Thursday, 31 March 2016

ACTOR DOUGLAS WILMER 96 DIES TODAY


News has just broken that the actor, Douglas Wilmer has died today. Another loss. Wilmer was mainly associated by the public for his role as Sherlock Holmes, which he first played in the BBC's 1964 production of The Speckled Band. Together with co-star Nigel Stock, playing Doctor Watson, it was a knock out tv series, that Peter Cushing went on to star in after Wilmer left.

In 1973 Wilmer played author Jacques Futrelle's Holmesian detective Professor Van Dusen in The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes for ITV. In 1975 he once again appeared as Holmes (albeit in a supporting role) in Gene Wilder's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, with Thorley Walters as Dr. Watson. Wilmer also played Sir Denis Nayland Smith in two Harry Alan Towers' Fu Manchu films The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966) and The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967).




Douglas Wilmer appeared in Hammer films, The Vampire Lovers, as Baron Hartog... with Peter Cushing in 1970. With roles in Revenge of the Pink Panther, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Cleopatra in 1963 and Jason and the Argonauts.. it will be for Sherlock Holmes he will probably be best remembered. In 2009 Wilmer published his autobiography entitled Stage Whispers. In 2012 Wilmer made a cameo appearance in the "The Reichenbach Fall" episode of Sherlock as an irate old man in The Diogenes Club.


BORN ON THIS DAY: PATRICK MAGEE REMEMBERED



Today we remember Patrick Magee, a very talented character actor whose career covered multiple genres of films. Known for his appearances in horror films, some notable ones include The Masque of the Red Death (1964) , Die Monster Die (1965) and Demons Of The Mind (1972) for Hammer. Outside of horror he starred in two films for Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon and A Clockwork Orange. He co-starred with Peter Cushing in four films The Skull (1965), Tales From The Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), And When The Screaming Starts (1973)




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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

THE MAGICIAN WHO PAINTED WITH LIGHT : HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK ASHER


Yesterday at the PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE we celebrated
 the Birthday of JACK ASHER....


Find out MORE about JACK ASHER'S work on Hammer films
THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in FULL COLOUR HERE:CLICK

Next time you sit down and watch your favourite early Peter Cushing Hammer film, and marvel at the beautiful gothic atmosphere, the rich colours, the frightening shadows... that 'Hammer Look and Style', remember this man, ace cinematographer Jack Asher BSC, a true magician! He did indeed paint with light! Best known for his work with Hammer, The Curse of Frankenstein, Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula / Horror of Dracula, The Mummy and The Revenge of Frankenstein. Jack was born in London, on this very day in 1916. A REAL craftsman, who applied his skills along with Terence Fisher and the Hammer team, and gave us these rare feasts which live on, in living colour today! Jack left us in April 1991, aged 74. Happy Birthday Jack!


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Saturday, 26 March 2016

CHRISTOPHER LEE ON HAMMER FILMS


THAT great opportunity certainly covered a lot of films...

CLICK ON THE FILM TITLE LINKS BELOW TO EASILY REACH OUR FEATURES AND GALLERIES CONTAINING MANY RARE COLOUR STILLS, PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS, TRANSPARANCIES AND REVIEWS AT OUR WEBSITE!

TASTE OF FEAR  (1961)
PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER (1962)

ADRIENNE CORRI DIES TODAY AGED 85


Sad news to report, Adrienne Corri has sadly passed away at aged 85. One of her best known roles was playing Mrs Alexander in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1974) and also Doctor Who fans will remember her as Mena in episode 'The Leisure Hive' (1980) …. Other notable roles include some films for Hammer including Moon Two Zero (1969) and Vampire Circus (1972) She co-starred with Peter Cushing and Vincent Price in AIP/Amicus's Madhosue (1974) as the spider obsessed Faye Carstairs Flay.



LONDON MARATHON RUNNER ANTHONY MARDON RUNS FOR PILGRIMS HOSPICE



I get lots of requests to help charities and good causes, and I try to help in anyway I can. But, a recent email from our new Friend and Follower, ANTHONY MARDON was one request I thought we could really get behind and with your assistance, help to make a difference.

I 'll let Anthony explain :


" I grew up watching Universal and Hammer double bills. I remember coming down stairs on a Sunday morning praying I'd set the video recorder timer correctly. That developed into a love of all things, SciFi, Fantasy and Horror. The older I got, the more I could indulge in my horror hobby, meeting greats such as Argento, Carpenter and Fulci, as well as favourites Peter Cushing and  Christopher Lee. I wish I had been able to meet Vincent Price. Peter Cushing and Star Wars is still a passion of mine.


I started running in 2011 because I had to. My wife and I were watching Run Fatboy Run  after dinner one Sunday with  a bottle of wine and a laptop. Keeley suggested I, like Simon Pegg's character, enter the London Marathon We were both carrying a few extra pounds! In January 2011 the NSPCC told me I had a place for April! Aggggh! I blame the wine!



I have run about 18 marathons now all over England and in Paris, Edinburgh and Berlin. I am running Valencia in November. I have run a few Ultra Marathons and my wife and I, have both qualified for the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) UK Championship Finals last November.


Having qualified for the London Marathon this year with a 'good for age' place (meaning I don't need the ballot or a charity place), I have decided to raise funds for charity with a Peter Cushing connection. I will take part in fancy dress  and take time to enjoy running around London. This will be my third time, usually I am so focused on running, I don't get the opportunity to take in the atmosphere and crowds. I have got the go ahead to try breaking the 'fastest male marathon runner dressed as a film character' world record from Guinness but as it stands at 2hrs 42secs, 25 mins faster than my personal best, so I don't think I need bother!


The Pilgrims Hospice in Canterbury is where Peter Cushing spent his last few days, under the care of a Dr. Ribchester I believe. Great name for a doctor. It's a facility that provides excellent palliative care. There were reports a year or so ago about the possibility of it having to close. Having raised funds for large charities before, I want to do all I can for this fantastic and much needed facility.


So combining my love of running, Star Wars and Peter Cushing, I will be running the London Marathon 2016 on April 25th dressed in Princess Leia's gold bikini, carrying a lightsaber and raising money for a worthy cause.


CLICK HERE FOR MY  SPONSOR PAGE

If anyone can SUPPORT ME TO HELP OTHERS, if you can spare as little as a POUND, I would be extremely grateful and really appreciate it. ALL THOSE POUNDS COUNT and TRULY make a difference! Many thanks to Marcus at the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society  for helping with this. Many Thanks, Anthony "

Friday, 25 March 2016

REMEMBERING PATRICK TROUGHTON BORN THIS DAY


Today we remebmer Patrick Troughton born on this day in 1920. Best remembered for his portrayal of the second incarnation of Doctor Who (1966-69)
 

One of his best known roles being in The Omen (1976). He also made several appearances in Hammer films most notably as Count Dracula's servant Klove in Scars Of Dracula (1970) with Christopher Lee.



He co-starred with Peter Cushing in four films Hamlet (1948), The Black Knight (1952), The Gorgon (1963) and Frankenstein And The Monster Hell (1972)


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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

HAMMER - THON WEEKEND AT HORROR CHANNEL


Hammer film and Peter Cushing fans are in for a treat… Horror Channel is to screen an Easter Hammer-thon with back-to-back Hammer classics. Some of Hammer’s most popular films, including THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN  starring Peter Cushing. THE DEVIL RIDES OUT with Christopher Lee and THE BRIDES OF DRACULA  with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, will be broadcast across the weekend from 3pm till 10pm on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March.

Plus, Horror Channel will be presenting Hammer Thursdays from Thursday 7th April for six weeks. This will be a Hammer movie at 9pm followed by a double-bill of Hammer House Of Horror at 10.50pm. First movie up is COUNTESS DRACULA.


Saturday 26th March
3.00pm –
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. Although these tendencies are calmed by Leon's love for the beautiful Christina (Catherine Feller), he ultimately cannot contain his curse and transforms into a werewolf, terrorising the Spanish countryside.


4.50pm – THE BRIDES OF DRACULA
Director Terence Fisher followed the excellent Horror of Dracula with this richly-coloured sequel. Though imprisoned in the family estate by his mother, Baron Meinster (David Peel) is released from his silver chains by an unsuspecting French teacher (Yvonne Monlaur), through which he gains access to a number of young women at a girls' school. Fortunately, master vampire killer Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is on the case.


6.35pm -THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES
A spooky, atmospheric outing from Hammer Films, who diverged into the world of zombies, two years before Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead. The plot, centres on a mad Cornish squire, who solves a labour crisis in his tin mines by turning local villagers into voodoo-controlled zombies. Dr. Thompson (Brook Williams) and his daughter Alice (Jacqueline Pearce) soon discover the unpleasant nocturnal habits of the shambling undead slaves…



Sunday 27th March
3.00pmTHE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
The second in the Hammer Frankenstein series and considered Terence Fisher’s best. He may be calling himself "Dr. Stein," but general practitioner (Peter Cushing) in the village of Carlsbruck is none other than our old friend, Victor Frankenstein. No one seems unduly concerned when the patients in a charity clinic begin losing their arms and legs during Dr. Stein's emergency operations -- no one except his young rival, Dr. Kleve (Francis Mathews).


4.50pm - THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN
Directed by Freddy Francis, this is the third in the Hammer Frankenstein series, Dr. Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) returns destitute to his home village to recommence his experimental research into the reanimation of dead tissue, and stumbles upon his old monster suspended in ice. Though he revives the creature, Frankenstein must seek the help of hypnotist Zoltan (Peter Woodthorpe) to repair its mind. Zoltan then assumes control of the monster, using him to wreak havoc.


6.35pm -THE DEVIL RIDES OUT
The Devil Rides Out is a satanic shocker in which Christopher Lee stars alongside Charles Gray as two men who discover their recently deceased friend's son is involved in the occult, and must battle the evil forces of darkness to save him. Made in 1968, it brings the classic Dennis Wheatley novel vividly to life with a strong cast led impeccably by Lee.



Monday, 21 March 2016

WHAT WE DIDN'T SEE! DRACULA 58 HARKER'S VAMPIRE #MONSTERMONDAY


Today's MONSTERMONDAY features something that has been part of Hammer films lore for as long as I can remember. With the emergence of unseen publicity stills and contact sheets from Hammer films 1958 Dracula, the prompting of all kinds of theories around the missing or censored shots from the final cut of the film can be read on many forums on the net. The release of the remastered blu ray a few years ago, caused a few of us to smile smugly about the inclusion of the footage of Dracula's disintegration. We suspected it was shot, the problem was finding it! Most of that hunch was based on a colour photograph of Lee's Dracula in the final moments of the film, lying on the floor wearing make up that hinted of another stage in his grisly death appearance.


The still of John Van Eyssen as Jonathan Harker in our banner, hints at maybe something similar. We know the character is bitten by Valerie Gaunt, we see Peter Cushing's Van Helsing stake him, finding him in the castle crypt and judging by Van Helsing's grimace on looking on his vampire state, he wasn't a pretty sight! For whatever reason, what Van Helsing saw, was snipped out of prints for the European market. Though, it could have been included in the Japanese print, which provided the source of the missing footage of Dracula's death. As reels 1,2,3 were rendered unusable and damaged after finding the print, the scene where this shot appeared in the feature, was lost to us. Many argue the point that this shot was never included in ANY print, it was never shot...but I'll go with the point I made when the Dracula death photograph was found...Director Terence Fisher I suspect, would not have spent time setting up this scene, without shooting it. Time was premium at Hammer and was never wasted. Cushing himself has stated multiple takes were rare, because of costs...and I can't see Anthony Hinds signing off on a SFX - Make Up head of Harker, with no intention of using it! Hammer did not waste money on a budget that was already tight...


VALERIE GAUNT as the Vampire Woman from
Hammer films'Dracula' / 'Horror of Dracula' (1958)
 ...and Harker's VAMPIRE undead-head at the left
 of the photograph...
 

Still it looks great, a pity we have yet to see this shot in the film. There is further evidence of this make up head in a publicity photograph of Valerie Gaunt, included in the thread below. It's an interesting pic and story...and for that reason alone, we present it as this week's icky item for ‪#‎MONSTERMONDAY‬ ...what do you think? - Marcus
 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

DRACULA AND GOLDEN VAMPIRES NARRATED BY PETER CUSHING AND CHRISTOPHER LEE



TONIGHT... turn off the lights, get comfy, put on your headphones and...Get an EAR FULL of classic Hammer with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in TWO great narrated stories with music by James Bernard, sound effects in glorious stereo ... at our Peter Cushing Appreciation Society YOUTUBE Channel and HERE NOW!


Saturday, 19 March 2016

URSULA ANDRESS : HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY


Sharing a birthday with John Van Eyssen today. and still very much with is SHE herself...URSULA ANDRESS. 'SHE' (1965) was the first film from Hammer to be built around a female star. Tall and statuesque, Ursula Andress was a perfect choice to play Ayesha, though in retrospect she claims to have disliked the role. Andress has been criticized by reviewers for her icy demeanor and aloof detachment, but these characteristics proved beneficial for playing the steely-eyed Ayesha. Costumed in a selection of warm-colored, Grecian-styled gowns and gold jewelry, she glows onscreen, partly due to the flattering, high-key lighting of cinematographer Harry Waxman.


Born in Switzerland to German parents, the exotic-looking beauty spoke with an accent, which Hammer's producers found too distracting. Andress's entire role was then re-voiced and dubbed over by an actress named Monica Van Der Syl, who mimicked a slight Swiss accent so audiences did not suspect the truth. John Richardson's lines were also dubbed in post-production by the actor himself, perhaps to give his line readings an added emphasis, since he tended to be overshadowed by Cushing and Lee.



ONSET DURING THE MAKING OF SHE
DOCUMENTARY AT OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
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The large budget for She is apparent on screen in the effective location shooting. Instead of the original jungle setting of the novel, writer David T. Chantler opted for a Middle Eastern background. The production shot for two weeks in Israel's Negev desert and then returned to England to shoot the interiors. Hammer's modest Bray Studio proved too small for the scale of the lavish Kuma sets, so the production set up at Elstree Studios. The authentic desert scenes gave She an epic quality not associated with Hammer's stylish but intimate horror films.


The images in our Birthday Banner feature a photograph taken during the premier of 'SHE' with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and a rare photograph of Andress, taken by photographer Terry O'Neill in her dressing during shooting... NOTE: O'Neill is credited with some capturing some of the most famous and iconic portraits and scenes from popular culture over the past 40 years. O'Neill photographed the wonderful portrait of Cushing, Price, Lee and Carradine from 'House of the Long Shadows' (1983)


Please join us at any of our internet platforms for our galleries of rare images, 
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