Sunday, June 26, 2011

Time to Make up my Mind

For the time being this blog will stay PG.

The replies I got with regards to my query were along the following lines:

  • Hell, yeah! (Love that enthusiasm.)
  • Don't worry what others think, this is your blog so do what you feel is right.
  • General comments, questions, concerns as to whether the adult shield may deter people from accessing the blog (especially from work) or whether this may impact findability through Google
Thanks to all who replied.

More importantly than the range of comments, however, was the number. 

Cause there weren't all that many.

I'm always surprised about what causes people to comment (here, on Facebook or Twitter). Write a little facetious remark and still get comments days later; write something important, and you may not see that much.

I am the last person to expect others to leave comments. Comments generally indicate the level of involvement with a certain issue and should never be expected by anyone. So if I see that the nudity issue doesn't result in a string of feedback then that is indication for me that it's pretty much a non-issue for my readers. I probably could go either way without offending or enticing anyone but without a particularly strong need I think I better say: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." and will simply continue the way I've operated since the beginning.

I reserve the right to change my decision at some point in the future but for now I am happy to leave things as they are and have always been.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keep this blog PG rated? - Feedback required

The first time I set up a Hammer website was sometime in the late 90s. It was entirely devoted to Hammer Glamour and by and large nothing more than a collection of pictures from those actresses often in various stages of undress. I did also write something like an Internet diary then but without blogging software this was hard coded even though I still pride myself of the fact that I came up with a blog-like idea before it was all en vogue.

The trouble was that I must have unwittingly broken rules by my then-website provider as from one day to the other the site was off the air and I could never get a reply from my host as to the reasons for that. I had suspected that a certain someone may have ratted on me about the site but couldn't prove it... but that is neither here nor there.

After sulking about the demise of that site I eventually decided to start another Hammer Glamour site hosted elsewhere. That site has now also been taken offline but at my own accord as this blog really has proven way more successful in relaying all my Hammer related ramblings. I had, however, then made a conscious decision to keep the site PG rated and focus more on writing about the movies and the actresses. So no nudity of any kind was allowed there.

When I moved to Blogger I kept that policy. Though occasionally titillating at the moment all the posts and pictures are pretty much work safe and child friendly.  Over the years I learned that Blogger seems to be OK with posting some more risque stuff provided the blog is hosted as an "adult" blog. I especially enjoy the Casual (Un)Dress Friday posts that my buddy David Z posts over at his own blog.

Posting my latest entry about Marie Devereux got me thinking again as most of the pics I have of her from my collection are of the slightly naughty variety that at the moment I am not publishing here.

Question is: Should I occasionally post some more of those kinds of photos?

If I did I'd have to change my blog to an adult blog. This shouldn't make a huge difference to any of my readers who all seem to be clearly adults and are often quite considerably over the legal age and have probably all seen that, done that and bought the T-Shirt to prove it.

If you read these posts from a blog reader you really wouldn't notice a difference, however, anytime you were going to access my blog posts directly you'd get a content warning that you would just need to accept before you are allowed to get to the blog. So really just one slightly annoying click more.

I'd have no trouble continuing the way I did up till now but would like your input whether you would also be OK to get a few more revealing posts every once in a while. Does it annoy you to have to click the content warning? What are experiences from other blog owners: Does it cost readers? Does it gain readers? Did you ever get into trouble with Blogger? What I will never do is post photos with the vital parts blacked out cause that is just pure lame.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated either via the comment section below or through Facebook or Twitter.

Marie Devereux (*1938/40)

According to what source you read, Marie Devereux was either born as Pat (Patricia) Sutcliffe in 1940 in France and emigrated to England as a child or she was born in 1938 in New Malden/Surrey. She got her slightly exotic looks from her mother who was Spanish.

Her voluptuous 38-23-36 body first gained Michael Caine’s attention who subsequently introduced her as a 16 year old to Glamour photographer George Harrison Marks. She soon graced the pages of countless girly magazines starting with the May 1956 edition of Carnival. She also danced topless at London’s Windmill Theatre. If you want to get an idea of the kind of photos she then shot, check out Solo #8 which was entirely dedicated to her and is now a collector's item. A number of her photos are also available through Nostalgia Publications: check for her name in their two catalogues dedicated to Glamour photos and girly mags including Just Marie Deveraux (sic), a compilation of some of her 1950s photographs. Or simply drop by the Harrison Marks website.

Between June 23 – July 05, 1958 she appeared in Tender Trap for the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, her one and only drama appearance that I am aware of.

Half of her film credits are Hammer productions: She has a small part as a Harem Girl in I Only Arsked (1958). Her most memorable role (hint: THAT cleavage) was as a taunting and sadistic Oriental girl in The Stranglers of Bombay (1960). In the same year she was also one of The Brides of Dracula (1960), the more beautiful, but silent one next to Andree Melly. She spent A Weekend With Lulu (1961) and appeared in The Pirates of Blood River (1962).

Marie Devereux was Elizabeth Taylor’s stand-in for Cleopatra. Following that she could have had her best shot at mainstream fame, had Cassandra’s Iliad been made. That film – based on a screenplay by Mario Puzo - was to star Marlon Brando and to narrate the classic Homer tale from the perspective of Cassandra. And Devereux was meant to play that part. Alas, the film never got off the ground. And – after appearing in two Samuel Fuller movies (Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss) – Devereux just did a vanishing act and was never to be seen or heard from again. Not a very uncommon fate for a Hammer Girl.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Perfect Husband

I recently went to a car boot sale and purchased a box set of 25 episodes of the 1954/55 TV show "Sherlock Holmes", a US TV show produced by Sheldon Reynolds and shot in France. It featured Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes and Howard Marion-Crawford as Watson.

I am now gradually working my way through it. They may not be the most canonical films ever but they are a lot of fun and at a little over 25 minutes never overstay their welcome. A good number of the shows are also available through and YouTube.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the episodes, The Case of the Perfect Husband, featured Michael Gough in a tremendous role as a deliciously malicious Bluebeard who announces his intention to kill his wife to her with 24-hour notice. Great stuff and love that suit!

(I am embedding the three parts of the YouTube video but you can also see it in one piece at the Archive. Trouble with the Archive version is that I can embed it but not modify it to suit Blogger's page size.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boris Karloff on Radio - Update

A year and a half ago I participated in the Boris Karloff Blogathon by providing a list of Boris Karloff radio shows and where possible indicate links where the relevant shows can be found.

I have recently been listening to a lot of OTR again and by chance came across Radio Macabre. Imagine my surprise when I noticed how many of the Karloff shows they have made available online. Well worth checking out!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Zeta One (UK, 1969)

“Don’t Be Afraid/She Only Wants Love!”

Bootilicious semi-naked ladies in the title sequence and shwinging 60s musak introduce us to Zeta who is “all around you/yet not here at all” And in case we can’t spell, then the singer helps us out. It’s “Zee Eee Teee Aaaaa” and she’s “the feeling of love/from a girl so warm/but mysterious”.

That title sequence looks and sounds fab, but really doesn’t help at all when trying to figure out what the blazes is going on in this movie.

Apparently it is about Zeta (Dawn Addams) who comes from a different galaxy, surrounds herself with a colony of gorgeous babes and tries to take over our world, but in a good way or something.

A secret agent called James - no, not that one – Word (who incidentally reports to someone called W: Reverse that!) stumbles into the first scene all complete with a fake 60s tache and then spends the next 20 minutes of the film playing strip poker with Miss Olsen (Yutte Stensgaard). Now I really don’t mind spending such an inordinate amount of time ogling at this beautiful Swede in the buff, but still must admit that this hardly makes for ingenious script writing.

In actual fact it is amazing that any plot as feeble as that was chosen by Tigon who produced it to help set up a company to rival the likes of Hammer and Amicus. If it wasn’t for a bunch of actors and actresses who are generally better known for their appearances in Hammer films and Carry On style productions, it is doubtful that anyone these days would still remember the movie. What drove such a relatively eclectic cast to agree to appear in such drivel is beyond comprehension. Hard to believe any of them had ever read the script, if even there was one.

Following the strip poker sequence, Word and Olson jump into bed and Word narrates what had happened previously.

Y’see, Word (Robin Hawden) is the world’s most incompetent agent (not a spy, as he himself insists) and was ordered to investigate the disappearance of a series of gals from all over the world. Without really doing anything else but jumping into bed with any girl that crosses his path, he discovers that they were kidnapped by Zeta to be brainwashed and serve in Angvia.

Angvia is out in space somewhere, but perhaps it’s not, perhaps it’s right here in a different time scale or something. All we know is that it exists. If you think this sounds vague: Believe me, it is pretty much quoted verbatim from the dialogue.

All of that really is an excuse to see as many topless 60s girls as possible. How nice that the Angvians are generally not only dressed in the most cleverly designed topless swimsuits (courtesy of Colette Du Plessis), but they also make sure that one of their victims is a stripper (Wendy Lingham).

James Robertson Justice and Charles Hawtrey are part of a group of men who aim to capture Zeta and destroy her operation. In order to do so they’re not averse to torturing an Angvian. That violent, fetishistic torture sequence is strangely out of place in this generally more comic titillation caper. When they stage a Most Dangerous Game style (wo)manhunt, their group gets killed by the invading topless ladies, one of them being Valerie Leon. These appealing aliens have a superior power that helps them win over the men: They can shoot invisible bullets out of their fingers! Ever improvised a cowboys and Indians game as a kid with nothing but your empty hands as revolvers? Well, that’s the general idea in those ridiculous looking fight scenes. The term “budgetary restraints” must have been invented for that production.

Even the most hardened admirer of this film must admit that it is ridiculous to the extreme. It does, however, make for some titillating viewing. It’s a Must for Hammer Glamour fans: Yutte Stensgaard has her most memorable part in this film. The expression “Everything But the Nipple” (generally associated with this actress) must have originated for Valerie Leon in this film as she does display pretty much her entire body if it wasn’t for a micro bikini bottom and one of those stripper nipple protectors that display, well, everything but the nipple. Dawn Addams is the only lady who does not display her wares. The spaceship (insemination room included) makes for some fun psychedelic viewing. And, in case I haven’t said it enough, it also has Yutte Stensgaard. In the nude. A lot.

Robin Hawden, who played the stumbling and womanising secret agent, subsequently went on to bigger and better things, by, ahem, next starring in Hammer’s When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970). He also wrote a couple of books, some which can still be bought from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Look closely and you can also discover Kirsten Lindholm as one of the Angvisa girls.

Kirsten Lindholm (* September 01, 1943)

Born: Kirsten Lindholm Andreassen
Alias: Kirsten Betts, Eleandra Kirsten Meredith

Born in Odense (Denmark) during the German occupation, her father emigrated with her family to New Zealand where she lived for most of her early years. She studied languages and while at university got her first couple of modelling jobs and also featured in some TV commercials.

Her first husband, John Betts, was a Latin and Greek lecturer with whom she moved to England in 1966 when he got a position at Bristol University.

For two short years between 1969-1971 Lindholm turned starlet and appeared in bit parts in all three Hammer Karnstein movies (the only actress to do so) as well as making the odd guest appearance on television (The Persuaders, UFO).

She fell in love with her Yoga teacher, a former musician who had played with the likes of Eric Burden and the Animals, Dusty Springfield and others. The two of them married in May 1972. Rather than become a Bond Girl - as she was discovered by Harry Saltzman when he saw her in the Hammer horrors - she moved to the US where she joined the Ashram Yoga community. She and her husband are now living in a Hawaiian retreat where she practices Yoga and alternative holistic medicine and goes under the name of Eleandra. She has now devoted her life entirely to studying and teaching alternative healing methods, though as revealed in Little Shoppe of Horrors #16, still fondly remembers her time with Hammer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It Might Be You!

Just discovered this short movie on YouTube: a road safety film from 1947 with Peter Cushing.