Monsters in The Movies – John Landis


Monsters in The MoviesProduct: ​Monsters in The Movies

Subject: Classic Horror Movie Monsters

Author: John Landis

Publisher: DK ADULT

Language: English

Length: 320 pages

Price: $26.99 ( Retail )

Cheapest Place to Buy:

Our Rating: 9 out of 10


I don’t know about you but whenever I hear the name John Landis I immediately think about a werewolf chasing a hapless English businessman around the London Underground.

That’s right folks – the director of An American Werewolf in London has released his very own book on monsters from horror movies!

Usually I’m not so keen on these types of books due to them appearing to be nothing more than a money-spinning gimmick most of the time. But this book seemed to be different – it seemed to have more substance and worth to it.

So we purchased Monsters in The Movies about a fortnight ago for the purpose of writing this review…

In this book review we will discuss what subjects it covers, some minor drawbacks with it, and where to get the best deal when you buy it online. By the end of this review, you should have a good idea as to whether this book is right for you.

Monsters in the Movies – Product Overview

Right from the ‘off’ this book attempts to showcase the classic horror movie monsters from horror movies of ALL budget levels.

Landis doesn’t just stick to Hollywood – he includes monsters from horror movies that are deemed ‘B-Movies’ at best.

The author ( Landis ) is not afraid to include his own personal entertaining insights into the world of filmmaking and even includes the views of a few famous ‘friends’. The book contains conversations with the following horror idols:

​But it’s not all just ‘name dropping’ and the ‘who’s who’ of the horror industry – Landis has done his research into the historical origins of the archetypal monsters.

He constantly gives special mention to the special effects gurus that have given birth to these classic horror movie monsters. The book provides great insights into how these masters of gore manage to pull off these monstrous creations.

The Good & The Bad

The Pros:

  • Contains more than 1000 stunning movie stills and posters
  • Has behind the scenes views from the special effects maestros responsible for King Kong, Dracula, and Halloween’s Michael Myers
  • A nostalgic look at some of the timeless horror pieces
  • Book is separated into neat and easy to reference monster categories
  • Covers the history of monsters from horror movies from the silent era to today
  • Contains interviews with well known personalities involved with classic horror features

​The Cons:

  • ​Some readers feel that John Landis’s writing style is a little to smarmy overall
  • In places the narrative can seem a little self-serving to Landis’s Hollywood friends

Who is Monsters in The Movies For?

If, like me, you are a bit of a horror geek then I’m sure you will enjoy the journey John Landis’s book takes you on.

It is a detailed encyclopedia on classic horror movie monsters that will satisfy even the most dedicated and knowledgeable of horror nerds!

Our Final Opinion on Monsters in The Movies

This is an awesome coffee table book for horror fans which is written by a great director. Fans of every horror sub-genre will take to this book as well as fans of Landis Himself.

The book is very well put together with superb full-color photographs surrounded by easy to follow text.

The only real letdown I took from the book was the decision to overlook the awesome Tony Todd as Candyman – surely there was a page spare for this horror icon?

I highly recommend this big book to all the “monster lovers” as it brings back all those great memories and more…..

US Visitors – CLICK HERE To Take Advantage of Amazon’s Special Discount And Free Shipping On Monsters in the Movies

UK Visitors – CLICK HERE To Take Advantage of Amazon’s Special Discount And Free Shipping On Monsters in the Movies

We hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about this book or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment in the section below.


  1. Great review. I have to admit I am not a horror movie afficianado but it looks like your site covers it all. You really went in-depth and I appreciate the fact you actually purchased the material yourself to do an unbiased review.

    • Cool stuff Jerry – glad I managed to get through to someone who isn’t a ‘horror movie afficianado’ 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to visit the site and read the review!

  2. Hi Chris- I have always loved the old classic horror movies with Boris Karloff, Bella Lugosi, Lon Chaney and many others, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, etc., however I do not have many books related to this subject.

    This is a good review of John Landis “Monsters in The Movies’ book. I may even have to get this anthology of horror movie monsters to supplement my collection. The full color images sound awesome as well.

    Well done!


    • Hi there Tom – that’s a great line up of classic horror actors you’ve covered there! I’m impressed 🙂
      It really is an awesome horror publication and you’re right about the color images – really impressive!
      Hope it’s what you were looking for – cheers for visiting us!

  3. This looks like a great book!! I am a huge horror film and book fan and this is right up my alley. However, I am a bit disappointed that Stephen King is not mentioned in your review. Is he not mentioned in the book?

    But, the ones he does mention are great ones too, and I watch and read these people often. Thank you so much for your review. This looks like a great book for my sister for Christmas!

    • Actually that’s a good point Jean – I don’t remember Stephen King being mentioned in the book itself ( but I could be wrong! ). I’m also a huge King fan 🙂

  4. Hi chris

    Great site my friend and as an avid fan of movies I really enjoyed reading through your posts !!
    Keep u the good work.

    Kindest regards


    • Well that’s great news Gary – glad you enjoyed your time here!
      Kindest regards to you to!!!!

  5. Hi Chris, firstly I must say that I really like the look and feel of this website!
    Secondly this is a great review. I have hardly picked up a book since I finished studying a few years ago but this book sounds like it would be perfect for the coffee table, as you say. It may be time for me to dust off the reading glasses, and you can take full credit!

  6. Whoa, when I opened this site and saw the picture at the top, I thought oh no not another blasted horror movie.

    But on reading further, I see it is not actually a movie, but a book review, and even though I am not a horror movie fan at all, I feel the book may be quite an interesting read for those that enjoy the history of movie making and learning about the making of the films, and especially how all the amazing effects and tricks were done.

  7. Hi Chris,
    I too love any of the old classic movies although I do prefer the less scary ones.Sometimes if the trailers are too scary I wont watch the movie.
    However this book is of interest to me as I love to have a reliable guide as a reference.
    I love that these classic movies are so good despite the fact that they were devoid of all the technology we have today.

    What do you mean exactly about the writing being too smarmy? Is it still enjoyable to read?


    • Oh it’s a great read Paula – it’s just that a few people have commented on the way Landis comes over in some of his statements ( I was not really one of these people however – he’s confident, nothing more! )

  8. Awesome review on monsters in the movies by john landis. Definately worth a buy for all the hardcore horror movie geeks out there. Nice to see that you pointed the positives and negatives of the package and that really awakened my interest. Thanks a lot for putting this out here to steer people like my into right direction!

    • Cool Jessie – no problem! Hopefully you’ll find the book as helpful as we did 🙂

  9. Hello there !

    I must say that your website looks great ! When we read your review we feel that you are a huge fan horror movies.
    For me horror movies are exorcism movies I really love them, for monsters I prefer old movies like Dracula. I also like Werewolf movies.
    But my big passion are Japanese manga and some stupid Japanese movies. They are very absurd lol but they’re really funny to watch like Sharnado movies.
    I also love to hear true stories about ghosts, chupacabra or hanted houses.
    Btw I will go and check your link. Thank you for your review !

    • Cool stuff Juba – I also like the classics! Japanese movies always offer up some decent twisted horror as well 🙂

  10. Hi Chris,

    Interesting read on this review. I’m a huge horror movie fan. I have never seen this movie and would love to check it out. You do a good job breaking it down and explaining it to me. Keep up the good reviews of tv/movies. Best wishes mate.

    Happy Blogging

    • Well Stephen, you probably won’t ever get to see this movie…as it’s a book 🙂
      Thought I better alert you to that fact before you go searching around the online streaming sites looking for it LOL ( it is a pretty cool book though if you’re interested! )

  11. I will have to share this review with my daughter because she is a horror movie geek. I am sure she will enjoy it. Better still, perhaps it will make a good gift for her.
    It sounds like one of those books that you get and keep forever. It is not all that easy to find well written books that are worth investing in.

  12. Hi Chris, this is a great site. Can’t believe I happened upon a horror movie dedicated site. I love horror films and I totally agree with your opinion of the Twilight rubbish – not sure it should even be in the horror category.

    A really good site with some excellent reviews and great information.
    Thank you

    • Cheers Lee mate – glad you enjoyed your visit here so much!
      Look forward to seeing you here again 🙂

  13. Hello, Chris. I stumbled upon this blog, when looking for information about some places in London. I found here information, which will be delightful for fans of horror movies. I wonder, how people can sleep after reading this type of book? Or more, if you watch horror movie. I remember when I read Arthur Conan Doyle’s book about The Hound of the Baskervilles, I was wide eyed and could not put book down. It was so scary, but at the same time fascinating. Of course, I was 11 years old. My imagination worked pretty well for me. Now, if I would read this your mentioned book, I could walk in London at day time, but not on late evenings. Maybe reason, why people like fearful things, is an ability to see how far you can go overcoming your fears.
    Thanks to introducing this book, all the best, happy writing, Nemira.

  14. Thanks for this great review! I love monsters in movies. I like the old movie posters too, and just the fact that it has a 1000 stunning movie stills and posters is worth it. What fascinates me about this genre is the fact that in order for a viewer to relate to a character, even monsters, they must be able to associate some aspect of themselves to it. Are monster flicks all about the monster within? Does Landis go into this? Wasn’t there a death on one of his movies?

    • Hi Michael,
      I’m not sure about a death on one of his movies but you’ve certainly got me interested – I’ll have to look into that a bit further….

  15. Hi Chris! Already, I am intrigued by how much info this book can possibly contain on the genre of horror movies.

    Just imagine: A hundred years of gore & horror in the making, over a thousand movie stills and posters, plus some history on the origin of monsters… That in itself’s a real steal if you’re a book lover and avid me.

    Hmmm, maybe John Landis missed out on some points because there’s going to be a book two in the works. Just to keep the audience hooked and the suspense going? He’s a horror & mystery writer, after all.

    At any rate, cheers! This looks like a book worth having, and I’m all for it!


    P.S. I guess Frankenstein’s in it too, right? Just checking. 🙂

  16. Hey there,

    Just checked out your review, it looks really good, really informative. I think i’ll do a bit more research on it and i’ll check it out – do you know if there is an audiobook version?

    What’s your favourite thing about the book and do you know of any similar ones?



    • Hi Tyler,

      Well I have to be honest – I liked almost all of the book! I found it very informative and interesting without being ‘over my head’. I do believe there is an audio version on Amazon. 🙂

  17. Hi Chris, your review about this book come up perfectly when I searching about horror movies fo Halloween 🙂 I’m not really know about classic horror movies but this book seems a good start.

    What do you think for a newbie in classic horror like me? Will it useful to pinpoint some good classic horror movies?

    Thank you for your review 🙂

    • Oh definitely yes – it’s a great starting point for anyone looking to get into the classics! 🙂

  18. Monsters in the Movies sounds like it might be a very interesting read, especially when it is filled with over 1000 images as well. I used to be a real fan of Christopher Lee movies when I was a kid, so I’m glad he gets a mention. Thanks for posting this review. I look forward to reading more reviews and recommendations from you.

    • Hey Darren – I was a massive Christopher Lee ( and Peter Cushing ) fan myself as a kid! 🙂

  19. This sound like an awesome book. I love horror stuff and this looks like it has a lot of cool stuff in it. Your cons for it did not seem too unbearable so I will definitely be looking into it. My brother is an even bigger fan and I am sure he will like to look further into this “monster in the movies”. Your site has some wonderful reviews.

  20. It looks like a must-have book for all horror films lovers out there! And it’s not so often that a film director writes a book… It seems a very detailed book on horror movies, with also a ‘behind the scenes’ aspect that adds a special flavour to it… It is also a good thing to have a director’s point of view on these movies.

  21. Well I am not a big fan of horror movie – love science fiction though. As one of the founder for an “indie” digital studio in Paris..we are also look out to support our fellow indie makers. It isn’t easy to make top thing with low budget but it is surely possible. We are gonna launch our new fiction soon about a man die every three days in Paris. Maybe you would like it too 3x3theimmersivefiction. Google it and your will find. Keep this going! Maybe can spread to more genre?

  22. Hi its Alexey,
    Great product review on horror books 🙂
    I always thought that it will be boring to read about horror, because horror hits the best when its on movies.
    You have definitely changed my mind on that one.
    My girlfriend likes to read books and I think she’ll like this one!

  23. I have been a big fan Of Landis for many years and he has directed some classics.

    I know here we speak of the horror side of his work but he has also been involved with some comedy classics too. The Blues Brothers and Animal House to name two.

    This book also looks very interesting and something I would love to read. Thanks for making me aware of it.

    Off the top of my head I will ask, did he not also direct Michael Jackson’s Thriller? I think he did but not 100% sure now.

    Thanks 🙂


  24. I must say, I am a web diver when it comes to horror movies, but I love found-footage as it just always pulls my attention more.

    I’m not going to lie, the site name is what made me click, feeding my eyes the candy it wants haha.

    That’s how I came across this page, I am very interested in the stories behind many monsters, this is going on my list of books to read as I’m currently almost done reading a paranormal based one.

    Thank you for sharing this book, I certainly would have missed this.

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