Another one lost from the Hammer Family. One that I had always hoped to meet at a convention, but no more. Shane Briant recently passed away at the age of 74, after battling a long illness. He was one of the actors that the studio hoped would take them into the next era of Hammer Horror, giving them new blood and new faces (along with Ralph Bates). He appeared in four pictures inside of three years, the first two being in 1972, Straight on Till Morning and Demons of the Mind. The following year, he had a small role in Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, and in 1973, was the assistant to Cushing’s last appearance as Dr. Frankenstein, in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. He also appeared in the title role for a TV movie adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, produced by Dan Curtis.
In 1983, he moved to Australia and worked in over a dozen films there and New Zealand, as well as starting to write, publishing eight novels.
Looking at his filmography, the last title that just has “announced” after it, even though it looks like there are plenty of photos, is a film called Sherlock Holmes vs. Frankenstein. The interesting part is that Briant’s character name is listed as Simon Helder, the same name as his character in the last Hammer Frankenstein film. Interesting …. hope that comes out at some point.
The older I get, I realize that the people that I admire from the famous studio that stopped production over forty years ago, are also getting older and the chances of being able to meet them are getting slimmer by the day. But as I always try to point out, the films that Briant appeared in, are still around for us to enjoy, being once again memorized by the performance, looking at this youthful face with the golden blonde hair. So like Dorian Gray, he will never age in our minds.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.
If you have any of the amazing volumes put out by Peveril Publishing, then you know how simply amazing they are. Yes, they are a bit pricy, especially when you’re getting them shipped over here to the US, but they are worth every single penny. So start saving those now because (hopefully) this summer, they will be unleashing the Hammer Vampire Scrapbook!
This volume will be covering the following films: Brides of Dracula (1960), Kiss of the Vampire (1963), Vampire Circus (1972), and Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974). This is just a possible cover image right now and may change, but what we do know that inside whatever cover they do decide on, it will be filled with the usual array of amazing facts and photos about our favorite Studio That Dripped Blood!
And don’t freak out because they didn’t mention any of the Karnstein films, like Vampire Lovers (1970), because that is getting it’s own volume! Wait… isn’t Captain Kronos part of the Karnstein series…. ?
Nonetheless, you can also look forward to Fantastic Films of the Decades Vol. 4 which is expected to be out at the end of the year, or early next year.
Head over to their website HERE for all the latest info. Or even better, sign up for their newsletter!
So again, start saving those pennies!
Born Aug. 17th, 1946
Briant had studied law at Trinity College Dublin, but felt the calling of another profession: that of the actor. He started acting at a young age, even nominated by the London Theatre Critics in 1973 for The Most Promising Newcomer from his performance in ‘Children of the Wolf’. He had signed a contract with Hammer Films and made 4 films for them back to back. They were Straight on Till Morning (1972), Demons of the Mind (1972), Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974), and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974). He also appeared as the title character in a TV movie remake of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973).
In 1983, Briant moved to Australia and has worked in both film and television over there since. He also has become an accomplished writer, publishing 7 novels so far, as well as publishing his autobiography, entitled Always the Bad Guy, in 2011.
Granted, for me, Briant will always be known as one of of the actors that Hammer was trying to use as the next generation of Hammer stars, once held by Cushing and Lee (even though they both continued to work for the studio). Unfortunately, the end of the studio was already on the horizon so as good as Briant was in the few pictures he appeared in for Hammer, it was too late for the studio that once dripped blood.
Trust me, I’m not one for double and triple dipping. But when it comes to Hammer Films, when they are released on Blu-ray, usually looking just freaking stunning in all their glorious color, it really is hard to pass up. Even more so, when they have a special offer to get a limited edition poster print of the cover art by Mark Maddox! Which is exactly what they have announced for their release of The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)! Just look at that amazing artwork, which would look just beautiful hanging on any Hammer fan’s wall. But don’t wait too long because this offer is only until the supply of posters runs out. Just click HERE to pre-order yours now. You may think it is a bit pricy but considering the poster you’re getting, it is one hell of a deal. The Blu-ray is set to be released on April 21st, with no extras announced just yet. But I’m sure Scream Factory will do their usual stellar job. Continue reading