Wednesday, 29 March 2017

#GIMMETHEGIFWEDNESDAY! THREE FOR THE POT : THE LEES AT HOME : DRACULA HOME AND AWAY


#GIMMETHEGIFWEDNESDAY: THREE REQUESTED GIFS for this week's little collection of 'silent but deadly' gallery. SPENCER WILKINS wrote in to ask if there was any footage of the LEE family, that included his daughter, Christina as a child. We have some footage of Christopher and his wife, Gitta along with Christina, that we were able to make this offering for you? I love the look on Christina's face, just before she plants that big kiss on his cheek.


CHRISTOPHER LEE gets a double dip this week, as this requested #GIF for GALE DAVIS from #DRACULAAD1972, shows the power of the COUNT, didn't just work on females, he could work the Vampire Spin on males too! Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard has turned the corner of no return, and is from this point on, under the spell and devoted!.....!



AND DRAC IS BACK too in this third GIF, for Daryl Waters. Lee had bowed out of further Dracula appearances for Hammer films, come this final entry in the series, The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires. But Cushing was again returning to the role of Van Helsing, playing probably his most active portrayal, in this all action Kung Fu and Fangs chop about! John Forbes Robertson, fills the shoes, the cloak, but sadly not the role. 

I DO love this shot though. The make up of the Count, was made very much in the style of how the Asian audience would have traditionally seen the Count. What most people think of as a bad day in the make up chair for Robertson, was indeed no mistake. Personally, I think it works. I don't think Lee would have ever agreed to play Dracula, with such stylized make up, but the film was produced in Hong Kong, by the Shaw Brother studios and they were footing the bill! What do you think?


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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

#TOOCOOLTUESDAY : YES INDEED!



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#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: PETER CUSHING NEW YORK 1975


#TOOCOOLTUESDAY: November 1975 Peter Cushing the Famous Monsters Convention, along with Ingrid Pitt and #Hammerfilms producer Michael Carreras. It was one of only a handful of conventions and festivals that Peter attended during his career. The web is littered with attendees stories of that long weekend from Friday to the Sunday of the 9th of November. It was very chilly outside the Hotel Commodore, but inside, the love and affection for the guests, made it a hot date, for every Monster Fan, who could attend!







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Monday, 27 March 2017

#MONSTERMONDAY: DARTH VADER


#MONSTERMONDAY: He's been called the ultimate baddie, the bad guy's, bad guy! The most evil force in the Star wars universe! He is probably all those things... plus for us, he is another character from the dark-side of the Peter Cushing filmography... Cushing having appeared with him in #STARWARS as the other black-hat, Grand Moff Tarkin. Together they made quite the team, making knees tremble, planets explode and giving audiences down the years, much to boo at... even if he did receive redemption at the end...and that is why today we celebrate, and bestow our #monstermonday crown, to #DARTHVADER, a FORCE to be reckoned with indeed!



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Sunday, 26 March 2017

CUSHING AND PLEASENCE ON MOTHER'S DAY!

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#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHING! As the strap lines says, Purrfect extracts for our Sunday theme, not only Peter Cushing bringing you a sting in his TAIL, but also Donald Pleasence's in one of Milton Subotsky's last outings, 'The Uncanny'. Subotsky often repeated some of his more popular threads and ideas from past Amicus films, and the camp OTT Horror film actor, was a motif he give us in 'The House That Dripped Blood'. with Jon Pertwee playing the meaty role of the waspish dandy, Paul Henderson. Here Pleasence plays it to the hilt, not so much the meaty dandy, but as 'Ham on a Shuskabab'! You'll see what we mean.



I HAVE ALWAYS enjoyed this film, and can't quite understand the mauling it received on it's release in 1977.. I think it's the cat's whiskers! 😉 What do you think? Is this a winner with you?


#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHION! TODAY here in the UK we are celebrating #MONTHERSDAY .... and we couldn't let that slip by without posting a pic of PC's Mother, Nellie Maria Cushing (1892-1961) To ALL Mothers, Mums, Ma's and Mummy's.... Happy Mothers Day! 



THE CREATION OF THE HELEN CUSHING ROSE



#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHING!: OK so this one, doesn't quite fit the theme of the day, Cushing scaring the pants of us! But, it DOES very well illustrate very well, off screen, just how different Peter Cushing was from most of the characters he portrayed on the screen!


BACK IN 1985, Peter Cushing had taken the decision to bow gracefully into a semi retirement. He had played his last for the big screen, but as time would show, he had little intention of leaving us, just yet. Ever the keen gardener, lover of nature, birds and roses in particular, one ambition that remain yet unfulfilled was a lasting tribute to his late wife, Helen who had passed some 15 years previously. That lasting tribute was to have a rose, named after Helen. At this time, the BBC had a television programme in the light entertainments schedule, that he felt sure, would be able to help. Although at this time, Peter was still quite a regular face on the BBC Wogan chat show, breakfast TV shows and radio, it was a delight to see him not actually promoting something or reminiscing on his films for Hammer or his past work. This was all about, the real love of his life, Helen. 



ROSE-GROWER, Christopher Wheatcroft was the man who was going to make Peter's dream come true. In the programme we see Peter visiting the Wheatcroft nurseries, and choosing a NEW rose, something appropriate to bear Helen's name. Eventually, a solitary whitish rose with faint pink around the edges of it's petals was chosen. It was, said Peter, 'A beautiful way to keep in perpetuity and loving memory the name of a most wonderful lady'. It's a very moving and touching recording, that truly shows Peter's love for Helen, and that the lost of his wife, was still felt very deeply.....


I GUESS OUR THEME DAY HERE, for Sunday's is the act of us, prompting you to 'get a cushion, and hide behind it' as we show you an other Cushing clip of terror, to make you recoil and scream! Well, we probably still need that cushion, if only to sob into, while watching this! Only the hardest of viewers, would fail to to be touched by the bitter-sweet joy on Peter's face, when presented with his rose...  





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Saturday, 25 March 2017

CHRISTOPHER LEE TALKS PETER CUSHING BUGS BUNNY AND SYLVESTER THE CAT!



#HAMMERSATURDAY: WE ARE by passing the Hammer films stills and clips today, to catch up with several requests we have received over the last couple weeks to repost this clip of Christopher Lee talking about his personal and working relationship with Peter Cushing. Much to pick up on here, that maybe new to followers. Hope you enjoy. This is for, among many others : Clark Singer, Mandy Price, Dean Pook, Tracey O'neil, Robert Cook, Stephen Langley, Levi Warwick, John Hooper and Janet Coombes.



#HAMMERSATURDAY: AN EXTRA! Here is Christopher Lee actually performing those much loved Warner Brothers cartoon character voices, that both he and Peter loved so much!



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REMEMBERING PATRICK TROUGHTON


TODAY we remember 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 (1964) and Frankenstein And The Monster Hell (1974)




TROUGHTON is also connected to a mysterious casting event, that centres around Cushing's and Hammer films, first Frankenstein films, The Curse of Frankenstein. We did an extensive feature on it, which you can catch up below!


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Friday, 24 March 2017

#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: ON SET WITH CUSHING CARLSON AND COMPANY VIDEO



#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: Short behind the scenes television feature about Hammer Films 'Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' (1969) Directed by Terence Fisher featuring production scenes at Elstree film studios, England. Short interviews featuring Peter Cushing, Hammer Films CEO Sir James Carreras. Feature was made as part of the television programme, 'Made In Britain'.


JUDGING BY THE TIME-CODE, some of this is unedited and is B ROLE footage. Even rarer! Despite it's unpredictable sound drops and vision wobbles, for many I am sure there is much to see here for the first time. Cushing, Carlson and Fisher rehearsing, a version of George Prava's make up not see on screen, Bert Batt prepping one of the many great scenes from the film. I make no apologies for the sound or picture quality...it is what it is...and we are somewhat lucky that this unique peep into the world of Hammer and Cushing on set, still survives.


#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: This black and white 10x8 publicity still above is really quite rare. It came to light just last year, when it was probably, for whatever reason, released from the cobwebs and darkness of the Warner Brothers Archives. It's rare that any new material appears from Peter's early films..unless a press agency or the release of a film on dvd or blu ray, requests some new visuals.

THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS probably my personal favourite of all the promo material from Revenge of Frankenstein, studio photographer John Jay must have had his muse on his shoulder that day, because press pics are usually just shots popped off during shooting or posed publicity...this one, maybe because of it's composition and that 'look' on the condemned Baron's face, makes it quite unique... what do you think?


#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: Here is a great on set photograph from #FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN , Peter Cushing and actor Peter Madden as the Chief of Police. Madden appeared with Cushing in several other productions, ' Dr terror's House of Horrors' in 1965,  the BBC 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery' part of the Sherlock Holmes series with Cushing in 1968, and another Hammer Frankenstein film, 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell' in 1974. Here playing the Chief of Police, he locks horns with Cushing's Franeknstein, and this court room scene, is one of the highlights of the film, with some typical stinging Baron dialogue.  


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Thursday, 23 March 2017

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: CUSHING'S MODEL THEATRES AND HISTORICAL SCENES


#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: WE ARE turning back the clock to the 1950's and 60's, when it seemed that Peter Cushing was not only appearing on either one or both TV stations in the UK, every other night, but also a time, when not working, he was very busy at home. Cushing had been a prolific model maker, in the sense that, he not only made the figures, historical and theatrical, he also made the theater's, the sets, the buildings, all in miniature. The materials were wood, paint, plaster, clay and paper-mach. Sadly, when his wife Helen, died in 1971, Cushing decided that the time of creative pastimes and hobbies, had little interest to him. Much of his huge collection of model theaters, soldiers, paintings and a vast array of collectable books, stamps, postcards and collectables, were the past. There they sat, in his loft studio at what had been his home and Helen's since the late 1950's. 

After Cushing's passing in 1994, a levy of Death Tax was to be paid and much of what made his private collection and creations from his hobbies, were put up for auction. Thousands of lots, containing furniture, clothes and the entire Cushing collection, were put under the hammer...Everything must go. And it did.

Above the MODEL THEATRES depicting scenes from productions and history are as follows. 

A: An Egyptian Palace scene set suitable for Cleopatra or The Mummy. The scene is fully lit, signed by Peter Cushing 1969.  A magnificent vignette of Antony & Cleopatra reclining on a tiger skin draped couch with their entourage.

B: The Wheel and Poop Deck of a 18th /19th Century British [man of war] ship, fully lit. Figures in British naval dress of the 18th /19th Century individually modeled and painted by Peter Cushing.

CSet for Journey`s End by R.C. Sherriff, a British dugout, March 1918 before St Quentin, the trench section is fully lit, signed by Peter Cushing in 1967.Cast of actors in WWI British uniform individually modeled and painted 54mm foot figures comprising: 7 officers and men. This scene would have been of special interest to Peter. Journey's End was the production he had wanted to appear in, since he had been a young actor... but never did. 

The rows of INDIVIDUAL FIGURES, created and painted by Peter Cushing are TOPMedieval period royalty - foot figures of: Mathilda of Flanders, King John, William 1, Henry II & Richard 1. MIDDLE: A collection of historical figures comprising: Ancient to Medieval period foot figures of 2 x Vikings, Hengist, Canute, & Alfred the Great. BOTTOM: Signing the Magna Carta - foot figures of: King John, Clergy, Knights & Barons. 


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