Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Hammer movie

It's my last day at the office for six months. It's the first day that I heard of a new Hammer shoot. Days don't get much better.

I thought things wouldn't get me excited anymore, but I am unexplicably chirpy after reading this exciting bit of news:

http://www.unofficialhammerfilms.com/news/2007/Aug27_01.html

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Quatermass Blog

Steve Reed just started a new Quatermass blog. The aim of the blog is to update everyone on any news about upcoming releases or any other Quatermass related info. Steve is also currently working on an entire website dedicated to all things Quatermass. No doubt he will keep all his blog readers informed about that status of that project.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Hammer News

Hammer News are coming in fast and furious. In actual fact so fast and furious that I can't type them fast enough and will resort to some simple copying and pasting from various sources.

***************************************************************************

From Richard Klemensen:

    Just to let you know the new issue of LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #19 will be available September 11th. You can go to our website

    www.littleshoppeofhorrors.com

    for a complete list of contents and shots of the covers by Steve Karchin, Bruce Timm and Mark Maddox. But the whole issue is devoted to Hammer's greatest director, Terence Fisher. Many behind the scenes photos of Fisher at work, rare interviews & an in-depth career article. It really looks good.

    Sadly, our USA postal system has made a dramatic jump in rates, and dropped all surface rates. So everything goes airmail. Good thing - you should have your magazines a week after shipping.

    $10.40 first issue + $6.80 each additional.

*************************************************************************

From Robert Simpson:
    Some of you in Northern Ireland might be interested in one of the courses being run by Queen's University Belfast, School of Eduction Open Learning, which has been announced today.

    The prospectus can be downloaded as a pdf here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEducation/ProspectiveStudents/OpenLearning/
    and the relevant course is on p45.

    Application forms are also available on the website, and whilst there is no restriction on the number of attendees, early registration is recommended.

    The information is as follows:

    - Hammer Horror and the British Film -

    Course code: OLE0310
    Tutor: Robert Simpson, BA, MA
    Fee £70.00
    (concession rate £52.00)

    Autumn 2007
    10 weekly sessions on Tuesdays 7.00pm to 9.00pm, starting 25 September + 2 field trips

    Horror sells; Hammer Films Ltd were the most successful independant British film company. This course explores Hammer's output. Key films such as 'The Curse of Frankenstein', 'Dracula', 'The Quatermass Xperiment' and 'The Plague of the Zombies' will be explored, alongside discussion of genres, stardom, censorship and publicity. There will also be 2 field trips replicating period cinema-going experiences providing a context for the marketing and exhibitions of the films (dates and times will be discussed at first class).

    10 CATS Points (Level 1)

****************************************************************************

Other interesting dates:

    November 02: The NFT in London shows the restored (Horror of) Dracula print

    Next week on Brit TV:
    Saturday 25th 'The Quatermass Experiment' 14.00 BBC2
    Monday 27th 'The Damned' 23.30 BBC2
    Tuesday 28th 'The Gorgon' 23.20 BBC2
**************************************************************************

After a definitely last Hammer event last January, followed by the most definitely last and very final Hammer at Bray event last month, it now appears that Don Fearney will now host another book launch for the new edition of the Hammer Story on October 27.... and quite possible also another Hammer at Bray event next year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dracula. Here is what is so far known about the book launch as per Matt from the Yahoo Hammer Group:

    Don Fearney is organising a full day at the Cine Lumiere in London to
    celebrate the reprint of Marcus Hearnes & Alan Barnes much acclaimed
    book.
    Tickets should be around £25.00 . Don intends to show the following
    rare gems on the big screen.

    Never Take Sweets From A Stranger

    Cash On Demand

    The Two Faces Of Dr Jekyll

    Autograph sessions will also be part of the day when the book will be
    signed by guests for free.

    Guests are still to be confirmed but Don has always come through when
    it comes to Hammer celebs.

    More information shortly.


Somehow I have a feeling us Hammerheads are going to be busy over the next couple of months.....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

British Film Forever

For those of you in the UK/Ireland, check out BBC 2's British Film Forever next Saturday (August 25) at 21:15.

Magic, Murder and Monsters

A look at films that have made us scream and howl over the years - occasionally with laughter as well as fright. With such a rich gothic literary tradition it was somehow inevitable that British film makers would make our horror the envy of the world.

From Hammer to Harry Potter, from Plague of the Zombies to Shaun of the Dead, Magic, Murder and Monsters traces the evolution of the British horror and fantasy film, taking in classics like The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Innocents, Repulsion, Witchfinder General, The Wicker Man and Brazil.

Featuring original interviews with Sir Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Simon Pegg, Mark Gatiss, Terry Gilliam, Rupert Grint and John Landis - as well as original horror stars and film makers like Ingrid Pitt, Barbara Shelley, Jimmy Sangster and Pete Walker.

My understanding is that Christopher Lee was also interviewed for the program.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hammer News

  • On top of its already existing MySpace profile, Hammer films are now also represented on Facebook and Bebo. The last two sites also have additional Official Hammer Films discussion groups: Check out either the Facebook or Bebo group if you are a member one of those social networking sites. The MySpace site is of course currently by far the busiest and biggest Hammer presence of those with well over 4000 "friends".
  • As previously indicated Marcus Hearn's and Alan Barnes' The Hammer Story is not only one the best (and most nicely illustrated) Hammer film books of all time, it also seems to be the fans most popular choice of Hammer autograph books. Of course, the original edition is long sold out, however, Marcus Hearn has recently updated it and a new print run will be out in October. On top of the regular hardcover version by Titan books, there will also be a limited edition run bound in black leather and with autographs by Martine Beswicke, Valerie Leon, Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Barbara Shelley and Madeline Smith.


  • Although Evil of Frankenstein and Brides of Dracula had previously been released in Region 1 as part of Universal's Hammer Horror Set, they had been unavailable in Region 2 format. Showbox in the UK, however, are now planning to release those in October. Scans of the suggested covers can be seen on Robert Simpson's Unofficial Hammer Films site.

"There's a time for fishing and there's a time for mending the nets"

Below you can see some of the autographs that I got during Hammer at Bray 3. The vast majority ended in my first edition of The Hammer Story which from a general look around the group seems to be by far the most popular "autograph book" for Hammer Fans.

My most favourite autograph was Catherine Feller's. She signed it on a very awkwardly sized photo that makes scanning it virtually impossible, but I still wanted to give a general impression: Her catch phrase was "There's a time for fishing and there's a time for mending the nets" which sounds kind of cool, however, noone I ever asked had a clue as to where this quote was coming from! I don't think it is from Curse of the Werewolf, but would love to be corrected if I am wrong.

Maybe it is just her personal life philosophy.

I was also quite glad to get two lobby cards of Starcrash signed by Caroline Munro that were previously already signed by Luigi Cozzi, the director when I visited him in his Profondo Rosso store in Rome.












Monday, August 6, 2007

Hammer at Bray 3 – Frankenstein Created Susie


One of the most pleasant surprises during Hammer at Bray 3 came when my buddy Ade (Adrian Salmon) gave me a present of a drawing of his that will appear in the next issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors. Ade is an incredibly talented artist who has drawn for Dr Who Magazine as well as Judge Dread and a bunch of other publications. If you haven’t yet read his THE FACELESS comic, then what are you waiting for? It is ultra stylish and chock full of Hammer references. A follow up that continues the adventure is currently in the works.

Hammer at Bray 3 - The actors

Had a blast at Bray 3. Unfortunately I don't have time to write much right now as I am incredibly busy at work, so will over the next few days gradually post more stuff and by the weekend have everything covered that needs to be covered about the event.

Below, some pics of some of the attending celebs to get me started.

Catherine Feller (Curse of the Werewolf)


Valerie Leon


Martine Beswicke


Vera Day (Quatermass 2)


Douglas Wilmer


Douglas Wilmer


Caron Gardner
(Yep, no idea either)


Jimmy Sangster, Ralph Bates' son and spitting image, Virgina Wetherell


Virgina Wetherell and moi
(I swear I didn't rub her breast on purpose)


Damien Thomas

Caroline Munro and John Cater
(A nice little Kronos re-union photo)


Martine Beswicke (next to her Caroline Munro's daughter)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hammer Film Noir

Don Widby, an Internet buddy, repaid a small favour from my side, with a gigantic favour from his side and kindly sent me on two box sets of Hammer Films Noirs. Those sets contain seven DVDs, each of them with two Hammer Film Noir movies that previously had been virtually impossible to get a hold off. So I now have a total of 14 rare early Hammer films to play around, 13 of which I had never seen before.

Don, thanks a million. I really can't thank you enough and owe you big time.

For the record, the 14 movies in these two packs are:

First Boxset

Volume 1:
Bad Blonde
Man Bait

Volume 2:
Stolen Face
Blackout

Volume 3:
Gambler and the Lady
Heat Wave

Second Boxset

Volume 4:
Terror Street
Wings of Danger

Volume 5:
The Glass Tomb
Paid to Kill

Volume 6:
The Black Glove
Deadly Game

Volume 7:
The Unholy Four
A Race for Life