Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review: 70's Monster Memories

70's Monster Memories Edited By Eric McNaughton

Michael Hauss, our latest writer to join the ranks of the TOG roster brought this highly entertaining book to my attention and for the first time ever, I've decided to review something in print. Usually I shamelessly plug Monster! (more so on FB than here, speaking of, don't forget to buy the new issue featuring my reviews for CHUD and Amityville 2), but print is still vital and important to us, so support struggling writers and make sure you buy a copy of 70's Monster Memories by Eric McNaughton when it's available. McNaughton, runs a UK based magazine called We Belong Dead, I defy you to go to his site, have a gander and not be over joyed (I drooled a little) over the gruesome spectacle of Famous Monster style artwork and glossy images. I want to check out this magazine for sure. 

In this book, there are Paxton/Fenton contributors like Dawn Dabell, Troy Howarth and Mike Hauss, who gushingly reminisce about all things ghoulish and ghastly geared toward Universal Monster and Hammer Horror fanatics. The artwork featured here is pretty fantastic and the stories are captivating, they even go into detail about Horror sound effects records, which are always a fun and a goofy way to entertain your guests during Halloween (or for us Monster fans everyday)! Daz Lawrence wrote about the BBC death and horror sound effects record, which has one of the best covers ever. It's a fuzzy mutated female face surrounded by mummies, Kong, aliens and vampires in the kind of scrawly artwork as a youngster I would try to emulate. Click this link for a sample. I found this record at Sir Arthur Oldies, a weird place I used to frequent in a rundown strip mall in South Florida behind a Dennys.

I remember watching the credits of Dark Shadows and just by hearing the music by Bob Cobert and seeing the black and white crashing waves, I'd imagine what demons and vampires were on the show. I was inspired to draw a bunch of cryptic fiends on a giant cardboard box that I hid in. This is the kind of power nostalgia and horror films has over fans like us and it still resonates with a fun book like this. The 70's is my favorite era for subculture and ephemera, so this book didn't have to really try to get my attention. Michael Hauss writes about Mego creatures in the book, I've always gravitated toward the unique action figures from that toy company. whether they be comic book heroes or Planet of the Apes figures.

There's an article about Aurora model kits, which made me slightly jealous and horror themed candy and food. I remember going to this convenient store in the 80's where I found these hideous tasting Skull Crusher candies that oozed pink liquid. I only got them for the creepy novelty aspect because they were pretty revolting. I was ecstatic to see a mention of the infamous Vincent Price cookbook, where he instructs the public on how to turn their washing machine into an oven!  

There's a whole chapter on 70's novel tie ins,which is something I always try to collect when I come across them. Each page is super informative and vibrant, lots of fun stuff to gawk at! There are 400 pages and it's all in full blood dripping color and the articles and writing is on par with Monster!, so go out of your way to get a copy when it's available.

I highly recommend ordering a copy. Thanks so much Mike for setting me up with my first book review and also to Eric McNaughton for compiling such an entertaining read.

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