Authors & Events
Sep 29, 2009
| ISBN 9781848562295
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Sep 29, 2009 | ISBN 9781848562295
Over fifty years ago, with the release of The Curse of Frankenstein and Christopher Lee in Dracula, Hammer ushered in a whole new era of blood and barely restrained cleavage in glorious colour, mixing sex and horror with a style and panache that made the small British company world famous. Bursting at the seams with rare and previously unpublished photographs from Hammer’s archive and private collections worldwide, and featuring many new interviews, Hammer Glamour is a lavish, full colour celebration of Hammer’s female stars, including Ingrid Pitt, Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro, Barbara Shelley, Joanna Lumley, Nastassja Kinski, and of course Raquel Welch (who can forget her fur bikini in One Million Years B. C.?)
Interview with Marcus Hearn, author of Hammer Glamour. What was the inspiration for writing Hammer Glamour? Hammer films seem to be more popular than ever, and since Alan Barnes and I originally wrote The Hammer Story back in 1997 numerous other books have been published on the subject. It struck me, however, that they all seemed to be histories of the company and its films. Finding a new angle on a familiar subject was the incentive to go back and interview the actresses that had helped to make the films so popular. The book contains numerous rare and previously unseen photos. Were there any surprises that you had never seen before? The deeper we dug in Hammer’s archive, and the other picture libraries we visited, the more hidden gems we uncovered. Glamour photography was one of the most important elements of any Hammer publicity campaign, so there was no shortage of pictures to choose from. Unfortunately they hadn’t always been stored with the greatest care, so the extensive restoration was by far the most time-consuming part of assembling the book. Is there a particular memory of seeing one of Hammer’s female stars on screen that stands out to you? Everyone has their own favourites, but I think many men of a certain age have enduring memories of Ingrid Pitt in The Vampire Lovers. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know why. What was the best part of interviewing the actresses for the book? The best part is that I’m now chums with lots of glamorous grannies. There are some great anecdotes in there, and some absolutely tragic stories. But everyone I spoke to was happy to remember the old days, and nobody felt that Hammer had exploited them. Hammer was first founded in 1934, yet the horror films for which they are best known didn’t come until the mid 1950s. What makes Hammer films unique from other horror movies? Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, the elegance, the eroticism, the production design, the sincerity of the performances… and the intrinsic Englishness of so many of the films. There’s nothing like watching a stiff upper-lipped gent suddenly go bonkers with a spade and knock the head off a zombie. What are your favourite Hammer films? I can find something to enjoy in almost all of them. But seeing as we’re talking about Hammer Glamour, I I’ll nominate The Brides of Dracula. It co-starred an actress called Yvonne Monlaur, who Hammer advertised as ‘France’s latest sex kitten!’ Buy the book and you’ll see why.
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