TODAY WE REMEMBER Charles Gray, who is best remembered for his outstanding performance as the evil Mocata opposite Christopher Lee in Hammer’s The Devil Rides Out (1968) and his role as 'the narrator' in 'The Rocky Horror Show' … other memorable roles in include Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Mycroft Holmes in The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes TV Series… His Peter Cushing connection is that he co-stared with him in Amucis’s film The Beast Must Die (1974)
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THIS WEEKS MAGAZINE FOCUS centres on a weird little UK series called. 'LEGEND HORROR CLASSICS' Riding on the popularity of the UK Monster Mag, this too was a fold out eight panel affair. There was no huge flip side poster, instead a whole comic strip adaption of a 'Horror Classic' film. The first issue arrived in time for the release of the Dan Curtis adaption of DRACULA starring Jack Palance and Simon Ward. The whole thing sadly was stretched rather thin, with what room there was for editorial, the writing was rather limp and sparse. The comic strip art, was no way in the same league as the 'Hammer House of Horror' magazines, that were to follow, but as a 25 pence pocket money treat it gave a good deal to any youngsters, finding the likes of Hammer films, Cushing and Lee for the first time.
EVEN THOUGH THE FOCUS was on the Curtis 1974 DRACULA release, both CUSHING and LEE are given a full page picture treatment, with PC looking rather funky in a comic art dotex version of the very familiar publicity photograph BARON from 'FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN'. Lee is represented in a still from 'DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE' ... though in neither pics, are the titles of the films given, and that sadly is the overall standard of all the magazines, in this series . . little in the way learning or anything any fan would find new or interesting, even back in 1974!
THE SECOND ISSUE had a 'Frankenstein' theme based primarily on the 1931 Universal film, although Victor Frankenstein was drawn to resemble Peter Cushing, in some of the Hammer series. Later the theme and comic strip covered The 7th Voyage of Sinbad in issue 3, Blood Lust of the Zombies in issue 4, Hammer's Dracula has Risen from the Grave, under the strange title of "Dracula Must be Destroyed") in issue 5, Terror from Space was issue 6 and the story of Beowulf in issue 7. The comic stories from issue three became at times quite bizarre, and the connection with what were 'horror classics' either from cinema or TV, floated away and from issue 10, the magazine no longer carried comic strip adaption or stories.
KEVIN O'NEILL, who would also go on to work on that other 70's horror film mag, WORLD OF HORROR and the comic 2000 AD, was closely involved with the publication, providing some of the comic strips and serving as art editor, before becoming editor. Though little. if any of the comic adaptions ever came any where close to the benchmark that Hammer House of Horror would roll out, this magazine, was probably in the beginning aimed at a younger market, and in that case, one can see why, the issues lack any real maturity or muscle. For us Horror Film Fans, it was better than nothing and certainly whet our whistles, while we waited for, what was yet to come . .
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