Way back in July of 2020, we posted about FAB Press announcement that they would be publishing Tony Dalton’s authorized biography of the incredibly underrated director Terence Fisher, best known for the work he did for Hammer Films. Well now it is at the printers and should be released next month. But you still have time to pre-order it and get a signed edition! The price is £29.99 (which right now is about $42), but we all know the beautiful work that FAB puts into their books, so it will be worth every penny. Not only that, but this hardcover edition is over 500 pages, almost that many illustrations, and is the first authorized biography of the man who helped start Hammer in their reign of terror that lasted over three decades.
Starting in the business as an editor in the mid-30s, he started directing in 1948 with A Song for Tomorrow. But in 1952, he started his association with Hammer Films, directing the crime drama Man Bait. He would dabble in science fiction with titles like Four Sided Triangle and Spaceways (both 1953), but it was in 1957 when he directed Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in The Curse of Frankenstein that made the world take notice.
I can’t wait to dig into this book and if you’re a serious fan of Hammer Films, this really is a must. To get your pre-order in, just click HERE to get to FAB Press’ website.
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.
In the last few days, the Skyline Drive-In in Shelbyville, IN, announced several weekends of horror lineups coming up in October. I’m not sure how many of them I’ll make, but I know I’ll be there for the last one I have listed! For all the information head over to their Facebook page HERE.
Below is the events they have listed and what will be screening. Start making your plans!
Scariest Movies of All Time Part 1
Oct. 2nd & 3rd
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Exorcist (1973) Continue reading
Horror scholar David J. Skal has a new book coming out this fall, just in time for Halloween, entitled Fright Favorites: 31 Movies to Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond. Presented by Turner Classic Movies, Skal takes on 31 films ranging from the silent era, hitting a few titles from each decade through the ’80s, and a few beyond that. Most of these everyone will agree are classics, with a few comedies listed in the later day titles. The description in Amazon says they are “family-friendly” but not sure The Exorcist (1973) and The Thing (1982) are ones I would be screening for 8-year old Timmy! Continue reading
While there are a few books previously on Terence Fisher, from authors like Peter Hutchings, Paul Leggett, and Wheeler Winston Dixon, I think it is still not enough coverage on this director, who’s name should be right up there with the likes of Romero, Carpenter, Cronenberg, Bava, Argento, and the rest of the horror elite. Now hopefully with this new book by Tony Dalton, Terence Fisher: Master of Gothic Cinema, that will make the change.
Dalton has had full cooperation from Fisher’s family, making this a fully authorized biography of Mr. Fisher. Long before he started cranking out tales of Frankenstein and Dracula (and so much more) for Hammer Films, he had been working in film for quite some time, starting as a clapper boy and eventually moving into the editing department. Maybe now we can learn even more about this talented man and how he help change the face of horror.
FAB Press is taking pre-orders for a special signed hardcover edition of this book, for only £29.99 (approx. $37.50). The regular price is £39.99. Plus, by pre-ordering it is the only way to get the signed hardcover edition. A paperback edition will be released at a later day. This 480 page book, filled with 250 illustrations, won’t be published until next year, but I’m sure this limited edition hardcover edition won’t last long.
For more information, just click HERE.
Last October we reported that the complete scores that James Bernard created for Hammer’s The Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula would be coming out on CD, in their complete form, for the first time ever. And now, they are here! Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
Born Dec. 2nd, 1927 – Died Aug. 19th, 2011
When discussing the Hammer family, Jimmy Sangster was there at the start of their rise, not to mention having a big part of it. He started with Hammer at the bottom, working his way up through the ranks, as second unit director, assistant director, production assistant, production manager, then finally into writer, producer and director. But while he may have held many different titles in the industry, it was as a writer where he made his real mark.
By the time that Hammer was going to do their version of Frankenstein, Sangster had worked on over 30 films as either Production Manager, or Second Unit Director or Assistant Director. He had written screenplays for one short film and one feature by then, both for Hammer. The short film was A Man on the Beach and the feature was X the Unknown (1956), sort of their version of The Blob (1958) even though that came out two years later! But he was given the task to write this new version of Shelley’s tale, but told to make sure he stays away from Universal’s version, in fear of getting sued for copyright infringement. He decided to focus more on the creator than the creation, which started Hammer toward their path to being know as The House of Horror!