Monster in the Movies

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 20th, 2011

Monsters in the Movies is a new book by John Landis, which appeared in September 2011.

Landis is of some consideration within hominology. The early rumors linking John Chambers, the makeup artist, as being behind the Patterson-Gimlin footage, were sourced as coming from Landis. Chambers roundly denied all links to the P-G film, but said the rumors and publicity were good for his reputation in Hollywood.

Who could forget John Landis’s Bigfoot classic, Schlock?

In his new book, Landis has sections of special note entitled, “Monstrous Apes,” “Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales,” “Human Monsters,” plus sections on Rick Baker and Ray Harryhausen. Of less interest to cryptozoologists are the requisite zombies, ghosts and mutant monsters.

The book is loaded with photographs and poster reproductions. A correspondent who has seen it writes, “It’s just a beautiful book. It’s one of those over-sized, coffee table books that ain’t cheap, $40 + tax, but it’s worth it.”



As director of An American Werewolf in London and Innocent Blood, Landis is no stranger to horror films. Here, he offers a whirlwind tour of just about everything related to the genre, from the silents to today’s computer-generated imagery. Typical of DK, the book includes thousands of captioned photos featuring Landis’s commentary on the films. Chapters cover vampires, werewolves, mad scientists, zombies, giant apes, atomic mutations, space monsters, and much more. Subsections spotlight actors like Lon Chaney Jr.–this book is extremely thorough. Landis also provides brief interviews with actor Christopher Lee, directors David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Guillermo del Toro, and Sam Raimi, makeup master Rick Baker, and legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen, a wonderful bonus. Verdict: With tons of cool pics and beautifully reproduced film posters, Landis’s volume knocks it out of the park as a superbrowsable overview of the beasties, ghosties, and ghoulies that have terrified us on the big screen all in the name of fun. Horror fans will love it. —Library Journal, August 1, 2011

Product Description

From B-movie bogeymen and outer space oddities to big-budget terrors, Monsters in the Movies by legendary filmmaker John Landis showcases the greatest monsters ever to creep, fly, slither, stalk, or rampage across the Silver Screen!

Landis provides his own fascinating and entertaining insights into the world of moviemaking, while conducting in-depth “conversations” with leading monster makers, including David Cronenberg, Christopher Lee, John Carpenter, and Sam Raimi— to discuss some of the most petrifying monsters ever seen. He also surveys the historical origins of the archetypal monsters, such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves, and takes you behind the scenes to discover the secrets of those special-effects wizards who created such legendary frighteners as King Kong, Dracula, and Halloween‘s Michael Myers. With more than 1000 stunning movie stills and posters, this book is sure to keep even the most intense fright-seekers at the edge of their seats for hours!

Thanks to MB for the newstip and critique.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

One Response to “Monster in the Movies

  1. TimmyRyan65 responds:

    Landis is a class act! He gave me his personal blessing when I directed a stage version of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON for a Free Halloween show here in Maine! We made a pretty impressive & realistic wolf suit for only $400. An actor could easily walk on all fours and walk upright if they chose. Check it out by seaching on Facebook.

    Many years ago Landis has gone on record stating Chambers told him he helped with the Patty suit. Not sure where he stands on the issue now a days. He obviously did a great job on it! 😉

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