Books & Magazines
B Movies, by Don Miller (1973)
Comprehensive history of Hollywood second features from sound era to World War II, organized by studio and genre. Thousands of little-known titles (especially mystery/gangster/espionage) discussed in a breezy and anectodal manner, with emphasis on key personnel. Reliable appraisals. Indispensible.
Kings of the Bs, by Charles Flynn & Todd McCarthy (1975)
Groundbreaking anthology of articles on B-movie history, including portraits of filmmakers, individual films, interviews, detailed filmographies. Slightly dated, but very readable.
Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir, by Arthur Lyons (2000)
Discussion of dozens of obscure low-budget noirs, preceded by a general history of Bs and noirs. Plentiful descriptions, but could use more critical overview. A must for afficionados of noirs and mysteries seeking hidden gems. (See author's interview on Noirfilm website listed below.)
Second Feature: the Best of the Bs, by John Cocchi (1991)
Pictorial survey of hundreds of mainly classic-period B-movies, by genre, with one-paragraph descriptions/appraisals. Not thorough, but excellent choice of material with good leads for gem-hunters.
The Big Book of B Movies or How Low Was My Budget, by Robin Cross (1981)
Similar to the above, but in a more rambling, unstructured, tongue-in-cheek style. Informative and amusing, but not highly original. Excellent illustrations.
The Golden Age of B Movies, by Doug McClelland (1978)
An early, rather dull pictorial survey of several dozen Bs , without much critical acumen.
The B Directors: a Biographical Directory, by Wheeler Dixon (1985)
Short critical biographies and complete filmographies of over 300 Hollywood directors. Handy reference and jumping-off point for research.
Film Noir: an Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, by Alain Silver & Elizbeth Ward (1979)
Foremost authoritative book on noir. Thorough, erudite and critical. Covers many B pics. Indispensible.
The Devil Thumbs a Ride, by Barry Gifford (1988)
Highly enthusiastic and individualistic essays on a few dozen noirs, from a personal perspective. Will make you want to see these movies again or seek them out.
Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood, by Mark Vieira (1999)
Beautifully illustrated history of sexy and bizarre Hollywood output of the 30s preceding the strict application of the production code. Organized mainly by studio and theme.
The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film
The Psychotronic Video Guide
magazine (1989 - present), all by Michael Weldon
A landslide of quirky reviews of cult, genre and plain wacky films of all eras. Before the on-line information explosion, the author was the undisputed master guide to such obscurities. Brimming with tidbits of info, but often bordering on the illiterate and unfortunately lacking a critical view. (Website info below.)
Forgotten Horrors 1: Early Talkie Chillers from Poverty Row, by Geo. Turner & Michael Price (1979)
Forgotten Horrors 2: Beyond the Horror Ban, by Michael Price & George Turner (2001)
Forgotten Horrors 3: Dr. Turner's House of Horrors, by Michael Price (2003)
Human Monsters: the Bizarre Psychology of Movie Villains, by George Turner & Michael Price (1995)
Illustrated surveys of obscure horror films and thrillers, mainly from the lesser studios, tackled on a film-by-film basis. Thorough and well-written by aficionados.
The Detective in Film
Classics of the Horror Film
More Classics of the Horror Film
Love in the Film
(1979), all by William K Everson
The late historan was the foremost authority on classic film. His books are idiosyncratic and filled with fascinating insights and trivia, although not always well organized. If only his voluminous film-screening notes could be published, we'd possess the ultimate guide to early Hollywood and British films. Also see his Re-Discoveries series in back issues of Films in Review magazine.
Incredibly Strange Films, by Re/Search (1986)
Fascinating, counter-cultural mixture of interviews, portraits, and surveys of outre cinema personnel and genres, with stunning stills. Mainly concerned with post-50's era.
Keep Watching the Skies!, by Bill Warren (1982/86)
Groundbreaking survey of sci-fi pics of the 50's, featuring thorough descriptions and appraisals of hundreds of movies , all with a compelling critical overview. A towering achievement.
Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful
Cult Movies 2: Fifty More of the Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird and theWonderful
Cult Movies 3: Fifty More of the Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird and theWonderful
(1988), all by Danny Peary
Highly enthusiastic, infectious essays on cult films of all genres, well illustrated, including several Bs.
magazine (1990 - present)
Incomparable critical guide to the latest genre video and DVD fare, including a few classic Bs every so often, as well as historical surveys and interviews of note.
See website info below.
News of the magazine and dozens of old reviews and interviews on-line.
Noir Films Knitting Circle
Film noir articles, interviews, quizzes, links, nicely formatted.
News and reviews on cult and genre movies.
Latarnia Fantastique International
Articles on classic Euro-genre films, including a thorough survey of Edgar Wallace krimi's.
Site of the film magazine of the same name, dealing with classic-period genre films, with on-line articles, interviews, reviews.
B Movie Central
Links up several sites concerned with cult and genre movies, a few from classic period.
About Classic Movies
Links up dozens of film sites, including several dealing with classic Bs.