The 1960s and 1970s were an excellent time to grow up as a monster kid. Movie monsters were found everywhere. Toys. Model kits. Halloween costumes. Magazines. Books. This blog is about one of those books; one of which I took out of my school library time and time again. “A Pictorial History of Horror Movies,” by Denis Gifford, is a book that was always in my possession growing up.
“A Pictorial History of Horror Movies” came out in 1973 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. It is an over-sized, hard-covered book with 216 pages. The pictures throughout are akin to a deluxe version of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland and I found myself studying these pictures often, even trying to draw them at times. As an elementary-school student, it was the pictures that I was obsessed most with. I read the captions that accompanied the pictures, but I didn’t read the book cover to cover.
I remember fondly that each time I took “A Pictorial History of Horror Movies” out of the library, my name was the dominant one on the sign-out card in the back. It showed me how few horror movie fans there actually were in my school growing up. This explains why I was such a loner in school. My interests really were not shared by most of my fellow students.
Revisiting this book now, it holds up quite well. I recently obtained an old copy. The pages are yellowed and it smells somewhat musty, as old books do. Many memories came back to me and after reading it finally for the first time, it is nice to see that it still held up quite well, almost fifty years later. Though there have been many books published since then, many of which are considered better, this book is still a great addition to any horror library.
Copies of “A Pictorial History of Horror Movies” are still out there. There has also been a newer version of this book, that came out in 1983. Either way, it’s great to look back in time at these releases. If you would like to own this amazing book, just click on the image below. Make sure to check out my other MONSTER KID MEMORIES.