Little Shoppe of Horrors Salutes The Gorgon

The latest issue of the long running (and best magazine devoted to all things Hammer) is now out and available to order. This issue tackles Hammer’s 1964 film The Gorgon, starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Barbara Shelley, with the article Reflections of Fear: The Making of The Gorgon by Joshua Kennedy.

Within the pages, you’ll also find the article Cut Me a Robe from Toe to Lobe … Give Me a Skin for Dancing In: The Making of The Witches by Bruce G. Hallenbeck, as well as an article on the star of that film, Joan Fontaine. There is also an article on Don Houghton, the screenwriter of the modern day Dracula films Hammer made in the early to mid ’70s, by David Gee.

Like with any issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors, every page is a delight and filled with great stuff. Head over to their website HERE to order your copy now. And if you want to know more about Hammer, just pick up some of their back issues that are readily available.

Movie Review: City of the Dead

(1960)
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Starring Christopher Lee, Patricia Jessel, Dennis Lotis, Tom Naylor, Betta St. John, Venetia Stevenson, Valentine Dyall, Norman MacOwan.

If you’re looking for a prime example of the beauty of black and white cinema, then look no further then this title. This has so much atmosphere that you’ll swear the fog is seeping right out from your TV into your living room. Add in the fact that the different shades of the monochromatic colors are used so well to give us such strong whites and the enveloping darkness of the blacks.

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Sideshow Hammer Figures

I have quite a few famous horror figures in my collection that I’ve picked up over the years. Some are model kits, many of which I actually painted myself. Others are statues I’ve purchased that came painted already. Granted some of these were a bit pricy, but never more than a 2-3 hundred at the most. Granted, the full size bust of the poster zombie from Zombie or Dr. Hill’s decapitated head in a pan were a bit higher than that, but for a figure, I try to shy away from the real expensive stuff, mainly because I personally just can’t invest that much money into something like that.

But now Sideshow Toys has announced a couple figures that are $530 EACH and I’m trying to convince my brain that I DO need to invest in these!

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Friday Favorites: Trilogy of Terror

As most of us know, the 26th & 27th of this month was the birth date of three of the biggest icons in the horror genre (though one is probably still not happy about that!). Of course, it would be Peter Cushing (born May 26, 1913), Vincent Price (born May 27th, 1911), and Christopher Lee (born May 27th, 1922). Whether it is because of the multiple titles from Hammer Studio, the work with AIP, or William Castle, these three actors have given us horror fans countless hours of chills, shivers, and entertainment. I couldn’t let these two days go by without posting something in honor of these iconic actors.

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Little Shoppe of Horrors Takes on Dracula

Orders are now being taken for the latest issue of the magazine that has been running to close to half a century! Issue # 46 will be covering Hammer’s Dracula (1958), or as known in the states here, The Horror of Dracula, with the making of article by Bruce G. Hallenbeck. There will also be a tribute to Barbara Shelley, the Making of the Men Who Made Hammer series for Shout Factory, and so much more.

If you’re not familiar with this amazing magazine, I couldn’t urge you enough to look into it. If you love Hammer and British horror in general, there is no better magazine than this one. Always filled with amazing articles, incredible artwork, and so much information. Once you start, you’ll be like me and be hooked!

For all the ordering information, just head over to their website HERE.

Severin Celebrates Christopher Lee

Severin Films has been knocking it out the park these last couple of years. Aside from all the amazing titles they have released on Blu-ray, the box sets they have been putting out have been astonishing. The fact that they put out a collection of Al Adamson features shows that Severin founder David Gregory is not only a true fan, but works on making sure that these filmmakers are not forgotten but also to help fans continue to celebrate their work. The earlier this year, they announce a box set of Andy Milligan films. Who would have ever thought that would happen!?!?

And now, they recently announced a set of films celebrating Christopher Lee work in Europe with 5 films from the ’60s that while are a little lesser known to most fans, they are essentials is understanding the range of work that Lee did. In case you don’t know already, here are the titles the box set comes with this 9 disc set: Continue reading

Book Review: Horror Express

Midnight Movie Monographs: Horror Express
Published by Electric Dreamhouse, 2018. 137 pages
By John Connolly

This is another one that I just don’t know where to start. I came across this publisher about a month ago when they were having a Black Friday sale. I thought about ordering a few of their titles but being from the UK, it would have been a bit pricy. Out of all the titles, this is the one that had my interests the most, so I just ordered it from Amazon. Now, at a book that is only 6″ x 8″, and priced at $29, AND is only 137 pages, makes you wonder if it would be worth it. In this particular case, I would have to say no.

This is a strange one, since being so short, you’d think the author would dive right into the thick of it, but we go 30 pages before the author even starts to write about the movie! That’s almost a quarter of the book?!?! We read about traveling on trains, about the Spanish film market, the British film market, with some details that really have no bearing on the subject at hand. Now maybe if this volume was several hundred pages long, this information would fit in, but it’s not. So why waste precious pages on subjects that have only a distant connection with the movie? There is even a paragraph where the author states that at this point in his writing, he hasn’t seen the movie since he first saw it as a kid! Again, why waste space for that? Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: Dracula A.D. 1972

Dracula A.D. 1972
Released by BSX Records
15 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 53 min.
Music Composed by Mike Vickers

Growing up watching a lot of television in the early ’70s, you became pretty accustomed to theme shows from shows. So the first time I remember hearing the score for Dracula A.D. 1972, in my head, I heard “A Quinn Martin Production”. While most of you out there have no clue what I’m referring to, they were a production company that made more than a few shows back then.

Anyhoo… That is the big difference with this score, coming from Hammer that was known for their bold and gothic musical scores, hitting your ears as hard as the bright red blood hit your eyes. Vickers came up with a very modern, almost jazz sounding Main Theme, that while dramatically different from Hammer’s past, it actually works quite well here. The music, as well as the film, are quite dated in their look and feel. But Vickers does a pretty good job blending in the new with the old. Track # 5, Devil’s Circle Music: Excerpt from White Noise, is a wild mixture of percussions, distorted screaming, and other disturbing sounds, blended together like a bad acid trip. But when viewed in the film, it works just right. Continue reading

Curse of Frankenstein 2-Disc Blu-Ray!

Coming to Blu-ray for the first time in the U.S., Warner Archives has announced a new 2-disc special edition of Hammer’s The Curse of Frankenstein, the movie that really put the Studio that Dripped Blood on the map. This new release will contain 75 minutes of new documentary work, audio commentary by Screenwriter/Film Historian Steve Haberman and Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr. You’ll get to hear from some of Hammer’s best scholars, such as Richard Klemensen discussing the history of the film, cinematographer and producer David J. Miller discussing Hammer’s underrated cameraman Jack Asher, as well as hearing from Christopher Frayling, Christopher Drake, and so much more.

The disc will contain a 1080p HD Restoration Masters from 4K scans of Preservation Separation Elements, but also a newly re-mastered 1.37:1 open-matte version as well. Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: Scars of Dracula

Scars of Dracula
Released by GDI Records,
22 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 48 min.
Music by James Bernard

No matter how you might feel about this entry in the Hammer / Dracula saga, I don’t think anyone could argue about how good the music is. Once again, James Bernard has created a score that encompasses what we love about these films. It has that rich and powerful score that seems to burst through the screen.

With the second track, Innocent Victim / Opening Credits, we hear those strings that immediately bring a sense of sorrow followed by those strong tones of the darkness. Bernard was able to bring visuals just from the themes that he created, whether it was villagers storming the castle, or Dracula’s resurrection, you could feel it in the music. That was one of the key elements to Hammer Films, and a lot of that had to do with Bernard. With just a couple of notes, like in Slaughter in the Church for example, you knew something bad was coming. I think that is where Bernard excelled so much in bringing an immediate emotion with just a few seconds of music.

While this CD might not be the easiest to find these days, if you are a fan of Bernard and of Hammer, then you really do need this in your collection. It will bring back memories of old castles, crazy servants, and the Prince of Darkness, and all with a smile.