HAMMER HORROR - Series Two - Card #41 - COUNTESS DRACULA - Strictly Ink 2010

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Seller: jamesmacintyre51 (2,389) 100%, Location: Hexham, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 323876117513 HAMMER HORROR - Series Two - Individual Card from Base Set - Strictly Ink 2010 “Hammer Horror – Series Two” features dramatic images from the following classic Hammer Horror Movies: THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN; DRACULA; THE MUMMY; CAPTAIN KRONOS – VAMPIRE HUNTER; FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL; COUNTESS DRACULA; HANDS OF THE RIPPER; THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES; TWINS OF EVIL; VAMPIRE CIRCUS. The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio's new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and established "Hammer Horror" as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema. The film was directed by Terence Fisher and stars Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein, Hazel Court as Elizabeth, and Christopher Lee as the creature. Plot In 1818, Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is in prison, awaiting execution for murder. He tells the story of his life to a visiting priest. His mother's death leaves the young Frankenstein (Melvyn Hayes) in sole control of the Frankenstein estate. He agrees to continue to pay a monthly allowance to his impoverished Aunt Sophia and his young cousin Elizabeth (whom his aunt suggests will make him a good wife). Soon afterwards, he engages a man named Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart) to tutor him. After several years of intense study, Victor (Peter Cushing) learns all that Krempe can teach him. The duo begin collaborating on scientific experiments. One night, after a successful experiment in which they bring a dead dog back to life, Victor suggests that they create a perfect human being from body parts. Krempe assists Victor at first, but eventually withdraws, unable to tolerate the continued scavenging of human remains, particularly after Victor's fiancee—his now grown-up cousin Elizabeth--(Hazel Court) comes to live with them. Frankenstein assembles his creation with a robber's corpse found on a gallows and both hands and eyes purchased from charnel house workers. For the brain, Victor seeks out an aging and distinguished professor so that the monster can have a sharp mind and the accumulation of a lifetime of knowledge. He invites the professor to his house in the guise of a friendly visit, but pushes him off the top of a staircase, killing him in what appears to others to be an accident. After the professor is buried, Victor proceeds to the vault and removes his brain. Krempe attempts to stop him, and the brain is damaged in the ensuing scuffle. Krempe also tries to persuade Elizabeth to leave the house, as he has before, but she refuses. With all of the parts assembled, Frankenstein brings life to the monster (Christopher Lee). Unfortunately, the creature's damaged brain (and possibly its memory of Victor's murder) leaves him violent and psychotic, without the professor's intelligence. Frankenstein locks the creature up, but it escapes, killing an old blind man it encounters in the woods. Victor and Krempe shoot him down with a shotgun in the head (although it leaves a small bullet wound instead of a blasting shell damage), and bury it in the woods. After Krempe leaves town, Frankenstein digs up and revives the creature. He uses it to murder his maid, Justine (Valerie Gaunt), who claims she is pregnant by him and threatens to tell the authorities about his strange experiments if he refuses to marry her. Paul returns to the house the evening before Victor and Elizabeth are to be married at Elizabeth's invitation. Victor shows Paul the revived creature, and Paul says that he is going to report Victor to the authorities immediately. During the scuffle that follows, the creature escapes to the castle roof, where it threatens Elizabeth. Victor throws an oil lantern at it, setting it aflame; it falls through a skylight into a bath of acid. Its body dissolves completely, leaving no proof that it ever existed. Victor is imprisoned for Justine's murder. The priest does not believe Frankenstein's story. When Krempe visits, Frankenstein begs him to testify that it was the creature who killed Justine, but he refuses and denies all knowledge of the experiment. Krempe leaves Frankenstein and joins Elizabeth, telling her there is nothing they can do for him. Frankenstein is led away to the guillotine. Cast Peter Cushing as Baron Victor von Frankenstein Christopher Lee as the Creature Hazel Court as Elizabeth Robert Urquhart as Dr. Paul Krempe Valerie Gaunt as Justine Noel Hood as Aunt Sophia Melvyn Hayes as Young Victor Paul Hardtmuth as Professor Bernstein Fred Johnson as Grandpa Production Peter Cushing, who was then best known for his leading roles in British television, was sought out by Hammer for this film. Christopher Lee's casting, meanwhile, resulted largely from his height (6' 5"). Hammer had earlier considered the even taller (6 '7") Bernard Bresslaw for the role. Universal fought hard to prevent Hammer from duplicating aspects of their 1931 film, and so it was down to make-up artist Phil Leakey to design a new-look creature bearing no resemblance to the Boris Karloff original created by Jack Pierce. Production of The Curse of Frankenstein began, with an investment of £65,000, on 19 November 1956 at Bray Studios with a scene showing Baron Frankenstein cutting down a highwayman from a wayside gibbet. The film opened at the London Pavilion on 2 May 1957 with an X certificate from the censors. Remastering The film has been remastered in the open matte aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The restored film will include the magnified eyeball shot, missing from the U.S print, but not the head in the acid bath scene which remains lost. Reception Box office The film was a tremendous financial success and reportedly grossed more than 70 times its production cost during its original theatrical run. Critical reception When it was first released, The Curse of Frankenstein outraged many reviewers. Dilys Powell of The Sunday Times wrote that such productions left her unable to "defend the cinema against the charge that it debases", while the Tribune opined that the film was "Depressing and degrading for anyone who loves the cinema". In the United Kingdom, the Monthly Film Bulletin declared that the Frankenstein story was "sacrificed by an ill-made script, poor direction and performance, and above all, a preoccupation with disgusting-not horrific-charnelry" The review did praise some elements of the film, noting "excellent art direction and colour" and the film score. Reactions were mixed in the US. Film Bulletin wrote "rattling good horror show . . . the Frankenstein monster has been ghoulishly and somewhat gleefully resurrected by our English cousins". Harrison's Reports, "well produced but extremely gruesome . . . the photography is very fine, and so is the acting". Bosley Crowther in The New York Times was dismissive "routine horror picture" and oddly enough opined that "everything that happens, has happened the same way in previous films." Variety noted "Peter Cushing gets every inch of drama from the leading role, making almost believable the ambitious urge and diabolical accomplishment." The film was very popular with the public, however, and today's directors such as Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton have paid tribute to it as an influence on their work. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 80%, based on 15 reviews, with a rating average of 7/10. Sequels Unlike the Universal Frankenstein series of the 1930s and 1940s, in which the character of the Monster was the recurring figure while the doctors frequently changed, it is Baron Frankenstein that is the connective character throughout the Hammer series, while the monsters change. Peter Cushing played the Baron in each film except for The Horror of Frankenstein, which was a remake of the original (Curse of Frankenstein) done with a more satiric touch, and it featured a young cast headed by Ralph Bates and Veronica Carlson. The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) The Horror of Frankenstein (1970, non-Cushing) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) In other media A novelization of the film was written by John Burke as part of his 1966 book The Hammer Horror Film Omnibus. The film was adapted as fumetti by Warren Publishing in 1966 (along with Horror of Dracula). It was also adapted into a 20-page comic strip published in two parts in the December 1976 and January 1977 issues of the magazine The House of Hammer (volume 1, issue #'s 2 and 3, published by General Book Distribution). It was drawn by Alberto Cuyas from a script by Donne Avenell (based on the John Burke novelization). The cover of issue 2 featured a painting by Brian Lewis of the Baron being attacked by his creation. Dracula is a 1958 Technicolor British horror film directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster based on Bram Stoker's novel of the same name. The first in the series of Hammer Horror films inspired by Dracula, the film stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, and Melissa Stribling. In the United States, the film was retitled Horror of Dracula to avoid confusion with the earlier Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi, and the film was released in the U.S. in 1958 on a double bill with the Universal film The Thing That Couldn't Die. Production began at Bray Studios on 17 November 1957 with an investment of £81,000. Plot summary In May 1885, Jonathan Harker arrives at the castle of Count Dracula near Klausenburg (Cluj), to take up his post as librarian. Inside, he is startled by a young woman who claims she is a prisoner and begs for his help. Dracula then appears to greet Harker and guide him to his room, where he locks him in. Jonathan starts to write in his diary, and his true intentions are revealed: he is a vampire hunter and has come to kill Dracula. Freed sometime later, Harker again is confronted by the desperate woman. She begs him for help but then bites his neck. Just as she does, Dracula – fangs bared and lips bloody – arrives and pulls her away. When he awakens in daylight, Harker finds the bite marks on his neck, knowing that he is doomed to become undead unless he kills Dracula. After writing his final entry, he hides his journal in a shrine to the Virgin Mary outside the castle and descends into the crypt, where he finds Dracula and the vampire woman resting in their coffins. Armed with a stake, he impales the woman, who, as he looks on, immediately ages from young to old. Whilst he does this, the sun sets, and when he turns to Dracula's coffin with the intention of killing the vampire, he finds it empty. Looking up, Harker is in time to see the Count shut the door and they are both plunged into darkness... A few days have passed Dr. Van Helsing then arrives in Klausenburg, looking for Harker. An innkeeper's daughter gives him Harker's journal. When he arrives at the castle a hearse carriage speeds by with a coffin in it, nearly hitting him. Searching the castle he find it deserted though comes across the portrait Harker had of Lucy and Mina only with the photos now gone. Exploring further, Helsing eventually reaches the crypt where he finds the remains of the vampire woman and, to his horror, Harker in Dracula's coffin, transformed into a vampire. Helsing solemnly stakes Harker before he leaves to deliver the veiled news of Harker's death in person to a wary Arthur Holmwood and his wife Mina, brother and sister-in-law of Harker's fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Lucy is ill, so the news is kept from her and Lucy's little niece, Tania. But, when night falls, Lucy removes the crucifix from round her neck, opens the doors to her terrace and lays bare her neck – already, it bears the mark of a vampire bite. Soon Dracula arrives and bites her again. Mina seeks out Van Helsing's aid in treating Lucy's declining health, but Lucy begs Gerda the maid to remove his prescribed garlic bouquets, and she dies. Realizing that Lucy will arise as a vampire, Van Helsing turns over Harker's diary journal to the grief-stricken Arthur to reveal the truth about Jonathan's death. Three days after Lucy is interred, Tania is spirited away into the night and is returned by a policeman, claiming Lucy had beckoned her. Later that same night, Lucy, now undead and evil, lures away Tania once more to a graveyard with the intent to feed on her and turn her into a vampire. But the child is saved when Arthur, after discovering Lucy's empty coffin, spots them and calls out to Lucy. Lucy turns her attention to him but Van Helsing manages to ward her off with a cross and forces her to flee back to her crypt. Arthur, now accepting the truth of Lucy's vampirism, asks Van Helsing why Dracula targeted her. Van Helsing explains that Lucy is both Dracula's revenge against Harker and a replacement for the bride killed by him. Van Helsing suggests using Lucy as a means to find Dracula. But Arthur refuses as it runs the risk of her biting someone else, and he does not want to see Lucy corrupted any further, so Van Helsing agrees to destroy her. After taking Tania home, they return to Lucy's coffin to stake her. Arthur is initially resistant to this method, describing it as "horrible," but agrees after Van Helsing explains that the Lucy he knows is long dead and is nothing more than a "shell", a walking corpse under Dracula's command, and the only way to grant her eternal peace is to destroy her body. Van Helsing stakes her in her coffin and, when Arthur takes one final look at Lucy's body, he sees her body free of corruption and finally at peace. Van Helsing and Arthur travel to the customs house in Ingolstadt to track down the destination of Dracula's coffin (which Van Helsing saw carried away when he arrived at Dracula's castle). Meanwhile, Mina is called away from home by a message telling her to meet Arthur at an address in Karlstadt – the same address Arthur and Van Helsing are told the coffin was bound for – and Dracula is indeed waiting for her. The next morning, Arthur and Van Helsing find Mina in a strange state. They leave for the address they were given, an undertaker's, but find the coffin missing. When they decide to set off again to inspect an old graveyard they suspect might be the coffin's new resting place, Arthur tries to give Mina a cross to wear, but it burns her, revealing that she is infected by vampirism and is slowly turning into a vampire herself. During the night, Van Helsing and Arthur guard Mina's windows outside against a return of Dracula, but Dracula nonetheless appears inside the house and bites her. She is saved when Arthur agrees to give her an emergency blood transfusion administered by Van Helsing. When Arthur asks Gerda to fetch some wine from the cellar, she tells him that Mina had forbidden her to go to the cellar. Upon hearing this, Van Helsing realizes the coffin's location: the cellar of the Holmwoods' own house. He bolts downstairs to find it but Dracula is not in the coffin and instead escapes into the night with Mina, intent on making her a new bride. After planting a cross inside Dracula's coffin, he and Holmwood realize that Dracula now has only his castle to hide in. A chase then begins as Dracula rushes to return to his castle near Klausenberg before sunrise. He attempts to bury Mina alive outside the crypts but is caught by Van Helsing and Arthur. Inside the castle, Van Helsing and Dracula struggle. Van Helsing tears open the curtain to let in the sunlight and, forming a cross from two candlesticks, he forces Dracula into it. Dracula crumbles into dust as Van Helsing looks on. Mina recovers, the cross-shaped scar fading from her hand, indicating that she has been saved. As she recovers, Dracula's ashes blow away, leaving only his clothes and ring behind. Cast Christopher Lee as Count Dracula Peter Cushing as Abraham Van Helsing Michael Gough as Arthur Holmwood Melissa Stribling as Mina Holmwood Carol Marsh as Lucy Holmwood John Van Eyssen as Jonathan Harker Janina Faye as Tania Charles Lloyd-Pack as John Seward George Merritt as Policeman George Woodbridge as Landlord George Benson as Frontier Official Miles Malleson as Undertaker Geoffrey Bayldon as Porter Olga Dickie as Gerda Barbara Archer as Inga Valerie Gaunt as a Bride of Dracula Production Special effects The filming of Dracula's destruction included a shot in which Dracula appears to peel away his decaying skin. This was accomplished by putting a layer of red makeup on Lee's face, and then covering his entire face with a thin coating of mortician's wax, which was then made up to conform to his normal skin tone. When he raked his fingers across the wax, it revealed the "raw" marks underneath. This startling sequence was cut out, but was restored for the 2012 Blu-ray release, using footage from a badly damaged Japanese print. Zodiac wheel in final scene At the end of the film, Dracula is destroyed on an inlaid Zodiac wheel on the floor, which has several quotes in Latin and Greek. The inner circle in Greek has a quote from Homer's Odyssey Book 18.136–7: "τοῖος γὰρ νόος ἐστὶν ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων οἷον ἐπ᾽ ἦμαρ ἄγησι πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε" ("The mind of men who live on the earth is such as the day the father of gods and men [Zeus] brings upon them.") The outer wheel is written in Latin, and is a quote from Hesiod via Bartolomeo Anglico (De proprietatibus rerum, Book 8, Chapter 2): "Tellus vero primum siquidem genuit parem sibi coelum stellis ornatum, ut ipsam totam obtegat, utque esset beatis Diis sedes tuta semper." ("And Earth first bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods.") Dracula's ring is left on the glyph of the sign of Aquarius on the Zodiac wheel. Reception Dracula was a critical and commercial success upon its release and was well received by critics and fans of Stoker's works. The film currently scores 91% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's consensus states: "Trading gore for grandeur, Horror of Dracula marks an impressive turn for inveterate Christopher Lee as the titular vampire, and a typical Hammer mood that makes aristocracy quite sexy." The trade journal reviews from 1958 were very positive. Film Bulletin noted, "As produced by Anthony Hinds in somber mid-Victorian backgrounds . . . and directed by Terence Fisher with an immense flair for the blood-curdling shot, this Technicolor nightmare should prove a real treat. The James Bernard score is monumentally sinister and the Jack Asher photography full of foreboding atmosphere." Harrison's Reports was particularly enthusiastic, "Of all the "Dracula" horror pictures thus far produced, this one, made in Britain and photographed in Technicolor, tops them all. Its shock impact is, in fact, so great that it may well be considered as one of the best horror films ever made. What makes this picture superior is the expert treatment that takes full advantage of the story's shock values." Vincent Canby in Motion Picture Daily said, "Hammer Films, the same British production unit which last year restored Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to its rightful place in the screen's chamber of horrors, has now even more successfully brought back the granddaddy of all vampires, Count Dracula. It's chillingly realistic in detail (and at times as gory as the law allows). The physical production is first rate, including the settings, costumes, Eastman Color photography and special effects.". Release Original The film was released in the U.S. in 1958 on a double bill with the Universal film The Thing That Couldn't Die. Home media The film made its first appearance on DVD in 2002 in a US stand-alone and was later re-released on 6 November 2007 in a film pack along with Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, and Dracula A.D. 1972; which was part of Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema's "4 Film Favorites" line of DVDs. On 7 September 2010, Turner Classic Movies released the film in a 4-Pack along with Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, The Curse of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. The film was released on DVD in the UK in October 2002 alongside The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy in a box-set entitled Hammer Horror Originals. The film was digitally restored and re-released in the UK by the BFI in 2007. When the film was originally released in the UK, the BBFC gave it an X rating, being cut, while the 2007 uncut re-release was given a 12A. For many years historians have pointed to the fact that an even longer, more explicit, version of the film played in Japanese and European cinemas in 1958. Efforts to locate the legendary "Japanese version" of Dracula had been fruitless. In September 2011, Hammer announced that part of the Japanese release had been found by writer and cartoonist Simon Rowson in the National Film Center at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. The first five reels of the film held by the center were destroyed in a fire in 1984, but the last four reels were recovered. The recovered reels include the last 36 minutes of the film and includes two extended scenes, one of which is the discovery of a complete version of the film's iconic disintegration scene. The announcement mentioned a HD telecine transfer of all four reels with a view for a future UK release. On 29 December 2012, Hammer announced that the restored film would be released on a three-disc, double play Blu-ray Disc set in the UK on 18 March 2013. This release contains the 2007 BFI restoration along with the 2012 high-definition Hammer restoration which includes footage which was previously believed to be lost. The set contains both Blu-ray Disc and DVD copies of the film as well as several bonus documentaries covering the film's production, censorship and restoration processes. Comic book adaption The House of Hammer #1 (October 1976) Sequels After the success of Dracula, Hammer went on to produce eight sequels, six of which feature Lee reprising the titular role, and four of which feature Cushing reprising the role of Van Helsing. The Brides of Dracula (1960) Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) Scars of Dracula (1970) Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) The Mummy is a 1959 British horror film, directed by Terence Fisher and starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It was written by Jimmy Sangster and produced by Michael Carreras and Anthony Nelson Keys for Hammer Film Productions. The film was distributed in the U.S. in 1959 on a double bill with either the Vincent Price movie The Bat or the Universal film Curse of the Undead. Though the title suggests Universal Pictures' 1932 film of the same name, the film actually derives its plot and characters entirely from two 1940s Universal films, The Mummy's Hand and The Mummy's Tomb, with the climax borrowed directly from The Mummy's Ghost. The character name Joseph Whemple, the use of a sacred scroll, and a few minor plot elements are the only connections with the 1932 version. Plot In Egypt in 1895, archaeologists John Banning (Cushing), his father Stephen (Felix Aylmer) and his uncle Joseph Whemple (Raymond Huntley) are searching for the tomb of Princess Ananka, the high priestess of the god Karnak. John has a broken leg and cannot accompany his father and uncle when they open the tomb (According to Cushing's diary, he had twisted his leg before the filming, so the script was adapted to let him recover.) Before they enter, an Egyptian named Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) warns them not to go in, lest they face the fatal curse against desecrators. Stephen and Joseph ignore him, and discover within the sarcophagus of Ananka. After Joseph leaves to tell John the good news, Stephen finds the Scroll of Life and reads from it. He then screams off-screen and is found in a catatonic state. Three years later, back in England, Stephen Banning comes out of his catatonia at the Engerfield Nursing Home for the Mentally Disordered, and sends for his son. He tells him that when he read from the Scroll of Life, he unintentionally brought back to life Kharis (Lee), the mummified high priest of Karnak. He was sentenced to be entombed alive to serve as the guardian of Princess Ananka's tomb as punishment for attempting to bring her back to life out of forbidden love. Now, Stephen tells his disbelieving son that Kharis will hunt down and kill all those who desecrated Ananka's tomb. Meanwhile, Mehemet Bey, revealed as a devoted worshiper of Karnak, comes to Engerfield under the alias of Mehemet Akir to wreak vengeance on the Bannings. He hires a pair of drunken carters, Pat and Mike, to bring the slumbering Kharis in a crate to his rented home, but the two men's drunken driving cause Kharis' crate to fall off and sink into a bog. Later, using the Scroll of Life, Mehemet exhorts Kharis to rise from the mud, then sends him to murder Stephen Banning. When Kharis kills Joseph Whemple the next night, he does so before the eyes of John Banning, who shoots him with a revolver at close range, but to no effect. Police Inspector Mulrooney is assigned to solve the murders but, because he is skeptical and deals only in "cold, hard facts", he does not believe John's incredible story about a killer mummy, even when John tells him that he is likely to be Kharis' third victim. While Mulrooney investigates, John notices that his wife Isobel bears an uncanny resemblance to Princess Ananka. Gathering testimonial evidence from other individuals in the community, Mulrooney slowly begins to wonder if the mummy is real. Mehemet Bey sends the mummy to the Bannings' home to slay his final victim. However, when Isobel rushes to her husband's aid, Kharis sees her, releases John, and leaves. Mehemet Bey mistakenly believes that Kharis has completed his task, and prepares to return to Egypt. John, suspecting Mehemet Bay of being the one controlling the mummy, pays him a visit, much to his surprise. After John leaves, Mehemet Bey leads Kharis in a second attempt on John's life. The mummy knocks Mulrooney unconscious, while Mehemet Bey deals with another policeman guarding the house. Kharis finds John in his study and starts to choke him. Alerted by John's shouts, Isobel runs to the house without Mulrooney; at first, the mummy does not recognise her, but John tells her to loose her hair and the mummy releases John. When Mehemet orders Kharis to kill Isobel, he refuses; Mehemet tries to murder Isobel himself, but is himself killed by Kharis instead. The mummy carries the unconscious Isobel into the swamp, followed by John, Mulrooney and other policemen. John yells to Isobel; when she regains consciousness, she tells Kharis to put her down. The mummy reluctantly obeys. When Isobel has moved away from him, the policemen open fire, causing Kharis to sink into a quagmire, taking the Scroll of Life with him. Cast Peter Cushing as John Banning Christopher Lee as Kharis Yvonne Furneaux as Isobel Banning / Princess Ananka Eddie Byrne as Inspector Mulrooney Felix Aylmer as Stephen Banning Raymond Huntley as Joseph Whemple George Pastell as Mehemet Bey Michael Ripper as Poacher George Woodbridge as P. C. Blake Harold Goodwin as Pat Denis Shaw as Mike Gerald Lawson as Irish Customer Willoughby Gray as Dr. Reilly John Stuart as Coroner David Browning as Police Sergeant Frank Sieman as Bill Stanley Meadows as Attendant Frank Singuineau as Head Porter Production Originally the scenes of Kharis' tongue cut out, and shotgun demise were more graphic, but were trimmed for the British censor. In the video, Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror, Peter Cushing claims that he suggested the scene in which he drives a spear through the mummy. He was inspired by the pre-release poster (see image above) which shows the mummy with a shaft of light passing through it. Critical reception The Mummy was a success with critics. The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films wrote of the film: "Structurally little more than a string of picturesque and nice-lit killings, The Mummy's melancholic presentation and romantic undertow grants it a certain atmosphere which elevates this bandaged brute far beyond its cinematic predecessors." It currently holds a very positive 100% "Fresh" on film review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes with a rating average of 7.9/10 based on 8 reviews. In other media The film was adapted into a 12-page comic strip for the July 1978 issue of the magazine Hammer's Halls of Horror. It was drawn by David Jackson from a script by Steve Moore. The cover of the issue featured a painting by Brian Lewis of Christopher Lee as Kharis. Surviving props A glass fiber replica of a sarcophagus created for the film is in the collection of the Perth Museum and Art Gallery. Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter is a 1974 British horror film. It was written and directed by Brian Clemens, produced by Clemens and Albert Fennell for Hammer Film Productions, and belatedly released on 7 April 1974. It stars Horst Janson in the title role, along with John Carson, Shane Briant and Caroline Munro. The music score was composed by Laurie Johnson, supervised by Philip Martell. It was intended as the first of a series of films focused on the title character and his companions. The film was rated R in North America. This was Clemens's only project as a director. Plot When his village is plagued by mysterious deaths, marked by highly accelerated aging, Dr. Marcus calls in his army friend, Captain Kronos. Kronos and his companion, the hunchback Hieronymus Grost, are professional vampire hunters. Grost explains to the initially sceptical Marcus that the dead women are victims of a vampire who drains not blood but youth, and that there are "as many species of vampire as there are beasts of prey." The discovery of another victim confirms Grost's explanation. Along the way, Kronos and Grost take in a local barefoot gypsy girl, Carla, who had been sentenced to the stocks for dancing on the Sabbath. She repays them by helping them hunt the vampire; she later becomes Kronos' lover. Grost and Kronos conduct a mystical test that indicates the presence of vampires. Their findings are contradicted by an eyewitness who claims to have seen "someone old, very old", whereas a youth-draining vampire should appear youthful. Marcus visits the family of his late friend, Lord Hagen Durward, and speaks with Durward's son, Paul (Shane Briant), and his beautiful sister Sara (Lois Daine). He must leave before speaking with the bed-ridden Lady Durward. While riding through the woods, Marcus encounters a cloaked figure that leaves him shaken, and he finds blood on his lips. At a tavern, Kronos defeats thugs led by Kerro, who were hired by Lady Durward's coachman to murder him. Kronos, Grost, Marcus and Carla set up a network of alarm bells in the woods to announce the passage of vampires. Meanwhile, a large bat attacks and kills a young woman. Marcus realises that he has become a vampire and begs Kronos to kill him. After various methods (including impalement with a stake and hanging) fail, Kronos accidentally pierces Marcus's chest with a cross of steel that Marcus had been wearing round his neck. Having thus determined the vampire’s weakness, Kronos and Grost obtain an iron cross from a cemetery. They are accosted by angry villagers who believe that they murdered Dr. Marcus. Grost forges the cross into a sword while Kronos conducts a knightly vigil. After seeing the Durward carriage flee the scene of a vampire attack, Kronos suspects Sara as the vampire. Carla seeks refuge at Durward Manor to distract the household while Kronos sneaks inside. The "bedridden" Lady Durward reveals herself as the newly-youthful vampire, and she hypnotises Carla and the Durward siblings. Lady Durward has raised her husband Hagen from the grave. She offers the mesmerised Carla to her husband, but Kronos erupts from hiding. Kronos uses the new sword's mirrored blade to turn Lady Durward’s hypnotic gaze against her. He kills Lord Durward in a duel, and then destroys Lady Durward. The next day, Kronos bids Carla goodbye, before he and Grost ride on to new adventures. Cast Horst Janson as Captain Kronos John Cater as Professor Hieronymus Grost Caroline Munro as Carla John Carson as Dr. Marcus Shane Briant as Paul Durward Lois Daine as Sara Durward Wanda Ventham as Lady Durward Ian Hendry as Kerro William Hobbs as Hagen Paul Greenwood as Giles Lisa Collings as Vanda Sorell Brian Tully as George Sorell Robert James as Pointer Perry Soblosky as Barlow John Hollis as Barman Susanna East as Isabella Sorell Stafford Gordon as Barton Sorell Elizabeth Dear as Ann Sorell Joanna Ross as Myra Neil Seiler as Priest Olga Anthony as Lilian Gigi Gurpinar as Blind Girl Peter Davidson as Big Man Terence Sewards as Tom Trevor Lawrence as Deke Jacqui Cook as Barmaid B. H. Barry, Michael Buchanan, Steve James, Ian McKay, Barry Smith, Roger Williams as Villagers Linda Cunningham as Jane Caroline Villiers as Petra Julian Holloway - Kronos's voice Critical reception AllMovie called it "one of the last great Hammer Films productions." In later years, the film became a cult classic, largely because of its unusual mix of supernatural horror and swashbuckling action. It was to launch a set of new Hammer films, but into the 1970s the studio landed in financial troubles and ended up shutting down. Novelisation A novelisation of the film was released, written by Guy Adams under the title Kronos and published by Arrow Publishing in association with Hammer and the Random House Group in 2011. Comic book adaption The House of Hammer #1-3 (October 1976-January 1977) Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell is a 1974 British horror film, directed by Terence Fisher and produced by Hammer Film Productions. It stars Peter Cushing, Shane Briant and David Prowse. Filmed at Elstree Studios in 1972 but not released until 1974, it was the final chapter in the Hammer Frankenstein saga of films as well as director Fisher's last film. The film was released on UK DVD+Blu-ray on 28 April 2014, with all previously censored scenes restored. Plot Baron Victor Frankenstein (Cushing) is housed at an insane asylum where he has been made a surgeon at the asylum, and has a number of privileges, as he holds secret information on Adolf Klauss, the asylum's corrupt and perverted director (John Stratton). The Baron, under the alias of Dr. Carl Victor, uses his position to continue his experiments in the creation of man. When Simon Helder (Briant), a young doctor and an admirer of the Baron's work, arrives as an inmate for bodysnatching, the Baron is impressed by Helder's talents and takes him under his wing as an apprentice. Together they work on the design for a new creature. Unknown to Simon, however, Frankenstein is acquiring body parts by murdering his patients. The Baron's new experiment is the hulking, ape-like Herr Schneider (Prowse), a homicidal inmate whom he has kept alive after a violent suicide attempt and on whom he has grafted the hands of a recently deceased sculptor (Bernard Lee). Since Frankenstein's hands were badly burned in the name of science (possibly in The Evil of Frankenstein or Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed), the shabby stitch-work was done by Sarah (Madeline Smith), a beautiful mute girl who assists the surgeon, and who is nicknamed "Angel". Simon tells the Baron that he is a surgeon and the problem is solved. The Baron reveals that Sarah is the daughter of the director and has been mute ever since he tried to rape her. Soon new eyes and a new brain are given to the creature. When the creature – lumbering, hirsute and dumb – is complete, it becomes bitter and intent on revenge. It ultimately runs mad on a killing spree in the asylum, killing several individuals, including Klauss. Eventually, it is fully overpowered and destroyed by a mob of inmates. Simon is devastated by the loss of life and reports to Frankenstein; however, the Baron feels that it was the best that could happen to such a creature, and is already considering a new experiment with other involuntary donors. The three start tidying up the laboratory whilst Frankenstein ponders who should be first to "donate"... Cast Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein/ Dr. Carl Victor Shane Briant as Dr. Simon Helder Madeline Smith as Sarah "Angel" Klauss David Prowse as the Creature/ Herr Schneider John Stratton as Asylum Director Adolf Klauss Michael Ward as Transient Elsie Wagstaff as Wild one Norman Mitchell as Police Sergeant Clifford Mollison as Judge Patrick Troughton as Bodysnatcher Philip Voss as Ernst Christopher Cunningham as Hans Charles Lloyd-Pack as Professor Durendel Lucy Griffiths as Old hag Bernard Lee as Tarmut Sydney Bromley as Muller Andrea Lawrence as Brassy girl Jerold Wells as Landlord Sheila Dunion as Gerda Mischa de la Motte as Twitch Norman Atkyns as Smiler Victor Woolf as Letch Winifred Sabine as Mouse Janet Hargreaves as Challer Peter Madden as Coach driver Production This was the sixth and last time that Peter Cushing portrayed the role of the obsessively driven Baron Frankenstein, a part he originated in 1957's The Curse of Frankenstein. Cushing had long been known throughout his career for his meticulous attention to detail, even in the planned handling and usage of props. For this film, he helped to design the wig that he wore, but years afterward regretted the outcome, and jokingly quipped that it made him look more like stage and screen actress Helen Hayes. But Cushing's dedication to his role was never truly dampened, and at age 59, looking somewhat gaunt and fragile, he still insisted upon performing a daring stunt which required him to leap from a tabletop onto the hulking creature's back, spinning wildly in circles to subdue the monster gone amok with a sedative. David Prowse makes his second appearance as a Frankenstein laboratory creation in this film, his first having been in The Horror of Frankenstein. He is the only actor to have played a Hammer Frankenstein's monster more than once. During the DVD commentary session for this movie, Prowse said that his daily transformation into "The Monster From Hell" went fairly quickly, being able to suit up and pull on the mask in only about 30 minutes – whereas his time in the make-up chair for his previous Hammer monster role typically required several tedious hours. Critical reception Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell has received a mixed reception from critics. Of the film, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films wrote: "Terence Fisher's haunting, melancholy swansong would be an epitaph for Hammer horror itself." Time Out wrote, "Fisher's last film is a disappointment." The film itself performed poorly at the box office.But despite this, the film currently holds an average three star rating (6.3/10) on IMDb and has fared better with modern critics. It was released in certain markets with another Hammer film, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. Countess Dracula is a 1971 British horror film based on the legends surrounding the "Blood Countess" Elizabeth Báthory. It is in many ways atypical of Hammer's canon, an attempt to diversify the studio's output from Dracula and Frankenstein sequels. The film was produced by Alexander Paal and directed by Peter Sasdy, both Hungarian émigrés working in England. The original music score was composed by Harry Robertson. Countess Dracula was also released on a double bill with Vampire Circus. In 17th-century Hungary, recently widowed Countess Elisabeth Nádasdy discovers that her youthful appearance and libido can be temporarily restored if she bathes in the blood of young women. She enlists her steward and lover Captain Dobi and her maid Julie to help with the kidnap and murder of several local girls, whilst having another sexual affair with a young Lieutenant, Imre Toth. As a cover for her crimes while in her rejuvenated state, she takes the identity of her own daughter, Countess Ilona, whom she had Dobi held captive in the wood. However, castle historian Fabio grows suspicious. Eventually, she kills a prostitute called Ziza and it doesn't help, Dobi finds Fabio who has a chapter about blood sacrifices and tells Elisabeth the truth in return for being allowed to live, he says only a virgin sacrifice will work to help Elisabeth remain young and beautiful. She then kills more virgins, from peasant girls to the servant girls in the palace. Fabio tries to tell Toth the truth about his lover, but Dobi kills him before he can. He then shows Toth Elisabeth to jade him away from her. Elisabeth forces Toth into marrying her but her daughter Ilona arrives home, Elisabeth grows old again and tries to kill her daughter but kills Toth instead. Elisabeth, Dobi, and her maid are sentenced to death for their crimes and are last seen awaiting the hangman in their cell. In the last scene, the peasants curse her as "devil woman" and "Countess Dracula". Countess Dracula was based on Hungarian Countess Erzsebet Báthory (1560-1614), who was responsible for the deaths of allegedly 600 girls and young women, all of which involved torture and gruesome methods of killing. Cast Ingrid Pitt as Countess Elisabeth Nadasdy (Voice dubbed by Olive Gregg, uncredited) Nigel Green as Captain Dobi, the castle steward Sandor Elès as Lt. Imre Toth Maurice Denham as Grand Master Fabio, castle historian Patience Collier as Julie Szentes, the Nurse Lesley-Anne Down as Countess Ilona Nadasdy, Elisabeth's daughter Peter Jeffrey as Captain Balogh, chief bailiff Leon Lissek as Sergeant of Bailiffs Jessie Evans as Rosa, Teri's mother Andrea Lawrence as Ziza, the whore at the Shepperd's Inn Susan Brodrick as Teri, the chambermaid Nike Arrighi as Fortune-telling gypsy girl Marianne Stone as Kitchen Maid Charles Farrell as The Seller Anne Stallybrass as Pregnant Woman Alex Greenland (uncredited) as Choir Boy Critical reception Allmovie has retrospectively called the film "one of the more underrated films from the latter days of the Hammer Films dynasty." The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, on the other hand, wrote that the film's "distinctly anemic blood-lettings fail to lift a rather tiresome tale of court intrigue." New York Times film critic Howard Thompson considered it "better than most [horror movies] in a sea of trashy competition", and called Peter Sasdy's direction "smooth and pointed" with "crisp, cutting edge" dialogue, until the last act of the film where "it runs out of gas, along with the desperate old woman [Countess Elizabeth]." Availability The film is available on DVD from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the USA as a double-bill with The Vampire Lovers, and from Carlton in the UK in a box set with Twins of Evil and Vampire Circus. Synapse released a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack in the U.S. in 2014, which featured a new high-definition transfer. Hands of the Ripper is a 1971 British horror film directed by Peter Sasdy for Hammer Film Productions. It was written by L. W. Davidson from a story by Edward Spencer Shew, and produced by Aida Young. Plot The infant daughter of Jack the Ripper is witness to the brutal murder of her mother by her father. Fifteen years later she is a troubled young woman who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her late father. While in a trance she continues his murderous killing spree but has no recollection of the events afterwards. A sympathetic psychiatrist takes her in and is convinced he can cure her condition. However, he soon regrets his decision... Cast Eric Porter as Dr. John Pritchard Angharad Rees as Anna Jane Merrow as Laura Keith Bell as Michael Pritchard Derek Godfrey as Mr. Dysart Dora Bryan as Mrs. "Granny" Golding Marjorie Rhodes as Mrs. Bryant Lynda Baron as Long Liz Marjie Lawrence as Dolly, the maid Margaret Rawlings as Madame Bullard Elizabeth MacLennan as Mrs. Wilson Barry Lowe as Mr. Wilson April Wilding as Catherine Production The film featured veteran British actor Eric Porter as the doctor and also stars Jane Merrow, Keith Bell and Derek Godfrey. The film had an early starring role for Angharad Rees. Later in the 1970s, she appeared with Robin Ellis, Ralph Bates and an all star cast in the BBC TV costume drama Poldark. It was filmed at Pinewood Studios, with some location work at St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Critical reception Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 80%, based on 5 reviews, with a rating average of 7.1/10. However audience reviews were mixed with and approval rating of 50% based on 137 reviews, with a rating average of 3.2/5. Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film 2 1/2 out of a possible 4 stars. In his review he stated that the film had "[a] good atmosphere and solid performances, but after a good start, dissolves into a series of bloody murders." The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films wrote that the film "expertly mixes the sophistication expect of Hammer's films with the gore its new audiences demanded." Andy Boot considers the film "flawed, and so close to the fag end of Gothic that it could almost be a parody," but that it is " nonetheless a film well worth watching". He opines that Peter Sasdy "atoned for his appalling Countess Dracula with a much pacier handling of this story." Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 80%, based on 5 reviews, with a rating average of 7.1/10. However audience reviews were mixed with and approval rating of 50% based on 137 reviews, with a rating average of 3.2/5. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires is a 1974 horror film produced by Hammer Studios and Shaw Brothers Studio. It is the ninth and final film in the Hammer Dracula series. It was released in North America in an edited version as The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula, and alternatively known as The Seven Brothers and Their One Sister Meet Dracula. The film is notable for having an actor other than Christopher Lee portray Count Dracula in the Hammer Dracula series; before this film was made, Lee left the role of the Count. The role of Dracula is played by John Forbes-Robertson (though the actor's voice is dubbed by David de Keyser). Storyline Prologue In Transylvania in 1804, a lone shaman figure makes his way through the countryside and into the towering Castle Dracula. He heads over to the tomb of the legendary vampire before summoning him. Soon, Count Dracula appears from his crypt and demands who has disturbed him. The figure announces, in his own language, that his name is Kah, a Taoist monk and High Priest of the Seven Golden Vampires in rural China. He goes on to tell the Count that the Golden Vampires' power is fading and he needs him to restore their former glory. Dracula considers the offer and accepts on one condition: that he takes on Kah's body and image to escape his castle, which has become his prison. Despite pleas for mercy, the vampire takes hold of Kah in a cloud of unearthly mist and they are both subdued. When the mist clears, Kah speaks with the voice of Count Dracula, who then triumphantly leaves the tomb, bound for China... Plot In 1904, Professor Lawrence Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) gives a lecture at a Chungking university on Chinese vampire legend. He speaks of an unknown rural village that has been terrorised by a cult of seven known as 'Golden Vampires' for many years. He goes on to explain that a simple farmer, armed with a pitch-fork and who had lost his wife to the vampires, trekked his way to the temple of the vampires, where he saw many other unfortunate women strapped to tables, waiting for their blood to be drained. The farmer burst in and battled the vampires. He is unsuccessful as his wife is killed in the fight, but in the chaos, he grabbed a bat-like medallion from around one of the vampire's necks, which he sees as the vampires' life source. Defeated, the farmer flees the temple, but the High Priest orders the vampires after him. After they leave on horseback, the High Priest summons the vampire's former victims: the 'Undead' from their graves to aid the seven vampires. Still carrying the medallion, the farmer places it around a small model of a Jade Buddha. He knocks desperately on the locked village gates, but it is in vain. The vampires and their undead catch up with him and kill him. One of the vampires spies the medallion around the Buddha and goes over to collect it. The moment the vampire touched the Buddha, the creature is destroyed in flames. Van Helsing goes on to say that he is positive the village still exists and is still terrorised by the six remaining vampires. He is only unsure of where the village lies. Most students disapprove of the story and leave. Back in Van Helsing's rented house, a student named Hsi Ching (David Chiang) informs him that the legend is true and that he knows the location of the village. He goes on to say that the farmer from the story was his grandfather. He proves it by producing the dead vampire's bat-like medallion. He then asks Van Helsing if he would be willing to travel to the village and destroy the vampire menace. Van Helsing agrees and embarks with his son, Leyland Van Helsing (Robin Stewart), Hsi Ching and his seven kung-fu trained siblings on a dangerous journey, funded by a wealthy widow named Vanessa Buren (Julie Ege), who Leyland and two of Ching's siblings saved from an attack by the Tongs. On the journey, they are ambushed by three of the six remaining vampires in a cave along with the undead. The group are quickly engaged in battle and soon kill the three vampires. The remaining beasts, sensing they are outnumbered, are quick to retreat, taking their army of undead with them. The following morning, the party reach the village, partly ruined but still populated, and prepare to make their final stand. They use wooden stakes as barriers and dig a large trench around them filled with flammable liquid. In the temple that evening, Kah calls on the remaining vampires to kill Van Helsing and his party once and for all. The vampires ride on horseback, followed by their army of undead, to the village. The vampires reach the village, and soon, Van Helsing's group once again do battle with the last golden vampires and their undead, resulting in nearly all their party and the villagers being massacred. During the fight, Vanessa is bitten by a vampire and she quickly becomes one. She then seduces Ching and bites his neck. Knowing what he will become and what he has to do, Ching throws himself and Vanessa onto a wooden stake, killing them both. Elsewhere, the remaining vampire captures Mai Kwei (Shih Szu), Ching's sister, and takes her back to the temple to be drained. Seeing this, Leyland steals a horse from one of the dead vampires and pursues. The undead defeated, Van Helsing and his remaining party follow to help Leyland at the temple. Having reached the temple, the vampire straps Mai Kwei to one of the altars. It is about to drain her when Leyland leaps onto the creature's back and throws it to the ground, before freeing the sister. The vampire comes around and attacks Leyland, throwing him onto one of the altars in the struggle. Leyland is about to be drained when Van Helsing and his group burst in. Van Helsing thrusts a spear into the vampire's back, impaling it. Dying, the last of the golden vampires stumbles and collapses into a vat of boiling blood, where it quickly evaporates, leaving behind the bat-like medallion, its mask, a pile of dried blood, and red dust. The survivors depart from the temple, save for Van Helsing, who feels a familiar atmosphere. Sure enough, a familiar voice barks from behind him. Van Helsing turns around to face Kah the High Priest. Recognizing the voice, Van Helsing realises that Dracula is using the form of the Monk to control the golden vampires and their undead. Van Helsing demands Dracula to show himself, calling him a coward. Dracula reverts to his true form and attacks Van Helsing. In the ensuing struggle, Van Helsing succeeds in stabbing Dracula with a spear through the heart. Defeated, the Count collapses onto one of the altars and gradually decays to bones. The spear that killed him collapses, smashing the vampire's skull. Soon, there is nothing left of the Count, save for his dusty remains and the blood-stained spear. Van Helsing sighs with relief as the nightmare of Count Dracula is finally over. Cast Peter Cushing as Professor Lawrence Van Helsing John Forbes-Robertson as Count Dracula David de Keyser provides the uncredited voice of Dracula Robin Stewart as Leyland Van Helsing Julie Ege as Vanessa Buren Robert Hanna as British Consul David Chiang as Hsi Ching Shih Szu as Mai Kwei Chan Shen as High Priest Kah/Count Dracula Host Liu Chia-Yung as Hsi Kwei (archer) Huang Pei-Chih as Hsi Po-Kwei (spearman) Wang Chiang as Hsi San (twin swordsman) Feng Ko-An as an assassin Hsu Hsia as an assassin Production Both Roy Ward Baker, a British director who had helmed several previous Hammer films, and Chang Cheh, a veteran Hong Kong action director, worked on the movie, though only Baker is credited. He took over the making of the film after Gordon Hessler left it weeks before. Filming was hard, as both Chinese and British crews had to work together in spite of language and cultural problems. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires was a co-production with Hong Kong's Shaw Studio, made in the hope of garnering some of the kung fu movie market share. The movie was released with various titles in different locations, including The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula and Dracula and the Seven Golden Vampires. During some scenes involving roving gangs of undead, several vampires can be seen hopping up and down, as vampires tend to do in Chinese vampire films. The North American release version trims twenty minutes of the film's footage and soundtrack and loops several remaining scenes to fill the running time. Reception Critical reaction to the film has been mixed. Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club called the film "flawed" but "enjoyable", adding, "It's pretty much as ridiculous as it sounds, but there's something inherently entertaining about make-up-splattered vampires, distinguished British actors, and martial artists squaring off in periodic eruptions of kung-fu fighting." Phil Chandler of DVD Cult wrote, "Is it the best Hammer horror film ever made? Hell no. Is it the best Hammer film of the seventies? Hell yeah." Graeme Clark of The Spinning Image said, "Cushing, in his last Hammer Dracula film, is as commanding as ever, but he and his Western companions are pretty disposable to the plot until the end, where the professor is left alone with the Count, who is hardly needed. Nevertheless, this last Hammer vampire outing has a real energy, in spite of being a mishmash, and is different enough to get by on sheer novelty alone." Writing in The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, academic Peter Dendle called the raising of the undead army "one of the most visually spectacular in zombie cinema". Glenn Kay, who wrote Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide, called the film "boisterous, action-packed, and very likeable". DVD release The DVD from Anchor Bay features both the Seven Brothers Meet Dracula version as well as the original uncut Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires version. The DVD also features a recording of Peter Cushing telling the story of the film with music and sound effects, which was released as an LP record at the time of the film's release. Twins of Evil is a 1971 horror film by Hammer Film Productions starring Peter Cushing, with Damien Thomas and the real-life twins and former Playboy Playmates Mary and Madeleine Collinson. It is the third film of the Karnstein Trilogy, based on the vampire tale Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu. The film has the least resemblance to the novel and adds a witchfinding theme to the vampire story. Much of the interest of the film revolves around the contrasting evil and good natures of two beautiful sisters, Frieda and Maria Gellhorn. Unlike the previous two entries in the series, this film contains only a brief vampire lesbian element. Some considered the film a prequel to The Vampire Lovers and Lust for a Vampire. Plot Maria and Frieda, recently orphaned identical twin teenage girls, move from Venice to Karnstein in Central Europe to live with their uncle Gustav Weil. Weil is a stern puritan and leader of the fanatical witch-hunting 'Brotherhood'. Both twins resent their uncle's sternness and one of them, Frieda, looks for a way to escape. Resenting her uncle, she becomes fascinated by the local Count Karnstein, who has the reputation of being "a wicked man". Count Karnstein, who enjoys the Emperor's favour and thus remains untouched by the Brotherhood, is indeed wicked and interested in Satanism and black magic. Trying to emulate his evil ancestors, he murders a girl as a human sacrifice, calling forth Countess Mircalla Karnstein from her grave. Mircalla turns the Count into a vampire. Frieda, following an invitation from the Count, steals away to the castle at night, while Maria covers for her absence. In the castle, the Count transforms Frieda into a vampire, offering her a beautiful young chained victim. Returning home, Frieda threatens Maria to keep covering for her nightly excursions, but secretly fearing she might bite her sister. Meanwhile, Maria becomes interested in the handsome young teacher, Anton, who is initially infatuated with the more mysterious Frieda. Anton has studied what he calls "superstition", but becomes convinced of the existence of vampires when his sister falls victim to one. One night, when Frieda attacks a member of the Brotherhood, she is captured by her uncle and put in jail. While the Brotherhood debates the vampire woman's fate, the Count and his servants kidnap Maria and exchange her for Frieda in the cell. Anton goes to see Maria, not knowing that she is actually Frieda. She tries to seduce him, but he sees her lack of reflection in a mirror and repels her with a cross. Anton rushes to rescue Maria from burning. Maria kisses a cross, revealing her innocence. Weil now listens to Anton's advice on the proper ways to fight vampires, and the two men lead the Brotherhood and villagers to Karnstein Castle to confront the Count. The Count and Frieda attempt to escape, but they are surprised by Weil, who beheads Frieda. Maria is captured by the Count, who uses her as a shield. Weil challenges the Count and is killed, giving Anton the opportunity to pierce the distracted Count's heart with a spear. Anton and Maria are united as Karnstein crumbles to corruption. Cast Peter Cushing as Gustav Weil Kathleen Byron as Katy Weil Mary Collinson as Maria Gellhorn Madeleine Collinson as Frieda Gellhorn David Warbeck as Anton Hoffer Damien Thomas as Count Karnstein Katya Wyeth as Countess Mircalla Roy Stewart as Joachim Isobel Black as Ingrid Hoffer Harvey Hall as Franz Alex Scott as Hermann Dennis Price as Dietrich Sheelah Wilcox as lady in coach Inigo Jackson as woodman Judy Matheson as woodman's daughter Kirsten Lindholm as young girl at stake Luan Peters as Gerta Peter Thompson as gaoler Production Hammer was originally going to make a film called Vampire Virgins. However producer Harry Fine saw a Playboy spread involving the Collinson twins and decided to make a film focusing on them. Ingrid Pitt was offered the part of Countess Mircalla but refused. The same sets were used for Vampire Circus. Harvey Hall and Kirsten Lindholm appear in all three films of the trilogy, although in different roles in each one. Peter Cushing also played one of the leads in the first, The Vampire Lovers. (A part was written for Cushing in the second film, but he dropped out of the production due to the illness of his wife. The role was taken over by Ralph Bates.) Luan Peters, who plays a small role in this film, also appeared in the second film, Lust for a Vampire, as did Judy Matheson. The original film included a short scene, which is now edited out, in which the evil twin approaches her uncle. The scene is out of place as their uncle is busy burning the other sister; somehow he teleports back home and the evil twin gives him a show. Cut out for American audiences and possibly to maintain story line continuity, the original scene was aired on public television in the 1980s. Reception Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film a passing grade of two and a half stars, calling it "engaging" and "inspired" in its use of the Collinson twins. A.H. Weiler wrote in The New York Times that the Collinson twins made the film interesting, but "The rest of the costumed crew... hardly give Twins of Evil a good name." In other media A novelisation of the film was written by Shaun Hutson and published by Arrow Publishing in association with Hammer and the Random House Group in 2011, ISBN 978-0-09-955619-0. The book contains an introduction by the film's director, John Hough. The film was adapted into an 18-page comic strip for the January–February 1977 issue of the magazine House of Hammer (volume 1, # 7, published by General Book Distribution). It was drawn by Blas Gallego from a script by Chris Lowder. The cover of the issue featured a painting by Brian Lewis based on imagery from the film. The British music duo Collinson Twin (formed 2009) are named in tribute to the Twins of Evil stars. Another British music group The Twin Dracula are thought to be named after the characters. Vampire Circus is a 1972 British horror film, directed by Robert Young. It was written by Judson Kinberg, and produced by Wilbur Stark and Michael Carreras (who was uncredited) for Hammer Film Productions. It stars Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters and Anthony Higgins (billed as Anthony Corlan). The story concerns a travelling circus whose vampiric artists prey on the children of a 19th-century Serbian village. It was filmed at Pinewood Studios. Plot One evening near the small Serbian village of Stetl, early in the nineteenth century, schoolmaster Albert Müller witnesses his lovely wife Anna taking a little girl, Jenny Schilt, into the castle of Count Mitterhaus, a reclusive nobleman rumored to be a vampire responsible for the disappearances of other children. The rumors prove true, as Anna, who has become Mitterhaus' willing acolyte and mistress, hands the innocent Jenny over to him to be drained of her blood. Men from the village, led by Müller and including Jenny's father Mr. Schilt and the Burgermeister, invade the castle and attack the Count. After the vampire kills several of them, Müller succeeds in driving a wooden stake through his heart. With his dying breath, Mitterhaus curses the villagers, vowing that their children will die to give him back his life. The angry villagers then drag Anna outside and force her to run the gauntlet, but when her husband intervenes, she runs back into the castle where the briefly revived Count tells her to find his cousin Emil at "the Circus of Night". After laying out his body in the crypt, she escapes through an underground tunnel as the villagers blow the castle up with gunpowder and set fire to it. Fifteen years later, Stetl is now being ravaged by a plague and blockaded by the authorities of neighboring towns, with men ready to shoot any villager who tries to leave. The citizens fear that the pestilence may be due to the Count's curse, though the new physician Dr. Kersh scoffs at the notion, dismissing vampires as just a myth. Then a travelling circus calling itself the Circus of Night arrives at the village, led by a dwarf and an alluring gypsy woman who are equivocal about how they got past the blockade. The villagers, appreciative of the distraction from their troubles, do not press the matter. While his courageous son Anton distracts the armed men at the blockade, Dr. Kersh gets past them to appeal for help from the capital. Neither he nor anyone back in the village suspect that one of the circus artists, Emil, is a vampire and Count Mitterhaus's cousin. Emil and the gypsy woman go to the remains of the castle, where in the crypt they find the Count's staked body still preserved, and they reiterate his curse that all who killed him and all their children must die. At the Circus of Night, the villagers are amazed and delighted by the entertainment. Despite his wife's concerns over their wayward daughter Rosa's physical attraction to the handsome Emil, the Burgermeister takes her to the circus and, at the gypsy woman's invitation, visits the hall of mirrors where he sees in one called "The Mirror of Life", a vision of a revived Count Mitterhaus which causes him to collapse. Frightened by this event, Schilt tries to flee with his family from the blocked village with the circus dwarf Michael as their guide, only to be abandoned by him in the forest to be mauled to death by the circus panther. Müller's daughter Dora, whom he sent away earlier for her protection, has slipped past the blockade and is returning to the village when she discovers the Schilts' dismembered bodies, arousing suspicions about the animals of the circus. Anton, having been deputized by his father to stand in for him, insists that wolves or wild boars are responsible, unaware that several of the circus animals are vampire shapeshifters, including Emil, who is the panther, and twin acrobats Heinrich and Helga. That evening, Jon and his brother Gustav, two village boys whose father Mr. Hauser helped instigate the killing of Mitterhaus, are invited by the gypsy woman to enter the hall of mirrors. While looking in the Mirror of Life, they are magically drawn in by Heinrich and Helga who whisk them to the Count's crypt and drain them. After the boys' bodies are found near the castle, their grieving father and the sick Burgermeister begin to shoot the circus animals. After an encounter with Emil, the Burgermeister dies of heart failure while his daughter runs off with the vampire who then bites and kills the girl. Dora and Anton, who are in love, are lured by the twins Heinrich and Helga into the hall of mirrors where they try to whisk Dora through the Mirror of Life, but the cross she is wearing saves her. Later, the vampires enter the school house where Dora and Anton have taken refuge. Emil, in panther form, kills the boarding students, diverting Anton while the gypsy woman (now revealed as the twins' human mother by Mitterhaus) tears the cross from Dora's neck, enabling Heinrich and Helga to attack her. Dora, however, escapes into the school chapel, where the twins are overwhelmed by a giant crucifix which she topples on them, destroying them. Nevertheless, with the help of the circus strongman, who being human is impervious to crosses, Emil and the gypsy woman succeed in having Dora kidnapped and taken to the crypt at Castle Mitterhaus. There they extract drops of her blood, which they use with blood left over from the previous child victims as part of a ritual to restore the Count back to life. Meanwhile, Dr. Kersch returns from the capital with an imperial escort and medicines for the plague. He also brings news of vampire killings in other villages, all of them toured by the Circus of Night. The men attack the circus and set fire to it, killing the strongman when he tries to stop them. As Hauser starts to burn down the hall of mirrors, he sees in the Mirror of Life a vision of Emil and the gypsy woman bleeding a helpless Dora over the Count's body. This horrifying sight distracts him long enough to be fatally burned by the fire, though he lives long enough to alert Anton and the other men to Dora's plight. Back in the castle crypt, the gypsy woman is killed when out of a sudden attack of remorse she attempts to save Dora from Emil. As she falls down dead, the gypsy's face is transformed, revealing her to be Anna Müller. Anton, finding his way through the underground tunnel into the crypt despite a deadly ambush by Michael the dwarf, attempts to rescue Dora but is halted by Emil. When Anton holds the vampire back with a crucifix, an attacking bat summoned by Emil causes him to drop it, placing him at the monster's mercy. Just then Müller, Dr. Kersh, and a soldier break into the crypt and battle Emil, while Anton fends off the bat with a torch as it continues to attack him and Dora. Emil kills or disables all his attackers but Müller, having dropped the crossbow he brought, pierces him with the stake from the Count's chest as he dies. Revived at last, the Count rises from his sarcophagus and advances on Dora and Anton. Then Anton seizes Müller's crossbow which is shaped like a crucifix, repelling the Count long enough for the young man to throw the crossbow over his head and fire an arrow into the vampire's neck, decapitating him. As Dr. Kersh leads Dora and Anton from the tomb, he and the villagers set the ruins alight with torches, ending the curse. Or so they hope, but Dora and Anton see a bat fly out of the tomb into the night and are left uncertain. Cast Adrienne Corri as Gypsy Woman Laurence Payne as Professor Albert Müller Thorley Walters as Peter, the Mayor of Stitl Lynne Frederick as Dora Müller John Moulder-Brown as Anton Kersh Elizabeth Seal as Gerta Hauser Anthony Higgins (billed as Anthony Corlan) as Emil Richard Owens as Dr. Kersh Domini Blythe as Anna Müller Robin Hunter as Mr Hauser Robert Tayman as Count Mitterhaus Robin Sachs as Heinrich (twin brother of Helga) Lalla Ward as Helga (twin sister of Heinrich) Skip Martin as Michael the dwarf David Prowse as the Strongman Mary Wimbush as Elvira Christina Paul as Rosa Roderick Shaw as Jon Hauser Barnaby Shaw as Gustav Hauser John Bown as Mr Schilt Sibylla Kay as Mrs. Schilt Jane Darby as Jenny Schilt Dorothy Frere as Granma Schilt Milovan Vesnitch as the erotic male dancer Serena as the erotic tiger-woman dancer Sean Hewitt as First Soldier David de Keyser as the voice of Mitterhaus's curse (uncredited) Three of the cast—Laurence Payne, Adrienne Corri and Lalla Ward—would be reunited in the 1980 season of the British sci-fi/fantasy series Doctor Who in the serial The Leisure Hive. The film also heralded the screen debut of Lynne Frederick, who would later marry comic Peter Sellers. David Prowse, who later played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy, appears in a silent role as the circus strongman. Robin Sachs would later appear later in his career as a recurring villainous character Ethan Rayne in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and as the space conqueror Sarris in the science-fiction comedy Galaxy Quest. Critical reception Vampire Circus has been well received by modern critics, and currently holds an 80% approval rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. AllMovie called the film "one of the studio's more stylish and intelligent projects". PopMatters also called it "one of the company's last great classics", writing, "erotic, grotesque, chilling, bloody, suspenseful and loaded with doom and gloom atmosphere, this is the kind of experiment in terror that reinvigorates your love of the scary movie artform". Critics at the time of its original release weren't quite as impressed. New York Times film reviewer Howard Thompson dismissed it outright without even the courtesy of a proper review in favor of its double-billing Hammer counterpart "Countess Dracula". His curt review measured two sentences, "Wise horror fans will skip 'Vampire Circus' and settle for 'Countess Dracula' on the new double bill at the Forum. Both are Hammer Productions, England's scream factory, but the first was dealt a quick, careless anvil." before continuing with semi-praise for Countess Dracula. Novelization An 'updated' novelization by Mark Morris was published in 2012. Condition: New, Manufacturer: Strictly Ink, Featured Series: Hammer Horror Series Two, Franchise: Hammer Horror, Subject Type: TV & Movies, Genre: Cult British Horror Films, Features: Individual Card from Base Set, Year: 2010, Country/Region of Manufacture: United Kingdom

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