Archive for christopher lee

Who Is Your Favourite HORROR Director Of The 60s?

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2012 by goregirl

Last week I cruelly asked you to choose between Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Lee is intense-sexy-evil and Cushing is charismatic-cool-collectiveness and both are fecking awesome! If nothing else this silly poll is a testimonial to the fact that these two men are equally admired horror movie icons. Here are the results…

Peter Cushing = 11 votes

Christopher Lee = 10 votes

Today I ask you who your favourite 1960s horror film director is. I included a slot for “other” as I couldn’t possibly include every last director who made a film during the decade!

***Tomorrow I will post my list for 1966! Next week I’ll have the top ten lists for 1967, 68 and 69 and results for this poll! Stay tuned!***

Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee?

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , on November 14, 2012 by goregirl

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee have appeared in twenty-three full-length feature films together; Hamlet (1948), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Mummy (1959), The Devil’s Agent (1962), The Gorgon (1964), The Skull (1965), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), She (1965), Night of the Big Heat (1967), Scream and Scream Again (1970), One More Time (1970), The House That Dripped Blood (1971), I, Monster (1971),The Trans-Siberian Train (1972), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973),  The Creeping Flesh (1973),  Nothing But the Night (1973), Arabian Adventure (1979), House of the Long Shadows (1983).

Christopher Lee said of his friend Peter Cushing who died in 1994 at the age of 81; “I don’t want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again”. (Quote borrowed from the Peter Cushing Wikipedia page).

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are without a doubt one of horror’s greatest classic pairings! Is it fair to ask which of these two wonderful talented actors are your favourite? Probably not, but here it is anyway…Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee?

***Tomorrow I will be posting my TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films from 1964!***

CIRCUS OF FEAR (1966) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by goregirl

Not all circus and carnival fare is created equally. I figured I was in pretty good hands with John Llewellyn Moxey who directed City of the Dead. Add the appearance of Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski’s names in the credits and that always alluring circus theme and I was ready to be wowed! Are you familiar with the term Krimi? I was not until recently; although I had seen some films that are in fact “Krimi Classics” I was not familiar with the term. The Krimi film movement began during the silent era and was particularly active in the sixties thanks to Rialto Films. The Krimi film movement are German made films based on the work of crime writer Edgar Wallace. Circus of Fear is in fact a UK film but it is also based on the writing of Edgar Wallace. Circus of Fear certainly seemed to have a lot going for it, but sadly it is pretty mediocre.

Circus of Fear opens with a robbery sequence where a guard is shot and a lot of money goes missing. Clues lead Scotland Yard to investigate a travelling circus. The Barberini Circus provides a host of suspicious and eccentric characters. The sack-wearing lion tamer, a jealous knife-thrower and a ringmaster out for revenge are just a few of the suspects. Circus of Fear is messy and convoluted. Somewhere under the rubble is an interesting story that just did not quite materialize. The film is rather horror-less and seemed more like an Agatha Christie sort of thing. Some of the visuals were sloppy. You can tell at times when stock footage is used and the scenes shot in the dark are very difficult to see. Christopher Lee wears an awful, cheap, crappy looking sack for most of the film that irritated the hell out of me. The sack was ill-fitted and the mouth and eyeholes were all wrong! I really hated that damn sack! Is the sack hiding a horribly disfiguring scar or simply his real identity? You will have to watch the film to find out, but don’t expect anything terribly surprising here. Sound was also a problem; it was a challenge at times to make out what the characters were saying.

Circus of Fear does have some fun characters and the performances are good. I particularly enjoyed Margaret Lee who plays the circus’ naughty beauty Gina, Leo Genn is strong as Scotland Yard inspector Elliot, Klaus Kinski has a minor role and doesn’t speak much but still manages to leave an impression, Skip Martin is most amusing in his role as Mr. Big and despite that stupid bloody sack, Christopher Lee is great.

Circus of Fear is not without its entertaining moments. The robbery scene that opens the film is energetic and well-executed. It made for an intriguing introduction. There are also a couple of scenes that are effectively suspenseful; but since there are so few I will not divulge. There is also some humour in Circus of Fear that works quite well. Circus of Fear is rather messy to put it plainly, but it has enjoyable bits scattered throughout to make it watchable enough. Circus of Fear is lightly recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 3/5

Directed By: John Llewellyn Moxey

Starring: Christopher Lee, Leo Genn, Anthony Newlands, Heinz Drache, Eddi Arent, Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Suzy Kendall, Cecil Parker, Victor Maddern, Maurice Kaufmann, Lawrence James, Tom Bowman, Skip Martin, Fred Powell

THE SKULL (1965) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by goregirl

Amicus Production’s The Skull directed by the great Freddie Francis is based on Robert Bloch’s (he of Psycho fame) The Skull of the Marquis de Sade. The film is quite literally about the skull of the Marquis de Sade. I have seen my share of cinema interpretations of the life and work of the Marquis de Sade;  Jesus Franco’s sex-fuelled Justine, Henri Xhonneux’s animated film Marquis, Peter Brook’s Marat/Sade, Philip Kaufman’s Quills and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s positively vile Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom to name a few. If I can say one thing about films based on the Marquis and his work, it is that you never know what the hell you are going to get. The Skull is really quite unlike any of the aforementioned titles. Than again, the film is actually based on Robert Bloch’s fictional story not the actual writing and/or life of the Marquis.

Demonologist Dr. Christopher Maitland, purchases a flesh-bound book allegedly written by Marquis de Sade from shady dealer Anthony Marco. Marco promises to bring the doctor an even grander treasure. The next evening he arrives with the skull of the infamous Marquis de Sade. Cynical of its authenticity Dr. Maitalnd consults with his friend Sir Mathew Phillips who informs him that the skull was stolen from his collection and is indeed authentic. He also warns Maitland of the evil power the skull possesses and strongly urges Maitland not to make the purchase. The warning only serves to intrigue the good doctor who procures the curio for his collection.

The usual depravity, torture and weird sex of most of the Marquis-related stuff are non-existent in The Skull. The premise is that the Marquis de Sade was possessed by some manner of demon or perhaps Satan himself. The skull is prone to glowing green, bewitching its owner to do its bidding and hosting random satanic rituals. It goes without saying that the skull causes all manner of trouble for its newest owner Dr. Christopher Maitland. The effects are limited but there are some nice trippy psychedelic scenes that involve the skull doing things a skull just shouldn’t be able to do. These scenes are admittedly a touch on the hokey side but are nonetheless hugely entertaining! The Skull has a particularly lively and exciting opening scene where we are given a little background on how the skull became unattached from the Marquis’ body. The best scene in the film is one particularly effective nightmare sequence; it alone is worth checking this film out for! The Skull looks extremely well with its immense shadows, fabulous set pieces and tremendously fun POV shots.

Peter Cushing plays Dr. Christopher Maitland and brings the charm, class and talent he brings to everything he graces with his presence. This is definitely Peter Cushing’s film and he is pretty much on screen constantly after the opening bit. It goes without saying that this is a very good thing. The two major supporting roles are also strong with Christopher Lee who plays fellow collector Sir Matthew Phillips and Patrick Wymark as the shady (but not quite sleazy) peddler of art and antiquities.

Keeping in mind that The Skull is about a possessed skull the story is quite coherent and well-written. Freddie Francis’ The Skull is a well acted, great looking trippy film that is solid entertainment! Recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Freddie Francis

Starring: Peter Cushing, Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee, Christopher Lee, Peter Woodthorpe, Michael Gough, George Coulouris, April Olrich, Maurice Good, Anna Palk, Frank Forsyth

Bruno Nicolai – Il trono di fuoco (The Bloody Judge)

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , on April 24, 2012 by goregirl

My newest YouTube video featuring music by Bruno Nicolai with a Christopher Lee slideshow!

Music from Jesus Franco’s 1970 film The Bloody Judge, composed by Bruno Nicolai (Il trono di fuoco).