I’ve whined before about the difficulty I had as a kid finding classic sci-fi and horror movies. In the pre-income, pre-internet days, if you didn’t catch these movies on TV when they were being shown, you didn’t catch them. This meant I had a huge backlog of movies I was desperate to see. Making this a little more tolerable (and the backlog a whole lot larger) was the Crestwood Movie Monster Series.
I found the Crestwood Movie Monster Series in my local library. For a long while, I didn’t make a trip to the library without taking one of these books home. They covered all the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and dozens of others. I think some gave a general overview of several movies, but the one I have today, The Bride of Frankenstein, gave a play-by-play of the movie. It was through books like this that I “saw” these movies when I couldn’t see them otherwise. This made them, like The Eerie Series, indispensable to the young and VCR-less.
There is a side-note to the Crestwood Movie Monster series, one that is very special to me. I had read the Bride of Frankenstein volume and had come to understand that this was perhaps the premier Universal horror movie, the greatest horror movie of all time. I wanted to see it very, very badly, but didn’t think I ever would. And then some Saturday when I was seven, a friend invited me to an activity at his church. He didn’t tell me what that activity was. He may not even have known himself. But I went. We had lunch there, played a few games, and then one of the leaders pulled out a movie screen. They then proceeded to show, complete and uncut, The Bride of Frankenstein from a 16mm projector. The Bride of Frankenstein! What I so badly wanted to see! At a church function! Who could have guessed? But they did it. I’ve always been thankful for that, and for some reason I’ve always felt that the Crestwood Movie Monster series was a part of that.