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Monsters in the Movies

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  725 ratings  ·  84 reviews
From B-movie bogeymen and outer space oddities to big-budget terrors, Monsters in the Movies by legendary filmmaker John Landis showcases the greatest monsters ever to creep, fly, slither, stalk, or rampage across the Silver Screen!
Landis provides his own fascinating and entertaining insights into the world of moviemaking, while conducting in-depth "conversations" with
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 19th 2011 by DK
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  725 ratings  ·  84 reviews


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Trudi
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: film buffs, horror junkies

How could I resist a behemoth, colorful coffee table book about cinematic monsters put together by the legendary John Landis? I couldn't of course, it would have been impossible, which is why I'm writing this review.

I have a bit of fangirl squee going on for Mr. Landis, who wrote and directed one of my favorite movies of all time -- An American Werewolf in London. He's also famous for Animal House and The Blues Brothers (and a plethora of cheesy stinkers that I won't mention here). Landis
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Matt
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I will never "finish" reading this...
Benjamin Stahl
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a decent book for what it is. I bought it for myself with birthday money several years ago, before I was into reading novels. I have never actually read it from cover to cover as it is more like a giant scrap book of all the most famous horror movie monsters. It's got Jaws and Alien and King Kong etc so it knows what it's talking about. (To be honest I am just trying to build my 'books read' count on Goodreads).
Jessica J Z
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun romp through the history of monsters in film, though it leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to analysis. It felt like it was just listing movies, while I hoping it would dive into each different type of Monster and our history/relationship with them. Still fun, especially if you're a horror nut like me!
Edward Taylor
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I bought this book because I'm a sucker for anything that features creatures or beings from the dark recesses of our minds and nightmares. The fact that it was authored by a seminal horror film director also helps pique my interest in this book. Of course, it means that I expected the book to be filled with pictures aplenty. That's exactly what I'm getting.

The book's contents are divided into chapters based on the kinds of creatures that have inhabited horror movie fans' minds since the
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Horror DNA
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zigzag
The first thing you need to know about this book is that its author, Mr. John Landis, is a huge fan of movies and monsters. He makes no apologies for the content within because it doesnt matter how fantastic or terrible the film, if the creature in question is pretty bad-ass, then it earns a spot among the pages of Monsters in the Movies. He approaches the subject matter with a sense of wonder and glee that is as infectious as anything cooked up in the lab of a mad scientist.

You can read
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Alfred
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Every picture makes me want to add to my dvd/Blu-ray collection.
Alexis
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I had no idea who John Landis was before I read this book. He was a director who directed "American Werewolf in London" and "Blues Brothers". He was also involved with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Black or White."

I first read about this book in the Globe and Mail and knew I had to see it. I have a love of old school monster movies, the macabre and special effects.

"Monsters in the Movies" is a huge coffee table book broken into sections like "Vampires", "werewolves", "giant creatures",
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Joe Vigil
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome. Full of great old pics and old horror film posters. I want a copy for the coffee table I'll get around to buying someday. Oversized and full of awesome images.
Holger Haase
In the 1970s/80s there was a glut of photo books dedicated to the history of horror cinema. John Landis' MONSTERS IN THE MOVIES is somewhat of an updated version of these oeuvres bringing these into the 21st Century.

Very few of the pictures displayed are really rare. Most have been printed elsewhere before and most can easily be found online. Still it's a massive tome and I spent a few enjoyable afternoon hours perusing it and being reminded of all the films I have seen (and the few I haven't).
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Elise Mitchell
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A handsome volume packed with hundreds of stunning images from legendary films MONSTERS IN THE MOVIES covers "100 Years of Cinematic Nightmares". The collection of unique and revealing photographs on display here (all courtesy of the Kobal Collection) is what makes this book truly indispensable as the text - although informative and wide-ranging- does not go into any serious depth. What we get instead is a personal journey through the history of horror that explores the origins of all the great ...more
Elwyn Roberts
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
John Landis has put together a loving tribute to all the cinematic horror movie monsters, mad scientists, aliens, mutants, carnivorous sea and land creatures, haunted houses, cyborgs, pandemic viruses, body horror - you name it and you'll find a very nicely written description alongside a photo of that particular movie. Now there are a very few unavoidable errors when the photo clearly belongs to another movie and definitely not the one described, and that's understandable because of the subject ...more
Chris
In the opening paragraph Landis says this isn't supposed to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of movie monsters or an in-depth discussion. It's basically a big coffee table book filled with cool pictures of movie monsters over the years.

And if you go in with that in mind, you'll be fine. It also features some short discussions between Landis and several other film makers who have dabbled in horror.

My only complaint is that the discussions with the other film makers were too short, aside from that
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Harold
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun celebration of movie monsters from director John Landis, whose classic An American Werewolf in London more than establishes his horror credentials. Mostly just a collection of captioned photos arranged by monster type (vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, demons, aliens, etc.), along with conversations between Landis and other horror filmmakers.
Jess
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really cool book that has lots of cool info, great interviews with stars like christopher lee and a beautiful pictures from nearly all the films he mentioned. Really loved this book; reading is all in one go is insightful but I thinking having it as a reference book and dibbing into it now and then would be great.
Chris McMillan
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun, with some nice pictures and fun blurbs about the monsters and the movies they starred in. Though the book contains a few interviews with famous monster filmmakers, dont expect much in the way of behind the scene stories or thoughtful insights, though. Its just a fun picture book, not a bad thing for many monster movie lovers. ...more
John
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a book about "Monsters" in movies, I loved it! Why had I never heard of this book? Go read it.. again, if you already have...WOW!
Kayleigh Marie Marie
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book for any horror film enthusiast. The pictures featured in it are beautiful and it's a great read, featuring interviews with some of the best in the horror business.
Kerry Hennigan
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a 2011 publication featuring images from the Kobal Collection of movie monsters along with a few conversations between movie director John Landis with some of his friends in the industry.

As a Michael Jackson fan (although I am also a fan of some of the classic monster movies) I went straight to the index - and there I found references to Michael listed for pages 7, 49, 101 and 307.

In each case the entries are merely captions to a photograph - three from Thriller and one from Ghosts, in
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Syd
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A pretty nice coffee table style book for any fan of horror. (Pairs well with the Scared to Death exhibit at the MoPOP)
typewriterdeluxe
This book is unique (at least to me) because
rather than compiling a list of top 100s or one genre, Landis pulls together a massive list of monsters from critically acclaimed films, B-movies, and film disasters. This is good for the reader to get a lot of exposure at once, and also helps create a sense of context for films in their larger [sub]genres.

The book is organized in several sections: vampires, werewolves, mad scientists, zombies, ghosts, mummies, myths/legends/fairy tales, dragons and
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Vanessa
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
What is says on the tin: a retrospective of movie monsters of all kinds written by the legendary John Landis. It's beautifully organized and designed (a chapter for every monster type imaginable: zombies, ghosts, radioactive, etc.) and Landis is a knowledgeable and witty guide but he's capable of being far more insightful than he is here-horror movies themselves may not always be particularly smart but what they say about the culture that produces them can be profound. What's presented here are ...more
Kate
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monsters, mutants, savage beasts, natural disasters, and deranged humans galore! Landis takes us, the readers, through some of cinema's horror, science fiction, and fantasy films featuring these destructive forces/beings that cause conflict in their films. Many characters are memorable, while some are forgettable. Landis also interviewed some directors and special-effects artists on their interpretation of the monster meaning. Some only see it as a physical presence, and others see it as ...more
Garrett Cash
Ever since I saw this book sitting on a display in Barnes & Noble I knew I had to read it. Come on, John Landis (An American Werewolf In London for one) writing a book about movie monsters? Sounded like a recipe for a fun and informative book to me, and I wasn't wrong. Now I've read it many years later and I'm glad I waited a while, because now I've seen the majority of the discussed films here. It was interesting to hear Landis's take (and others in interviews) on various horror movies. For ...more
Sezín Koehler
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror fans
This book is kick ass! John Landis is one of my favorite directors and his commentary is just like him, geeky, goofy, and funny. I have a huge new list of horror films and books that I need to watch/read based on his recommendations. I loved seeing favorites like Edward Scissorhands (including the original Burton drawing that inspired my own Edward tattoo), Medusa from Clash of the Titans, Fright Night, The Descent, and a whole host of others beautifully laid out in this massive pages.

The only
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Harold
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
An entertaining rundown of the genre's most important films (big budget, low budget, mainstream and obscure), all delivered with Landis's trademark humor. As for organization, each chapter addresses a particular creature type/sub-genre (werewolves, mummies, Monsters from Space, Nature's Revenge, etc.). The numerous photos and mini-reviews are great, but JL's interviews with other major horror directors (Carpenter, Cronenberg, Joe Dante, et al) were the selling point for me.
There ARE a few
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Kody
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've always adored ghoul and monster films so I really loved this book. It is a sort of compendium of cinema stills with small paragraphs describing the film, or the monster shown, which showcases all kinds ghoulies from throughout the ages. At the start of a chapter there are a couple of pages that describe a category of monster, as well as explore the cultural impact it has had over time. Also, after each chapter is an interview with a big wig that belongs to the industry! Very neat, I say. ...more
Alicia Evans
Landis provides a visual aid to the horror genre and the different types of monsters from the movies. There's a general overview for each type of monster (vampires, ghosts, etc.) and then shots from the film are given with a small description. At the end of each section, there is an interview with an important contributor. Visually, this book is brilliant and I greatly enjoyed flipping through it. However, there isn't much of a discussion about the films or about the monsters. This book can ...more
Mark
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film
John Landis might seem an odd guide for a book about horror films (hes not known particularly as a horror director, though his American Werewolf In London is a classic), but reading his exuberant captions and essays, its clear the right choice was made. Breaking the genre down by type - ghosts, monsters (man-made and otherwise), the devil, etc - he heads each section off with a short essay highlighting key films and a potted history and then fills the rest of the space with wonderfully ...more
Susan Cardosi
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"the word 'monster' comes from the Latin monstrum. 'Monstrous' means a perversion of the natural order, usually biological...associated with something that is wrong or sinister"
This is my favorite coffee table book of the year, a joy to read and for a horror fan provides more of a yearbook of memories for the moments in film that impacted my perception and nightmares. Also, there is a list of films I am still yet to experience...
With lists, interviews, original movie poster artwork, and
...more
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