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Thread: It! (1967)

  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    name='dremble wedge' timestamp='1286873506' post='481923']

    The only Tom Weaver book I've read is his John Carradine one. Hugely informative but the author does go on for an annoyingly long time about having to watch a large number of terrible films... It's a book on John Carradine! He can't have been surprised!


    I've got a few Tom Weaver books, including the Carradine one. Like you, I was surprised at Weaver's amazement at how really bad Long John's films could be. "Now, this must be the worst one . . ." Nope, a few pages later, a worse one turned up.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Country: Jordan
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    name='m35541' timestamp='1286872137' post='481917']

    I have got your tome John. Enjoyed reading it and it made me want to track down a copy of the uncut print of Not Now Darling !!



    What i meant was books about horror films made in the past 20 years - I've got nothing after the slasher years of the first half of the 1980's.




    I don't think anyone has done one have they? Axelle Carolyn did one on the new millenium horrors which I think is beautifully laid out but a bit superficial. Think maybe the days of horror film volumes a la Gifford and Frank are gone; where would you draw the line in the multi-media age? Is Beyond the Rave for example a horror 'film'- despite never being intended to be shown anywhere except the web (possibly DVD)? If you admitt that then you open the door to a slew of net-based 'films'.



    long gone are the days when films all more or less followed the same production/distribution process (which inevitably ended with a disparaging review in MFB!)

  3. #23
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    name='Gerald Lovell' timestamp='1286894767' post='482003']

    "Now, this must be the worst one . . ." Nope, a few pages later, a worse one turned up.




    I think that whenever I watch a Caradine movie.



    Loved Weaver's book on Poverty Row Horrors particularly but just really like his writing style

  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I liked weaver's boon on Poverty Row horrors too. Maybe there should be a British Poverty Row horrors book...

  5. #25
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    name='m35541' timestamp='1286961180' post='482188']

    I liked weaver's boon on Poverty Row horrors too. Maybe there should be a British Poverty Row horrors book...


    isn't that all the Hammer books

  6. #26
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    Hardly - many of the Hammer horrors (believe it or not) were A features on the double-film. By the time we get to 1960 Hammer films are costing at least £100k.



    I'm thinking of films costing £50k or less - several of these were shot for £20k-£25k:



    Devil Girl From Mars

    Fire Maidens from Outer Space

    The Snake Woman

    House of Mystery

    The House in Marsh Road

    Unearthly Stranger

    Devil Doll

    Curse of Simba

    Disciple of Death



    and i'm sure there are several others.

  7. #27
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    name='m35541' timestamp='1287060250' post='482596']

    Hardly - many of the Hammer horrors (believe it or not) were A features on the double-film. By the time we get to 1960 Hammer films are costing at least £100k.




    True but a lot of the cost was relating to the studio sets and rental. On Plague of the Zombies, which squeaked in a fraction above £100k, 35% of the budget went on rental of Bray, sets and models- which is more than the cast and production team combined.



    Films like Curse of Simba had nothing on studio and deferred production and cast salaries.



    Not sure what point I am making- but its probably valid!!

  8. #28
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    name='John Hamilton' timestamp='1287084169' post='482737']

    True but a lot of the cost was relating to the studio sets and rental. On Plague of the Zombies, which squeaked in a fraction above £100k, 35% of the budget went on rental of Bray, sets and models- which is more than the cast and production team combined.



    Films like Curse of Simba had nothing on studio and deferred production and cast salaries.



    Not sure what point I am making- but its probably valid!!


    The rental of Bray: was that a clever accounting wheeze with the studio being owned by a third party and renting it back to Hammer to make the film there?

  9. #29
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    name='Gerald Lovell' timestamp='1287088101' post='482771']

    The rental of Bray: was that a clever accounting wheeze with the studio being owned by a third party and renting it back to Hammer to make the film there?




    not sure about the precise ownership of Bray, 'Hammer'had a myriad of subsidaries so it may well have been in the hands of a separate trading subsidary. The entery on the accounts for studio rental was pretty standard way of offsetting the upkeep of the studio against each production. the entry for sets is more interesting and suggests the costs of that Cornish village set was charged entirely to Plague rather than spread across two products.



    Tony Tenser once said that Hammer made cheap films in an expensive way; he was refering to things like Scars of Dracula which just looked tacky rather than the earlier films which seems greater than the sum of their parts

  10. #30
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    John H. -



    I think BEASTS IN THE CELLAR is a superb book. It's sitting on the shelf in my study right next to Jonathan Rigby's ENGLISH GOTHIC (brilliant!), and to HERITAGE OF HORROR by David Pirie (remember that from way back when?) Pirie's book was a revered tome for me at the time, taking movies by the likes of Don Sharp and Michael Reeves very seriously for the first time. I guess that Carlos Clarens' book was the very first of the serious horror movie tomes, and remains a treasured possession. (Tom Weaver's books are exceptional - but oh so expensive!)



    I thought about writing a review-book on horror movies, based on my visits to fleapit cinemas as a pre-teen kid (dressed up in Dad's raincoat and affecting as best a deep-bass voice as I could, to blag my way into X certificate double bills on re-release (1940's/50's and 60's fare - with some movies never seen since) - of which there was a proliferation: 'For One Night Only'. Not a bad title, perhaps? Maybe one day ...



    Stephen Laws

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    (The Midnight Man)

  11. #31
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    What I should have said in the previous post was -



    Despite what the view is of IT! (1967) the colour photography in its original release was stunning (witness the superb photos in the Alan Frank book - Roddy MacDowall was known to have autographed the poster by writing 'SH' in front of the 'IT' - but what I haven't seen referenced anywhere is the fact that the main title music is actually Carlo Martelli's main title from Hammer's THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB.



    Not that I'm trying to defend the movie - but - it does have its moments. Most notably when MacDowall is trying to bring it to life, with an uneasy heartbeat effect leading up to the clobbering of the Museum boss.



    Stephen (Defending the Indefensible)Laws

    www.stephenlaws.com

    (The Midnight Man)

  12. #32
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    name='Stephen Laws' timestamp='1288044495' post='486130']

    John H. -



    I think BEASTS IN THE CELLAR is a superb book. It's sitting on the shelf in my study right next to Jonathan Rigby's ENGLISH GOTHIC (brilliant!), and to HERITAGE OF HORROR by David Pirie (remember that from way back when?) Pirie's book was a revered tome for me at the time, taking movies by the likes of Don Sharp and Michael Reeves very seriously for the first time.

    I thought about writing a review-book on horror movies, based on my visits to fleapit cinemas as a pre-teen kid (dressed up in Dad's raincoat and affecting as best a deep-bass voice as I could, to blag my way into X certificate double bills on re-release (1940's/50's and 60's fare - with some movies never seen since) - of which there was a proliferation: 'For One Night Only'. Not a bad title, perhaps? Maybe one day ...




    Thanks Stephen, at the risk of sounding like a 'love in', I think Chasm is superb I'd agree with you on Pirie btw, he also takes Vernon Sewell seriously which is probably a unique but much deserved stand point

  13. #33
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    name='John Hamilton' timestamp='1288121175' post='486437']

    Thanks Stephen, at the risk of sounding like a 'love in', I think Chasm is superb I'd agree with you on Pirie btw, he also takes Vernon Sewell seriously which is probably a unique but much deserved stand point


    Many thanks for the CHASM comment, John. Much appreciated.



    Vernon Sewell's LATIN QUARTER is a much under appreciated film - almost forgotten now. It played on TV when I was very young, and the climax scared the hell out of me. It still packs a punch today. Before interviewing actor Derren Nesbitt at last year's Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films, I asked for a screening of Sewell's THE MAN IN THE BACK SEAT (in which Nesbitt starred) - another one of my favourites. The frustrating thing about Sewell for me is that for every dark little gem (the superb HOUSE OF MYSTERY and STRONGROOM) there are some terribly boring duds, and how the hell you can waste the opportunity of having Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough and Barbara Steele in the same movie (CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR)is beyond me. (Having said that, I've always had a soft spot for THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR - even if Peter Cushing said that it was one of his worst movies!) I got my hands on a copy of Sewell's rare DANGEROUS VOYAGE (aka TERROR SHIP)- and it seemed to encapsulate a strange aspect of some of his work - a bit of a plod, but then a strange and unexpected pay off.



    Cheers



    Stephen Laws

    www.stephenlaws.com

    (The Midnight Man)

  14. #34
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    True but a lot of the cost was relating to the studio sets and rental. On Plague of the Zombies, which squeaked in a fraction above £100k, 35% of the budget went on rental of Bray, sets and models- which is more than the cast and production team combined.


    Interesting, but this was of course standard practice for a major studio to do this. The Hammer costume dramas had to be largely shot at a studio and I would guess that the Bray charge was no more than if Shepperton had been used for example. MGM Boreham Wood used to be very expensive - Corridors of Blood cost £90k (excluding Karloff's salary) which Richard Gordon blamed largely on MGM overhead costs.



    From late 1958 onwards Bray was owned virtually 50/50 by Hammer and Columbia so a Columbia movie shot at Bray was basically charging itself!!



    Hammer's use of various companies to shoot their films (eg Hotspur) tended to reflect their distribution arrangments and were presumably done to ringfence profits depending on who was funding the film and who had profit participation. It may also have been related to NFFC loans and/or Eddy levy monies.

  15. #35
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    name='Stephen Laws' timestamp='1288131903' post='486506']

    Many thanks for the CHASM comment, John. Much appreciated.



    Vernon Sewell's LATIN QUARTER is a much under appreciated film - almost forgotten now. It played on TV when I was very young, and the climax scared the hell out of me. It still packs a punch today. Before interviewing actor Derren Nesbitt at last year's Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films, I asked for a screening of Sewell's THE MAN IN THE BACK SEAT (in which Nesbitt starred) - another one of my favourites. The frustrating thing about Sewell for me is that for every dark little gem (the superb HOUSE OF MYSTERY and STRONGROOM) there are some terribly boring duds, and how the hell you can waste the opportunity of having Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough and Barbara Steele in the same movie (CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR)is beyond me. (Having said that, I've always had a soft spot for THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR - even if Peter Cushing said that it was one of his worst movies!) I got my hands on a copy of Sewell's rare DANGEROUS VOYAGE (aka TERROR SHIP)- and it seemed to encapsulate a strange aspect of some of his work - a bit of a plod, but then a strange and unexpected pay off.






    I love Man in the Back Seat and House of Mystery but I've never seen Latin Quarter. Old Vern's films do seem easy to split into those he was interested in and those he wasn't- I suspect that many of the former were those he had a financial interest in. I got to interview Vernon when he was in his 90's, he had popped over to London from his home in South Africa for a long weekend with Stanley Long (who was probably in his 70's) his DP on Blood Beast prior to them going sailing in the Med. I pray I have a fraction of his stamina if I ever get to his age! Its one of my regrets I never got to ask more about his earlier films, oh dear another missed opportunity

  16. #36
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    name='m35541' timestamp='1288173570' post='486592']

    Hammer's use of various companies to shoot their films (eg Hotspur) tended to reflect their distribution arrangments and were presumably done to ringfence profits depending on who was funding the film and who had profit participation. It may also have been related to NFFC loans and/or Eddy levy monies.




    Yeah the NFFC insisted on cross-colateralising the returns on films, so a run of middle range money makers could be wiped out by a spectacular failure which resulted in a plethora of companies spring up to make 1 or 2 films and then vanish.



    Hammer's overheads are legendary, the company Rolls for example crops up a lot; there's also lots and lots of stories about creative accounting particularly in the early Seventies but then the industry was all at it by then. Wasn't it Alexander Walker who characterised film producers as basically crooks and shysters?

  17. #37
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    I remember him mentioning appearing in Curse of the Werewolf.......

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