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 😉 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 😀😊' Marcus Brooks


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