5 items from 2014
That a little studio located in the English countryside consistently put out high quality films on a very limited budget is one of the great stories in filmmaking history. Hammer Films was the most successful independent film company ever, producing comedy, drama, mysteries, and war movies before finding their niche in horror. Hammer became a name synonymous with horror, a name that still means something today.
They took their horror stories from English literature set in Europe in the 19th century and their carefully designed and constructed sets created an atmosphere that made the time and place as much a part of the film as the story. After securing remake rights from Universal for their catalog of classics from the 1930s and 1940s, Hammer became the leading producer of horror films. Hammer’s philosophy was straightforward: always be entertaining, have plenty of sex appeal, and lots of violence and blood. »
- Gregory Small
Written by John Gilling
Directed by Terence Fisher
In the 1950’s, at the birth of the atom age, the content of horror films shifted from the supernatural horrors like Dracula and the Wolf Man, to science-based atrocities. Frankenstein’s monster, which was a patchwork of body parts given life by the mysterious power of lightning, became the Colossus of New York, a giant robot with the brain of a brilliant scientist who goes mad. The gypsy curse that turned Lon Chaney Jr.’s Larry Talbot into a Wolf Man becomes a medical experiment that transforms Michael Landon’s Tony Rivers into a Teenaged Werewolf. The monsters were no longer mythological creatures but scientifically created horrors to reflect the place science had taken in our lives.
When Hammer Horror came into prominence at the end of the 50’s and early 60’s it did so because of its penchant for gore and sexuality. »
- Jae K. Renfrow
Dracula has been a popular draw for cinema audiences since the earliest days of cinema. Just the mere mention of the name will conjure up a variety of actors who’ve made the Transylvanian blood sucker their own, from Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee to Gary Oldman and, er, Dominic Purcell. Very little screen time has been devoted to Dracula’s origins, though, so in keeping with the year one (Untold’s original title) trend that’s punctuated many a movie re-launch over the past decade or so - in the likes of Casino Royale and X-Men: First Class - the prince of darkness finally has a little light shone on how he came to be.
Sir Christopher Lee was born 92 years ago today, on May 27, 1922 and we want to wish him a very Happy Birthday! Even at the age of 92, he shows no signs of slowing down, and continues to be involved in a number of music and movie projects.
How is Christopher Lee celebrating his birthday? Last year, he released Charlemagne: The Omens of Death and he has followed that up with a brand new heavy metal album that is available today.
The new album is titled Metal Knight and features seven new tracks. The official Charlemagne Productions website has an audio player on their site that will allow you to preview Metal Knight and the previous releases before you buy them. Unfortunately, it will not play on iOS devices due to to it being a Flash audio player, so keep that in mind if you’re visiting with an iPhone. You can also »
- Jonathan James
Most fans and collectors of vintage action figures have a soft spot for the toys turned out by Mego Corporation in the '70s. Their 8” action figure collections included classic monsters, Marvel and DC superheroes, and TV & movie characters based on everything from The Wizard of Oz to Charlie's Angels and Planet of the Apes. While Mego rode off into toy history in the early '80s (and we let out a collective sigh of mourning), custom artisans have taken it upon themselves to resurrect that company's style, from figure designs and costumes to the vintage box art. One of the new players in the retro-figure game is Thailand-based outfit Distinctive Dummies, who create limited-edition series of 8” retro-style horror movie figures, in addition to their original 12” figure line. Distinctive's limited editions include incredible likenesses of Vincent Price's characters in The Abominable Dr. Phibes and House on Haunted Hill (including »
- Gregory Burkart
5 items from 2014
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