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This book was not a 'coffee table' compendium type book. It was roughly 5" x 8" and had a synopsis of horror films going back to the early days of silent film.

There were a number of black and white photos, no color if I remember correctly.

A number of films were what I would consider obscure, and I think it even had some that were 'lost'.

Some details I recall:

  • The front cover had a photo, might have been a montage of monsters from the films.
  • It had a photo from some movie about a tree that ate people (yes really).
  • It had a photo from Village of The Damned, which I remember well.

2 Answers 2

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A Pictorial History of Horror Movies (1973) by Denis Gifford?

From this Goodreads review:

This book is choc-a-bloc with pictures from a full range of horror movies - stills, promotional shots, lobby cards, posters. ALL kinds of horror films (it is a history, after all) - silents, Universals, Monogram programmers, early Brits and Hammers, indie films, Japanese movies from Toho, German films, on and on. The text is amazingly informative and this was probably the first "reference" book I ever owned, the first book that taught me what a reference book was and what it was for (I distinctly recall that this is the book wherein I figured out what indexes and bibliographies were and how they worked) - realizing over the years that there was just goldmines of information to be gleaned from the text as I moved from reading the obvious sections I cared about (Godzilla and giant monster movies) into the parts that seemed boring when younger, but took on greater significance as I grew older and my tastes broadened and deepened. [...]

This is not a children's book. There are some very spooky pictures, some disturbing, some bloody (some funny, as well). There are flashes of nudity from Hammer films. Every picture in this book is near talismanic to me. [...] There were some pictures in this book that were so scary that I couldn't actually look at them... until I could, finally, look at them. Other pictures implied scariness without actually being obviously scary, and so I had to try to figure out why there were in the book. Special effects and makeup were on grand display, to be examined thoroughly. This book, "the Red Book", was like an entire run of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND condensed into one package and missing the corny jokes. This book and Fantastic Television were the two seminal books of my youth.

And from another review:

It was an excellent introduction to the stylistic influences that formed horror films including literary connections. The writer insists that his interpretation of “horror” must have a fantasy element, so PSYCHO doesn’t appear. But, a boatload of others do beginning with the silent excursions of Georges Melies and continuing through the heyday of Hammer Films.

Looking at the Google Images results, the cover does have a montage of monster faces, and the interior seems to be mostly black and white:

Book cover, lots of horror references

black and white photos of a monster hand about to grab a woman


Found with the Google query books listing horror movies site:goodreads.com/book.

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  • Thanks for the thougtful reply. I don't think this is it. I continued digging after posting my question and I think it is most likely "Classics of the horror film" by William K. Everson. The edition I recall had a different cover, and I haven't found that online. The search continues...
    – Dave100AP
    Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 15:35
  • @Dave okay! If you do find it, please post it as a self-answer below :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 18:53
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I bet it's Great Horror Movies by Favius Friedman (Scholastic Books, 1974), a smallish pbk with Lon Chaney's Wolfman on its cover.

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  • 3
    Can you expand on this? Potentially add some details as to why it matches your suggestion.
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 3:28
  • Thanks for the suggestion, although I'm reasonably certain it's not the book I'm looking for. It was not a Scholastic Books publication, I'm sure of that.
    – Dave100AP
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 19:13

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