Sunday, 23 June 2019


HERE WE GO EVERYONE! Many thanks to Second Sight Films for their sponsoring of this and our last AMICUS CUSHING COMPETITION!... Asylum is one of my all time favorite Amicus / Peter Cushing films, and I think this release is going to go quite crackers and sell out very quickly on its release day 29th July2019. You CAN PREORDER NOW RIGHT HERE! THIS COMPETITION is now LIVE at the FACEBOOK PCAS FAN PAGE. IF you feel like giving yourself a go!? The last PCAS competition to win FOUR COPIES of SECOND SIGHT FILMS LIMITED EDITION OF ' 'THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD' was very popular and already it looks like THIS comp will make and hit some new numbers for our entries again!

THE SECOND SIGHT FILMS release not only presents us with a very neat and much improved print of the film, which stars some of the best of not only past Amicus casts but a neat crew in 'post production' and behind the camera too. The film has a pretty tight story and each of the four tales of terror skip along, just pausing for breath under Peter Tanner's editing. Tanner has a very good understanding of the pace needed for Brit Fantasy and strange stories, having edited some of the best of the TV series 'The Avengers' in nine episodes during 65 and 66. Tanner worked a few Amicus films and was in demand until 1998, sadly passing at the grand age of 88 in 2002. 

CAMERA MAN NEIL BINNEY, who made a very firm mark of quality on several of Amicus films rival, Hammer films over the years, makes everything appear in the set design of the titled 'Asylum' building, look every inch clinical, but not-quite-in-the-world-of-the-real! Roy Ashton, provides his skilled eye and hand on the make up of everything from quite nasty scars to 'what is trying to break out of that manikin?'  plus Douglas Gamley -  The City Of The Dead (61) , The Road to Hong Kong (62),  A Shot In The Dark (63) The Land Thar Time Forgot (74)- and moves the scrapes, thuds and off time clanks of Elisabeth Lutyens. Gamley thankfully was yet to discover the art of naff 'The Beats Must Die' score and sets a terrific and powerful kick off bringing in his arrangement of Mussorgsky's 'Night On Bald Mountain' and pieces of his own making, to make a film that not only looks frightening but also rips a score, that gets the toes a curling! So much to watch and hear. Along with this we have a VERY nice assortment of goodies in the EXTRA FEATURES department . .  

ABOVE: JUST LIKE AMICUS, the art and timing of the 'good build-up' in how we set the scene, ready for the lauch of this the SECOND AMICUS PCAS and SECOND SIGHT FILMS competition, was about to go live on facebook, shortly . . 

OUR PART FIVE of the FILMS OF PETER CUSHING which includes ASYLUM complete with rare stills gallery : HERE! 

Audio Commentary with Director Roy Ward Baker and Camera Operator Neil Binney
Two’s a Company: 1972 On-set BBC report featuring interviews with Producer Milton Subotsky, Director Roy Ward Baker, Actors Charlotte Rampling, James Villiers, Megs Jenkins, Art Director Tony Curtis and Production Manager Teresa Bolland Screenwriter David J. Schow on Writer Robert Bloch Fiona Subotsky Remembers Milton Subotsky
Inside The Fear Factory: Featurette with Directors Roy Ward Baker, Freddie Francis and Producer Max J. Rosenberg
Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys and original artwork
Limited Edition Contents

Rigid Slipcase Featuring New Artwork by Graham Humphreys
40 page booklet with new essays by Allan Bryce, Jon Towlson and Kat Ellinger
Reversible poster featuring new and original artwork

DID YOU MISS our FIRST AMICUS BLU RAY competition? IF SO, grab your opportunity to catch this one, at the FACEBOOK FAN PAGE of the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society : RIGHT HERE!


OVER AT THE FACEBOOK PCAS FAN PAGE, we have just reveled and announced our FOUR PCAS 'HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD' BLU RAY COMPETITION WINNERS! Each of them have bagged a copy of the Second Sight Films LIMITED EDITION BLU RAY release of Amicus films, 'The House That Dripped Blood', starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt πŸ™‚ Well DONE! πŸ™‚ Many thanks to the HUGE number of you who entered this very popular competition, and a BIG thank you to Second Sight films for sponsoring this PCAS competition. Don't despair, if you are not a WINNER, we have another PCAS /Second Sight EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION launching HERE and at the Facebook PCASUK Fan Page in just TWO HOURS time πŸ™‚ You can win yourself, a copy from FOUR prizes of Amicus films ASYLUM, on blu ray, also from Second Sight Films, in what promises to be another great competition too.

MEANWHILE, BOTH titles are released on JULY 29th 2019 and you can PRE ORDER BOTH of these terrific Second Sight releases, by, CLICKING HERE and HERE!

Thursday, 20 June 2019


TODAY is National Surveillance Camera day is the UK. When I first read that, I thought it was a joke! But no. So I have created a little tribute to the all seeing eyes along with and including Orwell's and Cushing's own historical statement on the practice of 'all seeing' for good or bad intentions . .. what is your thoughts on today's National Marking of the governments service, that LOOKS after us all?

Monday, 17 June 2019


REMEMBERING TERENCE FISHER TODAY 😊 If you enjoy any of the better Hammer films of the 1950's and 60's . . this is the point, you doff your cap πŸ˜‰ There can be few directors who worked for Hammer films, who did so much to develop that Hammer-in-house style. Terence Fisher, WAS Hammer. Along with Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and the players who helped under pin the rich vision of fairy-tale come Gothic nightmare style. Even when the 'monsters' were 'shaky' the script, with more holes than a Swiss cheese... the look, pace and world beautifully styled by Fisher, just sat so well. The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 was the first, it also lit the rocket that would spin Peter Cushing into a new and long lasting career within the fantasy genre and Christopher Lee, on scraping off the make up and anonymity as 'the monster', would soon don a cloak and a feral shocking performance as Dracula, that set him on path, for more Fisher, Cushing Hammer classics to come. The Mummy, The Gorgon, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, still stand, as maybe the best of Terence Fisher and Hammer. 

TERENCE FISHER was one of the most prominent horror directors of the second half of the 20th century. He was the first to bring gothic horror alive in full colour, and the sexual overtones and explicit horror in his films, while mild by modern standards, were unprecedented in his day. Fisher although aware of the terrifying elements of his Hammer films, would only smile when questioned about their shock factor, and answer...'I make wicked fairy tales...!' Fisher also along with Lee and Cushing, had a wicked sense of humor, hints of which can often been seen on the screen. Given their subject matter and lurid approach, Fisher's films, though commercially successful, were largely dismissed by critics during his career. It is only in recent years that Fisher has become recognised as an auteur in his own right . . .

'BACK IN MARCH 1980, I was just 19, living in Kent and scuffling back and forth to London, jobbing in very basic model and extra work, desperately earning my actors 'Equity Card'. With PCAS has my hobby, I was living in digs, that belonged to a family who were organizing a fantasy convention in London just a few weeks away. They were very kind people and good friends of Terence Fisher's, who had now retired, and was sadly, not in very good health. But he had agreed to attend the convention. While sitting in the kitchen one evening, I was star struck to hear, they were chatting with Fisher on the telephone. I had spent the last two days laughingly trying to get myself an agent in London, the shambolic details they shared with Fisher. Laughing into my coffee I shouted across the room, 'Ask him if he knows any charitable, kind and helpful agents!'. There was a pause and a howl of laughter. I asked, what was his answer? 'Oh, you'll never find one of them!' was his reply . . and he is still laughing down the phone!' 🀣🀣 Sadly, Fisher passed in June. I did get my Equity card, thanks to sponsors, actor Michael Ripper and Make up artist, Roy Ashton... who strangely enough, held a membership of the Equity Union, for many years! So, I sadly never got to meet Terence Fisher... but I did get to make him laugh πŸ˜€πŸ˜Š' Marcus Brooks



The PCASUK #FrankensteinFriday comes back for a month THIS Friday, I have some interesting photographs, on set and behind the scenes of 'The Evil of Frankenstein' I want to share with you, some great bits and pieces on Peter playing the Baron... plus there are TWO Hammer Frankenstein Competitions, which I think you will enjoy too! It all starts this Friday for just a month, don't miss it πŸ˜‰ - Marcus

Sunday, 16 June 2019


HERE WE GO! This is the FIRST of TWO AMICUS COMPETITIONS PCAS and SECOND SIGHT FILMS  will be launching over the next TWO WEEKS here at the PCASUK website and the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE! πŸ˜ƒ Here is your chance to bag yourself a copy of the 1971 AMICUS FILMS classic horror, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt! This LIMITED EDITION is also a FIRST TIME release on BLU RAY for the UK, with a host of extras, a 40 page booklet with new essays by Allan Bryce, Jon Towlson and Kat Ellinger and FOUR spine chilling stories that makes it one of the best of the Amicus portmanteau series of films. To WIN YOUR COPY, all you have to do is correctly answer the COMPETITION QUESTION and either send it to us via our email OR you can ENTER at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE! We must give our grateful thanks to SECOND SIGHT FILMS for sponsoring our TWO AMICUS COMPETITIONS and we look forward to announcing the WINNERS NEXT SATURDAY! Remember there will be another competition to win copies of Second Sight Films BLU RAY of ASYLUM the following day, Sunday 23rd of June! These competitions are open to everyone, who ever, where ever YOU are πŸ˜ƒ! GOOD LUCK πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š - Marcus 



Saturday, 15 June 2019


REMEMBERED: TODAY WE REMEMBER Hungarian born actor SANDOR ELES…. Known for a lot of work on TV he guest starred in shows such as The Saint, One Step Beyond, The Avengers, Danger Man and a regular role in the UK Soap 'Crossroads'. Eles did a lot of good and interesting work, given the chance. He made appearances in The Avengers, The Professionals Strange Report and Upstairs, Downstairs. One of his most memorable film roles was as the mysterious Paul in the Brian Clemens thriller 'And Soon the Darkness' in 1970. The screenplay was written by Brian Clemens and Terry Nation, both of whom had contributed to The Avengers, as well as to several ITC crime series made in Britain. The film was directed by Robert Fuest.

ABOVE: You can read more about SANDOR ELES and his work in #Hammerfilms 'The Evil of Frankenstein' in a feature written for PCAS by Troy Howath, at the time of it's first time release on blu ray from Final Cut. It's complete with a gallery of great publicity stills rarely seen form the PCAS archive RIGHT HERE!

ELES CO STARRED with #PeterCushing in #Hammerfilms third Frankenstein film,  'The Evil Of Frankenstein' and presented a quite different style of Baron's assistant. Sympathetic and sensitive to the Baron's plight and dedication to his work, it was an angle that didn't arrive again until Shane Briant's excellent portrayal of Simon in 'Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell' from Hammer films in 1974. 

ABOVE IS A PHOTOGRAPH is a still I thought Frankenstein and Hammer fans would appreciate! It's a never before shared or published studio photographer still during the making of the Peter Cushing and Sandor Eles Hammer films 'The Evil of Frankenstein' in 1963 at Bray studios. Cushing and Eles can be seen at the back of the marquee tent, with their mask disguises, but note the top of the still. It just shows how LOW in height the back lot buildings were at Bray studios. The lighting, the rigging and boom microphone is just a few feet from the actors heads!!! 

ELES WAS IN MANY WAYS a jobbing actor, but capable of so much more, just watching his work as Paul Ross in the UK low budget, but extremely popular almost daily soap opera, 'Crossroads' from 1982 until 1985, he gave more than any of the scripts required. A guest role as himself in the film 'Surviving Picasso' 1996, is a raw and sad exit, for an highly skilled actor, who when given the chance on screen or stage, was anyone but himself....

SANDOR ELES, sadly died on September 4th 2002, in Kilburn, London. He was just 66 years old . .   

A HEADS UP and what many of you have been waiting for! The PCASUK and SECOND SIGHT FILMS COMPETITION kicks off TOMORROW -Sunday 16th June 2019 HERE and at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE. There are FOUR COPIES of the SECOND SIGHT FILMS REMASTERED BLU RAY of Amicus films, 'THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD' starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt up for grabs and MUST be won! Look out for our PCASUK COMPETITION post tomorrow, and make sure to send us YOUR ENTRY! NEXT WEEK we'll be launching ANOTHER PCASUK Competition where FOUR COPIES of Amicus films, ASYLUM BLU RAY will be up for grabs too! Here's your chance to bag some great prizes TOMORROW! Are YOU up for it??

Friday, 14 June 2019


REMEMBERING: Max J. Rosenberg (September 13, 1914 – June 14, 2004) Rosenberg was an American film producer, whose career spanned six decades. He was particularly noted for his partnership with co founder of Amicus films, Milton Subotsky who both found much of their success while working in England, producing #supernatural and fantasy cinema, many of which starred #PeterCushing and #ChristopherLee. Max was a clever businessman, Subotsky was the brains and imagination behind what was for most part, the only true competitor of the UK based #Hammerfilms. Sadly, the business partnership soured, then court and libel cases strangled the whole thing to death...a climax worthy of any Amicus film's big finish!



ABOVE: A RARE press photograph taken at the PREMIER of #Hammerfilms 'Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' with #PeterCushing, #VeronicaCarlson, #ThorleyWalters, #CatherineSchell and producer, Anthony Nelson Keys, posing for the press with two Hammer fans in fancy dress! Schell was in attendence while working on Hammer's other film at this time, #MOONZEROTWO! 

Sunday, 9 June 2019


THE UNCANNY, has a title that is weirdly appropriate and fits not only the whole weird set up of the film, and by that I don't just mean, the film's characters and the script! If when following the story, you have a feeling of 'deja vu', it's perfectly justified.  Severin Films has recently released  their long awaited blu ray of this bizarre British / Canadian feature film. Anyone worth their mustard and standing as a 'Fantasy flicks' fan will be familiar with the films of Amicus Productions and it's producers, a successful partnership of Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg. Milton based in the UK, soul provider of books and script properties to fashion into worthy productions and other Max, a hard nosed deal-man who rustled up the lolly and funding for these films and projects. It all worked splendidly for decades. A wielding of two men, dedicated to the product who started and founded their company with no legal document, only a 'gentlemans' hand-shake. Such was the trust they had in each other and their belief in their skill set! Together they formed said company 'Amicus' (roughly translates as 'Friend' in Hindi) and proceeded to make some of the best British horror / fantasy films that generated some impressive box office through the mid 1960's until the early 1970's.

THE LATE Max Rosenberg called Amicus "a studio without walls". He was a New Yorker, a law graduate with a successful distribution company who when he first heard about the Eady plan, a British subsidy set up to funnel government money into movie production and encourage filming in the UK., knew he had found the 'golden hen' for their at the time, tin pan plans. Milton Subotsky was a shy science-fiction film freak, also from New York, whose parents considered the movie industry disreputable. Nevertheless, he still managed to squeeze into the feature film business, producing 'Rock, Rock, Rock' with Rosenberg in 1956, before he moved to England in 1960. 

IN 1964,, the pair made that 'shake' and with that, the founding of Amicus, to take advantage of the Eady plan and put their plan into action.  There was no capital structure, so films got made through a combination of some private investment, funding from the 'Eady Plan', all not poured but rather, dripped into some  extremely low budgets. Their first portmanteau and 'proper' production, arrived in the 1965 'Dr Terror's House of Horrors'. It was made for less than £100,000, yet starred the two horror giants of the time,  Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. It was directed by Freddie Francis, who by then was already a highly acclaimed cinematographer. Rosenberg's technique for attracting high-profile talent was simple formula: he hired them on a competitive day rate, but only for a few days, so shooting schedules were brisk. Very brisk. The box office popular 1971 'The House That Dripped Blood' was filmed over a just four weeks.

IF WALLS COULD TALK! Part THREE of the AMICUS FILMS of PETER CUSHING, includes gallery and behind the scenes story on the making of 'The House That Dripped Blood' CLICK HERE!

AMICUS may have, for some fashioned what could have be seen as quite way off horror hokum, but their most popular Peter Cushing portmanteau movie, 'Tales From The Crypt' was second only to The Godfather at the US box office in 1972, and also spawned a follow-up, The Vault of Horror! All of this came into being through hard-nosed opportunism and Subotsky's love of simple, well told tales, though many adapted with an ink and mind set, darker than most and writer called, Robert Bloch, which equaled Bloch-Office-receipts at the cinema. 

AMICUS IS SEEN by many to have been the only direct competitor to Hammer films, that other British production company, who also hit gold with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee just eight years before, Amicus dig in their flag. Where Hammer based their movies in far off European countries like Transylvania, where Counts are vampires and Baron's keep not wine and antiques in their dungeons and cellars, but body parts and heads, Amicus set their plots in contemporary suburban England, a staple funds saving choice, as all sets were usually cast off's from other films, still standing at Shepperton studios! The often leafy lane and cottage needed for a tale, were always a conveniently mere three miles from the studio gate! 

WE MAY TITTER, but it worked and worked extremely well. The Amicus films were typically quite brooding and claustrophobic; they were in some ways far darker without the Gothic, these horror stories could have been taking place in our homes, basements, garden sheds or kitchens! Many of the scripts tended to reflect some of Subotsky's obsessions. 'I, Monster', the weird Amicus Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde adaptation, is stuffed with Freudian theories. It's no secret that Subotsky's wife happened to be studying psychology at the time . . .!

Even though at heart, Subotsky was a dreamer, he could when needed also be a shrewd businessman. "Hammer was a business set-up," the late, legendary horror director Freddie Francis once said in 1995. "Had it dealt in garbage disposal, it would have been just as successful. Milton Subotsky from Amicus, on the other hand, was a real horror buff." Only Subotsky could 'rent' a star name for a day on a flat rate to include them as part of the cast and add value to the cast list rota on the cinema poster! Such was the amazing chemistry of how, Amicus worked, before Subotsky and Rosenberg had a huge spat and it all went south. Rosenberg though carried on producing a few films under the Amicus name and then became a distributor called Dynamite, who ironically and horribly, reedited and repackaged two Hammer films, 'Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires' and 'The Satanic Rites of Dracula' both with Peter Cushing, for distribution in the US on VHS and DVD. And Subotsky? Well . . . 

IN 1975 AMICUS made its final bow with 'At The Earth's Core'. On viewing it at a local cinema with his son, Milton was appalled. When PCASUK interviewed Subotsky in a rare video interview in the early 80's, he found it hard to cover his disappointment at the film and contempt for Rosenberg's and director Kevin Connor's handling of the film, in his absence. 'I went to the trouble to invent and devise a complete language for the Pellucidarians in the film. But that was just ignored. When Peter speaks to them and they talk back in fluid English I nearly fell off my seat! And the climax in my screenplay was entirely different. A film that ends with fire works and explosions just shows lack of imagination!' 

AND SO with the final death throes of Amicus, Subotsky set up camp elsewhere. He formed "Sword & Sorcery Productions, Ltd.", tried to get funding for several projects like the 'Thongor' stories, even a film with Stan Lee's 'The Hulk' but to no success. But all was not lost, Subotsky produced the film  'Dominique' with Simon Ward, Jenny Agutter, Ron Moody, Judy Geeson... all actors who had worked with Peter Cushing... and Jean Simmons! In 1980, he co-produced the TV series The Martian Chronicles, adapted from the short story collection by Ray Bradbury. But in between there, he joined forces with Cinevideo, Rank and several other piggy banks in Canada, to make one other film, and this is where we started . .

Wilbur Gray (Peter Cushing) visits Frank Richards (Ray Milland ) so he can get his book published. This book Gray has written are about cats. Cats watching everyone and controlling everything. He mentions the stories in the book are all true, and gives three examples. The first involves the murder of a cat-loving old woman (Joan Greenwood, Susan Penhaligon and Simon Williams ) who gives her entire fortune in her will to her cats. Not everyone is happy about the wills, but would have to get past the cats to get the the will. The second story is a tale of black magic between two girls (Chloe Franks and Katrina Holden Bronson) and the third story is a tale of murderous revenge (Donald Pleasence, Samantha Eggar and Catherine BΓ©gin) ... by a cat.

I FIRST SAW this film, back in 2006 on a Network DVD release. I sadly missed any chance of catching it on the big screen, as it received such a poor reception theatrically back in 1977, no local flea pit would take it. So a chance to see the film, that for many years had been given the rough treatment in Fantasy magazines and fanzines, who seemed more caught up on the idea that this could only be a feral version of anything Subotsky had to offer, since Amicus was now dead and buried! On viewing, I was much surprised! It's not Amicus, but it is entertaining. The bleak and black sense of humor that often peeped out from the traditional Amicus suburbian alcoves and curtains, is now given the full room, which is quite a change for Subotsky, who stages the stories across London 1912, Quebec Province 1975 and Hollywood 1936! Despite Subotsky's well known dislike of unpleasant graphic scenes of blood and sex in his productions, he does pull out the stops in a few scenes. Remember, cats have claws and love to chew and bite! 

THE CAST is more than capable of holding these three tales together, Joan Greenwood is deliciously unpleasant, creepy and taster than cat nip, Susan Penhaligon, does 'hungry' very well and left me peckish to want to see more of her. Chloe Franks and Katrina Holden Bronson carry their lead roles in their tale as brat and victim to the hilt, while Donald Pleasence, Samantha Eggar and Catherine BΓ©gin, are given the full nine yards in a camp and funny, saga of silent era Hollywood. Pleasence really does go for it, right up until the macabre climax. Meee-OUCH! This isn't 'Tales from the Crypt' or 'Torture Garden' it's Subotsky having fun. Personally, or me, it's the Cats Whiskers . .πŸ˜‰πŸ˜š

SEVERIN FILMS must be congratulated on bringing the film to blu ray for the first time, given the film's, rocky reputation, this film has had more bootleg and dodgy VHS transfers to DVD, than Peter Cushing's 'dead on arrival' Tendre Dracula! Long before this film's release, we were teased with the news that the blu ray transfer came from . . a source, that has been “scanned from an inter-negative recently discovered in a London vault.”  . . sounds like a thread from one of Subotsky's stories! The surprising thing is sporadically, at the beginning of the film, it seems that this single layer transfer, looks every frame, like it was 'found from said vault'!. Not so bad, that we have a the surface of the bottom of an old and well used cats bowl to look through, but it has that 'no longer a kitten, more an old moggy look about it'

THIS IS A SHAME, as the definition is certainly better than a dvd but the surface of the film and the audio during the first few minutes, has been unnecessarily neglected. Having said that, the transfer is bright, colourful as should be, the audio is presented in English 2.0 mono DTS-HD with optional subtitles in English SDH. The dialogue thankfully is always clear. If you are watching and listening with headphones, it sounds exceptable and I can't say I heard anything distracting or any audio distortion. 

THE EXTRAS on this release are slim. A twelve-minute interview with actress Susan Penhaligon, entitled 'The Cat’s Victim' is the best of a handful, Penhaligon chats about her career and some of the early roles that leads up to her role in The Uncanny. She also spends a little time on working with Peter Cushing and some of the trickiness involved in working with live cats on set during the making of the film. There is also a theatrical trailer

THIS IS NOT A BAD transfer, considering the problems with finally finding a source, but I can't help thinking, the whole thing would have been so much better and deserving of a much awaited blu ray release, had another source been used.. but that sadly, wasn't possible, and there lies another Subotsky like tale, for another time...   

MILTON SUBOTSKY died of heart disease in 1991, at the age of 69. Max Rosenberg died in Los Angeles, California in 2004, he was 89

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