Cinema Retro London correspondent Adrian Smith with Hammer actress Vera Day.
By Adrian Smith
If you’re in
London during the next two weeks, be sure to check out this fabulous new
festival and exhibition based on Hammer’s legendary horror films.
The event was
launched on the 27th October at the Idea Generation gallery in
Shoreditch, to which Cinema Retro was invited. We were told it was a private
view of this exhibition of previously unseen photos and artwork, along with
more well known stills and publicity photos. However, it was the most public
“private view” we have ever seen. This could have been down to a resurgence in
the popularity of Hammer, tied in with new film production, or it could have
been the endless bottles of free cider.
Hammer-related guests were in attendance, including Paul Cole, John Hough, Lois
Dane, Madeline Smith, Vera Day and Valerie Leon. The latter were also there to
help promote the new book Hammer Glamour by Marcus Hearn. Hearn has co-curated
the exhibition, which is well worth a look. Also in attendance was the CEO of
the new Hammer, Simon Oakes.
Sadly, by the time
Cinema Retro found the venue, hidden down some of the scariest back streets in
East London, most of these guests had moved on to a secret party somewhere, but
we did manage to catch up with the still glamorous Vera Day. She is best known
for her starring roles in Quatermass II
and some of the Hammer comedies. It was also fun to chat with Paul Cole, who
enjoyed telling us about his appearance in Carry
on Teacher, before moving into television production.
First glimpse of Christopher Lee in The Resident, a film that marks the acting legend's return to Hammer productions.
were pictures and artwork from Hammer’s forthcoming productions The Resident, starring Sir Christopher
Lee, and the remake of Swedish vampire thriller Let the Right One In. Judging from the video clips and interviews
also screened, these look like intriguing and potentially exciting movies for
Hammer to be involved in. Sadly the final offering of the night, a ghostly bus
tour around London’s East End, including the site of Jack the Ripper’s murders
in Whitechapel, was cancelled after the bus broke down on it’s way to the
gallery. The curse of Hammer strikes again?
Some of the Hammer memorabilia on display at the London exhibition.
Finally, this week
also sees the DVD launch of Hammer’s first new horror production in over thirty
years, Beyond the Rave. Cinema Retro
provided in depth coverage at the time of its production, and you can now order
a limited edition DVD at /www.beyondtherave.net
Click here to order Hammer Glamour from Amazon Click here to order the book from Amazon UK. Get big discounts on this book on both sites!