Tuesday, November 6, 2018

...A Horror-Mood Horror Book Review... “Inside Bray Studios”

Your "Horridly Absent" "As In Late" "Horrifically Horrendous Host" is back with another “Horror-Mood Horror Book Review”

By way of introduction, readers of horror film books about the legendary Hammer Films Studios are no doubt familiar with the name of author and acclaimed Hammer Film expert Wayne Kinsey… Kinsey, who made his debut with a 24 issue series of prozines which chronicled the history of the fabled British film outfit under the title of “The House That Hammer Built” along with an additional “Dracula Special”, went on to write two of the most sought after tomes about the UK film house, “Hammer Films - The Bray Studios Years” and its follow up volume, “Hammer Films - The Elstree Studios Years” for Tomahawk Press… After the success of these initial efforts, Kinsey would go on to script two additional volumes for Tomahawk, “Hammer Films - A Life In Pictures” and Hammer Films - The Unsung Heroes”… For his next effort, “Hammer Films On Location”, Kinsey (along with Steve Kirkham) made the decision to set up his own publishing house under the banner, Peveril Publishing… Besides “On Location”, Peveril’s catalogue has grown to include “The Peter Cushing Scrapbook”, “Hammer’s Film Legacy”, “Running Scared”, the “Fantastic Films Series”, The Hammer Film Scrapbook Series” and “A Portrait Of She”…

Which brings us to Peveril Publishing and Kinsey’s current release, “Inside Bray Studios: The Complete Story Of Hammer’s House Studio”…


If you are a fan of Hammer Films Bray Studios output of films (from 1951’s Cloudburst to 1966’s The Mummy’s Shroud) then you will find this history of Bray Studios to be the most thoroughly researched tome to see publication to date.

Instead of breaking the book down for you after having read it cover to cover, I decided to post Peveril’s description of the contents of the book here for your perusal and approval…

“Hammer films took Down Place, a dilapidated mansion on the Thames outside Windsor, and turned it into the most unique film studio in England. Here we trace its history from Hammer and beyond to its closure with plans to develop the site into housing. We take you on a virtual tour of the studio, outside and inside, showing how Hammer developed it into a working studio. We’ll show how Hammer developed cramped space at the front of the studio into a back lot building set complexes which seemed huge on film. Hammer left the studio in 1966 to produce films in the larger studios but we show how they continued to use the studio for special effects on Moon Zero Two and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.
Then we explore the incredible amount of film, TV and music work that went on in the studio after Hammer. We show how Hammer’s old stage 2 that housed their first Frankenstein set became the home for the model effects on Alien. Gerry Anderson made it a home for work on Space 1999, Terrahawks and Dick Spanner; the team on Terrahawks share their memories of working at Bray.
We have 3 separate chapters on the 1998, 1999 and 2007 Bray open days organised by Donald Fearney and Simon Greetham with loads of photos, many sent in by fellow fans showing the assembled guests and fans enjoying three incredible days at the studio.
We end with the sad demise of the studio showing evidence of the chronic damp damage that destroyed the interior of Down Place and the redevelopment plans to save it by converting into housing. At the moment the doors have been opened again temporarily to some productions as the redevelopment plans are finalised, but the photos will show that already the interior of the house has been gutted to its bare timbers to follow the extent of the dry rot damage and part of the studio has already had to be demolished because it was beyond repair and risking the integrity of the rest of the core house. A fascinating story that still continues.
This beautiful hardcover book clocks in at 344 pages in length with an excellent introduction by Wayne Kinsey followed by Kinsey’s main copy of the book, which is enjoyable, informative and thoroughly researched”…
Visually the book is stunning, with Steve Kirkham’s Tree Frog Communications design and layout work as always exemplary (coming from one graphic designer to another) and I’ve peppered this review • overview with a plethora of numerous examples of his outstanding work which one must surely hold a physical copy of in their hands in order to truly appreciate Mr. Kirkham’s craftsmanship…





I can only give this tome my highest recommendation and it is a must have for the Hammer Films completist and film purist…





Please note that this book is only available as a numbered limited edition of 800 copies and is available only direct from the publisher (it is not available in book stores or other online markets)… I’ve included the link in this review below as well as in the links section…

In closing, your “Repulsive Reviewer” can only say that these will go fast so… …Miss It Not…



To order “Inside Bray Studios”…

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

...A Horror-Mood Horror Book Review... “Son Of Unsung Horrors”


Your “Mad Maniacal Mocking Monstrosity Of All Things Horror-Mood” returns once again to this “Dungeon Of Decadence” called …The Horror-Mood… for yet another “Diabolical Dissertation” in the form of yet another “Horror-Mood Horror Book Review”…

This time around we are presented for your enjoyment a “Terrible Tome” focused on more of the “Unsung Horrors” of the horror film industry…


“Unsung Horrors” are best described as neglected, unappreciated or otherwise forgotten horror or fantasy films from the Silents to the 70’s, at least according to publisher Eric McNaughton (he of We Belong Dead magazine and the sold out “70’s Monster Memories” “Tome Of Terror” (which I previously reviewed)…

Following up on the initial volume of “Unsung Horrors”, Eric has returned with “Son Of Unsung Horrors”, a look at almost 200 neglected, overlooked or under appreciated films from the silent era to the 70s… Presented in a large oversized format, with full color throughout, this 400 page tome is packed with hundreds of photos, lobby cards and posters…


Eric McNaughton’s heartfelt introduction and editorship (along with Darrell Buxton) is once again near flawless and seamless throughout, with an excellent foreword this time around from John Landis (he of Schlock! and An American Werewolf In London directorial fame) who provides commentary on 14 of the films featured in this massive tome…

Titles that are thoroughly covered by editor(s) McNaughton and Buxton’s stable of reviewers in this publication are as follows:

The Black Cat (1934), Burnt Offerings, La Coda Dello Scorpione (The Case Of The Scorpions Tail), Communion (aka Alice Sweet Alice), Count Dracula’s Great Love, The Creature Walks Among Us, The Curse Of The Mummy’s Tomb, The Devil-Doll, Ghost Ship, The Beast In The Cellar, He Who Gets Slapped, Schlock, The Hellstrom Chronicle, Horrors Of Malformed Men, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1956), King Kong (1976), The Man Who Could Cheat Death, The Medusa Touch, The Norliss Tapes, Phase IV, Tower Of The Seven Hunchbacks, Carnival Of Souls, Sh! The Octopus, “Cat O’ Nine Tails” (classic Dario Argento), Chamber Of Horrors (1966), The Car, King Kong Escapes!, The Island, The Tomb Of Ligeia (1964), Tower Of London (1939), Blood And Lace, Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I have The Key, Le Frisson Des Vampires, The Man Who Haunted Himself, The Final Programme, No Blade Of Grass, The Amazing Mr. Blunden, Moon Of The Wolf, Dr. Black And Mr. Hyde, Attack Of The Crab Monsters, Zombies Of Mora Tau, The Demoniacs, Alligator, The Monster, Mako: The Jaws Of Death, Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Devil’s Rain, Man Of A Thousand Faces (classic James Cagney), The Deadly Mantis, Dr. Cyclops, La Casa Del Terror, The Velvet Vampire, Female Vampire, First Man Into Space, Frankenstein’s Daughter, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Horror, Nightwing, The Swarm, The Ghost Of Kasane Swamp, Silen Night, Bloody Night (1970), The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1977), Crimes At The Dark House, Crimes Of The Black Cat, The Colossus Of New York, Misterios De Ultratumba, The Finishing Line, House Of Dark Shadows (a true classic), Night Of The Bloody Apes, La Lunga Notte Di Veronique, L’Ossessa, I Start Counting, Blood Of The Vampire, Island Of Terror, Dracula A.D. 1972, Death Laid An Egg, The Ghost Walks, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (1935), The Book Of Stone, Mantis In Lace, The Uncanny, Mad Love (1935), When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth, The Ghost Of Rashmon Hall, The Corruption Of Chris Miller, “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”, Maria Marten, Ruby, The Haunted Palace (1963), The Hidden Hand, Long Weekend, Mr. Sardonicus, The Phantom Of Crestwood, The White Reindeer, Malenka, Psychomania, The Maze, The Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires, The Mummy’s Tomb, Demons Of The Mind, Sweeney Todd (1928), Requiem For A Vampire, Ghost Train, Hausu, Targets, I, Monster, Black Friday (1940), Night Of The Lepus, The Flesh And The Fiends, Terror In The Midnight Sun, The Blood Beast Terror, Burn Witch, Burn, The Ghoul (1975), Night Of Terror, Planet Of The Vampires, The Mutations, The Ghost (1963), Phantom Of The Rue Morgue (1954), The Soul Of A Monster, Theatre Of Death, The Fifth Cord, It Happened At Lakewood Manor, The Man Who Laughs (1928), The Last Wave, The Witch (1962), La Chute De LA Maison Usher, I Vampiri, Bloody Pit Of Horror, Zombies On Broadway, Time After Time (1979), The Legend Of Lizzie Borden (1975), Fiend Without A Face, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1973), The Spectre Of Edgar Allan Poe, Blood For Dracula, The Night Strangler, “The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave”, The Ghost Galleon, The Trollenberg Terror, The Mole People, Werewolf Woman, Voodoo Island, Die, Monster, Die!, The Stranglers Of Bombay, The Phantom Of Hollywood, Wolfen, Blind Beast, The Earth Dies Screaming, Hyena Of London, I married A Monster From Outer Space, La Venganza De La Momia, The Magician (1926), Grip Of The Strangler, 7 Murders For Scotland Yard, The Tingler, The Mark Of The Wolfman, The Spiral Staircase (1946) House Of The Damned, The Killer Reserved Nine Seats (a must see!), Colossus: The Forbin Project, The Pyx, The Emblamer, Frankenstein: The True Story, The Blue Eyes Of The Broken Doll, El Retorno Del Hombre Lobo, 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, The Tent Victim, Torture Garden, Prophecy, The Premature Burial (1962), The Pit, Maniac Mansion, Night Monster, Destroy All Monsters, Ghost Story (1974), The Night My Number Came Up, Mark Of The Devil, The Power, Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare, Madhouse, The Manitou, Lemora: A Child’s Tale Of The Supernatural, House Of Dracula, The Black Torment, The Black Sleep (1956), The Strange World Of Planet X, Circus Of Horrors (1960), The Beast Must Die (with an interview with director Paul Annett)…     

Now That Is A Bucket List Of Movies To Watch, Eh?






Once again, Steve Kirkham’s Tree Frog Communications provides you with a plethora of eye popping visuals to guide you on your visual journey through this oft forgotten landscape of filmic delights…

Out now and again a must have tome for any discerning horror movie buff, “Son Of Unsung Horrors” will prove indispensable as an informing and entertaining read and reference publication…

Do not hesitate on this “Terrible Tome” as it is selling rather rapidly, so in closing, …Miss It Not…


To order “Son Of Unsung Horrors” along with the previous volume “Unsung Horrors” direct from the publisher please use the ordering links in the links section...