The second book is by Aaron Christensen, who turns out to be an authority on horror movies. Christensen is coauthor and editor of "Horror 101: The A-List of Horror Films and Monster Movies, Vol. I" (Midnight Marquee, Inc., $20-$25). Not only has Christensen used his encyclopedic knowledge of some 1,500 genre films to develop and edit the volume, but he's also solicited help from other horror fans and experts around the world. His volume includes the contributions of 78 writers from 12 countries, several of whom are part of Chicago's theatre industry. Besides Christensen himself, local contributors to his book include playwrights Brett Neveu, Darren Callahan and Don Bapst, actors Michelle Courvais and Doug Lamoreux, directors Anish Jethmalani and Charley Sherman, Columbia College professor Peter Christensen, former Chicago actors Eric Fraisher Hayes and David White, musician Richard Sparks and Roosevelt University student Nile Arena.
Naturally, we wanted to know if Mr. C. has a personal
favorite horror movie, to which he replied: "All of the films
in the book I consider personal favorites for one reason or another,
but I will confess to being a sucker for any '50s-'60s big bug movie,
Ray Harryhausen film or Godzilla epic. And seeing Halloween in the
cinema at the tender age of 10 was a traumatic experience that I'm
still recovering from." Ah, for the glories of 1950s sci-fi:
pod people, whirring Univac computers that filled entire rooms, atomic
mutant spiders, grasshoppers and ants
and all of it in vibrant
"Horror 101" is available locally at Horrorbles in Berwyn, The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, Quimby's in Wicker Park and at Victory Gardens Greenhouse (VGG) or through www.horror101withdrac.com or Amazon.com. FYI: Christensen currently is on stage at VGG in Remy Bumppo's The Philadelphia Story, in which he brilliantly breaks his usual manly type by essaying the Hepburn role. We are loathe to report that he's really ugly in drag, suggesting the show should be retitled It Came from Beyond the Main Line.