The beginning of “The Joan Crawford Monsters” brings the reader immediately into the psyche of Joan Crawford. This is the time you should buckle your seat belts, otherwise you’ll get whiplash for attempting to figure out the hurricane that is Joan Crawford.
This film is Joan’s 80th movie, quite a record for a woman who is in her 59th year, so she says. In reality, she’s 66. The film is called “Trog” and is about a monster that comes out of a bog in Bray. Bray is the home of Bray Studios, the “Trog” production company.
Standing in the doorway of her trailer, squinting to see out into the thick fog, Joan looks at the spray painted word “monster” on the side of her trailer and yells “You got the wrong trailer”. Now this would have been more believable if Bray Studios had brought in more trailers, but Bray Studios couldn’t pay for any more trailers. The movie is so low budget that Joan has agreed to wear her own clothes.
Her director, Frankie, came by carrying a sleazy monkey mask. He told Joan that it was a stand by mask in case something happened to damage the really nice one they were using. The real “Trog” mask was an excellent piece of work, the monkey, not so much and that’s what you get with little to no budget.
The author, Peter Joseph Swanson, portrays Joan as a whiner who is constantly complaining about her cold and wallpaper that seems to be in every room in England. We also see her as a bright optimist. She glosses over the fact that “Trog” is a horror movie, she exclaims “I only do movies that are drama with bits of suspense”.
She told Frankie that at 59 she’s at the beginning of a new career for herself,, she also tells him that there is an air of success around this movie and that it will launch her into even more success.
Now that we’ve gotten to know Joan better, let’s get on with the action. We know that there is the monster Trog in the fog on a bog. Joan has figured out that a suicide in the village may be a murder. Also we see that the past of Bray Studios and Hammer Studios that made many of the masters of horror films, is bringing back all the monsters and the horror in its past. The best part of the book (I think) is when she save the Queen from being murdered.
By now you should be intrigued and curious. Peter Joseph Swanson is superb at finding the odd and frightening events in humans and the world around us. His story reminds me of Lou Reed asking all of us “Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side”. If you haven’t peeked into Peter’s wonderful mind by reading his books, do yourself a favor and start to experience him in this one.
Do yourself a favor and go to Amazon and buy this book. Find it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1dmJBPH