Monday, November 17, 2008

Hammer Films: A Life in Pictures

Check out this article about the new Hammer book.

Though written by Hammer expert Wayne Kinsey, Hammer Films: A Life in Pictures seems to be primarily a feast for the eyes. Needless to say I need to have this. So if anyone out there feels like playing Secret Santa, don't let me stop you. Or if you want to use the donation button at the top of the blog, be my guest. LOL

My hunch is that this may shape up to be simply one of the best and most gorgeous books on Hammer Films out ever.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wayne Kinsey - The Elstree Studio Years

I have this book since the official launch in London last year and finally managed to get around to finish reading it. I will very shortly also update my Hammer Books pages over at the Hammer Glamour site with this info (I seem to currently have trouble accessing it):

This is the long awaited follow up to Wayne Kinsey’s book dedicated to Hammer’s Bray Studio movies and follows very much in the same vein. This is again chock full of ultra rare pictures and very in depth on the production history of all the individual films. Kinsey again extensively quotes from censor’s reports and heavily relies on interviews conducted with Hammer talent on every level. As with his previous book it falls a little bit short on the critical analysis, but then again this is obviously not the prime focus for this kind of oeuvre and we have other works that can be read for a more critical evaluation of the films.

The format is again strictly chronological, so rather than cover the films one by one it splits the production into the following sub sections - Pre-production, Production, SPFX (if applicable), Censor – and then covers these aspects at their proper place in time. So a typical chapter can have the following reading order:

Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (pre-production), Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (production), Hand of the Ripper (pre-production), Hand of the Ripper (production), Dr Jeckyll and Sister Hyde (pre-production), Dr Jeckyll and Sister Hyde (production), On the Buses (pre-production), On the Buses (production), Twins of Evil (pre-production), Twins of Evil (production), Hands of the Ripper (censor), On the Buses (censor), Dr Jeckyll and Sister Hyde (censor), Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (censor), Twins of Evil (censor) etc…

This constant to and froing between the films takes a little while to get used to, though ultimately is a very elegant way to properly track those movies and their development stages over time.

Kinsey is a pathologist in his day job and it is quite amusing to see him correct some of Frankenstein’s anatomical errors in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. He is right: With those bloopers it is no wonder that he never managed to create a perfect being. Given that this edition covers some of the lesser known Hammer movies I may even prefer The Elstree Studio Years to the earlier Bray edition. Either way, both books are essential reading for all true Hammer Fans.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hammer Glamour gallery

What can I say but WOW!!!!!

Just found this amazing 5-page gallery of high quality pics and scans for just about any Hammer Glamour star you can think of.

Well worth checking out.

'Nuff said. Need to go back admiring some of the beauties.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Avalard’s Box of Obfuscation

Robert Simpson, he of the Unofficial Hammer Films site and all round Hammer Fan Nice Guy, has just posted the first episode in what will hopefully prove to be a regular monthly look at British Cult Movies.

Unsurprisingly his debut looks at none other than Hammer films, although from a very novel angle. Is This A Hammer Film? was born out of a university lecture he held in Dublin and focuses on the difficulties of properly establishing a definite filmography of Hammer movies given the company’s myriad ventures and deals.

I am certainly looking forward to future instalments of this podcast that can be accessed either through the author’s new blog or via Itunes. Is it just me or will I be right in thinking that Robert may soon get a deluge of fan mails from American females who will melt at the sound of his gentle Northern Irish twang? :-)