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Monday, 7 July 2014

SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW: PETER CUSHING? COMPETITION.


Over at our petercushing.org.uk website, there's a great opportunity to win one of three copies of Peveril Publishing's 'The Peter Cushing Scrapbook'  in our 'So You Think You Know: Peter Cushing ? Competition. Just check out the TEN images with the mutiple choice questions, email us your answer and you could be a WINNER!
THE PRIZES:

There are THREE copies of Wayne Kinsey's fabulous 'The Peter Cushing Scrapbook' up for grabs as prizes. It's a beautiful soft back book, with a  foreword by George Lucas and afterword by Janina Faye. What you get are 328 very nicely designed pages! A4 size landscape, with Full Colour throughout! What Wayne Kinsey has managed to show in his book, is what we all have always suspected.....Peter Cushing as perfectionist in his work and a talented artist in every sense of the word,  with a great sense of humour ....and always a boy at heart! 

The pages are lavishly illustrated with items from every part of Peter Cushing life and career, Annotated script pages, candid photographs, humorous cartoons drawn for his wife, Helen, personal correspondence and letters.Plus material from the estate of Roy Ward Baker, notations for photographs written by Peter Cushing, film props, an alternate script for Captain Clegg, and rare material from two unfilmed Hammer projects to have starred Cushing; Kali – Devil Bride of Dracula and The Savage Jackboot. 

The prizes featured in this competition will be awarded to THREE lucky winners, who answer ALL TEN questions correctly and are pulled out of the 'hat of good fortune' containing all correctly answered entries!

Many thanks to both Wayne Kinsey and Steve Kirkham for making this competition possible

WHO CAN ENTER?:

As with ALL our PCASUK competitions, this competition is open to everyone! Even if you are not a subscriber to this website....
- See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/so-you-think-you-know-peter-cushing.html#sthash.2sEI1YqW.dpuf


PRIZES:
There are THREE copies of Wayne Kinsey's fabulous 'The Peter Cushing Scrapbook' up for grabs as prizes. It's a beautiful soft back book, with a foreword by George Lucas and afterword by Janina Faye. What you get are 328 very nicely designed pages! A4 size landscape, with Full Colour throughout!




Wayne Kinsey has managed to show in his book, what we have all, always suspected.....Peter Cushing as perfectionist in his work and a talented artist in every sense of the word, with a great sense of humour ....and always a boy at heart! The pages are lavishly illustrated with items from every part of Peter Cushing life and career, Annotated script pages, candid photographs, humorous cartoons drawn for his wife, Helen, personal correspondence and letters. Plus material from the estate of Roy Ward Baker, notations for photographs written by Peter Cushing, film props, an alternate script for Captain Clegg, and rare material from two unfilmed Hammer projects to have starred Cushing; Kali – Devil Bride of Dracula and The Savage Jackboot. A terrific book and an excellent prize.


WHO CAN ENTER?:
As with ALL our PCASUK competitions, this competition is open to everyone! Even if you are not a follower or subscriber to our websites or pages


DEADLINE:
ALL entries must be in by the closing date of this competition: 12 o'clock MID DAY GMT SUNDAY 13TH JULY 2014. The winners names will announced here , at petercushing.orguk and
the pcasuk facebook page ONE HOUR LATER.

ENTER AT OUR PCASUK WEBSITE: HERE


 
AND OUR PCASUK FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: HERE





THE PRIZES:

There are THREE copies of Wayne Kinsey's fabulous 'The Peter Cushing Scrapbook' up for grabs as prizes. It's a beautiful soft back book, with a  foreword by George Lucas and afterword by Janina Faye. What you get are 328 very nicely designed pages! A4 size landscape, with Full Colour throughout! What Wayne Kinsey has managed to show in his book, is what we all have always suspected.....Peter Cushing as perfectionist in his work and a talented artist in every sense of the word,  with a great sense of humour ....and always a boy at heart! 

The pages are lavishly illustrated with items from every part of Peter Cushing life and career, Annotated script pages, candid photographs, humorous cartoons drawn for his wife, Helen, personal correspondence and letters.Plus material from the estate of Roy Ward Baker, notations for photographs written by Peter Cushing, film props, an alternate script for Captain Clegg, and rare material from two unfilmed Hammer projects to have starred Cushing; Kali – Devil Bride of Dracula and The Savage Jackboot. 

The prizes featured in this competition will be awarded to THREE lucky winners, who answer ALL TEN questions correctly and are pulled out of the 'hat of good fortune' containing all correctly answered entries!

Many thanks to both Wayne Kinsey and Steve Kirkham for making this competition possible

WHO CAN ENTER?:

As with ALL our PCASUK competitions, this competition is open to everyone! Even if you are not a subscriber to this website....
- See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/so-you-think-you-know-peter-cushing.html#sthash.2sEI1YqW.dpuf
THE PRIZES:

There are THREE copies of Wayne Kinsey's fabulous 'The Peter Cushing Scrapbook' up for grabs as prizes. It's a beautiful soft back book, with a  foreword by George Lucas and afterword by Janina Faye. What you get are 328 very nicely designed pages! A4 size landscape, with Full Colour throughout! What Wayne Kinsey has managed to show in his book, is what we all have always suspected.....Peter Cushing as perfectionist in his work and a talented artist in every sense of the word,  with a great sense of humour ....and always a boy at heart! 

The pages are lavishly illustrated with items from every part of Peter Cushing life and career, Annotated script pages, candid photographs, humorous cartoons drawn for his wife, Helen, personal correspondence and letters.Plus material from the estate of Roy Ward Baker, notations for photographs written by Peter Cushing, film props, an alternate script for Captain Clegg, and rare material from two unfilmed Hammer projects to have starred Cushing; Kali – Devil Bride of Dracula and The Savage Jackboot. 

The prizes featured in this competition will be awarded to THREE lucky winners, who answer ALL TEN questions correctly and are pulled out of the 'hat of good fortune' containing all correctly answered entries!

Many thanks to both Wayne Kinsey and Steve Kirkham for making this competition possible

WHO CAN ENTER?:

As with ALL our PCASUK competitions, this competition is open to everyone! Even if you are not a subscriber to this website....
- See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/so-you-think-you-know-peter-cushing.html#sthash.2sEI1YqW.dpuf

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

SHANE BRIANT WINNING Q AND A COMPETITION ENTRIES AND ANSWERS: EXCLUSIVE LOBBY CARDS


The WINNING entries and questions...and the best of, from our 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell: Shane Briant Q and A! can be seen at The UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Blog. Congratulations to the lucky winners and many thinks to everyone who entered, to Shane for taking part, Hammer films, and everyone at Fetch!

Part two of our Shane Briant 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell' Q and A will be a THE HORROR CHANNEL facebook page shortly

You can now order your copy of the UNCUT, three disc blu ray / dvd of 'Frankenstein and the monster from Hell' starring Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Dave Prowse... just by clicking this link! (http://amzn.to/1i51bHI) We will be posting a review of this UK release at The UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Blog later today!
The WINNING entries and questions...and the best of, from our 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell: Shane Briant Q and A! Congratulations to our lucky winners and many thinks to everyone who entered, to Shane for taking part, Hammer films, and everyone at Fetch!

Part two of our Shane Briant 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell' Q and A will be a THE HORROR CHANNEL facebook page shortly :)

You can now order your copy of the UNCUT, three disc blu ray / dvd of 'Frankenstein and the monster from Hell' starring Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Dave Prowse... just by clicking this link! (http://amzn.to/1i51bHI) We will be posting a review of this UK release at this blog later today at the blog! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.CS61ceaP.dpuf
The WINNING entries and questions...and the best of, from our 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell: Shane Briant Q and A! Congratulations to our lucky winners and many thinks to everyone who entered, to Shane for taking part, Hammer films, and everyone at Fetch!

Part two of our Shane Briant 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell' Q and A will be a THE HORROR CHANNEL facebook page shortly :)

You can now order your copy of the UNCUT, three disc blu ray / dvd of 'Frankenstein and the monster from Hell' starring Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Dave Prowse... just by clicking this link! (http://amzn.to/1i51bHI) We will be posting a review of this UK release at this blog later today at the blog! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.CS61ceaP.dpuf
The WINNING entries and questions...and the best of, from our 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell: Shane Briant Q and A! Congratulations to our lucky winners and many thinks to everyone who entered, to Shane for taking part, Hammer films, and everyone at Fetch!

Part two of our Shane Briant 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell' Q and A will be a THE HORROR CHANNEL facebook page shortly :)

You can now order your copy of the UNCUT, three disc blu ray / dvd of 'Frankenstein and the monster from Hell' starring Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Dave Prowse... just by clicking this link! (http://amzn.to/1i51bHI) We will be posting a review of this UK release at this blog later today at the blog! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.CS61ceaP.dpuf

Sunday, 27 April 2014

HAMMER FILMS: 'FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL' BLU RAY AND LOBBY CARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED!



The WINNERS NAMES have just been released on our  Peter Cushing UK Appreciation Society Website and UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Facebook Fan Page of the Shane Briant Q and A Competition! Have won a Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell Blu Ray UNCUT? Have you won a set of exclusive Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell lobby cards? ARE YOU A WINNER? Click on the links above and find out!


Order YOUR copy HERE

 

Monday, 21 April 2014

WIN FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL BLU RAY THREE COPIES UP FOR GRABS!

COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....here in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition..with a twist! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.NaTeV1pG.dpuf
COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....here in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition..with a twist! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.NaTeV1pG.dpuf

BLU RAY COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....over at our Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Website and our Peter Cushing PCASUK Facebook Fan Page  in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition, where THREE copies of the Blu Ray are up for grabs. Just click on the links to join us! 

OR Order YOUR COPY HERE

 
COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....here in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition..with a twist! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.NaTeV1pG.dpuf
COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....here in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition..with a twist! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.NaTeV1pG.dpuf
COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....here in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition..with a twist! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.NaTeV1pG.d
COMPETITION: To celebrate the release of the Hammer films classic ‘Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell’ UNCUT – coming to 2-disc DVD & single-disc Blu-ray for the first ever time in the UK on 28th April 2014....here in conjunction with Hammer films, Icon Film Distribution and Fetch Publicity is our FIRST competition..with a twist! - See more at: http://petercushingblog.blogspot.co.uk/#sthash.NaTeV1pG.dpuf

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

HAMMER FILMS: THE DEVIL SHIP PIRATES : HANGINGS FLOGGINGS AND SWORDPLAY




16th century England: a pirate ship fighting with the Spanish Armada is damaged and needs to dock for repairs.  The devious Captain Robeles convinces the gullible villagers that the English have been defeated and that they must acquiesce to their new leaders …


The clever script by Jimmy Sangster offers a reversal of a similar plot device found in Hammer’s earlier war film, The Camp of Blood Island.  Whereas the earlier film dealt with a group of POWs trying to prevent their Japanese captors from discovering that the Allies have won the war in order to prevent being wiped out in retaliation, here the pirates trade on the villagers being cut off from society by telling them that they have won the battle and are therefore now in charge.  As usual for Sangster, there isn’t a tremendous amount of depth to the characters, but they serve their function effectively enough as archetypes.  Robles is a properly dastardly villain, while village lad Harry fulfills the role of hero with a rebellious streak.



The film benefits from solid production values and expert direction from Don Sharp.  Sharp was well known for his ability to stage action scenes and this is certainly evident here.  He also makes excellent use of the widescreen frame and the lighting by the gifted Michael Reed helps to sell the illusion of this being a bigger film than it really was.  Bernard Robinson’s sets and the art direction by Don Mingaye is up to their normal standards of excellence, too, though Gary Hughes score feels a bit limp and generic.




Like so many Hammer films, the film succeeds in large part due to the quality of its acting.  Christopher Lee is every bit as impressive here as he was in The Pirates of Blood River.  Robeles is comparatively suave and fiery, befitting both the actor and the character’s Latin disposition.  Lee effortlessly dominates the film, throwing away sinister bon mots of dialogue without resorting to melodramatic overstatement.  He also gets plenty of opportunities to show off his facility with sword fighting.  The supporting cast includes good roles for such reliable character actors as Andrew Keir, Philip Latham, Duncan Lamont and Michael Ripper.


Ripper may not be the most ideal casting for a Spanish pirate imaginable, but he and Lee have great chemistry and he makes for an endearingly impish presence.  Keir’s role isn’t nearly as memorable as his character in Blood River, but he brings considerable presence to it, just the same, while Latham proves to be as effective in aympathetic role as he would be in a more sinister context as Lee’s faithful servant, Klove, in Dracula Prince of Darkness (1965).


The hero is played by John Cairney, but he can’t hope to compete with Lee in terms of presence and charisma.  More interesting is Barry Warren, fresh off of playing a memorably arch vampire in Sharp’s The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), who brings a dash of sympathy to his role as the Spanish nobleman who crosses swords (literally and figuratively) with the despotic Robeles.




The female side is represented by Suzan Farmer, as the village girl that Robeles sets his lecherous sights on, and a young Natasha Pyne, who is memorable as Harry’s spunky sister, Jane.  Farmer, of course, would be reunited with Lee on Dracula Prince of Darkness and Rasputin the Mad Monk (1966), while Pyne would go on to co-star with Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Robert Quarry in the Amicus/AIP hodgepodge Madhouse (1972).



The Devil-Ship Pirates did solid business but Hammer would move away from films of this sort, perhaps because they required a little more production value than their usual stage bound Gothic horrors.  Part of the decision may have stemmed from the fact that Hammer constructed a mock up ship for the film which proved to be problematic, to say the least.  The money spent is all on screen, however, ensuring that the film holds up as a fun slice of Saturday matinee entertainment. 


Written by Troy Howarth
Images and Design: Marcus Brooks


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

WILLIAM CASTLE: GODFATHER OF SCHLOCK : KATE VOSS REVISITS


William Castle is not regarded as a technically superb filmmaker by any measure. The gentlest thing you might hear from his most ardent critics is that he was a “poor man’s Alfred Hitchcock.” The pinnacle of his creativity, and the thing that has always made his work endearing to fans, is the special emphasis Castle placed on gimmicks to promote his films.


Well before he moved from his native New York City to Hollywood, Castle already had deep roots in the entertainment industry. Castle wrote in his memoir, Step Right Up!, that he was entranced by a production of the touring Dracula stage show that he saw in New York as a child. After the show, he went backstage to meet the star of the production: Bela Lugosi. The young Castle apparently made an impression on the actor, and he subsequently dropped out of high school at the age of 15 when, at the invitation of Lugosi himself, he was asked to join the touring production of the show as a stage hand.


Castle (born William Schloss, Jr.) became familiar with various aspects of production —set-building, writing, and eventually acting and directing— all skills which would enrich his practice as a filmmaker later on. Where Castle excelled the most, however, was in marketing. He had a knack for finding highly sensational gimmicks to promote productions, and this is what ultimately attracted the attention of Hollywood producers.


Castle cut his teeth in the big studios working under the tyranny of the infamous former president of Columbia Pictures, Harry Cohn. Castle got to work with some of the industry’s biggest stars, including Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth, and Orson Welles.


He was used primarily to produce and direct B-list films. He built a reputation as someone who was able to finish projects on time and on budget, which was of the utmost importance in the B-lots of Hollywood. Eventually, he ventured out on his own, and started to self-finance projects.


He had a major breakthrough with his film Macabre (1958), which was inspired largely by the French film Diabolique (1955). To promote the film, Castle conceived a gimmick wherein theater goers would be issued a life insurance contract, which stipulated that if anyone were to die of fright, their beneficiaries would be remunerated. What’s more remarkable than the fact that he would employ such a gimmick was the fact that he actually got the Lloyds of London to back the project! Castle wrote in his memoir that after puzzling executives with his peculiar idea, the Lloyds of London executives set a contract wherein William Castle was insured for $5,000, enough to cover five individuals. If anyone in the audience were to indeed die of fright, Castle would receive the money from the Lloyds of London, and Castle himself would then be liable for paying the beneficiary of the deceased party.


Not surprisingly, no one ever died of fright at a screening, and thus, no one ever attempted to collect insurance money.

Castle would gain even greater notoriety with his films that starred Vincent Price. The first was The Tingler (1959), about an insect which burrows in the human spine and thrives on fear. The only way to keep the creature at bay is to scream. The gimmick was called “Percepto” and it was one of Castle’s most elaborate and expensive marketing maneuvers ever. Seats in the theaters would be equipped with low voltage shocking devices that would zap audience members during a scene from the film where the entire theater would go dark, and a voice-over would caution audiences that the Tingler was loose in the theater.



Price also starred in Castle’s The House on Haunted Hill (1959), which employed the “Emergo,” a gimmick which used a pulley system to suspend a plastic skeleton over the viewing audience —in other words, it appeared to emerge from the screen.

Castle’s greatest film was potentially 13 Ghosts (1960), which made use of his “Illusion-O” trick, which used red and blue cellophane lensed “ghost viewers.” In segments of the film where ghosts appear, the screen takes on a blue tint. The film was shot using two separate color filters, one blue and one red. If the viewer were to look through the blue lens, the ghosts would disappear. If the viewer were to look through the red lens, the ghosts would become more vivid. Would anyone in their right mind go to a movie called 13 Ghosts to not look at ghosts? Presumably not, but the marketing genius is in the fact that the viewer had an option.


Even though he achieved success in his own right, Castle always dreamed of crossing over and directing an A-list feature film with A-list stars. A major turning point in Castle’s career came when he was given the manuscript of a yet-to-be published book by Ira Levin entitled Rosemary’s Baby. Castle claimed in his autobiography Step Right Up! that he was the second director to be shown the book, the first having reportedly been Alfred Hitchcock.


Ultimately, Paramount studios insisted that a director with a stronger reputation was merited by the job, and thus, Castle signed on to produce, and Roman Polanski was recruited to direct. The meticulous Polanski crafted one of the finest horror films of the sixties, and it’s one which all horror enthusiasts must see —and thankfully, sites like sites netflix and direct-ticket.net allow you to stream it in its entirety.


Upon its release in 1968, the film was met with tremendous resistance from religious communities, but also with tremendous excitement and intrigue by the general public. Castle became gravely ill after the film’s release due to kidney failure, and his career never entirely bounced back. He found himself producing B-pictures once again, such as Bug (1975). Castle exploited the film by insuring Bug’s star, a gigantic cockroach named Hercules, for $1,000.



Although he lamented not establishing himself as a first-rate director of major commercial films which were taken seriously by critics, he continues to serve as a source of inspiration for many filmmakers who came later, perhaps most notably John Waters, who had scratch and sniff cards issued at screenings of his film Polyester (1981) as part of his “Odorama” marketing gimmick.



Castle may not be remembered as the most deft filmmaker of his generation, but he will most certainly be remembered.

Feature: Kate Voss
Gallery: Marcus Brooks

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