This one was certainly a lot of fun to write!
Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies William Schoell
ISBN 978-0-7864-3556-2 photos, filmography, bibliography, index214pp. hardcover (7 x 10) 2008
$49.95 Not Yet Published, Available Fall/Winter 2008
This can be pre-ordered at amazon.com, barnes and noble, and at the publisher's web site.
From the catalog:
This work offers a critical, colorful and informative examination of different types of monster movies, spanning the silent period to today. Each chapter focuses on films that share a specific brand of primary monster. The discussion of films within chapters is chronological, though sequels or directly related films are grouped together regardless of release date. Chapter One focuses on dragons, dinosaurs, and other prehistoric or mythological scaly giants from films like 1953’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, an impressive stop-motion production that ushered in a new era of atomic-spawned “giant monster” films. Chapter Two examines “big bug” flicks, featuring outsized insects and arachnids, beginning with 1954’s giant ant–infested Them. Chapter Three focuses on ordinary animals that have grown to improbable proportions through inadvertent scientific tampering or sinister experimentation, such as the huge octopus in 1955’s It Came from Beneath the Sea. Chapters Four, Five, and Six look at several types of film in which nature goes berserk, and otherwise innocuous animals threaten mankind as they flock, swarm, hop or run about on a menacingly massive scale, including 1963’s The Birds and 1972’s Frogs. Finally, Chapter Seven focuses on films featuring blobs and other beasts that defy easy definition, such as 1958’s The Blob and Fiend Without a Face.
William Schoell is the author of many books about the performing arts and pop culture, including The Opera of the Twentieth Century (2006). He lives in New York.