Wednesday, 10 January 2018


#CUSHINGGIFWEDNESDAY: MICHAEL RIPPER as we all know, was one of the Hammer repertory players of Hammer films. He played lots of small supporting roles, but occasionally he got a larger slice and a larger role in a film. Amicus films, 'TORTURE GARDEN' features Ripper in a supporting role, that is quite a surprising 🙂 Do you have a favorite MICHAEL RIPPER role??

#THEGORGON is a Peter Cushing Hammer film, that has suffered from a quite horrible symptom since the first day of its release back in August 1964. I am not referring to the death gaze of Prudence Hyman's Magaera's baleful spell. The 'SNAKES". And as Hammer film fans, we all know it. The film IS a 'Hammer film Classic' made during that ten year golden era, of those Bray studio Magical Gothic Nightmares, that made Hammer more than just a step above, most that had gone before. THE GORGON has the perfect ROMANCE TRIANGLE, it has TRAGEDY,  CONFLICT, superb direction, art direction and cast, but ever Hammer Horror HAS to have a figure that truly frightens. That with the help of Cushing, Lee, Shelley and Co however fantastical, is believable. Pru looked and performed amazingly. Those serpents however and that 'head' on the deck, did not then and doesn't now. The story of the struggle that the props and effects department had with the 'twitching head set', is well documented, so we'll pass here. 


IN OVER FORTY YEARS, cries have remained largely the same, 'Shot with too much light!' 'You see her, too early' 'Why didn't they surround her in mist, dry ice, fog . . .anything!?' It's true. In 90% of Magaera's shots, she IS seen. Clearly. I still do love the film, I love the sets, the costumes, it looks beautiful. There were enough of the sets and props left around from the 1958 'Horror of DRACULA' 'Curse of FRANKENSTEIN' and 'Revenge of FRANKENSTEIN' that the film can clearly been seen to be more than a cousin, of those other Hammer classics.  Such a pity. Maybe the tweaks and 're-imagining' of the SPIDER and the horse-bound ANGEL OF DEATH, should be tried on MAGAERA too? Not that Studio Canal or anyone else will ever be in a hurry to try that out again. Like some great Greek Shakespearean tragedy, 'Some quarters, they doth protested too much, methinks' . . . .

JOSHUA KENNEDY HAS PLANS to produce an amazing NEW FILM called, 'THE HOUSE OF THE GORGON' which will star Hammer film actors, Veronica Carlson, Caroline Munro, Martine Beswicke and Christopher Neame! FIND OUT MORE and how YOU can help to make this film a reality in our PCAS FEATURE CLICK HERE!

#CUSHINGGIFWEDNESDAY! The film, 'ISLAND OF TERROR' (1966) has always been very popular here. The love for those Silocates is always evident whenever, we post an image of them. Considering the budget for this film, it looks as though someone had the foresight to understand, a monster film, has to have convincing monster and pose a threat that looks real. Someone, maybe director Fisher thought to make sure a sizeable slice went to making the special effects.

THAT SHRIVELED CORPSE that Cushing's Dr Stanley finds, was quite a moment for me when I first saw this film when I was around ten. In ANY Cushing film, can you think of any effect 'special or otherwise' that made an impression on you when you first saw it???

AMICUS FILMS 'MADHOUSE' (1974) is a film that revels in the many cliques and well trod dramas and dilemmas of the celebrated  thrillers and horror films of the 30's, 40's and 50's. Vincent Price plays Horror film star PAUL TOOMBES, driven crazy when off screen life unravels and starts to imitate the scripts of his DOCTOR DEATH movies. Like his 'PHIBES' films and 'THEATRE OF BLOOD' (1973) lots of ingenious scenarios of 'horrible deaths' follow and Peter Cushing's HERBERT FLAY tries his best to help his desperate friend, but despite his best efforts, DOCTOR DEATH came after TOOMBES time after time. Just like in the above GIF ;)

PART SIX of 'The Amicus Films of Peter Cushing' covers MADHOUSE and includes a gallery of RARE images. You can find it HERE!

REMEMBER! IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Just click that blue LINK and click LIKE when you get there, and help us . . Keep The Memory Alive!. The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society website, facebook fan page and youtube channel are managed, edited and written by Marcus Brooks, PCAS coordinator since 1979. PCAS is based in the UK and USA     

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