Monday, July 30, 2007

New additions to Caroline Munro Bibliography

I just modified my Caroline Munro Bibliography and added info on the following magazines:
Cinema Retro #2
Northern Life
Caroline Munro - 40th Anniversary 1966-2006: A Career in Pictures

Oh, and in case I don't say it often enough: Next Saturday I'll be meeting all the other Hammerheads at the Hammer in Bray 3 event. Can. Not. Wait.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Devil Within Her

I just received a set of lobby cards for the film The Devil Within Her. That film is also known as I Don’t Want To Be Born and The Monster (plus half a dozen alternative titles) and is – hands on stomach – one of the worst horror productions of all time. A clear Rosemary’s Baby rip-off, this is hilariously awful and that’s why I love it so much and think it is time for a revisit shortly.

Where else can you see Caroline Munro as a stripper in garters, Joan Collins dancing with an evil midget, John Steiner being groovier and more bad-teethed than Austin Powers, Donald Pleasance and Ralph Bates in supporting roles (Bates with a God awful fake accent) and more shwinging 70s muzac than even the biggest aficionado could stomach.

This film is an (unintentional) laugh-a-minute and one of those productions that you gotta need to see to believe.

Unfortunately none of the lobby cards feature lovely Caroline Munro, but there is enough of Ralph Bates and Joan Collins (Fear in the Night) in them that they warrant a scan for this blog.

The film is available in Region 2 as part of a boxset that also contains Cushing movie The Uncanny and Hammer production Hands of the Ripper.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Graf Bobby, der Schrecken des Wilden Westens

I just received a VHS copy of Graf Bobby, der Schrecken des Wilden Westens from an online buddy, Norton McColl, who wrote the Olga Berova biography for my Hammer Glamour site.

Graf Bobby is an Austrian Western parody that stars Olga Berova in a supporting role. As the lead character is a popular Austrian singer I expect that there’ll be the odd ditty or two in it. Can’t say my hopes are incredibly high for this production, but I do look forward to seeing it as it is pretty rare and I haven’t really watched too many Berova movies yet.

In this production she is credited as Olga Schoberova.

Veronica Carlson at SHOCK IT TO ME! festival in October

News from the Yahoo Hammer Film Group:

"SHOCK IT TO ME! announces this year's first Guest of Honor:

The striking Veronica Carlson, beautiful star of the gothic Hammer Horrors, DRACULA HAS
appearing all weekend at this year's SHOCK IT TO ME! Classic Horror Film Festival in San
Francisco, California. The third annual SHOCK IT TO ME! takes place at the historic, 1400-
seat Castro Theatre in San Francisco, this coming October 5th, 6th, & 7th. Ms. Carlson will
be meeting and greeting with fans, signing autographs, and appearing on stage to talk
about her short, but indelible, career in horror cinema. (Special thanks to David Nahmod
and Dick Klemensen.)

Click here for more information on SHOCK IT TO
ME! and stay tuned for more Guests of Honor to be announced!"

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hammer posters

Over last couple of years Hammer has started releasing a range of merchandise, though the choice has at times been slightly, shall we say, interesting: Cuff links, ties or poker chips may be of interest to the cuff links, ties or poker chip collectors, but for Hammer enthusiasts they would only be of marginal interest.

Now, however, a range of reproduction posters will become available from August 01 on: Every month for one year a new poster will be available for £19.99. Buyers who agree to purchase all of those will also be entitled to a 13th poster that will otherwise not be available.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Read more about this on Robert Simpson's Unofficial Hammer Films Site.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Peter Cushing on DVD and YouTube

Just coming from Chris Gullo, author of the excellent Cushing biography IN ALL SINCERITY... PETER CUSHING:

"September 11, as part of a Halloween promotion - will see the DVD release of two double-features (there are others but these two have Peter Cushing films in them): Tales from the Crypt/Vault of Horror, Mystery on Monster Island/Gorilla at Large.

Upcoming Columbia box sets in the works - Cushing/Lee horror collection (together and solo). Planned for the box set includes "Corruption" and "The Creeping Flesh".

P.S. For the Christopher Lee fans here Columbia is also planning a box set of Lee's Pirate/adventure films."

I could have posted this earlier, but somehow thought this would be taken off YouTube very quickly, but it is still there, so also do check out the YouTube release of Cushing's rare BBC version 1984 from 1954, just 6 years after the original book came out. Also starring Donald Pleasance in his first appearance (to the best of my knowledge) and Andre Morell. Adapted by Nigel Kneale.

For some reason or the other the embedded link to this video was disabled so click on the following links to get all the parts:

1984 - Part 1:
1984 - Part 2:
1984 - Part 3:
1984 - Part 4:
1984 - Part 5:
1984 - Part 6:
1984 - Part 7:
1984 - Part 8:
1984 - Part 9:
1984 - Part 10:
1984 - Part 11:
1984 - Part 12:
1984 - Part 13:
1984 - Part 14:
1984 - Part 15:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Veronica Carlson Covergirl

I recently came across this paperback from my collection. I had completely forgotten I even had it.

The Jerry Cotton books are a German series of pulp fiction stories about an FBI agent. They go back to the 1950s and in its pulp fiction form are still published on a weekly basis. There are also monthly paperbacks with his adventures. All in all there are now literally thousands of novels about the character available.

These days the covers can be kind of bland, but up until the 1980s a lot of the covers consisted of scenes from motion pictures. These covers often had little to do with the actual contents of the stories inside, but did create an interesting mood and made you want to read the books.

This cover is from Jerry Cotton paperback # 292 and published in 1985 and of course pictures a young Veronica Carlson. I bet not even she is aware that her photo was used to advertise this franchise.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Kerwin Mathews R.I.P.

I heard first of all through the Yahoo Group Isle of the Dead from the passing away of Kerwin Mathews.

Mathews was first and foremost known as one of cinema’s most favourite Sinbads in Ray Harryhausen’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. He subsequently starred in other Fantasy Movies such as The 3 Worlds of Gulliver and Jack the Giant Killer, but also acted in two Hammer productions: Pirates of Blood River and Maniac. On the Continent (the European one that is) he appeared in a number of Eurotrash productions and was one of a number of actors to appear as OSS 117 in a series of Eurospy thrillers ripping off the Bond format.

Mathews was born on January 08, 1926 in Seattle and initially trained as a teacher before becoming matinee movie idol. Similar to Rock Hudson or George Nader he was an incredibly handsome actor who had to hide his homosexuality in the 1950s by being shown next to some of the cinema’s most gorgeous female beauties of the time.

He leaves behind his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicoll.

Starcrash slideshow

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Vampire Lovers

Hammer movies were always known not just for their classic (mainly) horror output, but also for their buxom beauties. From their first coloured productions onwards female eye candy was as important to their films as classically trained male actors and Gothic mood and set pieces.

The Vampire Lovers, however, was the first time that they fully took advantage of a more relaxed censor’s code with regards to presenting nudity and created an erotic horror classic and the first part of a new trilogy based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s novel Carmilla. (The two other movies of the series were Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter also contains a throwaway line about the Karnstein clan.)

Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla (or Mircalla, Marcilla or whatever else she calls herself here) is a very convincing lesbian vampire with a hint of world weary Eastern Europe ennui about her. Her strong accent has never been used better than in this production and makes you wonder why on Earth she was dubbed for her next performance as Countess Dracula. Her character is awaiting invitations into noble men’s houses, just to subsequently seduce and quench her blood lust on their daughters and housemaids (Pippa Steele, Madeline Smith, Kate O’Mara) who are all only too willing to indulge in some Sapphic tête-à-têtes. She is able to walk by day, yet prefers staying in the shadows and goes into rambling hysterics when confronted with the funeral of a girl she killed.

Peter Cushing, Ferdy Mayne and Douglas Wilmer are the vampire fighters and as such the representatives of Hammer’s stern old men club who this time round play supporting parts to the female leads. In earlier movies this constellation would have been reversed. These gentlemen are joined by a young and up and coming Jon Finch.

Also watch out for Kirsten Lindholm as the first Vampire. She would subsequently be the only actress to appear in all three Karnstein movies, though only ever in minute bit parts. Other memorable roles are played by Dawn Addams as Carmilla’s mother, The Countess, and John Forbes-Robertson as the mysterious Man in Black.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hammer book updates

Over the last couple of weeks some new books about Hammer were released:

Sinclair McKay’s “A Thing of Unspeakable Horror: The History of Hammer Horrors” has received some mixed reviews. People seem to like the overall style, though are criticising at times inaccurate info provided in it.

John L Flynn’s “50 Years of Hammer Horror” on the other hand seems to be one of the contenders for worst Hammer Film book ever. According to a reviewer on the Hammer Yahoo Group the author claims that Dracula’s castle in the Hammer movies was actually a Scottish hotel, that the classic Gothic Horror of Frankenstein was set in contemporary 1970s London etc etc. Sloppy research at its worst from the looks of it.

I haven’t read any of those books, but once done so they will find their way to my Hammer Bibliography.