Still Monday, so it still counts! Busy day but we still got the Mystery Photo posted. Before we get to the new one, let’s review last week’s. It was from the 1960 version of The Hand of Orlac. While I may not think it is nearly as good as Mad Love (1935), it is more than worth your time. Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Troy Howarth, and Michael Shields! Well done!
Okay, so this week’s might be easy, or not. But the way I’ve been feeling at work these last few months, I can relate to this photo quite a bit. Anyway, take a look and see what you think. Just remember, please do not post your answers here so others can have a chance. Just send them to us in an email to email@example.com. Good Luck!
Born Nov. 10th, 1913 – Died Jan. 1979
Bowie was one of the men responsible for making Hammer Films, as well as plenty of other films, look as good as they did. While he did work on a varying type of special effects, he was mainly known for working on matte paintings and models. A lot of the shots in the films where you see a mountainous landscape was due to Bowie. The first film he worked on for Hammer was The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), where he created the title monster. But he also worked on some of their classics like Horror of Dracula (1958), Plague of the Zombies (1966), and many more films.
He also worked on the original Superman (1978) movie, where he would eventually win both an Oscar and a BAFTA for his work. Unfortunately, he passed away on the same night that the rest of the team that worked on the special effects for that movie had won. So he never knew.
Bowie’s work was one of those little things in the movie that might only be shown on screen for a few seconds, but really made an impact on the look of the movie. So that is the reason that he needs to be remembered for the hard work that he would go through, for very little money, for something that is only glimpsed at.
For those not in the know, Dark Delicacies is a book store in Burbank, CA, that has been open for over 20 years. But due to the raising rent, they are being forced to relocate. While I have never been (YET!) to this magical store, I have bought many items from them online over the years. The fact that not only is it a bookstore, but one that specializes in horror, fantasy, and sci-fi makes it even better. They are always having signings and other special events.
Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personal, the Company
Published by McFarland, 2018. 992 pages.
By Howard Maxford
It’s really hard to be not excited when a book comes out on one of your favorite studios that is just a few pages shy of a 1000! Sure, some of you that ask, “do we really need another book on Hammer Films?” Well if it is as massive and thorough as this one, then that would be a definite yes! I have been waiting on this book to come out since McFarland announced it well over a year ago, but had no idea how colossal of a tome this would be. Maxford states in his introduction that it has taken over 15 years to complete this and it looks like it.
I’ve been reading and researching and learning about Hammer Studios and the people behind it for somewhere around three decades, but there is always still more to learn. That was proven once again as I started browsing through this before I read some little tidbits that I didn’t know about. Such as that Jimmy Hanley, who played the friendly bartender in The Lost Continent (1968), is actually the father of Jenny Hanley, who appeared in Scars of Dracula (1970)! Sure, it’s just a little bit of trivia, but that is a sign of a good reference book.
The Sadist (1963)
Directed by James Landis
Starring Arch Hall Jr., Richard Alden, Marilyn Manning, Don Russell, Helen Hovey
One of the things that always set low budget filmmakers apart from the big studios is that they were always willing to take risks and tackle subjects the bigwigs wouldn’t touch. In 1958, Charles Starkweather went on a killing spree, taking his 15-year-old girlfriend Caril Fugate along for the fun. When it was over, they had murdered 11 people, including Fugate’s own 2-year-old step-sister. At that time, Hollywood wouldn’t dare touch a subject like this one. It wouldn’t be until 1973, when Terrence Malick would direct the film Badlands. But in 1963, only after 5 years since those tragic crimes, James Landis wrote and directed a film inspired by this murderous rampage. The film was called The Sadist.
The magical gem our photo from last week was not from one of Spielberg’s Jurassic Park films, but actually from the 1969 epic The Mighty Gorga! Starring the always reliable Anthony Eisley, we not only get this amazing dinosaur, but a giant ape as well. And even better, the two battle it out! Congrats to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Bryan Martinez, and Michael Shields. Well done!
This week’s photo might be a little more serious. Maybe. So give it a look and see what you can come up with. As always, please remember not to post your answers here so others can have a chance at guessing. Just send your answer to us in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck!
Born: Sept. 20th, 1925 – Died: July 12th, 2001
There are some composers that make a cinematic impact, just as much as an actor or director. James Bernard is one of them. The music he created for films, especially the ones he did for Hammer Films, became part of the movie’s unique look and feel. When the music started, you knew you were watching a Hammer picture, just from the sound of it. It was always able to grab your attention and never let go.
His score for Horror of Dracula (1958) will be remembered as one of the greatest opening titles ever known to fans of cinematic music. It is still as powerful today as it was then. But he also created music for films like Curse of Frankenstein (1957), The House of the Baskervilles (1959), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), as well as the first two Quatermass films.
Most composers are hidden figures in the movie world, with only a few making a name where film fans would actually recognize. When it comes to horror fans, Bernard’s name is right up there at the tope. Thankfully a lot of his work has been archived on CD so we can still enjoy it, as well as fans to come. Truly a great and talented man.