Monday, 29 May 2017

#MONSTERMONDAY: THE MAKING OF THE HOUSE OF LONG SHADOWS PART TWO


MICHAEL ARMSTRONG'S disappointment at the cuts in the final cut of The House Of The Long Shadows was matched by the reaction of the stars of the film. Vincent Price, in particular, was so upset that his role had been reduced by the cuts- especially in the music room scene- that he denounced the film openly and refused to aid in it's promotion or have anything more to do with the film. 


Michael Armstrong recalls: ' I got a call from Cannon just before the film was due to open in the UK, telling me about Vinnie's reaction and asking me if I could try and change his mind. Apparently, he had refused to speak to anyone at the Cannon offices. He was staying in London at the time, because his wife Coral Brown was at that time receiving specialist treatment for cancer here. I called him and tried to persuade him to talk to Cannon, but he was adamant. He was so angry and so very upset because he'd loved doing the film and thought it was some of his best comedy work and then to see so much of his performance cut...but what could I say?'


Armstrong, continued 'I was totally in agreement with him and, as I pointed out- the cuts to his dialogue were equally the cuts to my dialogue. We were on the phone over an hour and a half. By the end, we were commiserating with each other. He never did speak to anyone at Cannon, although he and I continued to stay in touch right up to his death.'











ABOVE: PETER CUSHING PROMOTES THE HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS ON THE UK BBC BREAKFAST TIME PROGRAMME 1983. CLIP QUALITY FLUCTUATES BUT IT'S WORTH IT!

HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS opened in London in 1983 at the Carlton Cinema in the Haymarket to mixed reviews and a disastrous box office. Cannon's decision to sell the film as a straightforward horror film had only resulted in confusing both the critics and the audiences who, without having the benefit of knowing beforehand that it was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek lampoon of Gothic melodrama, mistook all the wit and pastiche jokes as an attempt at the real thing. Those critics, however, who did realise the films intent, raved- in particular over the screenplay and the stars. Similarly the film went on to win prizes for best film, best screenplay and best actors (jointly for the four stars) at Avoriaz, Sitges, Paris and other genre festivals around the world.









DISMAYED AT THE London box office results, Armstrong persuaded Cannon to let him experiment with a different approach for the regions in the UK and sell the film as the comedy it was, rather than the horror film that it wasn't. To test this the East Anglia release was launched with a specially organised gala night audience in Stowmarket being issued with souvenir programmes quoting those reviews recognising the film as a comedy. The result was a packed house loving the film, laughing and applauding throughout. As Armstrong points out, 'It was exactly the same audience reaction we'd seen at Avoriaz and in Paris where it had won the audience prize for Best Film at the Paris Film Festival'.


 THE BRITISH QUAD CINEMA POSTER FOR 'HOUSE 
OF THE LONG SHADOWS' WAS SCALED DOWN FOR THE
CANNON VIDEO RELEASE

DESPITE THIS EVIDENCE of the audience reaction, it was too late to change anything. Cannon's original marketing plan remained and the film continued to fail at the UK box office. With a far more tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign the film fared better upon it's American and international release, once more mainly garnering good reviews. Its excellent entry into the video market, however, was cut short by the collapse of Cannon. as part of the company's product sell off, the film was included in a package required by MGM and along with so much of the Cannon product was lost in the archives.




ARMSTRONG SAW THE PROBLEM, 'The problem with parody is that unless you know what is being parodied, you miss the joke and I think that's where certain people missed out on the film. It's a pity because The House Of The Long Shadows is so full of jokes for the movie buff- almost every single line of the dialogue has a reference point to some movie or another - I defy anyone to get them all in a single screening. Apart from the movie references, though, The House Of The Long Shadows exits on several levels, which is why it really needs more than one viewing to appreciate it fully. It was also made with a great love for the film it so affectionately lampoons and as a swan song to the horror careers of the four. Just take a look at their dialogue to see what I mean. I firmly believe when it does finally emerge on DVD, it will finally be recognised, not only as one of Pete Walker's best and most complex films, but as a fitting tribute and elegy to a bygone era'


BUT IT DIDN'T STOP THERE . . 'The House Of The Long Shadows' until 2013 was still in limbo, regarding a legitimate release. Maybe Peter Cushing Centenary was an opportunity too good to miss? Whatever it was, the powers that be, finally gave us what we had been waiting for. 'The House of the Long Shadows' arrived in not only ONE blu ray package, but quite a few! The region FREE blu ray was followed by a German blu ray, then Spanish...and many more there after. The news is good, seems someone turned on the lights at the home of the Grisbanes, and now, the once foggy, under-lit scenes are presented, just as they should have been, when we spent our hard earned cash for groggy dvd copies. The picture quality is great, audio too! The Horror Channel has screened the movie several times over the past five years too! Seems, just like Roderick in the story, if WAIT long enough...you'll get what you want!



HOW WE REPORTED ON THE US REGION BLU RAY RELEASE



PART ONE OF THE MAKING OF THE HOUSE OF LONG SHADOWS 
CAN BE FOUND :  HERE!


#MONSTERMONDAY: THE BLOODY COUNT IN THE CHATEAU WITH GIFS!


#MONSTERMONDAY: Requested By Tel Morrison, UK. David Peel as Baron Meinster... he comes in for a lot of stick, but I think he did very well. Peel really is acting his 'socks-off' here! A very gentle man, older that his casting, was met by his appearance on screen, with cries of 'But...he's NOT Dracula' and 'It Says DRACULA on the poster outside!!' Soul destroying, I would think. He wore lifts because his height was deemed not tall enough for the role (Tell me about it!) and a page boy blonde wig.... to give that look of innocence. All the more frightening, when he changes into the raging vampire beast, that the BARON really was.... I think he did a great job....














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#MONSTERMONDAY: BEHIND THE SCENES ON DALEKS CLASSIC



#MONSTERMONDAY: Here's a treat for our Bank Holiday / Labor Day Monday... It's a look behind the scenes during the making of the first Peter Cushing Dr Who movie at Shepperton studios in 1965. Cushing certainly seems to be enjoying himself, as he and co star Roy Castle break into some song and dance. It's great seeing Peter Cushing so relaxed. Whatever you may think of the Cushing Dr Who films, they were very well made for the time, and the audience of children, for which the film swas made, certainly lapped them up, as did I. Nope Cushing isn't canon, and that in some way is a good thing...he is OUR very own Dr Who!!




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Sunday, 28 May 2017

#GETTHECUSHIONSUNDAY! THE MUMMY ATTACK AND VAN HELSING STAKES!



#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHING: AFTER ALL THE excitement of the Cushing, Lee and Price birthday fun this weekend, what better than to follow it with this week's FIRST Chilling Cushing Clip..which also features, Christopher Lee in his celebrated role of Kharis in Hammer films, 'THE MUMMY'. You might think it rude for mute and bandaged Kharis not to call first or ring the door bell, but this creature is on a mission, and the mission is to KILL! 'The Mummy' followed the first TWO Cushing Lee classic Hammer films, in which they were cast together...The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and the 'Horror of Dracula' (1958) . Do you think it's as good, as the previous first two Hammer horrors??




#GETTHECUSHIONITSCUSHINGSUNDAY! There couldn't have been a scene of more terror and shock for audiences back in 1958, when Cushing's Van Helsing staked the young Lucy, played by Carol Marsh in Hammer films, 'Horror of Dracula / Dracula'..well, if you don't count the seduction of Mina, the horrible death of Dracula in the sun, the slaying of the vampire woman in Castle Dracula, the shock value of Jonathan Harker being trapped in the crypt with Dracula...well, this film was and still is probably one of Cushing and Lee's most effective Hammer horror films, it turns up in most people's Top Five Hammer Horrors. Can you pick YOUR favorite MOMENT of terror in FIVE Cushing films...????


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Saturday, 27 May 2017

NEW LAST MEETING CLIP : LEE PRICE CUSHING BIRTHDAY TREAT!


TAKEN FROM our 'The Last Meeting' of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee we present a NEW CLIP that fits our celebration and marking of the THREE Princes of Terror, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price this weekend... Cushing was born on MAY 26th 1913, Lee on MAY 27th 1922 and Price was born on MAY 27th 1911. All THREE celebrated their birthdays in MAY! So, how fitting this clip, posted for the FIRST time today, perfectly illustrates how fond all three were of each other. You can find MORE clips from 'Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee: The Lasting Meeting' at our youtube channel . . . Enjoy!



Above Artwork by Maria Jose Montcast



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HAPPY BIRTHDAY VINCENT PRICE AND CHRISTOPHER LEE!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO VINCENT PRICE AND CHRISTOPHER LEE! You couldn't fail to notice yesterday, it was the anniversary of Peter Cushing's birthday yesterday?And today, as if that was enough excitement... we also celebrate another TWO great titans of cinema, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price! This is always a special treat we look forward to every year, when we have a TRIPLE opportunity, to indulge and enjoy, and binge on our favorite fantasy films...and everything that goes with that! Are you planning a Christopher lee and Vincent Price FILM BINGE this weekend?? If so, share your idea of the perfect playlist, I am sure many here would appreciate the suggestions, to make their BINGE go with a BANG!





WHERE MANY TODAY ACROSS the net are marking their birthdays in posts individually, we take the opportunity, where we can, to post items, that feature all three Price, Lee and Cushing together. TODAY we have a great example of that! Later we'll be posting a NEW clip from the Cushing and Lee, 'The Last Meeting' archive footage. Where back in 1994, Christopher Lee regales Cushing with an anecdote about Vincent Price!!  'The Last Meeting' archive is, raw video footage of the last time Cushing and Lee met before Peter Cushing passed away in August 1994. The occasion was the recording of a narration script, for the documentary 'Flesh and Blood'. During their time at the studio in Canterbury, England, a camera recorded their candid conversation, their jokes, chat, reminiscing and much more besides. As you can imagine, it makes for quite emotional viewing.



Over the past three years, we have uploaded and shared many clips and extracts from that hour long recording, all of which can be seen at our PCAS YOUTUBE CHANNEL, at this website and our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE. So, do drop in during the day, to catch our NEW and never before seen clip and the final part of our 'The Making of the House of Long Shadows' feature...the only feature films where, Cushing, Price and Lee starred together in a feature film! help us to remember and celebrate the lives and work of Vincent Price and Christopher Lee on their SPECIAL DAY!

BTW: The Birthday Banner rare pic of #vincentprice and #christopherlee together in 1977 is a bit of a mystery to me... anyone have any idea where this was taken, I'd be grateful if you could let me know? Marcus. There is no Lee Fan Club at the moment, but I would recommend you seek out christopherleefan's sites https://www.youtube.com/user/ChristopherLeeFan. Vincent Price has an excellent facebook page, which is managed and maintained by his family. Seek em out here: https://www.facebook.com/MasterofMenace/


IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Please Us Help Keep The Memory Alive!

Friday, 26 May 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETER CUSHING AND HERE'S ANOTHER MILESTONE TOO!


TODAY IS A VERY SPECIAL DAY... Peter Wilton Cushing was born today, May 26th 1913.... Please join us in celebrating, leaving your comments and sharing our posts, to mark this very special day and help us to . . . keep the memory alive!


PETER CUSHING ON HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY!


WE ARE SO LUCKY that Peter Cushing has left us such a large and varied body of work, from his appearances on TV, his writing and of course his film work. And if that wasn't enough, the spirit of the man still echos in everything we do here. When alive, Peter Cushing was so loved and respected. His acts of kindness are still remembered by many who met, worked and knew him. They continue to comment, write and share their stories here at our internet platforms. And editing our content here, is a real joy, when it's always received in the spirit of a man who made so many people happy, and left such an impression on everyone he met.




THE CGI TARKIN that appeared in 'ROGUE ONE : A Star Wars Story' created so much interest in Peter's performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in 'Star Wars: A New Hope' and his many other roles on the small and big screen. Over the weeks, huge amount of column inches written about those Tarkin scenes, which helped push Peter Cushing back into the public arena...not that he ever went away! The fact that the name PETER CUSHING, was trending for several days at the beginning of the year, did his career and our society, no harm at all! But the fact remains, with or without high profile exposure,on a day to day basis, it's no hardship, promoting and remembering a gentleman, who is still so dearly loved..who always gets a positive reaction. The fact that his name always gets a smile when mentioned is part of legacy. So, lets blow out the candles, raise a glass, celebrate and remember the smiles AND the frights!..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETER CUSHING


ANOTHER MILESTONE TODAY! What perfect timing, but you've done it again! On the anniversary of Peter Cushing Birthday, we have hit over THIRTY THOUSAND FOLLOWERS to our Peter Cushing Appreciation Society UK Facebook Fan Page! 



FOR SOME THIS may sound like a corny sentiment, but it's TRUE... this new total is all down to YOU! And the collective YOU is everyone who clicks on our page DAILY, to  our friends out there who send us photographs, cuttings, heads up on screenings, television schedules, conventions, signing events, and dvd and Blu Ray releases. I have to include the guys at Warner Brothers, Twilight Time, Blue Underground and Final Cut, for their continued support and sponsorship of our prize competitions. To Mr Donald Fearney for copies of his terrific Amicus Films Vault of Horror documentary too! I have to thank Nick Digilio and his team at WGN Radio for supporting us and inviting me onto the show. Every interview is a blast, and meeting such a mega Peter Cushing fan provides a lot of fun on the air! Thank you, Nick!  So many to thank who help to make your Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Page, the success that it is.


AND FINALLY, NONE OF THIS would be possible either without the help of my indispensable man behind the scenes, Jamie Somerville..who works very hard in keeping things on track, before and after my relocating to the USA a few weeks ago! His attention to detail is second to none, his eye for a good post, is invaluable. Without Jamie, the PCAS accounts, would simply not be here! So, MANY thanks Jamie. So, here is to the next MILESTONE and to all the fun we'll have on the way! -Many, many thanks again, Marcus Brooks



There is no Lee Fan Club at the moment, but I would reccomend you seek out christopherleefan's sites. https://www.youtube.com/user/ChristopherLeeFan

IF YOU LIKE what you see here at our website, you'll  love our daily themed posts at our PCAS FACEBOOK FAN PAGE.  Please Us Help Keep The Memory Alive!
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