Wednesday, 28 June 2017


#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY! FOR ANYONE READING this from the UK, why does this #GIF remind me of so many Dad's lighting fireworks on 'BONFIRE NIGHT'?! Peter Cushing here as Dr Brian Stanley, in that great little classic 'ISLAND OF TERROR' (1966). I think there are two things, apart from the terrific casting, that make this film, a cut above the other mini budget sci fi films that the UK turned out in the 60's. ONE, Terence Fisher's tight direction with Thelma Connell's editing..she did some excellent work with films like, A Dandy in Aspic in 1968, The Virgin Soldiers in 69 and Only Two Can Play with Peter Sellers in 1962. She also edited Peter's 'Dr Terror's House of Horrors' in 1965!....and TWO the deadly tentacled Silicates! 'Night of the Big Heat' the other sci fi film made after 'Island' with Fisher directing, also starred Peter Cushing, once again trapped on an island, but the cause of the disruption and the deadly heat, was a bit of a let down. When revealed, the creature resembled a fried egg, with a light  bulb inside!

I HAVE A HUNCH that Bill Robert's company, SHAWCRAFT who made many props and models for the film and movie industry, may have been behind the actual building and creation of the Silicates for 'Island of Terror'. SHAWCRAFT also made the Daleks that were featured in both of Cushing 'Doctor Who and the Dalek' films and a similar 'bog-type-monster' that was briefly seen in the Film 'Dr Who and the Daleks'. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know, it's one of those annoying bits of trivia that keeps me awake a night! This #GIF was requested by Brad Haynes UK, who says, 'I wish there had been a sequel to 'Island of Terror'. For me, as a kid, the Silicates were really frightening, I think they should have brought them back to fight another day. Maybe even turn up in a BBC Dr Who episode?' WHAT DO YOU THINK?

#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY! AN INTERESTING CROSS-OVER here in this #GIF requested by Tilly The Cat Lover of Texas! It's not just vampires that get staked in Hammer films, and if Peter Cushing is in the scene, one would expect, he would be doing the staking! It's Peter Woodthorpe as the evil hypnotist, Zolton, who get the pointy end of this interesting plot device in Hammer films, 'The Evil of Frankenstein' (1964).

PETER WOODTHORPE'S slimy and grimy double dealing, crook angers Kiwi Kingston's brutish 'monster' one time too many, and his hypo-control of Frankenstein's creation, for once fails him, with horrible results. Peter Cushing almost looks annoyed that he missed out on the deed! 'The Evil of Frankenstein' turned many of the 'Hammer-Frankenstein' conventions on their heads, making a less predictable story, that borrowed much from the earlier, Universal Frankenstein films. Cushing's Baron, just for once, seems sad and almost defeated, giving his performance a lovely melancholy air, the sets and laboratory look very impressive, but time and corporate meddling resulted in a sometimes less than convincing monster make up . . . 

#SILENTBUTDEADLY: WHOEVER AT HAMMER FILMS thought of casting Peter Cushing and Andre Morell together as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, should have been given a pay raise, because the results on screen were magic. But what resulted in them appearing again in a little dramatic, low budget thriller two years later, they should have been awarded a medal! 'Cash On Demand' produced in 1961 for the princely sum of just £37,000 (2009 estimate) has surely brought a handsome return on that investment. For many years, it turned up as a staple of Sunday afternoon tv matinees in the UK and since the arrival of home cinema and the web, it has probably shaken off it's once proud Hammer fan claim of, 'Hammer films little known masterpiece!'. 'Cash On Demand' is in some ways,  a reworking of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol", and casts Peter Cushing as a cold, austere bank manager, a nagging petty tyrant to his staff, and Andre Morell as a cunning thief who one day turns up at the bank, and sends the prim Cushing into a tail-spin. The plot twists and turns, as Morell piles on the pressure.


'CASH ON DEMAND' started life as a television play in the THEATRE 70 series, when it was titled, 'The Gold Inside'. Both actors Andre Morell and Richard Vernon reprised their roles for the big screen, director Quentin Lawrence followed too. And the casting? One would like to think that the bods at Hammer were considering the best of players for their drama, but I would think it was probably more down to chance and economics. Had Cushing and Morell's agents asked for a few quid more in their negotiations, we would have been robbed of two fine performances and a very entertaining film.

#SILENTBUTDEADLYWEDNESDAY' YOU WOULD think after all the story dissecting, plot analyzing and discussion that yesterday's posting of Vincent Price's Dr Browning as our #MONSTERMONDAY post prompted, I would be closer to understanding exactly what the story of 'SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN'  (1970) was all about?? Sadly no. However, what I do understand and appreciate of the film is, it certainly provides us with some top notch fight sequences, bizarre visuals ...and the slowest car chase in cinematic history! Ah well, you can't have it all. This #GIF requested by Lita Doohlan is a cracker though! Marshall Jone's Konratz gets to grips with Price's Dr Browning in the operating theatre...and even though having just the ONE HAND... don't ask.. with his super strength depleted, he still puts up an encouraging fight! 

IT'S ALSO WORTH REMEMBERING HERE,  it's thanks to producer Milton Subotsky's 'accounting skills, that Scream and Scream Again' does give us the opportunity to see the names of Lee, Cushing AND Price in the rolling credits, even if all three didn't get the chance to appear together on screen. One theory that Peter Cushing was cast late in the day, could well be the reason. Had the fact that Cushing was planned to join the cast, I am sure script writer Christopher Wicking would have made the most of the opportunity and wrote them in together maybe?  As it is, here is Marshall and Price wrestling for ever locked in a #GIF cycle. Nice blood drip that....!

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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 and posts are made from both countries and
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