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.
While wandering through the dealer room on Saturday before the show opened, I came upon an art print that blew me away. It was a collage of all the different creatures/monsters that were created by low budget monster maker Paul Blaisdell, which even included a couple of images of Blaisdell himself. If you’re not familiar with highly underrated talent then you have some homework to do! He created a bunch of different creatures for the low budget AIP features back in the ’50s, with very little time and money. But he always came up with some interesting monsters and aliens, like we’ve never seen before. He worked on titles like It Conquered the World, Invasion of the Saucer Men, The She-Creature, and a few more. So to see him and his work highlighted in this beautiful piece of art made my heart swell. I can now proudly say that it is now framed and hanging in my office. The artist is Scott Jackson and has been doing this kind of work for quite some time. He had some other great prints for sale, including a stunning one from The Picture of Dorian Gray, with him standing in front of is decayed portrait. Definitely will be picking that one up from him in the future. You can check out his work at his site HERE.
This year’s Monster Bash, held once again in Mars, PA, was their 20th Anniversary show. I can’t express how sad I am that I had only started coming to this show a few years ago. For years, I put some serious thought into setting up as a vendor there, but I always talked myself out of it because of the distance being too far and if it would really be worth it. Now, with this show becoming one of my favorite stops on our Kryptic World Tour, I realize just how I wrong I was.
This time out, I would be making the 500 mile journey to the show on my own, since my wife Dawn is taking care of her father. It sucks having to do the show alone, but there are certain things in life that are way more important, and family is one of them. It’s only a couple of hours past where we go for Wasteland, so it should be that bad. Though, looking at the weather in the area for that Friday, it was calling for rain…all…day…long! I’ve never had to unload for a show in the rain and was not looking forward to it. I decided to leave after work on Thursday, drive to Cleveland area and then stop for a few hours of sleep, then drive the last couple of hours the next morning to be there by 8am for set up.
Growing up in the early ’70s, the small town I lived didn’t have it’s own movie theater, so I had to get my beginning monster education from the TV. From shows like Night Gallery, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, to plenty of made-for-TV movies around that time that were horror themed, it was everything a young horror fan could ask for. And I loved them all. But there was one show which was shown over two nights in 1973 that stuck in my mind for decades. It was Jack Smight’s 1973 film Frankenstein: The True Story, starring a wide array of actors such as James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour, Agnes Moorehead, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, and Tom Baker.
At the time, I had no idea just how far away the “true” part really was, but when I was a 8-year old boy, all I knew was that it was mind-blowing. I can vividly remember watching this with my slightly older brother, amazed at some of the gore on screen, and anxiously waiting for part 2 to take place the two nights later. Years later, after finally being able to track down the full unedited edition, I could re-visit this great tale, which I did multiple times. Even after being more educated about the “true story”, I still consider this a favorite. And now, thanks to Little Shoppe of Horrors, I will once again be able to dive into this wonderful production.
The next issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors will be featuring one of Hammer’s lesser known titles, The Lost Continent, based on the novel Uncharted Seas by Dennis Wheatley. Now this film may not have the usually Gothic trappings of what most Hammer fans may expect, with vampires and mad scientist everywhere, but it does have plenty of thrills and monsters! You have killer weeds, a giant mollusk fighting a giant scorpion, a cult lead by a child, and plenty more craziness!
While Little Shoppe of Horrors usually covers only films from Hammer, they occasionally venture into other films. Such as in issue # 20 where they did an incredible issue on the history of Amicus films, or # 29 when they covered the Vincent Price classic The Abominable Dr. Phibes and its sequel. In their upcoming issue # 36, they put the spotlight on the 1979 version of Dracula, starring Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Kate Nelligan, and Donald Pleasence.
I don’t buy too many magazines these days. They are a bit pricey for the content you actual get, plus they are not the hardest to find these days. Sure, I’ve tried subscribing to a few, but some of them don’t seem to worry about when you get your issue. Since most of them are 1/3 of ads, I feel that you’re better off putting that $10 towards an actual book. But that is just me.
But, one magazine that I think is much different than those, and one that I buy each and every time a new issue comes out, is Richard Klemensen’s Little Shoppe of Horrors. I have been picking up them religiously since issue #8, which came out back in 1984. “The Klem” as he is called, has been putting this magazine out for over 40 years. If there are two things that shows in each and every issue is passion and dedication for Hammer Films, as well as British horror in general. With every issue, information is packed to the gills from the topics they are covering, with some stunning artwork filling out the pages. You’ll find information and interviews that give you a lot of insight of these films. And the “making of” pieces, which are usually written by Bruce G. Hallenbeck, are worth the cost of the issue alone. He never fails to shed new light on whatever film he is writing on.