Saturday, 15 June 2013
Thursday, 13 June 2013
The latest banner at the UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Facebook Fan Page. The Peter Cushing Frankenstein Line Up: From The Curse of Frankenstein right up to the final 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell'
Saturday, 8 June 2013
Friday, 7 June 2013
Beswick was born on 26 September 1941 in Port Antonio, Jamaica to English parents. Beswick is best known for her two appearances in the James Bond film series. Although she auditioned for the first Bond film Dr. No, she was cast in the second film From Russia with Love as the fiery gypsy girl, Zara. She engaged in the famous "catfight" scene with her rival Vida (played by former Miss Israel Aliza Gur). She was incorrectly billed as "Martin Beswick" in the title sequence. Beswick then appeared as the ill-fated Paula Caplan in Thunderball. She had been away from the Caribbean so long that she was required to sunbathe constantly for two weeks before filming, in order to look like a local.
Martine went on to appear in One Million Years B.C. opposite Raquel Welch, with whom she also engaged in a catfight. She then appeared in various Hammer Studio low-budget films, most notably Prehistoric Women and the gender-bending Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde. She played Adelita in the well-regarded Spaghetti Western A Bullet for the General in 1967 opposite Klaus Kinski and Gian Maria Volonté. She starred as the Queen of Evil in Oliver Stone's 1974 directorial debut Seizure, aka "Queen of Evil". In the 1970s, Beswick moved to Hollywood and regularly appeared on both the big screen and small screen. She made numerous guest appearances in television series including Sledge Hammer!, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy, Mannix, The Six Million Dollar Man and Falcon Crest. In 1980, she played the lead role in the comedy film The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.
Beswick's career was active well into the 1990s. In recent years, she has mainly participated in film documentaries, providing commentary and relating her experiences on the many films she has appeared in. She owned a removals business in London, but is now semi-retired except for her guest appearances at international Bond conventions.
Beginning with Melvin and Howard in 1980, she changed the spelling of her last name to "Beswicke," but reverted to her original name in the mid-'90s; her last credit with the longer spelling is Wide Sargasso Sea in 1993.
Thursday, 6 June 2013
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Patrick Wymark (Judge), Linda Hayden (Angel Blake), Barry Andrews (Ralph Gower), Wendy Padbury (Cathy Vespers), Michele Dotrice (Margaret), Anthony Ainley (Reverend Fallowfield), Simon Williams (Peter Edmonton), Howard Goorney (Doctor)
Director/Additional Writing – Piers Haggard, Screenplay – Robert Wynne-Simmons, Producers – Peter L. Andrews & Malcolm B. Hayworth, Photography – Dick Bush, Music – Marc Wilkinson, Makeup – Eddie Knight, Art Direction – Arnold Chapkis. Production Company – Tigon/Chilton Films.
In 17th Century England, children playing in the fields find a strange claw. Using the claw, the wanton Angel Blake leads the children in Satanic rituals that leave each of them possessed by strange patches of hair, the ‘Mark of Satan’.
Matthew Hopkins – Witchfinder General/The Conqueror Worm (1968) opened up the 17th Century witch-persecutions as a new horror milieu. The continental horror market had been exploiting it for years but suddenly everyone jumped in with items like Mark of the Devil (1970) and Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971), while Spain’s Jess Franco virtually made the period his home turf for several years. Many of the films, like Blood on Satan's Claw here, threw the witch persecutions in with occult elements from the post-Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) cycle. The point that most missed, and as the Witchfinder General showed, was that the witches were not legitimate practitioners of magic but persecuted victims – it is akin to saying that the Nazis had a point with the concentration camps because there really was an international Jewish conspiracy. Most films never even concerned themselves with that and only became unpleasant catalogues of acts of sadism and torture.
Blood on Satan's Claw is a mostly muddled variation. The plot is hapharzedly assembled – its principal protagonist (Patrick Wymark’s Judge) drops out part way through and the ending is a anti-climax. The film is raised somewhat by a superb score and in being directed with some effect by Piers Haggard. Haggard creates some nice scenes with claws creeping up through floorboards and Linda Hayden trying to tempt the local vicar. With something like a script to hold it together, Blood on Satan's Claw could have been impressive.
Former Doctor Who (1963-89) member Wendy Padbury is particularly noteworthy as a naive flower-child and Michele Dotrice, daughter of Roy, is standout with her haunting grasp of regional accent as the frightened Margaret. Linda Hayden, a minor Anglo-horror queen, holds the show as the seductive Angel.
Director Piers Haggard is the great-grandson of the adventure writer H. Rider Haggard, author of books like King Solomon’s Mines (1885) and She (1887). Blood on Satan's Claw was Piers Haggard’s debut as a director. Haggard has since floated around the genre in film and tv with efforts such as the Dennis Potter mini-series Pennies from Heaven (1978), Quatermass/The Quatermass Conclusion (1979), The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu (1980), Venom (1982) and The Breakthrough/The Lifeforce Experiment (1994).
KEY BOOK STILLS GALLERY TO FOLLOW NEXT!