Thursday, 22 March 2018


REMEMBERING: Melissa Stribling who was born today November 7th 1927. Stribling appeared in just the one film with Peter Cushing...but boy did she pick the right one! She also got to play in one of Hammer films most iconic scenes in their 1958 'Dracula', where Christopher Lee's Count, in the dead of night, visits her home and..without a word.. seduces her. 

THE SCENE is so super charged with sexual tension, it almost crackles off the screen and as a result got the scissors treatment from the censors at the time. In 2013, in Hammer's restored print the exorcised footage was replaced, giving us the full picture of what Director Terence Fisher, Stribling and Lee had originally intended and created.

I'VE READ IN SEVERAL reviews of 'Dracula' both from the time of the films' release in 58 and in more recent times, that Stribling was a curious choice for the role of Mina Holmwood, that compared to the likes of Valerie Gaunt and other Hammer actresses, even though she was only in early 30's when she appeared in Dracula, many thought her slightly ordinary and plain. I totally disagree...but if that was the case, I can't help thinking that, director Fisher's choice in Stribling was intentional. That subtext in the story of Arthur Holmwood's wife being frustrated and bored, suddenly being charmed and seduced by the exotic and erotic Count, Stribling was...the perfect choice.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018


TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED in 1983. may not ring a bell for many here, as it was a UK Television show, but it was syndicated to the US and most of Europe. Cushing's role, was one of his last performances before the camera. There would only be three more roles for Cushing after this, in 'Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues', 'Masks of Death' as Sherlock Holmes and 'Biggles', his last film performance for cinema.

KARL VON BADEN is a role that Cushing could have played in his sleep just five years previous, that is not to say it's a weak performance, but the script gives him little to do, and it's Cushing who looks weak and frail at this point. It's a story that relies on flashbacks, and much of his screen time is played sitting down. He looks tired, but that helps to bring a poignancy to his role. Cushing shares most of his scenes with another television veteran, John Bailey. Anthony Higgins who plays Cassan in the story, would go on to play Sherlock Holmes in an updated Sherlock series and would also play Moriarty in the film 'Young Sherlock'. Vorpal Blade is a tale set in a sedate rose garden and a castle in Heidelberg... the episode was directed by John Jacobs who produced the other Anglia television series 'Orson Welles Great Mysteries' which Cushing also appeared, a wonderful episode entitled, 'La Grande Breteche' in 1973.

NAME THE FILMS THAT the above GIFS were taken from and the PETER CUSHING ROLES in the film plus the YEARS they were produced!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018


MICHAEL REDGRAVE was of the generation of English actors that gave the world the legendary John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, Britain three fabled "Theatrical Knights" back in the days when a knighthood for thespian was far more rare than it is today. . .  Sir Michael Redgrave. A superb actor, Redgrave himself was a charter member of the post-Great War English acting pantheon and was the sire of an acting dynasty. According to his daughter, Vanessa, and son Corin, Sir Michael's favourite film roles were in The Browning Version (1951), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) and The Dam Busters (1955).  Peter Cushing appeared in a 1955 stage production of The Browning Version as Andrew Crocker-Harris in London, recorded and transmitted by BBC TV.    Cushing's role as barrister, Jeremy Clayton is  neat role. Cushing plays it with an impatient sharpness , that makes you feel all the more sorry for Redgrave's 'David Graham'. Just a support role, but ine that added to Cushing's already sizeable characters he had played in theatre, radio and massiviely on television.  Redgrave's opinion about working in film, when he had made such a career of the theatre, was pretty much like Peter Cushing also felt . .'I didn't think I'd be any good in films... I couldn't imagine myself on the screen. Besides, there were such exciting things to do in the theatre, so much to learn!'. Michael Redgrave passed away only one day after his 77th birthday.

DIRECTED BY JOSEPH LOSEY, and starring Michael Redgrave as a confused alcoholic father, racing against the clock, trying to save his son who is sentenced to death...Redgrave turns in a wonderful performance in TIME WITHOUT PITY. It's a British film noir thriller, and has a very watchable cast...of which Cushing is one of the support players. Ann Todd and Leo McKern are at the top of their game, Freddie Francis is director of photography... in only the second film of his career, Lois 'Miss Moneypenny' Maxwell and Joan Plowright also make an appearance. This is a sneak peep a taster....see what you think?


ABOVE: A REQUESTED DEATH to end the day. FOR TOMMY TWO FANGS . . . hmm Here is probably the MOST CELEBRATED scene from one of Cushing's, Lee's and Hammer's DRACULA films. COMPLETE with censored removed shots, Dracula DEATH from 'DRACULA' / HORROR OF DRACULA' 1958 . . .

OF COURSE . . .he did come back! HA!

Monday, 19 March 2018


YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE this magazine. We have covered various pieces on it over the last few months and thought it was about time, we honored it with a PCAS COMPETITION too! We done competitions with Warner Brothers, Hammer films too, Lionsgate, various actors and directors too.  Even full scale legitimate publishers. So it is a real treat to find an affordable magazine, edited and written by someone, who loves what he does. MUCH of this chap you can find on this site elsewhere! DARIO LAVIA editor of CINEFICCION has donated FOUR issues of the LATEST edition of the magazine. PACKED as usual, full of great stuff. THIS issue features MUCH about the history of WEREWOLVES and WOLFMEN on the big screen ...and elsewhere! There is a fabulous colour feature too. If you liked the AUTOBIOGRAPHY editions he did on Cushing, Lee, Price, Karloff and others, you will LOVE the concept behind the regular editions. 

CINEFICCION is written in SPANISH. And for all Spanish speaking fans of the Horror and Fantasy genre, THAT is a WONDERFUL asset! IF only the UK had a magazine THIS professional produced! PCAS since the beginning, has always been an INTERNATIONAL society. There are many many followers of this website and our other social internet sites from all over the world. Before we closed our PCAS Facebook Fan Page, it was always a thrill to meet Cushing Fans from just about everywhere! We STILL DO have a Russian PCAS website!

THAT IS WHY it's always a honor to be friends and fellow fans of Peter's work and help OTHER too!

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN WIN A COPY! BELOW are FOUR different GIFS from films that featured a WEREWOLF or WOLFMAN. NAME THE FILM and give us the actor who PLAYED them in our GIF! HERE THEY ARE . . . 







THERE ARE TWO HAMMER FILM STARS who worked with PETER CUSHING and who are sharing a birthday TODAY!  John Van Eyssen who sadly passed BUT still very much with us 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. Lee and Cushing appeared to enjoy working with Andress, and appearing in the film. Lee died with a nice touch and Cushing got to DANCE!

TODAY WE REMEMBER Hammer's first vampire hunter John Van Eyssen.Best known for starring in Hammer's DRACULA /Horror Of Dracula as Jonathan Harker. Eyssen also starred in Hammer's QUATERMASS 2 and a early Terrence Fisher Hammer film called The Four Sided Triangle in 1953. Van Eyssen did a great job of playing Harker, and went on to appear in only nine other feature films, then leave his acting career in 1961 and become the head of the Grade Organisation literary agency.  He then left the business in 65 to take up a position in the UK division of Columbia Pictures, eventually becoming Managing Director in July 1969. Finally in 1970, he was promoted to Worldwide Head of Production (ex-USA) and moved to New York.

#MOMENTOFTERRORMONDAY! IS ALWAYS a pleasure to post! We get to pick and edit, what is another classic moment from a Cushing film, and this one, might not be so well known as the Amicus and Hammer films shocking scenes, but it does do VERY well! LEGEND of the WEREWOLF has been covered many time at our website, what was once our facebook page, before THEY turned into a TERROR...and again on our PCAS You Tube Channel today. On the theme of WEREWOLVES, it ALSO TIES IN  well with our SPEEDY COMPETITION today too! 

OVER THE YEARS, it has been gaining a lot of notice, more than when it was made in 1975. Some of it may have to do with the fact that this and THE GHOUL Cushing films from TYBURN FILMS ..still has not had a legit release of dvd or Blu Ray. MANY MANY illegal and poor releases, but we still await the arrival. Cushng is smashing, Rintoul as our Werewolf is top dog and Ron Moody and Roy Castle make the film fun. Until that release arrives, here is another clip, sharpened for the TERROR factor!

Sunday, 18 March 2018


OH DEAR. When I embarked upon this two-part examination of Peter Cushing’s four vampire films that didn’t feature him playing a variation of his Van Helsing character, I had no idea what I was in for. Now my first part concerned what are, essentially, two solid later day Hammers that stand up to this day. One, The Vampire Lovers, isn’t the best showcase for Peters talents, but it’s a pretty great film overall and a successful attempt by Hammer to eroticise their Vampire formula further than before. Twins of Evil, on the other hand features one of Cushing’s very best roles, as the vicious Gustav Weil. 

ABOVE: LAST WEEK'S FIRST FEATURE ON the theme of Cushing in VAMPIRE FILMS not playing one of his most popular anti-vamp roles, VAN HELSING: HERE! 

HOWEVER, WITH THOSE TWO out of the way, it was up to me to then tackle both Incense for the Damned (1970) and Tendre Dracula (1974), two films I had not seen. Now writing this piece…I wish I hadn’t.

WE'LL START WITH ABOVE,  Incense for the Damned, a 1970 British production starring Cushing as Dr Walter Goodrich. Goodirch is something of a high-up in British society, whose son has gone missing in Greece, having fallen under the influence of a mysterious girl. A group of the young man’s friends and a private detective embark on a journey to find him. On the You-Tube description for the posting of this film, my colleague Marcus opens by stating; From the 92 feature films that Peter Cushing appeared in during his long career in television, theatre and cinema, there only about five titles, whatever your person taste, that could be deemed as 'almost unwatchable'

A SENTIMENT I am afraid I must agree with. The film is truly terrible, with a sluggish and plodding narrative that makes tremendously little sense. The majority of the characters come across as childish and unlikeable, bickering constantly.  

PATRICK MACNEE, always a welcome sight, has a role and the film is elevated somewhat whenever he is on screen. Unfortunately, and this is not something I thought I’d say, the opposite must be said for Cushing. For once in his career he seems utterly bored and…well…is clearly going through the motions with very little vitality an energy resulting in a lacklustre performance. I don’t want to be too harsh, his role is very small and so its possible there’s just nothing for him to work with, for whatever reason the results are the same.

MOVING ON TO Tendre Dracula, I was mortified that Marcus had also included it in his list of the ‘five-unwatchable Cushing films’, stated in the video description mentioned above. None the less I soldiered on, sat down to watch it…and was not rewarded. A bizarre French comedy centering on an aging horror star, MacGregor, who has decided he only wants to play romantic roles. 

CUSHING THIS TIME, is the only good thing, probably enjoying playing a variation of himself but alas even he cannot save what is one of the most god awful train wrecks of a film I have ever seen. Crude, poorly acted, poorly shot and well just cringe worthy, Tendre Dracula may have Cushing giving it his all…but here it’s simply not enough. 

THERE'S A FEW INTERESTING snippets, a nice touch which clearly are supposed to reflect an actual horror star reflecting on his career through the guise of a fictional character but this is hardly a new idea. Of course the best example of this is Peter Bogdonavich’s Targets (1968), starring Boris Karloff and but if you want to see Cushing do this in a far better film I suggest Madhouse (1974). 

HERE HE PLAYS A WRITER, not an actor (that role goes to Vincent Price) but some of the sentiments shared between the two are clearly meant to be based in reality. In Tendre Dracula these moments come across as shallow and ineffective…what’s more it feels like instead of having a bit of fun but ultimately respecting Cushing, that the Director is actively taking the piss.

THE INFAMOUS and much maligned ‘spanking’ scene seems horrifically out of place and Cushing himself hardly seems pleased. I’m not really sure what I expected when I put this on, usually being a fan of the weird and oft maligned but what I got wasn’t even vaguely entertaining. Tendre Dracula deserves its reputation as a childish exercise in farce.

WELL AFTER THOSE TWO, I feel I need a stiff drink. But I leave you with a solemn warning. Whilst that old feeling that Cushing can save truly awful films is often correct, it’s not always. When he even he can’t, then you must wonder just how awful the resultant product can be. If you ever get tempted to sample these… delights, then I warn you dear reader, STAY AWAY. Down that road only madness lies. Until next time! 

HERE IS A FOOTNOTE to this review feature on TENDRE DRACULA. LATE last year, I received this email. I THINK I managed to provide a good answer, for their TV show. What do YOU think the answer would be?  

Hello Marcus Brooks
My name is Jose Puig, and I work as journalist for a cultural quiz show on the Spanish TV called ‘BOOM’. I’m writing you because we are working on a question about the Peter Cushing and I have thought that you maybe could help me confirming the information that we mention in it in order to be as precise as possible and make sure we don’t spread wrong information to our contestants and our audience. With your permission, I attach you the information we want to confirm:It would be really helpful if you could confirm us that Peter Cushing has never performed a vampire character in cinema in order to give this option as a false one for a question we are working for.

I hope you don’t mind helping us with our doubts.
Thanks in advance for your help and your time.
Best wishes,

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