In 2009 McFarland & Company Inc. published Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration. You may have a copy on your book shelf of my 372-page book Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration. In the 19 years since the publication of this 1990 tome, I learned so many additional fascinating facts, spoke to so many more primary sources, had access to so many never-before-seen photos - many of them casual candids - and grew so much in my admiration for both of these gentlemen that I had to expand the book to the current 701-page opus!
"Meticulously researched (Mank has been writing on the subject of classic horror for years and was able to interview many of the people behind those movies of the 1930s and 1940s in the late 1980s, when there were many more still around), and entertainingly written, this book will stand as the final word on both actors....Mank’s book is the best example of its type. "--Total SciFi Online
"This is an incredible book. I can barely scratch the surface of the information and secrets that Mank has uncovered. Suffice to say that this book is the one book you must own if you are a fan of Lugosi and Karloff. "--Fangoria
"The Mank book, which he calls an "obsession" since his first interviews with Lugosi's ex-wife in 1974, is meticulously researched and more than 300 pages longer than the original. It grandly paints a portrait of the two stars and the spooky past of Universal, Hollywood's top scare studio of the 1930s and 1940s."--USA Today
“Explores the truths behind the mysterious Karloff and the enigmatic Lugosi...brings to life the compelling and complicated saga of the horror kings...add this to your shelf”—Library Journal
“Excellent...well-written and well-researched. If Mank is behind it, you know it will be good”—Mania
In January 2013 BearManor Media published the MagicImage book, The Invisible Man. Yes, MagicImage is back in business, with a vengeance, and this book features the original shooting script, an interview with Claude Rains’ daughter Jessica, my production history, a chapter by Randall D. Larson on the film’s musical score, and a reproduction of the pressbook. BearManor Media, which now produces the MagicImage line, has given the book a very handsome treatment. There are many photos, including some very rare ones. The book is well-timed, following the beautiful restoration of The Invisible Man as part of Universal Studios’ 100th anniversary.
197 pages, color front and back covers.
In June, 2014, McFarland & Company Inc. published The Very Witching Time of Night: Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema, a fascinating brew of vintage horror lore. Thirteen chapters of diverse horror movie sagas that run the gamut from an intimate look at the pitifully sad life of Helen Chandler, leading lady of the 1931 Dracula to a tribute to Junior Laemmle, Universal’s enigmatic “Crown Prince” producer from 1929 to 1936. You will learn fascinating tidbits about "Mad Jack" Barrymore, Lionel "Pinky" Atwill, James Whale, Val Lewton, John Carradine, Colin Clive, Lon Chaney Jr, Shock! Theatre and, of course, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi!
Profusely illustrated with many rare photos.
Mank yokes a fan boy's obsessive enthusiasm with meticulous research. And after 35 years of research and ten books, he has navigated many quirky side streets off the horror film main drag....beautiful black and white production stills throughout, Mank and McFarland's tag-teamed volume will be a winner in genre film collections. -- Library Journal
Classic Horror film lovers rejoice! Gregory William Mank has written another Must Have book to add to one's collection....A treasure trove of facts that leaves one astonished by what the author is able to uncover. -- Scarlett the Film Magazine
What unites this variety of nightmares is Mank's attention to detail, his often-lyrical writing, and the common issues many of these disparate films faced. -- Psychobabble
Brilliant, brilliant book. -- Little Shoppe of Horrors
The first - and greatest - teaming of Karloff and Lugosi, The Black Cat, receives full coverage in this new MagicImage Filmbook published by BearManor Media in June 2015. My production history covers it all: the bizarre real-life influences, my interviews with cast members David Manners, Jacqueline Wells, and Lucille Lund, assistant script girl Shirley Ulmer (widow of the film’s director, Edgar G. Ulmer), Arianne Ulmer Cipes (Ulmer’s daughter), and even the woman who, as a child, won (with her cat Jiggs) Universal’s “Black Cats Parade” contest! The volume also contains a reproduction of the film’s press book, a section by Randall Larson on the musical score, and almost 100 illustrations.
Available in both hardcover ($29.95) and softcover ($19.95)
Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy is an in-depth biography of a fascinating man who achieved a dream that morphed into a nightmare - and who died far too young. You don’t need to be a movie fan to get caught up in Cregar’s desperate ambition, meteoric success, and heartbreaking downfall.
In 1944, Laird Cregar played Jack the Ripper in The Lodger, giving one of the most haunting performances in Hollywood history. It was the climax of a strange celebrity that saw this young actor win a sinister distinction as the portrayer of psychopaths and villains. Standing 6’3” and weighing over 300 pounds, he was determined to break free of this typecasting. Cregar desired to become “a beautiful man” and, to this end, embarked on a brutal diet
that killed him at the age of 31. What was this sensitive man really like? What other personal demons hastened his early death?
The first full biography of Cregar, this book tells the candid, heartbreaking story of this brilliant, doomed actor and the monolithic Hollywood in which he lived and died. It contains appendices of his film, theatre, and radio work, plus 100 photographs, many never before published.
Decades of research…the author brings Cregar back to vivid life in this culmination of an ‘almost lifelong’ fascination with the actor…as with most good Hollywood biographies, this one interweaves its subject’s life story with the story of the movie business itself…Mank finds joy as well as tragedy in Cregar’s attempt to live his dream…gives rich life to an unknown Hollywood story.—Booklist;
Mank offers one of the first in-depth studies of Samuel Laird Cregar…a compelling, cautionary tale of an actor who held his own—Library Journal.
Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy... is a fascinating study of the noir legend...you'll be rewarded with a remarkable profile on a previously private actor who shrouded himself in mystery.—Classic Images (Award for Best Film Noir Book of the Year)