The Vampire Film: From Nosferatu to Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Alain Silver and James Ursini

A fairly standard film-history book, this is a taxonomy of the various historical incarnations of the vampire legend—a lengthy list. Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula has inspired more movies than any other book, including the Bible. Not only does the reader meet historic personages such as Vlad the Impaler and Erzsébet Báthory, there are also profiles of such notable movie vampires as Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee. However, the book doesn’t stop here. All of the genre vampire films are painstakingly examined, including Mexican vampires, lesbian vampires, blaxploitation vampires, extraterrestrial vampires, Asian vampires, and various sons, daughters and diverse in-laws of the Count. The book concludes with a thorough filmography including such rare and hard-to-find inclusions as Sheridan Le Fanu’s lesser-known and non-lesbian vampire story The Inn of The Flying Dragon and Santo en la Venganza de las Mujeres Vampiro. MM/ES

Publisher: Limelight
Paperback: 272 pages

Border Radio: Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics and other Amazing Broadcasters of the American Airwaves

Gene Fowler and Bill Crawford

“Radio waves pay no attention to the lines on a map.”—Dr. John Brinkley
Once, long ago, a Kansas quack doctor, whose miracle cure for aging and impotence involved the transplanting of goat glands, was run out of that state on a rail. He went to Texas and opened up a new clinic, and started his own radio station to advertise his gland palace. And to keep the AMA from interfering with his message, he stuck the transmitter just over the Mexican border. That accomplished, he kicked up the juice to about 250,000 watts (roughly ten times the power of any station broadcasting in America today). Thus, border radio was born and a precedent set.
Quack doctors, psychics, preachers, singing cowboys (who hawked songbooks) and many other such entrepreneurs flooded this new world of high-powered airwaves, making for the most colorful chapter in North American broadcast history. Also, such musical personalities as Juan Garcia Esquivel, the Carter Family and the Delmore Brothers found an audience there, helping to make border radio an important part of the American music story. Crawford and Fowler have done an amazing job of telling a factual story while retaining the humor and outlandishness of this saga, and whether you read it as history or entertainment, there is nothing quite like it. SH

Publisher: Limelight
Paperback: 283 pages

Billy Wilder in Hollywood

Maurice Zolotow

Bio of the legendary, cranky Kraut whose track record for quality films remains unparalleled. One of the most talented and evil people ever to work in Hollywood, this guy really could squeeze blood out of a stone! The epitome of the “sacred monster.” MG

Publisher: Limelight
Paperback: 396 pages

Lulu in Hollywood

Louise Brooks

The Jazz Age Bettie Page: A corn-fed Kansas beauty in ebony bangs who radiated good clean sex on the screen. Seven autobiographical essays that follow the celebrated dancer-actress-writer through her short but spectacular career. Brooks kissed off Hollywood in the ‘20s and made herself a legend in European cinema. Through her portrayals of independent, liberated souls, Brooks’ star flamed a decade ahead of Dietrich’s and Garbo’s. Lulu is the lesbian-loving, man-eating German girl she played in G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box, a bewitching vixen who flirts fatally one last time—with Jack the Ripper! Oddly enough, in many of her European art films, Brooks’ amoral characters are killed off in the last reel. Returning to Hollywood, she was seen as tainted goods, too risqué for America. GR

Publisher: Limelight
Paperback: 109 pages