Bryan Senn’s latest book, The Werewolf Filmography: 300+ Films, covers every lycan-centric movie you can think of, and scads more you otherwise never would have heard of. But maybe you should — at least the ones that are good. In this Guest List for Flick Attack, Senn tracks down seven little-known were-flicks well worth your attention.
When horror buffs turn their attention to werewolves (and who among us hasn’t done that on occasion?), a number of tried-and-true titles invariably spring to mind: The Wolf Man, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Curse of the Werewolf, The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, etc. But alongside these well-known classics lurk a pack-ful of impressive beasts prowling mostly unseen through the darkness of obscurity. So I thought it’d be (ahem) illuminating to shine a full-moon light on a few lesser-known and underappreciated specimens of lycancinema. Folkore dictates that the seventh son of a seventh son is destined to become a werewolf, so here are seven werewolf movies (in chronological order) you didn’t know you needed to see, but you do …
In Essel Pratt’s new novel, Sharkantula, a genetically modified tarantula finds its way into the Great White exhibit at Shark World. Frightened, the arachnid digs its fangs deep into the shark, fast-tracking an evolutionary hybrid into existence that becomes hell-bent on taking over the park, and possibly the world. Sound like a Syfy movie? That’s not accidental! In his Guest List for Flick Attack, Pratt breaks down the movies — and one TV series — that informed his monster mash-up on the page.
Sharkantula was originally the product of a lighthearted brainstorming discussion between multiple indie authors, each jokingly contributing ridiculous ideas. At one point, while discussing the plethora of cheesy science-fiction movies on television, I chose to “claim” Sharkantula as my own. The joke became more serious as I thought the concept over, wondering if a novel written in the styling of those popular movies would be possible.
In his wonderful new book, Mars in the Movies: A History, former NASA employee Thomas Kent Miller takes us on every cinematic journey to the red planet, film by film, from the silents to today. And now, for a Flick Attack Guest List, the author takes us on a cinematic journey of a different kind: through the photos and illustrations that you won’t find in the finished book! Its loss is our gain. Time to blast off!
A printed book is a most finite object. It has a beginning, middle and end not only in terms of its size, content and page count. It also has strict limitations in time; books have production schedules with merciless restrictions of all sorts, especially deadlines. I turned in 69 graphics with my manuscript, and 43 glorious images were used. Those that “didn’t make the cut” were rejected mainly due to resolution issues. I’m sharing here 13 pieces of art that I mourn didn’t get into the book. These are presented in chronological order.
1. From the 1918 Danish film A Trip to Mars (Das Himmelskibet), this is the spaceship Excelsior, in which adventurer Avanti Planetarios and his crew spend six months cruising to the Red Planet. As far as I can tell, this is the first Mars “rocketship” in the cinema.
Author and film historian Roberto Curti is such an expert on Italian genre cinema, he literally wrote the books on them: 2013’s Italian Crime Filmography and 2015’s Italian Gothic Horror Films, both published by McFarland & Company. And he’s still writing them! In fact, Curti has two new books out this summer: Tonino Valerii: The Films for McFarland and, through Midnight Marquee, Diabolika: Supercriminals, Superheroes and the Comic Book Universe in Italian Cinema. It is the latter title — lavishly illustrated in full color with film stills, lobby cards, poster art and, yep, comic book panels — that inspires and informs his Guest List for Flick Attack.
1. Goldface (Goldface il fantastico Superman, 1967)
Born in the wake of the success of the El Santo series and conceived for the South American market, the eponymous protagonist of Bitto Albertini’s flick is not the kind of superhero one would often see, especially in this era of big-budget Hollywood adaptations. In the glorious tradition of Mexican luchadores films, Goldface is a meek scientist who moonlights as a popular and invincible masked wrestler. He has no superpowers, and his outfit (pale blue leotard, red cape and golden mask) is rather ugly-looking. He has a peanut-munching black sidekick named Kotar (!) who speaks exactly like the “poor negroes” in 1930s films, and together they ride a motorbike like a cut-rate version of Captain America and Falcon.
In our book Death by Umbrella! The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons, we sought to chronicle some of the weirdest, wackiest, most creative, strangest and sometimes just plain silliest implements used in horror movies to snuff out a life. Writing and researching the book allowed us to revisit some of our favorite movies as well as to discover hidden gems in what we consider to be one of the most malleable and creatively fertile of all the genres. It also allowed us to luridly wallow in all those viscerally exciting deaths!