4 items from 2009
Hammer horror movie star Christopher "Dracula" Lee has been knighted in the UK for his many villainous screen performances. The 6' 5", 87-year-old actor, who has appeared in more than 250 film/TV productions, was honoured for his services to both drama and charity, receiving his knighthood from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Lee's first major acting role was as the 'Frankenstein Monster' in Hammer Films' Curse of Frankenstein (1957). More Hammer films followed including Horror Of Dracula, The Mummy and The Hound of the Baskervilles. In the 1970's, he continued working in genre films, including the role of 'Scaramanga' in the 'James Bond' film The Man with the Golden Gun, 'Rochefort' in The Three Musketeers, 'Lord Summerisle' in the original Wicker Man and the lead in Fu Manchu. Recently, he portrayed the wizard 'Saruman' in The Lord of the Rings and 'Jedi' villain 'Count Dooku' in Star Wars. »
Hi, Matt here with your weekly dose of Queer Cinema. With Halloween coming up, we turn our focus to horror.
Hammer Horror films are not truly part of the gay canon, and as a body of films they are conservative in their narrative arcs and messages. However, I've always been a huge fan. They are undeniably camp and always feature either subtle homoeroticism or full on Lesbian Vampires. For those unfamiliar with this horror subgenre, it is a collection of films produced by Hammer Film Studios from the late 50s to early 70s that mixed Gothic melodrama with exploitation horror. The studio was most famous for their vampire, mummy, Frankenstein, and cave girl pictures.
The vampire films stand head and shoulders above the rest. Hammer's Vampires went through two major cycles, the gothic Dracula films with Christopher Lee and the later sexploitation-y lesbian vampire films. The early Hammer films are the most respectable. »
The UK’s longest-running genre event, the Festival of Fantastic Films, has added director Peter Sasdy to the guest lineup of its 2009 edition, running Friday-Sunday, October 16-18 in Manchester, England. Best known for his work with Hammer Films, Sasdy’s association with the iconic company stretches all the way from the 1969 TV anthology Journey To The Unknown to the company’s 1986 swansong, Hammer House Of Mystery And Suspense, also encompassing the features Taste The Blood Of Dracula, Countess Dracula and Hands Of The Ripper.
Other Hammer veterans speaking and socializing at the weekend-long event include Twins Of Evil director John Hough and actors John Carson (from Plague Of The Zombies) and Scars Of Dracula’s Jenny Hanley. But there’s more to the British genre scene than Hammer; among the other actors attending are Burke And Hare’s Derren Nesbitt, The Ghoul (and Zombie) star Ian McCulloch and Evil Aliens’ Emily Booth. »
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The news and photos just keep comin’ in from the currently lensing (in Britain) remake of 1976’s EXPOSÉ (a.k.a. The House On Straw Hill). This morning, producer Jonathan Sothcott sent along the first still of actress Linda Hayden (see below), who’s returning from the original (pictured at left).
“We are all thrilled to have Linda on board,” Sothcott tells Fango. “In addition to being the star of the classic version, she’s a terrific actress who has worked alongside Liz Taylor, Peter Finch and Vincent Price, and a true British genre icon. In the new movie, she meets a very grisly end: Her character literally gets a hammering. Linda is a pal from way back and it has been great having her on set; the rest of the cast love her to bits, and she has been a real trouper through some very cold night shoots.”
In the ’76 film, »
4 items from 2009
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