Those of you who read my Q&A with Bryn Curt James Hammond and my preview post for the upcoming The Complete History of The Howling will no doubt know that I’m quite excited about the book. So, when Miami Fox Publishing offered to send along a few pages for a sneak peek, I leapt at the opportunity. Now, I cannot post any of the excerpts here, but I did want to run down how the book is looking and what you can expect from it.
The first thing to note is that, while it does contain a new story by the UK author Nick Stead, the brunt of the book is a factual account of The Howling franchise itself. As such, the lay-out conforms more to the conventions of an editorial piece, moving between single and dual columns as needed, with a very journalistic feel to the writing.
As you would expect, the book is divided into sections, covering each of the individual films in a uniform style. The opening page for each is chock-full of the details you’d want to easily reacquaint yourself with the featured film: The title and tagline, DVD cover and a plethora of technical details (such as year of release, run time, cast and crew credits and synopsis) are all present and accounted for.
If this all sounds like it may be a bit heavy going for a book about horror, don’t let that fool you. This is far from a bland news-style piece. Through speaking to various people involved with the creation of each of the eight films, Bryn has curated a full run-down of how the franchise was put together. Judging by the pages that I had access to, we’ll be getting some great stories about every aspect of the creation process, including how the various cast and crew members came to be involved with the films, different issues that arose during shooting (and indeed marketing), and what they hoped to achieve with each film. This is all presented to us by via an easy flowing mix of prose, quotes and Q&As.
But that’s not all. One thing has been mentioned as a selling-point for the book is the visual content, with a focus being placed on the fact that the book contains a lot of never-before-seen photos from the production of the different films. I have to say, some of this stuff looks fantastic. Of course, there are pictures that are taken from the films themselves, but if you – like me – enjoy seeing how movies are put together, there will be plenty for you here. From photos of people working on the costumes to shots of the camera crew hard at work during the shooting of pivotal scenes, the pages are littered with some wonderfully intimate views from behind the scenes.
It’s odd, but I always thought of horror as being akin to the heavy metal of the fiction world. Sure, it can be a brash, and many people have preconceived notions about what it’s all about, but in truth, it offers a rich and varied world for those who want to seek it out. I bring this up, because the book reminds me a little of when Savatage re-released their back catalogue of CDs with expanded booklets covering the creation of each album and subsequent tour. It’s intimate, interesting, and should offer plenty of enjoyment for movie aficionados, werewolf fans, and lovers of The Howling franchise alike.
How about yourselves? Did you enjoy The Howling and its many sequels? Are you looking forward to this book? Let me know in the comments below!