Posts Tagged ‘ingrid Pitt’

Anyone that has listened my interviews over the years will know that I’m a fan of Hammer Horror films, but if I may add it’s in the oddest sense, they are not the greatest productions ever made but they have a Gothic, eerie, charm of their own with some fine performances, setting, sets, theatrical scores and things that go bump in the night.
I discussed this with the outlandish Scream Queen Ingrid Pitt, it became all to clear to me, having children of my own that Universal classics like ‘Dracula’, ‘The Wolfman’ and ‘Frankenstein’ may never be seen not just by British youngsters but US and  the rest of worlds teens. That is unless they have some kind of horror influence in their lives and find stories, books , posters, of this genre of films intriguing to find out more.  Young people haven’t or don’t get the opportunity to see the older horror movies or Hammer films that inspired me and others like The Reptile (1966), The Gorgon (1964) and Plague of the Zombies (1966) to others such as From Beyond the Grave, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and The House That Dripped Blood. So when I heard about @cyberschizoid’s campaign (on Twitter) to bring back classic horror to BBC 2,  I had to do my bit in joining in by telling you about my fantasy horror double bill.
Now while I could tell you about an array of UK productions from The Ghoul (1933) to Vampire Lovers(1970) and likes of 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein. Personally I’d love to see Dead People (1974) or Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) on the BBC 2 but I’ve chosen titles a possibly less obvious to most and not British. I believe they would make great first viewing and have the drawing power to intrigue, inspire and capture the imagination of new comers of the genre.  So in true tradition of those BBC 2 days gone by here are my thoughts on an oldie black and white, followed by a colour film just like they were aired way back when…
BBC take note, I’d be happy to sit in a large leather chair in front of a log fire, in a drawing room and introduce these… And I’m a lot cheaper than Terry Wogan or Jonathan Ross. So turn that tuner, wait for the TV to heat up, this is my horror double bill…
Okay first up is Carnival of Souls (1962) and not a surprise to old school fans. A true horror classic Director Herk Harvey and writer John Clifford both waived their earnings in order to get the film made. Upon release in 1962 the film was a failure in the box office, thankfully its subsequent airings on late night television helped to gain it a strong cult following so Clifford and Herks work was not all in vain.
The delightful Candace Hilligoss is perfectly cast as the troubled woman that after surviving a traumatic car accident, that kills her two friends, becomes haunted by a frightening ghoul and drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival. It’s a shame that Hilligoss only acted in two features as she gives an impressive performance as Mary Henry.
The music is very creepy and a little too intrusive in places, however, for it’s time and budget it is a well crafted film. Carnival of Souls many not be as sleek and stylish as the Haunting (1963) but it is far more eerie. The zombies are not as imposing as in Night of the Living Dead, however, they are vastly creepier and macabre.
Oozing atmosphere it’s a creative and unnerving film that concludes with a common place twist but back in ’62 it was ahead of it’s time, a true cult classic.
And onto the next…
Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti”  (original title) I know its Spanish/ Italian production but it’s set in England and feel very Brit.A crop dusting machine from the agricultural pest-control is emitting ultra-sonic waves that are re-animating corpses… 

A lot have said this is underrated, granted it’s overlooked. It is Atmospheric with an ominous feel. It has great locations and is at times genuinely creepy. However, it’s shares more with Fulci than Romero. The acting is not aided by the bad dubbing. To its credit it has an eerie musical score by Giuliano Sorgini and a number of suspenseful sequences but it borrows many of its best sequences from Night of the Living Dead. 

I watched director Jorge Grau’s offering under the title of ‘Let Sleeping Corpse Lie’ but whichever name you see the film under don’t be mistaken or mislead, it’s a solid zombie horror movie and of its time with fine cinematography from Francisco Sempere. It’s a lot better than the low budget DTV zombie films that there’s no shortage of at the moment.

For more information about the campaign visit cyberschizoid blog

and check out fellow supporter Amanda Norman’s blog

WHC 2010 was my first horror convention. And like any other of the con’s it had it’s lovies and it’s darlings. I was there  to pitch my next project, meet the horror fans, the ‘Countess’, Ramsey Campbell and James Herbert.
I don’t do networking, I like mixing with real folk.
I won’t name them but there were a few that behind their glossy pictures are just false and rude, like Hollywood there is a dark under-side and where more fitting to see this superficial horror gloss than at a horror convention.

Here are my highlights and thoughts on thd World Horror Convention 2010.

Thankfully I had a drink with my hero James Herbert, author of Rats, Haunted and one of my personal fav’ novels Creed, to name a few.
James sent me a letter nearly 20 years ago, wishing me luck with my horror writing. It took a long while, but finally catching up with him was great, he’s witty, down to earth and everything I hoped he would be.

Tanith Lee is a well respected fiction author, we sat down to dinner in her company. She’s an elegant down to earth lady, importantly accessable to her fans. For me though, being a Bond fan it was great just to spend sometime with the great late Bernard Lee’s (‘M’) daughter.

I sat down with Ingrid Pitt, she asked me how the fish was, while she signed a my copy of Hammer’s Countess Dracula and Vampire Lovers?!
She’s now a feisty lady hidden behind dark glasses. She’s so frank, I was rolling with laughter as she spoke about a verbal duel with John Wayne, and her ‘love’ encounter with Clint Eastwood off set.

Another highlight was seeing some great art work two of my fav’s were ‘Nameless’ Steve Crisp. The face looks like my wifes!

And ‘Out of Time by Les Edwards which captures the feeling if the 1477 A.D segement, minus the wings, of my book Blood Hunger. Les Ewards signed a limited 2/25 print for me.

As well as speaking to Ramsey Campbell author of The Nameless and Solomon Kane. I had the pleasure of his down to earth company, a really nice guy.

I also had a intoxicated chat, as a free bar was forced upon me, with Chris Fowler, breifly chatted and shook hands with Neil Gaimen, Coraline Creator which was fun…

I’ll leave you with a picture of my wife, friend of the stars about to eat some cockles on Brighton Pier.