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.
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 →
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 →
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.
For fans of Hammer Films, especially The Brides of Dracula (1960), you knew the stunning beauty that was Andrée Melly, who appeared as one of the brides. This was her only Hammer film, but she also appeared in another Terence Fisher film, The Horror of It All (1964), alongside Pat Boone and Dennis Price. But one couldn’t watch Brides and not be enamored with her, along with Marie Devereux as the other bride (who we also recently lost last December). Seeing them transformed from young school girls to fanged creatures of the night, they once again showed why Hammer Films are still be watched and remembered with so much fondness today.
Melly passed away on January 31st, at the age of 87. She will be missed but always remembered for her brief film career. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family.
Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personal, the Company
Published by McFarland, 2018. 992 pages.
By Howard Maxford
It’s really hard to be not excited when a book comes out on one of your favorite studios that is just a few pages shy of a 1000! Sure, some of you that ask, “do we really need another book on Hammer Films?” Well if it is as massive and thorough as this one, then that would be a definite yes! I have been waiting on this book to come out since McFarland announced it well over a year ago, but had no idea how colossal of a tome this would be. Maxford states in his introduction that it has taken over 15 years to complete this and it looks like it.
I’ve been reading and researching and learning about Hammer Studios and the people behind it for somewhere around three decades, but there is always still more to learn. That was proven once again as I started browsing through this before I read some little tidbits that I didn’t know about. Such as that Jimmy Hanley, who played the friendly bartender in The Lost Continent (1968), is actually the father of Jenny Hanley, who appeared in Scars of Dracula (1970)! Sure, it’s just a little bit of trivia, but that is a sign of a good reference book.
Continue reading →