Tuesday, May 19, 2015
A Look Back at a Vintage Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book
As fan memorabilia goes, poster books are odd collectibles. Sure, fans have always sought out magazines and books about their favorite topics and have also purchased posters that feature images of said topics. However, somewhere along the line, publishers got the bright idea to combine print with posters, although I'm still baffled as to why. For example, if a fan chooses not to use the poster book not as a poster but as a book, then the book eventually falls apart because the seams give away quickly from being folded and unfolded so many times.
Here's a post about one poster book that was published in 1979, the Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book. As you can tell by the tape stains, tears and missing corners in the photos that I've taken, this poster book had already been through the ringer by the time I got my hands on it during the mid '80s. Nevertheless, it was such a unique find that I was willing to trade some comics to one of my classmates for it. Read on to see more pictures of this odd piece of movie monster memorabilia from a time when practical special effects were still the standard and most young fans largely got their movie monster fix through syndicated TV.
Poster books appeared frequently back in the '70s and early '80s, usually to promote titles such as Alien, Star Trek and Star Wars. The Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book was more along the lines of Forrest J. Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and the Crestwood House line of books about movie monsters. The text and pictures in the poster book feature brief profiles of famous movie monsters such as Godzilla and Gorgo, as well as two brief sections about the make-up techniques and special effects that made movie monsters possible.
The book folds out into a huge poster of King Kong (the original 1933 Kong, not the Kongs from either of the U.S. remakes or the Japanese Kong movies).
Given its limited space for text and movie stills, this poster book features a decent cross section of movie monsters. There's a sampling of monsters from Universal, Hammer and the Atomic Age, as well as nods to George Pal and Planet of the Apes. The only really obscure title in the book is The Wizard of Mars, a z-grade space yarn from 1965 that attempted to depict the Wizard of Oz on the red planet (and failed miserably).
As I mentioned earlier, this copy of the Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book was already in bad shape when I got it and I still hesitate to completely open it for fear that it will completely fall apart. Yet even in its dilapidated state, it's an interesting artifact from another era of horror film fandom and a complementary piece to some of my other classic movie monster books and posters.