Another Winner Book From Weaver
Bear Manor's "Scripts From The Crypt" Presents Bride Of The Gorilla
This third entry in Tom Weaver's "Scripts From The Crypt" series (previous two being The Hideous Sun Demon and The Indestructible Man), delves deep into 1951's Bride Of The Gorilla, a Realart jungle horror you'd not dream would inspire a book, let alone one so irresistible as what genre historian Weaver turns master hand to. He's gathered a blue ribbon panel of experts to flavor behind-scenes telling of a misbegot chiller sold variously as Shocking, Daring, Primitive, and Passionate (to each please add exclamation points, as does ad at left). Any chapter of this book would merit purchase price, and there are over a dozen of them. I attended weekend-long wedding festivities to accompany of GF Ann plus Bride Of The Gorilla, the book enjoyed during hotel bar sequesters fueled by whiskey sours and passages shared with Ann (her intro to sordid details of the Barbara Payton-Franchot Tone-Tom Neal dustup). Fellow tipplers noting the book's lurid cover and my rapt absorption (w/frequent recites) must have wondered what group home I had escaped from.
Here are B Of The G highlights and reasons GPS readership will savor this book: 1 --- an intro by John Landis, ace director and lifelong chill enthusiast ... 2 --- Interviews as only Tom Weaver can conduct them, w/ eye-witness accounts of the film's production, as well as Weaver's close analysis re the latter, his history of Realart, producing Broder brothers, appreciation of Herman Cohen (getting his start here), and 3 --- dissect of once-in-a-lifetime cast Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney, Raymond Burr, Tom Conway, plus gorilla suitors and pulse-quickening F. Tone v. T. Neal. To this add Scott MacQueen's years-later visit with Bride director Curt Siodmak, covered in fascinating detail (with photos). There's "Fun Facts" from Weaver throughout, he and Greg Mank topping themselves with a "Lon Chaney Jr. Timeline" that left me agape over reams of revelation (and me thinking all this time that I knew my Chaney). If you care at all about horror legends, backstage peeps, underbelly probe, interviewee candor served raw (Weaver sure knows how to peel back scabs of memory), all making pages turn sans pause (you'll curse meals and sleep for time they take from this). Weaver's Scripts/Crypt series is a winning concept, with each setting a new bar. I'm panting already for the author's next.