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.
The Riverside Drive-In and DVD Drive-In have announced the titles for this fall’s Drive-In Super Monster-Rama and it is a Hammer fans dream! They will be screening four classic Hammer titles each night on Friday, Sept. 7th and Saturday, Sept. 8th. Each of the titles will be screened from a restored DCP presentation, with four of the titles being screened uncut at a drive-in theater for the first time! Here is the list of what is showing:
Born July 28th, 1912 – Died Mar. 2nd, 1970
If you are a fan of Hammer Films, then you are a fan of Robinson’s work, even if you don’t realize it. Robinson was the art director and later production designer that worked on good number of their films, from Quatermass 2 (1957) to Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). The first actual film that he worked on was as an art director on The Case of the Frightened Lady (1938). Over those early years, he became good friends with Tony Keys, who would later invite Robinson to come work for Hammer.
Robinson could not only create unbelievable sets out of very little money, he also designed sets that could be used over and over again but moving things around and a little re-dressing. In fact, he was a master of his. Director Terence Fisher had stated that with one of Robinson’s sets, he could point the camera anywhere and he knew it would look fantastic.
The British Horror Film: From the Silent to the Multiplex
Published by Fonthill Media, 2017. 222 pages
By Ian Fryer
I’m a sucker for any books on British horror films, especially when they are going to cover Hammer. But then there are still so many other great pictures and talented filmmakers that came out of the UK, so there is much more of a history than just Hammer. Whether it is a good thing or not, but Fryer spends more of the time covering the famous Studio that Dripped Blood. So it’s a toss-up to find that a complaint or not, because they were such a dominating force in that country’s horror film output.
He does do a decent job covering other entries, such as Amicus, Tony Tenser, Pete Walker and the likes, so it’s not just Hammer. Even when we get to the modern day, he mentions quite a few of the people making a name for the genre, like Neil Marshall, Christopher Smith, and Ben Wheatley.
This is a first for my little year-end round-ups and kind of surprised I didn’t about this before. With all these new Blu-rays coming out, there are times that seeing a film that we’ve seen countless times before, but now seeing in a restored, cleaned up, or whatever those crazy Blu-ray producers do, sometimes can be like watching the movie for the first time. I had more than a couple of those instances happen this year.
The first one was seeing the new Blu-ray of Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm (1979). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this amazing film, from in the theater, at drive-ins, countless times on VHS and even DVD. But when I started watching the new Blu-ray…wow. When the part comes up with Tommy’s funeral, and Michael is watching the Tall Man put his casket in the hearse by himself, I could hear this noise coming from the back speakers. Wait…is that rain? Then I notice the beads of rain running off the casket as the Tall Man picks it up. W-T-F? That is the kind of clarity these guys did on this film. Simply amazing. If you’re going to be one of those that complains because they changed something with the spheres, in a shot that last seconds, then you are missing out on so much more. I’m not one for double-dipping, but this is a must.
I don’t think there is a horror fan out there that doesn’t love Peter Cushing. I mean, how could you not love this incredibly talented actor that appeared in so many great films, let alone in the horror genre? Well, the fine folks who publish the We Belong Dead magazine, as well as the books 70’s Monster Memories and Unsung Horrors, have now published a new volume solely dedicated to this fine actor, simply called A Celebration of Peter Cushing.
This new book is 300 pages in a large format, and in full color, with introduction by Veronica Carlson. It covers not just his horror films, but all of his career, such as his roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who.
Now the one thing that might sting a bit for us Cushing fans in the US is the price. It is £25.00, with another £20.00 for shipping. That makes it about $60 for us. Now that is a bit high for a single book. But I have their previous two volumes and they are just gorgeous volumes. Their 70’s Monster Memories sold out upon publication and now goes so a ridiculous amount, so it might be a wise ‘investment’ to take the plunge. Plus, it is about one of our most beloved actors, so why not get something that gives a fine tribute to this uncommon human being.
You can place your order, or get more information about it from their website HERE.
This is simply the best magazine out there covering Hammer Studios, not to mention the longest running. And there is a reason for that. The quality of work that goes into each issue, from the research and writing, to the wonderful illustrations, it doesn’t take long to realize that this is a work of passion and love for those involved. A fan of Hammer Studios can learn so much about this amazing studio and the people that worked there by reading through each and every issue. I know I do!
And now, issue # 39 is available to order!
The cover story for this issue is one of the last Hammer horror titles made: To the Devil…A Daughter! Author David Taylor has the complete story of how this film came to be. There is also an interview with the young star of the film, Nastassja Kinski as well!
Other features in this issue include an article on Peter Sallis, a brilliant character actor that appeared not only in several Hammer titles, but also was the voice of lovable Wallance in the Aardman animated Wallace and Gromit series. There is some coverage on Hammer’s space western, Moon Zero Two, which has a making-of article by Hammer scholar Bruce G. Hallenbeck, as well as an interview with actress Catherine Schell, as well as a piece on Mike Tilley, who worked for special effects artist Les Bowie on the film. Plus the usual great tidbits in every LSoH issue.
You can order your copy now by going to their website HERE.