Hammer Glamour

The third and final book in Marcus Hearn’s brilliant Hammer trilogy I want to mention is Hammer Glamour. Whereas the previous two in the trilogy concentrated mostly on Hammer films in general, Hammer Glamour focuses mainly on the many beautiful ladies that graced the studio’s movies over the years.

Every scream queen that you have ever seen in a Hammer movie is covered here, with detailed biographies of each lady accompanied by plenty of gorgeous, colourful photos, many of which are so big that you could even take them out and hang them on your bedroom wall. Every Hammer fan knows that along with all the other features that made the studio such a big box office success story, the fact that each movie introduced some truly gorgeous, low-cleavaged ladies – either as heroines or as villains – was also a big contributory factor to the company’s appeal and legacy. As well as featuring chapters on such popular female Hammer stars as Veronica Carlson, Barbara Shelley and Ingrid Pitt, the book also gives good due coverage to the lesser-known beauties who provided equally outstanding contributions to the studio’s output.

If you have a particularly favourite Hammer scream queen, then you will be pleased to know that she is certainly going to be included in this book, along with an interview and, of course, a gorgeous glossy photo or two. The overall presentation of this book is truly stunning, and again I must take my hat off to Hammer historian Marcus Hearn for his excellent work here. He certainly knows how to provide fantastic material for any Hammer horror fan’s delight.

Just like the other two books in the trilogy, the cover of this book is just superb, depicting a busty Madeline Smith who really personifies the image of “Hammer Glamour” as a whole. Buy this book now to add to your collection, and to complete a trilogy of what, for me, is the best ever written on the Hammer horror legacy.

Buy Hammer Glamour now by clicking on the image link below.

The Hammer Story – The Authorised History of Hammer Films

The second book of Marcus Hearn’s brilliant Hammer trilogy I want to review is The Hammer Story – The Authorised History of Hammer Films. And what a gorgeous book it is too.

Just like the previous book I reviewed, The Hammer Vault, The Hammer Story – The Authorised History of Hammer films is an absolute must have for any ardent Hammer fan. The book provides a wonderful film-by-film dissection, intermingled with a plethora of rare promotional material and previously unpublished photographs. Hammer’s iconic stars – Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Veronica Carlson and many, many more – are again, of course, given plenty of mention, and I especially loved the rare photos of the actors relaxing off screen. The general presentation of this book is truly breathtaking, and like The Hammer Vault, is it is the sort of book that you just have to dip into again and again.

Again, a fantastic cover, with Christopher Lee – the greatest Count Dracula ever, in my opinion – gracing the cover in all his vampiric glory. Well done, Marcus Hearn. You have done Hammer films a great justice with this fantastic book. All Hammer fans must buy this, and you can certainly do so by clicking on the image link below. Believe me, it will be money well spent.

The Hammer Vault

I recently bought three fantastic books on Hammer films, and I am so bowled over by all three books – which I think are the best works on Hammer ever written – that I felt I just had to give them a mention on my blog. The first one I want to discuss here is The Hammer Vault.

If you love Hammer films as much as I do, then The Hammer Vault is a book you definitely must have in your collection. Written and compiled by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn, it is an absolute treasure trove of information on the studio that did so much for British horror movies during the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s. It is a large and beautifully presented tome, absolutely packed with many interesting background stories, poster artwork, private correspondence and hundreds of photos of such classic Hammer actors as Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Ingrid Pitt and Veronica Carlson. It also has many rare photos of some of the people who were responsible for putting together these wonderful movies, like Anthony Hinds, Jimmy Sangster etc. The book is just a joy to pick up and browse through, and it really is the most lavish book ever compiled on Hammer Studios.

All the internal goodies are wonderfully enhanced by the gorgeous cover, which depicts the actual promo poster of Hammer’s 1958 production of Dracula, starring Christopher Lee as the evil vampire count poised to bite the neck of yet another helpless victim. “The Terrifying Lover Who Died – Yet Lived”. Marvelous nostalgic stuff!

Marcus Hearn deserves an award for putting together this book. It is a work that I shall treasure always. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that it is one of the best books I have ever read on not just Hammer films but on movies in general.

Buy The Hammer Vault now from Amazon (click on the link below). Believe me, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Curse of Chucky

I have just watched the new Child’s Play movie, Curse of Chucky, and thought it was brilliant. It was great to see a return to the good, serious horror of the first few movies, rather than a rehash of the lame humour that so ruined the later sequels.

Chucky is back to scary form in this new movie, and his menace is wonderfully compounded by the old dark house scenario of a constant thunderstorm and creepy, shadowy stairways and rooms. I also thought that the rat poison scene – which had you wondering just who was going to unwittingly consume the contaminated meal – was just as tense and suspenseful as any scene that Hitchcock ever created. And the way that Chucky stalks and brutally murders victim after victim is absolutely terrifying. I also thought that having the heroine as crippled in a wheelchair enhanced the lurking menace that Chucky brought to the house, as it made her struggle against the monstrous doll seem all the more exciting and gripping as you rooted for her throughout the whole film. The special effects are brilliant too, and really bring the character of the malevolent Chucky to life.

I must admit, when I first bought the DVD of Curse of Chucky, I did wonder if it would live up to the reputation of the first few movies in the franchise, mindful of how recent remakes and sequels of iconic horror characters have generally proved extremely mediocre. Fortunately, on this occasion, I am pleased to say that my money was not wasted, as Curse of Chucky proved to be every bit as good as its predecessors, if not even better.

If you enjoy a good demonic doll movie, then I strongly recommend Curse of Chucky. I guarantee you will be on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

You can purchase Curse of Chucky from Amazon by clicking on the image link below.

Bates Motel TV Series

I have just been watching the DVD boxed set of the new TV series based on Psycho, Bates Motel. And – WOW – was I impressed!

Bates Motel tells the story of a very young Norman Bates (played brilliantly by Freddie Highmore) and his often turbulent relationship with his mother Norma (played equally brilliantly by Vera Farmiga) prior to the events in the original Psycho movie. I must admit, being a huge fan of Anthony Perkins and all the Psycho movies in which he starred, I did initially have some doubts as to whether this new spin on such an iconic horror character would be as good as the films. As it turned out, I certainly was not disappointed, for Bates Motel is one of the greatest drama/horror series I have ever seen.

Full of interesting characters, clever plot twists and bristling with tension and excitement in every scene, Bates Motel is a masterpiece of a TV series, and I would highly recommend it to anybody who is a fan of the Psycho franchise. I was utterly hooked from start to finish, and it was that good that I had to watch more than one episode per night. And WHAT a shocking finale to the first season!

I can’t wait now for Season Two, which I understand will be screened on American TV screens at the beginning of March 2014.

You can buy Bates Motel from Amazon by clicking on the image link below.

Insidious 2

I have just watched what must be one of the WORST horror sequels I have ever seen in my whole life, namely Insidious 2. What a load of utter rubbish it was.

There are so many faults I could cite about this film, and here are some of the main ones: too much dialogue, boring and unrealistic plot, too many scene transitions and flashbacks. I could go on, but I won’t, because if any of you reading this post have seen the film yourselves, then you’ll know too well what I mean.

The first movie was excellent, and quite scary in places. It was original and creepy, just the way a good horror movie should be. It’s not surprising, therefore, that when I heard they were making a sequel to Insidious, I was filled with excited anticipation. And once the DVD of Insidious 2 finally came out, I raced down to my local supermarket and eagerly snatched up a copy. I couldn’t wait to watch it. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed, and became that bored with this lame sequel that I even stopped watching near the end and went on my laptop.

Now I hear they are making Insidious 3. Well, all I’ve got to say is that if it’s anything like the huge disappointment that was Insidious 2, then they can keep it. I certainly won’t be buying.

EMC Partners Can Earn a Platform Engineer Certification in Five Platforms

Being a partner of EMC provides individuals with numerous benefits, one of the main ones being access to certain certification tracks. One of these is the Platform Engineer track, which is designed for professionals who are interested in a career maintaining and engineering the deployment of storage and information infrastructure solutions. The way EMC has set up this track is extremely beneficial to the individual earning the certifications – because there is a certification available for each of five technologies, participants will be able to become familiar with applying skills and providing solutions to customers in five different environments.

Because environments will be different based on the technology and products used, you can gain important experience in the certification process. Specializations can be earned in the EMC Centera, Celerra, CLARiiON, Symmetrix, and VNX families of products. Each one has a different test that must be passed to earn the certification, but each test will be very similar in design and material. Each will require knowledge of major, fundamental storage and information management concepts that are first validated at the associate level. As long as you well versed in this knowledge and are able to apply such concepts to specific situations, you can easily earn as many specialist certifications as you would like.

On top of that, each certification is accompanied with a training course, practice exam, and other materials that can enhance your exam performance and overall base of solution deployment skills. For platform engineers looking for a major boost in their career, consider the five certification platforms that EMC has to offer.

Agnetha Faltskog Back On Stage

As a lifelong ABBA fan, I can’t say how utterly thrilled and excited I was to see Agnetha Faltskog back on stage last night performing with Gary Barlow at the Children In Need concert.

It’s been such a long time since I last saw Agnetha perform anywhere, let alone live onstage at a charity concert, since ABBA faded from the limelight.

Well done, Gary Barlow, for your great achievement in managing to get such a legendary pop icon as Agnetha to give her time to put on such a great performance.

Welcome back, Agnetha. Great to see you again.

Fright Night 2

Well, I treated myself to Fright Night 2 today on DVD, having been impressed by the TV trailer. And – wow – I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

It was MUCH better than the first remake, and the female vampire in it was just fantastic! Countess Elizabeth Bathory in modern times. No excessive, sloppy, teen romance, but just good old scary vampire horror, the way vampire movies SHOULD be. And the special effects certainly enhanced the movie to a stunning degree.

If you love vampires they way they should be portrayed, then I would highly recommend you get Fright Night 2. I will certainly be keeping this movie in my collection. It’s one of the best modern takes on the Countess Dracula story that I have ever seen.

You can buy Fright Night 2 buy clicking on the image link below:

The World Horror Convention

If you are a big horror fan, then why not check out The World Horror Convention website at: www.worldhorrorconvention.com

The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry: publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider’s networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.