David J. Skal

David J. Skal

David J. Skal is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on horror in popular culture. His signature book, The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror, called “The best book on horror movies I have ever read” by Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, has been in continuous print for twenty-five years, including three American editions, a British edition, and translations into Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. His other critically acclaimed books include Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen (“the ultimate book on Dracula,” according to Newsweek); Screams of Reason: Mad Science and Modern Culture, Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning (with Elias Savada): V is for Vampire, Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween; Dracula: The Ultimate Illustrated Edition of the World-Famous Vampire Play; and, with Jessica Rains, Claude Rains: An Actor’s Voice. With the late Nina Auerbach he is co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, widely regarded as the definitive academic text. In collaboration with John Edgar Browning he is currently preparing a revised second edition for release in 2019. As a documentary filmmaker he has written, produced and directed a dozen DVD/Blu-ray features on Universal Studio’s classic monster movies, as well as a behind-the-scene chronicle of Bill Condon’s Academy Award-winning film Gods and Monsters. His audio commentaries appear on the special-edition DVDs of Tod Browning’s Dracula and Freaks, and he also acts as host/narrator for his own Universal documentaries The Frankenstein Files, Back to the Black Lagoon, and Abbott and Costello meet the Monsters. His hundreds of media appearances have included The Today Show, A&E Biography, NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and Fresh Air. He has lectured internationally on monsters and horror at leading colleges, universities, and cultural institutions, including the Musée du Louvre, and taught courses based on The Monster Show at the University of Victoria and Trinity College Dublin, where he was named a Visiting Research Fellow in 2010. The fellowship supported the primary research for his most recent project, Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, which was a 2017 finalist for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for biography and criticism. His journalism and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times and the Boston Globe, and he has served for many years as a film critic for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Upcoming Events

Rotten Bodies, Rotten Blood: Medical Crises and Controversies as Reflected through Horror Cinema (LA) Rotten Bodies, Rotten Blood: Medical Crises and Controversies as Reflected through Horror Cinema (LA)
Thu. Nov. 8, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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