Last weekend we spent in Mars, PA, for the Monster Bash Conference. This was our fourth year there and it is becoming one of our favorite shows to do. So much fun, each and every time. Ron Adams puts on one hell of a show, with plenty of stuff to keep any monster fan busy from the early morning to the wee hours of the next morning!
It’s not often that I get excited about a guest these days, but I was able to add one more Hammer alumni to my Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography book at the show. That was Janina Faye, who played the young Tania in Horror of Dracula (1958). She is now the fifteenth person to add her signature from people that wrote, directed, or appeared in a Hammer film. Sadly, seven of the names in there have already left us. And since the original studio’s last movie came out almost forty years ago, well… none of us are getting any younger.
Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros. Years (2018)
Directed by Marcus Hearn
Starring Veronica Carlson, John Carson, Steve Chibnall, Joe Dante, Jonathan Rigby, Peter Sasdy, Madeline Smith, Caroline Munro, Christopher Frayling, Wayne Kinsey, Denis Meikle
So…a new documentary on Hammer Studios? I’m there. Simple as that. Add to the fact that when the producers of this documentary started a Kickstarter fund to get this project off the ground, I immediately signed up. Honestly, I don’t remember which level I put in for, but I did get a nice poster print as well as the Blu-ray. Being a huge fan of this famous British studio, this review might be a little jaded, but I will try to be as honest and straight forward as I can.
If you ever wondered just what happened to Hammer Studios, as to why they went under, then this feature length documentary will either answer that, or at least give you some very strong contributing factors that might have caused it. Even though this studio was very successful in the late ’50s and ’60s, by the time the ’60s were coming to a close, things were starting to change. Not with just the audiences, but the ratings boards, other movies the studios were releasing, as well as where Hammer was getting their funding from.
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1973)
Directed by Brian Clemens
Starring Horst Jansen, Caroline Munro, John Carson, Shane Briant, John Cater, Lois Daine, and Ian Hendry.
Trying to come up with a new series with a different kind of twist to it, Hammer gave us a swash-buckling vampire hunter. This is not your ordinary vampire movie, or vampires for that matter, as Kronos and his faithful companion Prof. Grost, travel the countryside seeking out and destroying vampires, in all of their varying guises. They are called on by an old friend for help. It seems that some of the local girls are being found basically drained of their youth, left dead as an old withering hag. But what is underneath the black cloak that stalks them?
Most people know Caroline Munro as either a Bond Girl or the work she did with Hammer Studios. But Caroline has worked all over the world, with many great and talented people. So while we briefly asked her about Hammer, we tried to venture more into the other countries where she worked. This interview was conducted at that Cinema Wasteland show, in April of 2007. We especially want to thank Caroline for taking the time to talk to us.