Thursday, 28 February 2019

WITHOUT GETTING PLASTERED TARKIN MAY NEVER HAVE RETURNED PLUS A HAMMER GLAMOUR BIRTHDAY!


THINK ABOUT IT! This #THROWBACK THURSDAY post at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE today, has prompted some memories. Make up artist, the late STUART FREEBORN was responsible among many other excellent creations, like the appearnce  #STARWARS YODA, made the prosthetic giant EYE for Cushing Book Store character in the 1984 film, 'Top Secret'. The practice of getting an actor to come into the workshop, and have his ENTIRE face in latex rubber or plaster, was common practice back in the day. Hammer make up artist, Roy Ashton had a whole collection of actors and actresses faces and heads, that he used to produce the latex attachments of some of the studios, best monsters and creatures! 


I GUESS, Freeborn would never have guessed that HIS plaster face of Peter Cushing would go on to be quite central and MAJOR and contentious step in the creation of the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin in the film, 'ROGUE ONE'. FX creators Industrial Light and Magic, found there was little on file, of actual helpful and accurate reference material on Cushing's features and face. A mass of artwork, but only Freeborn's plaster head, could provide the measurements and dimensions that were needed, along with footage of Peter Cushing's performance on the big screen as Tarkin in 'Star Wars: A New Hope, from 1977, to make the CGI possible. The role of the Book Store Owner, was a small guest role and one that Cushing could have easily have passed on. A fact no doubt, that could have effected the potential of making Tarkin's return, along with Guy Henry's assistance . .  a non starter! 



TODAY WE ALSO MARK the birthday of Stephanie Beacham. Beacham has had a very full career on stage, screen and television. Star of tv's 'Tenko', 'The Colbys' 'Dynasty' 'Bad Girls' and 'SeaQuest'... she has also slipped in an episode of 'Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense'. Her Peter Cushing connection links to two films, 'Dracula AD 1972' playing Jessica Van Helsing, granddaughter to Peter Cushing. and 'And Now, The Screaming Starts'... Please join us in wishing her a Happy Birthday!



STEPHANIE BEACHAM: 'My mother Joan had chicken pox when she was pregnant so I was born with no nerve endings in my right ear. I’m totally deaf in that ear and I have just 80% hearing in my left ear. I’ve never heard in stereo and where most people’s hearing is three dimensional, mine is all on the same plane. Background and foreground sounds flatten, out so a car coming down the road is as loud as a person’s voice right next to me. I was taken to a specialist when I was four. They said, ‘She’s perfectly intelligent,’ and my mother said very snappily, ‘I realise that. I know she’s intelligent, she just can’t hear’.
 

'ONE OF THE BIGGEST problems was that deafness and stupidity were often linked together because a speech defect often accompanies the deafness. I’ve never had a speech defect but I still got called ‘Deaf Steph’ at school and because I often didn’t know people were talking to me I’d walk right past them and they assumed I was snooty. In my adult life I’ve always struggled with people sitting to my right at dinner parties as I can’t hear a word and I’ve had to avoid pop concerts or noisy clubs because of my lack of nerve endings. As for my future health, I fully intend to age naturally without cosmetic surgery and there’s nothing that can be done about my saggy neck, apart from a bulldog clip. I’m convinced mental and physical flexibility is the secret to staying young and yoga provides that for me. I’m also aware that you become what you eat so I’ll continue to steer clear of fizzy drinks and too much sugar or salt." - Daily Mirror Newspaper 2107
 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

SCREAM FACTORY'S 2K REMASTERED GOLDEN VAMPIRES EXTRAS DETAILS ON DEBUT RELEASE!


NEWS: SCREAM FACTORY has just announced the additional details about their upcoming blu-ray of Hammer's 1974 'The Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires'. This BLU RAY is a locked Region A release. And has a street date planned for April 9th 2019.



THE FINAL LIST list of extras for their upcoming release of the the entertaining kung-fu/horror hybrid from Hammer Films is as follows:

• NEW 2K scan of the original film elements

• NEW Audio Commentary with author/film historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck

• NEW When Hammer Met Shaw – an interview with actor David Chiang

• NEW Kung Fear – an interview with Hong Kong Film Expert Rick Baker

• Alternate U.S. Theatrical version – The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula (in HD with some standard definition inserts)

• Theatrical Trailers

• TV Spot

• Stills Gallery




UPON POSTING THESE DETAILS over at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE we soon received lots of comments and messages of excitement about the release from people who have long wanted a super clean blu ray version of this Peter Cushing last appearance as Van Helsing . . . but it seems whenever this film is mentioned, like DRACULA himself, there arrives a resurrection of negative comments and critiques of actor, John Forbes-Robertson's performance and appearance as Count Dracula. Where do you stand on this? Please feel free to join in on the comments and give us your thoughts too 😉
 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

THE LUCKY THIRTEEN! CAN YOU PICK YOUR FIVE ON THIS BIRTHDAY?


TODAY WE ARE MARKING THE BIRTHDAY of director TERENCE FISHER. He was a director who still, certainly needs no introduction to anyone who regularly visits this page. But when looking down the list of some of Cushing best Hammer films, it's Fisher's name that is usually attached to the finest. Fiher also believed that you should give audiences, opportunities to see beyond, what could be happening on the screen. His trade mark blend of fairy-tale, myth and sexuality, gave us some of Cushing's and Hammer films greatest hits. 'The Curse of Frankenstein', 'Dracula', 'The Mummy', 'The Gorgon', 'Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed'..... and many, many others. All absolute gems. 


HERE IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY, to try and pull from the list of THIRTEEN TITLES that Fisher made with Cushing, a 'must watch' FIVE. The idea of this task cmae from a personal experience during the holidays last Christmas, to treat myself to an indulgent  weekend, of movie watching. It wasn't easy, but it was very enjoyable! Over at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE visitors and friends have started compiling and posting their TOP FIVE. Please feel free to join them, and help us mark the Birthday, of probably Hammer films, most popular director . . . 


Terence Fisher at home, with his wife, Morag!


Old Friends... Terence Fisher and Peter Cushing at the
Festival du Film Fantastique de Paris in 1974



PETER CUSHING and Martita Hunt in Terence Fisher's THE BRIDES OF DRACULA


TERENCE FISHER'S first film, for Hammer with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN


CUSHING AND THORLEY WALTERS in Fisher's THIRD Frankenstein for Hammer, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN 


PRUDENCE HYMAN AND PETER CUSHING in Hammer films THE GORGON



THE HEAT IS ON with Peter Cushing in Terence Fisher's  NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT


Friday, 22 February 2019

SURPRISES ON FIRST WATCH PLUS REMEMBERING ACTOR JOHN MILLS



RIGHT NOW, over at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE, we've asked you to tell us about when, 'ON FIRST VIEW WHICH PETER CUSHING FILM REALLY SURPRISED YOU AND WHY?' and we are getting some great comments and answers. 

HERE ARE A FEW: 
D POWLEY says, 'Corruption. Both Peter Cushing and Sue Lloyd managed to convince me that they were mad in that film. It was a great shocker!' 


N. SANTIAGO says, 'Horror Express. I had no expectations for it. Turned out to be a very well made film with Mr. Cushing in fine form mixing it up with Mr. Lee and Telly Savalas. The movie itself was an entertaining mix of horror, science fiction, adventure and mystery. Really enjoyed it and of course the GREAT Peter Cushing!'. 


While V. Kirk says,' I was surprised by the nimble jump he did at the end of 'Brides of Dracula'. I remember rewinding to see if it was actually a stunt double but it wasn't.'. 


G. RENEHAN : 'The Blood Beast Terror! I saw it as a B movie in the cinema aged (too young)! It scared me to heck and back!'


S.COLMAN: 'Both TV appearances but I love his brilliantly nuanced performance in 1984 and the cold malevolence he channels in The Silent Scream.

A. GUNN : 'Top Secret. Peter caricatures himself - revealing his own sense of humour and strength of character. Taught me how to laugh at myself and consequently become a stronger person. Thanks, PC!' 


 M. LOISEL : ' Not a film, but the "Down the Avenue" skit on Morecombe & Wise. I wish he had done more light comedy or song and dance like that.' 


M DAWSON: 'In 1961 my father took me to see my first horror film or X film . In those days if you were under 16 you could only see those films with an adult and you got 2 films. The first film to be shown was Jack the Ripper 1959 then there was the interval when the ice cream lady would sell choc ices and ice creams, then the main feature was shown. It was 'The Curse of Frankenstein'. That film and that night I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I have had the film on video, DVD and now Blu-ray and watch it on the tele. I never tire of watching it. I dont think I ever saw a bad film he was in. But for me the favourite or favourites has to be his performances as the ruthless Baron Frankenstein'.


The post is still live and if you would like to comment and share your opinion, you would be most welcome! JUST CLICK HERE!


TODAY WE MARK THE BIRTH of one, Lewis Ernest Watts Mills... or as we knew and loved him... Sir John Mills. He was without doubt, one of our most popular and beloved English actors and born today February 22nd 1908. In a career that stretched over eight decades, Mills appeared in over 120 films, debuting in 1932 in 'Midshipmaid Gob' right up until 2009 in 'The Snow Prince'. Many of his roles like Pip in 'Great Expectations' in 1946, Shorty Blake 'In Which We Serve' in 42, Captain Scott in 'Scott of the Antarctic' in 48 and the alcohol troubled Captain Anson in 'Ice Cold in Alex' in 58 would make him an internationally renowned star.



MILLS APPEARED in three films with Peter Cushing, 'The End Of The Affair' the second in 1976 entitled 'Trial by Combat' aka 'A Dirty Knight's Work' as Sir Edward Gifford. It was no more than a guest appearance, slotted in when another project on Cushing's slate fell through. The third though, was a much grander enterprise with Tyburn films and marked Cushing's return to the character of Sherlock Holmes...and Mills as Watson! In 'The Masks of Death' they made such a terrific team as a much older duo, that another Cushing /Mills / Sherlock film from Tyburn was planned entitled 'The Abbot's Cry', but was scuppered owing to Cushing's fragile health.




JOHN MILLS AND CUSHING also appeared together in an episode of the TV series The Zoo Gang, 'The Counterfeit Trap' which was released last year as part of the series on remstered blu ray by Network.  
 

LIKE CUSHING, Mills was in his private life a sensitive romantic, in January 2001 at the age of 92, he and wife Mary, age 89, renewed their marriage vows at St. Mary's Church, next to their home, Hills House, in Denham, England. When they had wed 60 years earlier, he was denied a church service because he was serving in the Army during World War II. Happy Birthday, Sir John!
 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

YOUR UNDERRATED FILMS OF PETER CUSHING!


OVER AT THE FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE today, we've asked a simple question, and have received a skip load of answers, some quite surprising! You may want to add your opinion too? Below are just a few of the many suggestions you have suggested, in some of our past features and galleries . . 


OUR 'CASH ON DEMAND FEATURE and gallery : HERE!


ON THE SET during the making of 'CASH ON DEMAND' gallery : HERE! 


 ONE OF OUR features on the DR WHO films of Peter Cushing : HERE!


AND ALSO HERE!


OUR FEATURE AND GALLERY on DR PHIBES RISES AGAIN!


OUR FEATURE AND GALLERY ON  Peter Cushing and Hammer films 'SHE'HERE!


BEHIND THE SCENES of Amicus Productions : 'I MONSTER' Gallery Part Two: HERE!



CUSHING'S 'NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT' and 'ISLAND OF TERROR' Feature and Gallery : HERE!
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