I ordered this book online, The Monster Movies of Universal Studios by James L. Neibaur. I just received my copy in a few minutes ago.
I was very excited by this one. Neibaur’s a first rate film historian with quite the catalog under his belt. The book itself is a nice hardcover volume, some awesome photos, and a complete breakdown of “the key” studio monsters from 1931’s Dracula to 1956’s The Creature Walks Among Us. I was excited by this because it does all the movies in chronological order instead of grouping them by monster (which gets messy for the crossover films).
Almost complete. Conspicuous by its absence is 1943’s The Phantom of the Opera. On one hand, it’s the only one of its kind, Universal’s other (better) version hailing back to the silent era. On the other… it’s the only one of its kind, and I was kind of hoping that would be expounded upon, why they opted not to do another one when some of the others had four to six films. Seems like a missed opportunity.
I guess the Phantom isn’t considered a “key” monster? Since when? He’s in every other book and collection I’ve ever seen. I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about the Metaluna here. It’s the Phantom! *grumble* I hate it when I know up front something’s missing.