porter Down's second Hollywood mystery, Platinum
Widow: Who Killed Jean Harlow’s Husband?
has gotten a very positive reception. However, I am
surmising that, because Porter is not involved in a
story surrounding a Hollywood horror movie in this book,
it did not sell as well as I had hoped at either of the two aforementioned conventions.
Based on a REAL Hollywood horror, surrounding the
mysterious death of Jean Harlow's second husband,
Producer Paul Bern (a mysterious death unsolved even
today, over ninety years after the event), I confess to
being even prouder of it than I am of Frankenstein's
Witch: Saint Lizzie Pray for Us. I have heard only
praise from those of you who have read this second Porter Down outing and encourage those of you who haven't to step outside your Classic Horror comfort zone to sample a tale that should, perhaps, be described more accurately as a literary sister to film noir.
My Porter Down Hollywood Mystery series can be ordered from the
Once you read it, please let me know how you like this narrative of the further adventures of Hollywood's ace-sleuth, Porter Down. Reviews on Amazon are MUCH appreciated!
BY THE WAY - click on the "THOUGHTS" tab of this website to read my musings on how the character of Porter Down - like Aphrodite - sprang full-grown from my imagination!
OF MICE AND MEN
Of Mice and Men: Mental Enfeeblement, Racism, and Mercy-Killing in 1939 Hollywood, has had an impressive reception over the past year.
Of Mice and Men was a Best Picture Oscar nominee in 1939, “Hollywood’s Greatest Year,” and shattered taboos that film producers had never dared to challenge. Via access to studio archives that had been crated away for 80 years, the project became a virtual time machine back to the controversial casting and production of this haunting, heartbreaking film. It also covers the private lives of its three brilliant stars – Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, and Lon Chaney, Jr.
Of Mice and Men: Mental Enfeeblement,
Racism, and Mercy-Killing in 1939 Hollywood
is available from BearManor Media at
RECENT PODCAST APPEARANCES
On October 4, Erik J. Martin and I chatted about Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein on his Cineversary podcast. I never get tired of reminiscing about this fun horror comedy!
Later that same month, I spoke on his podcast with Steven Turek about John Barrymore's wicked turn in 1931's Svengali. Had a terrific time - as I always do when talking about pre-Code classic movies.
Meanwhile, I am continuing to work on my third “Porter Down Hollywood Mystery” for BearManor Media. As of now, I have completed polished drafts of parts One through Four (of Five). I know how this tale will end - but - the trick is tying up all the threads! Still as yet untitled, it involves a vampire (?) killer amok in 1935 Hollywood during the filming of the Bela Lugosi/Lionel Barrymore/Elizabeth Allan/Lionel Atwill/Carroll Borland classic film Mark of the Vampire.
And as for magazine articles: my recent article on the Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi film The Raven was published in The Age of Thrills 1930s/1940s in its Summer 2023 issue. Upcoming is an early 2024 article on The Invisible Man for this same British magazine.
Plus, I'm working on another collaboration for BearManor Media with Tom Weaver. Check back for more details.
Hope you come back here soon!
THE MUMMY'S GHOST
SCRIPTS FROM THE CRYPT #15
Tom Weaver and I have collaborated on The Mummy's
Ghost - Scripts from the Crypt #15. With an Introduction
by Regina LeBorg, daughter of the late, great Reginald
LeBorg, and contributions by Laura Wagner, Frank Dello
Stritto, Bryan Senn, Larry Blamire, and Alan K. Rode, this
publication is chock-full of all things "Mummy"!
The key to Universal’s Mummy movies was sex and
passion, and The Mummy's Ghost has both as a strange
"love" triangle of Kharis (Lon Chaney), Ananka/Amina
(Ramsay Ames), and Yousef Bey (John Carradine) emerges. It's a fast-paced funhouse of 1940s chills!
This book contains the shooting script for the movie, profiles of the players, information on real-life "Mummy" lore - and so much more!
The Mummy's Ghost - Scripts from the Crypt #15 is available from the publisher, Bear Manor Media MG-BearManor and from Amazon MG-Amazon.