Movie Review: The Brides of Dracula

(1960)
Director Terence Fisher
Starring Peter Cushing, Yvonne Monlaur, David Peel, Martita Hunt, Freda Jackson, Miles Malleson, Andree Melly, Marie Devereux, Michael Ripper

While most “normal” critics would look down on a horror film, yes… even ones from Hammer Studios, this is a perfect example of how well made these pictures really were, from the acting, the production design, to the look and lighting of the entire running time. If you ever doubted that, just watch this 2K scan of The Brides of Dracula recently released by Shout Factory on Blu-Ray. 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

Little Shoppe of Horrors #44

LSoH44The latest issue of THE best Hammer magazine out there, Little Shoppe of Horrors, is taking orders for issue # 44, which is covering The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as The Stranglers of Bombay and The Terror of the Tongs.

As with all issues of LSoH, there is plenty of great material here,  written by some of the best Hammer scholars, such as Denis Meikle and Bruce G. Hallenbeck.

David J. Miller has an article on Hammer’s DP Jack Asher, called He Painted with Light, as well as coverage on the new Dracula BBC series.

With another stunning cover by Mark Maddox, as well as other amazing art and illustrations inside, it doesn’t take long to realize why this magazine has been going for close to 50 years. Every issues is always a real treat.

You can order your copy now by going to their site HERE. Especially during these strange times, the creators of magazines like this need your support! 

Horror History – Jack Asher

asherJack Asher
Born Mar. 29th, 1916 – Died Apr. 1991

One of thing that Hammer films are most known for are the way they look, especially their early Gothic horror titles that really catapulted them into popularity.  While the talents on the screen of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and the rest of the stellar actors used, and even the talented directors and writers, one of the reasons these pictures looked like they did was because of the cameraman, Jack Asher.

He started in the film business as something as simple as the guy who was to open and close the door while filming was being done.  Eventually, he was asked to join the camera crew by Roy Kallino, at the bottom, learning the basics like loading the film into the magazines and working his way up, to eventually becoming a camera operator himself.  He worked on some of Hammer’s early color films and is definitely party of the reasons those films look like they did.  He worked on CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, HORROR OF Dracula, Revenge of Frankenstein, The Man Who Could Cheat Death, Brides of Dracula, The Mummy, as well as a few of their non-horror titles.

He worked for Hammer for less than 10 years before basically being let go because Hammer deemed him too slow for their fast-paced shooting schedules.  Damn shame if you ask me.