Horror Express (1972)
Directed by Eugenio Martin
Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Peña, Helga Liné, Telly Savalas, George Rigaud, Victor Israel
For any horror fan that is just starting his long journey into the depths of genre, one path that is easy and most followed are the ones that feature certain iconic actors known for their work in the genre, such as names like Karloff, Price, Chaney, Lorre, and of course Cushing and Lee. With the work Cushing and Lee did with Hammer Films, as well as many other genre pics, it gave a young and eager fan plenty of titles to investigate. If you found one of the many films that they both appeared in, then it was an even better deal!
I know a lot of people spend this upcoming 3-day weekend grilling or spending time outside. But if you’re trying to think of some alternative way to spend your Memorial Day, might I offer up a suggestion? There are three very important figures in the horror genre celebrating birthdays this Thursday and Friday. And even though they have left us, it is just as important now to celebrate their work and remember them as when they were still with us. Of course, I’m talking about Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price.
The Unknown Peter Cushing
By Michael G. McGlasson
Published by BearManor Media, 2011. 107 pages.
Could we ever have too many books on this amazingly talented actor, one that wore the title of the Gentleman of Horror with pride? I don’t think so. But the problem can be that they can often tread of the same material over and over again. I mean how different can a biography be if they are all coming from the same facts and information. But McGlasson has done something quite different here, but not necessarily a good thing. While the book looks to be about Peter Cushing, a good deal of it is actually about his ancestor’s, particularly the ones that worked in the theater, such as his grandfather Henry William Cushing. McGlasson seems to have done some extensive research in tracing back Cushing’s linage, going way back to the 1500’s, so for that we give him a lot of credit. But while this is pretty interesting stuff, only about 30 or so pages in this small book is actually about Peter Cushing himself.
Peter Cushing: A Life in Film
By David Miller
Published by Titan Books, 2013. 192 pages.
Previously published in 2000 under the title The Peter Cushing Companion, this is a newly revised hardcover edition. While the text has been edited and tweaked a bit here and there, it is pretty much the same book in respect to that. But this edition is a beautiful hardcover edition that has 16 full color pages that the previous edition did not have. Sure, it would have been nice for the publishers to advertise it that way instead of making it seem like a totally new book, but none the less, it is a worthwhile book in any movie fan’s collection.
Peter Cushing: An Autobiography and Past Forgetting
By Peter Cushing
Published by Midnight Marquee, 1999. 256 pages.
Peter Cushing is probably one of the most famous British actors known for his horror roles, primarily due to his work with Hammer Films. Though he played in countless other types of genres, he loved to give his fans what they wanted. Turning the spotlight of Hammer’s Frankenstein films from the creature, Cushing made the doctor himself the real monster, always giving 110% to his role, making his character and the films unforgettable.
These books cover his life, his start in pictures, and his work with Hammer Films. This book combines the two autobiographies that Cushing wrote and published, the first one An Autobiography in 1986 and the second one Past Forgetting in 1988. The second book was done due to many people asking him why he didn’t talk a lot about his film work, especially his work with Hammer Films.