16 items from 2015
'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine. Constance Cummings on stage: From sex-change farce and Emma Bovary to Juliet and 'Saint Joan' (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Frank Capra, Mae West and Columbia Lawsuit.”) In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), starring Cummings as a demimondaine who falls in love with a villainous character. She ends up killing him – or does she? Adapted from Bruno Frank's German-language original, Young Madame Conti was presented on both sides of the Atlantic; on Broadway, it had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre. Based on the Gustave Flaubert novel, the Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937) was staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The »
- Andre Soares
Owen Vince considers the "Weirded Urbanisms" of The Golem, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Also in today's roundup: Peter Bogdanovich interviews Jonas Mekas, Kent Jones talks with Martin Scorsese, Charles Burnett on To Sleep with Anger, A.O. Scott on Star Wars, an essay on and a conversation with Hou Hsiao-hsien, and a round of Halloween reviews: Terence Fisher's The Hound of the Baskervilles, John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness, Hideo Nakata’s Ringu, Gordon Douglas's Them!—and more. » - David Hudson »
This November, The Horror Channel is reviving its Hammer Horror double-bills with a series of eight unmissable classic films that will be screened on Saturday nights throughout the month.
Sat 7 Nov @ 9pm – The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961) *Network Premiere
In Oliver Reed’s first film role, he excels as Leon Corledo, a young man raised in the home of Don Alfredo Corledo (Clifford Evans), his kind and loving adopted father. When he leaves to find work, Leon discovers that he has increasingly violent urges each full moon. Although these tendencies are calmed by Leon’s love for the beautiful Christina (Catherine Feller), he ultimately cannot contain his curse, given to his raped mother, and transforms into a werewolf, terrorising the Spanish countryside. Directed by Hammer stalwart Terence Fisher
Sat 7 Nov @ 10.50pm – The Gorgon (1964) *Network Premiere
A mysterious monster is turning people to stone in a German village in 1910. When his girlfriend is killed, »
- Gary Collinson
Written by John Elder
Directed by Terence Fisher
Hammer Film Productions is one of the oldest, most respected film studios to ever earn significant popularity. Founded in 1934 in England, the production company earned an outstanding sequence of success in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s by re-appropriating several well known horror stories like The Mummy and Dracula, as well as concocting several original concepts. Even in 2015, long after the studio’s heyday, cinephiles continue to look back at and appreciate the work Hammer put out during those three illustrious decades. Being such specialists in breathing new life into old horror tales, it would only seem befitting that they would try their hand at a new adaptation of French author Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera novel.
Transplanting the action over to home soil in London, this iteration of The Phantom of the Opera »
- Edgar Chaput
Special Mention: Death Proof
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
The obvious reference points of Death Proof are such movies as Vanishing Point, Roadgames, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, and even Spielberg’s Duel – but Death Proof is influenced by more than just vehicular horror. Tarantino’s homage to the road-fury genre is really two movies in one, offering two versions of the same story about two separate groups of beautiful women who are stalked by a homicidal maniac who uses his car (his weapon of choice) to terrorize and eventually kill his victims. Death Proof can easily be viewed as two slasher films, with the second half acting as a sequel, offering new, beautiful victims for the murderous Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) to terrorize. It’s a grim stalk-and-slash picture with a blaring commentary of female empowerment. Replace the typical sharp edged blade with a car, and »
- Ricky Fernandes
Warners answers the call for Hammer horror with four nifty thrillers starring the great Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. The transfers are immaculate -- Technicolor was never richer than this. The only drawback is that Chris Lee's Dracula has so few lines of dialogue. On hi-def, Cushing's Frankenstein movie is a major re-discovery as well. Horror Classics: Four Chilling Movies from Hammer Films Blu-ray The Mummy, Dracula has Risen from the Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Taste the Blood of Dracula Warner Home Video 1959-1970 / Color / 1:66 - 1:78 widescreen / 376 min. / Street Date October 6, 2015 / 54.96 Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, George Pastell, Michael Ripper; Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews, Ewan Hooper, Michael Ripper; Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters, Maxine Audley; Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Linda Hayden, Isla Blair, John Carson, Ralph Bates, Roy Kinnear. <Cinematography Jack Asher; Arthur Grant; Arthur Grant; Arthur Grant. »
- Glenn Erickson
Scream favorites Vincent Price and Christopher Lee become tangled in an African curse, grave robbing, a premature burial and a clutch of throat-slashings -- yet the two stars have no real scenes together. Steve Haberman's well-researched and insightful commentary tells the story of Gordon Hessler's first production for the English arm of American-International Pictures, a movie planned to be directed by the mysterious Michael Reeves. The Oblong Box Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1969 / Color /1:85 widescreen / 96 min. / Street Date October 20, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Uta Levka, Sally Geeson, Alister Williamson, Peter Arne. Cinematography John Coquillon Original Music Harry Robertson Written by Lawrence Huntington, Christopher Wicking Produced by Gordon Hessler, Louis M. Heyward Directed by Gordon Hessler
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
I've been doing my best to warm up to the filmic output of producer-director Gordon Hessler. I agree that Hessler's three major A. »
- Glenn Erickson
Great news for Hammer Horror fans, as Eureka! Entertainment is bringing Terence Fisher's The Man Who Could Cheat Death to dual-format Blu-ray/DVD on 21 September.Fisher helped define the vibrant look of many of Hammer's classic gothic horror tales, and after scoring notable successes with the likes of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) he delivered this "Bava-esque" tale of scientific malevolence starring Anton Diffring (Fahrenheit 451, Where Eagles Dare), Christopher Lee and Hazel Court.Doctor and amateur sculptor Georges Bonnet (Anton Diffring) has discovered a murderous method of maintaining his youth, once every ten years he murders a young woman and removes her parathyroid glands to replace his own. But after 104 years, he's run into some problems. His collaborator...
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Above: Alternative poster for Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, Australia/USA, 2015). Artist: Signalstarr.Movie Poster of the Week was on vacation for the past few weeks and for the first time in three and a half years I took a break from posting a poster a day on Tumblr. Since getting back I have been posting the best new posters that I missed while I was away, one of which—the teaser for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight which was unveiled at Comic-Con last week—has racked up more likes in a single day than almost anything else I’ve posted in the past three months.The standout favorite of the past quarter however—with over 1400 likes and re-blogs to date—was this stunning alternative poster for Mad Max: Fury Road by the British artist known as Signalstarr, a.k.a. Nick Stewart Hoyle. As a rule I »
- Adrian Curry
Ron Moody in 'Oliver!' movie. Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' actor nominated for an Oscar dead at 91 (Note: This Ron Moody article is currently being revised.) Two well-regarded, nonagenarian British performers have died in the last few days: 93-year-old Christopher Lee (June 7, '15), best known for his many portrayals of Dracula and assorted movie villains and weirdos, from the title role in The Mummy to Dr. Catheter in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. 91-year-old Ron Moody (yesterday, June 11), among whose infrequent film appearances was the role of Fagin, the grotesque adult leader of a gang of boy petty thieves, in the 1968 Best Picture Academy Award-winning musical Oliver!, which also earned him a Best Actor nomination. Having been featured in nearly 200 movies and, most importantly, having had his mainstream appeal resurrected by way of the villainous Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies (and various associated merchandising, »
- Andre Soares
The day monster kids have dreaded for some time has arrived. Mournful, nostalgic, and melancholy – it’s the end of an era for more than one generation of horror fans. It seemed like Christopher Lee would live through all eternity, but unlike some of the characters he played, there’s no bringing him back to life this time. He made it to 93 and went out on a high note, appearing in the final Hobbit film just this past winter. He had an amazing career of fantastic performances and remains the greatest villain actor in film history. Rip to the last classic horror star and thank you for all the monster memories.
Christopher Lee was married to his wife Birgit (Gitte) for 54 years.
Here, according to Movie Geeks Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Sam Moffitt, and myself, are Christopher Lee’s ten best roles.
It’s only fitting that The Curse Of Frankenstein, »
- Tom Stockman
Screen icon and veteran actor Sir Christopher Lee died on Sunday, bringing to an end one of cinema’s most remarkable acting careers. The actor passed at 8:30am, having previously been admitted to hospital with respiratory and pulmonary problems. He was 93 years old. A former special forces soldier, heavy metal vocalist, author and Empire Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Lee had an acting career that spanned everything from Hammer Horror to James Bond, Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars.Born in 1922, Christopher Frank Carandini Lee landed his big break in 1957 when he played the monster in Terence Fisher’s The Curse Of Frankenstein. While it wasn’t a star-making turn in itself, he made a big enough impact to become a staple in future Hammer productions, not least the following year’s Dracula, in which he played the role he would become most famous for. Aside from playing the »
British screen icon Christopher Lee has passed away at the age of 93.
Christopher Lee 1922-2015: Entertainment world pays tribute to acting icon
The beloved actor notched up more than 280 screen credits across seven decades that saw him work with some of the biggest stars and filmmakers in Hollywood. Whether it was frightening the life out of us in Hammer horrors or duking it out with Jedis in Star Wars, Lee's films bridge multiple generations of moviegoers.
Digital Spy picks out six great Christopher Lee roles below...
1. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Hammer's first ever colour horror film helped to cement the studio as purveyors of fright cinema. Lee brilliantly brought to life Frankenstein's monster thanks to some then-cutting edge prosthetic make-up and a performance tinged with pathos.
Stars: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi, David Oxley, Francis De Wolff, Miles Malleson, Ewen Solon, John Le Mesurier, Helen Goss, Sam Kydd, Michael Hawkins, Judi Moyens, Michael Mulcaster | Written by Peter Bryan | Directed by Terence Fisher
I’ve always been a Sherlock Holmes fan, and my horror leanings turned me to The Hound of the Baskervilles, a story I grew to love. It is evident by all different movies based on the tale and their popularity, that I’m not the only one. One of the best has to be Hammer’s with Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes. This is why when Arrow Video revealed their Blu-ray release I looked forward to seeing it, especially with the amount of behind the scenes material on the disc.
- Paul Metcalf
Directed by Terence Fisher.
Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson are called upon to investigate the Baskerville family curse as the aire to the estate moves into the family home.
A quick glance at the cast and crew credits for Hammer’s 1959 version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles shows that all the right people are present and correct; there’s the now-established double act of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee heading up a cast that features a few faces that would be familiar to UK audiences, director Terence Fisher – who had helmed Hammer’s previous horror successes The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Revenge of Frankenstein and also their version of The Mummy that would »
- Gary Collinson
Oh, to have been there at the drive-in in 1957 when this came out. Drive-ins were peaking in popularity, with over 4000 far and wide across North America providing countless hours of entertainment for youngsters, teenagers, and parents alike. However, if I was a little one and had seen this lurid and terrifying spectacle bleeding from the enormous outdoor screen, looming over the family car, I probably would have cried for my dad to rip off the attached speaker from the car window and make for the safety of home. And fast.
Released in the early summer of 1957, The Curse of Frankenstein was a huge hit worldwide, delighting audiences and – wait for it – appalling reviewers at the time. This isn’t much of a surprise. Curse is different from the Universal monster films of yore; even though it is set in the 1800’s, it has a direct, hip, and dare I say »
- Scott Drebit
16 items from 2015
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