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HOLLYWOOD RIPPER: The Rise and Fall of Laird Cregar
The manuscript for my latest opus, HOLLYWOOD RIPPER: The Rise and Fall of Laird Cregar, is finished and will be sent to McFarland & Company, Inc. early the week of September 12! Barbara and I will be putting the finishing touches on it this weekend and transferring the text and pictures (all 100 of them!) to a disk to send to the publisher. We hope that the finished work will be available for Christmas giving and getting. I will update this site when I know a definite availability date.
2016 MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention
Only one week until the September 15 - 17 MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention where I am scheduled to make my Power Point presentation on the Karloff and Lugosi classic The Black Cat at 8:30 PM on Friday the 16th. The macabre real-life inspirations, the trouble-plagued shooting, the behind-the-scenes episodes as horrific as the film itself, the censorship battles, and the complex Karloff and Lugosi relationship.... all are covered with rare photos and facts and figures from the studio vaults. The movie will be shown immediately following my talk. Hope to see you there!
“Thoughts” About Dracula
Click on the “Thoughts” link in the menu to the left for a VERY personal anecdote about Dracula. Bet you never knew that I almost died onstage Literally...and Gruesomely!
The Lodger Commentary
My commentary to accompany Kino Lorber’s DVD release of 1944’s The Lodger was completed in late July. It’s a full 84-minute feature commentary on the 20th Century-Fox movie, widely considered the greatest “Jack the Ripper” film that Hollywood ever made. Laird Cregar is also considered the greatest of all cinema “Rippers” – and of course, the commentary includes some colorful stories from my upcoming book Hollywood Ripper: The Rise and Fall of Laird Cregar. DVD release date is November 22, 2016.
Cat People Commentary
Criterion’s deluxe edition of Val Lewton’s 1942 Cat People, including my commentary from the previously released Warners’ DVD of that film, is now available for pre-order! In addition to my commentary, the disk features a 2K digital restoration of the movie along with a Val Lewton documentary and interviews with director Jacques Tourneur and cinematographer John Bailey. A terrific film – if it’s not in your personal movie library, go to https://www.criterion.com/films/28696-cat-people to order.
Additional Upcoming 2016 Personal Appearances
In October I have been invited to make my annual Halloween appearance at the Imaginative Cinema Society. I will deviate from my usual horror film presentation to treat the terrific ICS group to a presentation on the non-horror classic The Adventures of Robin Hood. On December 3 and 4, 2016 I will portray Evil Mr. Barnaby for the 33rd year (!) in the Baltimore Actors' Theatre production of Babes In Toyland. If you are in the Baltimore area that weekend, come see this classic seasonal favorite (Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, 2 PM performances each date).
Now that the “Cregar” bio is complete, I have the wonderful dilemma of deciding on which of the two books for which I have contracts to work next:
One Man Crazy: The Life and Death of Colin Clive, Hollywood’s Frankenstein
He immortalized Henry Frankenstein in Universal’s Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein; his tragic personal life was as horrific as the classic melodramas in which he starred. Deeply researched (with fresh and startling discoveries), richly-illustrated (with many rare photos), this sympathetic but unsparingly revealing biography will be the definitive account of the brilliant, hypersensitive actor who unforgettably cried “It’s alive!”
To be published by Midnight Marquee Press, 2017.
The Very Witching Time of Night, II
The critical and popular success of The Very Witching Time of Night: Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema has inspired a contract for The Very Witching Time of Night, Part II. As with the original book, there will be 13 chapters, all on fascinating areas of Hollywood horror, with full coverage of never-before-covered topics and fresh slants on vintage favorites such as Island of Lost Souls and Tower of London. Exhaustively researched and profusely illustrated with many rare photos.
To be published by McFarland in 2017.
Hope to see you back here soon!