|That's the book. It's
hardcover, about 200 pages, all glossy color.
There isn't a tremendous amount of text throughout the book; it's
mostly a photo gallery. What little writing there is (other than
three interviews with Kirk about collecting in general) are simply
Kirk's snap assessment of the appear of various pieces: for example,
what he likes about a particular poster or a vintage toy, maybe some
personal history with a given item such as when he saw the movie
originally or what drew him to that piece specifically.
The book is divided into several sections:
- Movie posters - This
appears to be Kirk's primary love, and about half the book surveys a
good selection of his collection of original posters from horror and
sci-fi films. However, I feel that this is
something of a waste since reprints of the majority of these posters
can be found any number of other places (including my house in some
- Toys - These are great
examples from the monster kid era, including the classic Aurora models
right through to Kirk's own childhood in the '70s. Not just
figures either: boardgames and other rare items are included as
well. This was the highlight of the book for me and what prompted
me to buy it initially.
- Masks - Most of these
are reproductions of the famous masks advertised in the back pages of FMoF
magazine, but many are rare today because of the tendency of latex to
break down relatively quickly compared to most other materials.
- Artwork - Mainly
spotlighting works by Basil Gogos (particularly the paintings that were
used as FMoF
covers) and a few Aurora model boxes (particularly the monster hot
Additionally, there are several lengthy interviews with Kirk about the
process of collecting (which at times is as interesting as the "why" or
"what" of the collection).
- Modern posters - The
poster collection only covers sci-fi/horror films up to the '70s.
Nothing from the '80s to present, which is unfortunate since there were
many good examples from that period.
- Modern toys - As with
the posters, the collection stops with the '70s. While that was
the tail end of the monster generation, there are plenty examples of
other horror/monster toys in subsequent decades, although I don't know
if Kirk has those in his collection.
- Props - Very few props
are featured in the book, although it is suggested that the few
included examples are just a small portion of what he actually
has. The emphasis of the book
is more on horror in pop culture, whereas props are one-of-a-kind
artifacts from the movie business, so I understand their exclusion.
The bottom line?
Aside from simply
wanting "more" in the volume (or perhaps the sequel he hints at), my
only other criticisms are things like perhaps a little more depth about
the artifacts contained within and maybe some better editorial
oversight such as including the year of production wherever
possible. For example, even the film titles lack mention of their
year of release (a standard practice in almost every medium), thus
there's no context relating artifacts to their history (e.g., toys made
the year a film was released vs. "retro" toys that exploded in
popularity during the monster generation).
said, it's a very enjoyable
book for those
interested in Halloween, horror, old movies, nostalgia, and/or any more
of these overlapping domains. You simply won't see many of these
pieces anywhere else.
The following are screen captures
of a promotional video Kirk released about the "making-of" the
You can watch it here.