Peter Cushing is, of course, one of the most beloved figures in the horror genre. An impeccably gifted actor, he is revered both for his work on screen and for his gentlemanly image off-screen. He died in 1994, but his legacy lives on through the many fine performances he left behind.
Naturally, given his standing in the genre community, there have been quite a few books written about him. These have ranged from the thoughtful to the superficial and in terms of coming to grips with the complex character of the man himself, there really is no better resource than his own memoirs, which candidly – albeit in a classy manner typical of the man himself – reveal his many failings which make it clear that he did not view himself as a Saint, even if his fans sometimes do. One would think that only so much could be written about him and the films he appeared in, but fortunately for the fans, there is no reason to believe that the market for Cushing has dried up as of yet.
The Peter Cushing Scrapbook is a labor of love, if we may use that hackneyed term, which was undertaken by author Wayne Kinsey, designed by Steve Kirkham with film overviews by Tom Miller, together with Cushing’s trusted secretary and personal assistant, Joyce Broughton. The book is notable for its assemblage of rare, mouth-watering visual material: the ultra-meticulous Cushing was fond of making detailed notes and drawings on his scripts and the authors have managed to gain access to some of these treasures, thus allowing the fanbase to gain a better insight into his working methods. Cushing was also a talented artist in his own right and the book allows ample insight into this: we are treated to numerous glimpses of his watercolors and paintings, as well as to his immaculately crafted models.
Fans who have never delved into this side of the man will be fascinated indeed, inspired, by the beautiful work on display here. Kinsey and Miller have also assembled a number of terrific behind the scenes pictures, candid shots and theatrical poster artwork, which makes the book a tremendously visual experience.
All of this should not serve to short-change the quality of the writing, however, which is up to the usual standard exhibited in the authors’ other works. Simply put, Kinsey and Miller know their Cushing trivia and the book is packed with interesting annecdotes and commentary on each and every one of the “gentleman of horror”’s 91 film credits, to say nothing of his voluminous stage and television work. The end result is not necessarily definitive – and thank goodness for that, as that means there’s still more to be said on the topic – but it provides a wonderfully incisive and heartfelt tribute to a gifted actor and a fine human being.
Peveril Publishing are to be congratulated on the high quality of their layout and design work, which reproduces these rare visual treasures in crisp detail. Fans of Peter Cushing will not be disappointed.
Review : Troy Howarth
Our Peter Cushing Scrapbook Competition is STILL OPEN for entries! We have THREE copies for you to win! Here's a link to the competition: The PCASUK Peter Cushing Scrapbook Competition
The Peter Cushing Scapbook is ONLY available from Peveril Publishing.
It is NOT avaiable to purchase in stores. You can order your copy HERE