Book Review: The Illustrated History of Don Post Studios

By Jessica Dwyer

When someone absolutely loves something it is easy to tell it.  And Lee Lambert loves Don Post’s masks.  His book shows that from the minute you pick it up.  It’s probably one of the biggest, most comprehensive histories I’ve seen when it comes to an icon in the world of horror.  The Don Post Studios line had been around a long time before it closed it doors in the 2000’s.  And Lee Lambert gives the history of the company every bit of due it deserves.

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Firstly I have to show you just how thick this book is.  Literally two inches of beautiful illustrations, photos, and information on the studio.

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The book itself weights A LOT too…so just be ready for some heavy reading.  The truth is though you’ll get lost in the pictures.  There are just so many beautiful pics of classic masks and ads.  In truth I hadn’t realized just how long Don Post Studios had been around and what all they had been involved with until I read the book.

Starting with a note from Lee and an intro from Rob Zombie, the book traces the history of the studio through its early days, its hey day in the 60’s, all the way through the 2000’s when it closed its doors forever.  Within these pages we see the evolution of the art of masks.  We also see the evolution of the horror genre from classic silver screen monsters to the rise of the slashers.  Really, the history of Don Post Studio’s is the history of horror films.

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Lambert goes into the ties of Don Post with Famous Monsters and its creator Forry Ackerman, the effects of the economy on how the masks were produced and on sales, and how it wasn’t just film monsters that were created by the studio but series like The Munsters, original works, and Dick Tracy were also part of the roster.

The 60’s were the decade when the Don Post studio really thrived.  Re-releases of the classic movie monsters were in demand.  The TV landscape was peppered with fantastic series like Dark Shadows, and fans like Rick Baker were starting their ascent into make-up glory.

There’s just so much history here in the book its amazing.  Lambert knows his stuff and he loves every bit of it.  And like I said, the photos are amazing that he’s compiled.  He shows how things were made and the process too, which is really great for mask makers and artists who are just starting out or who are pros…because these are the guys who did some of the best.

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I can say without question that The Illustrated History of Don Post Studios would be the best gift you could possibly give the horror fan in your life this Holiday season.  Or if you know someone who’s a classic TV, artist, or Hollywood fan in general this book would fascinate them.  Fans of Star Trek and sci-fi as well will love this too because we wouldn’t have Michael Myers if Don Post Studios hadn’t created that Captain Kirk mask.

Do yourself a favor and go now and order the newly released special slip case edition of the book which is glorious.  This is a must own.

You can follow Jessica at FanGirlMag.com