ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Ingrid Pitt - A Tribute
By James Whittington, Tuesday 7th December 2010

Countess Dracula DVD CoverIngrid Pitt was one of the great horror movie legends and when she passed away just a few weeks ago the movie industry lost an irreplaceable icon. We had the pleasure of interviewing this wonderful lady in 2006 and that piece is reproduced here as a small tribute to her and the cinematic legacy she left behind. Ingrid talked about her early life, how she got to work for Hammer and gave advice for young actors wanting to break into the business.

HC: Many film fans associate you with the horror genre but few may know that you actually experienced real life horror at a very early age as you were detained in a Nazi Concentration camp. Do you think these events shaped your personality, made you a stronger person?

IP: Everything that happens in your life has a bearing on how you end up. Especially in your childhood. So I guess it has.

HC: How did you get into the movie industry and what were your first impressions of the Hollywood system?

IP: I was at a bull fight in Spain. I was sitting close to the barrier and when I saw the poor bull being mutilated I got into a bit of a state and a photographer took my picture. Ana Mariscol, a Spanish director, saw it on the front page of EL Pais and gave me a part in Los Duendes de Andalucia as a drunken American in love with a bull fighter. I had done a lot of stage work in the US but couldn't speak a word of Castelleno. I soon learned. First impressions of Hollywood. Not Good! But that was my fault because I was so stupid.

HC: How did you get involved with Hammer and Amicus Productions?

IP: I had just finished Where Eagles Dare and was having my dib at being a Premiere Queen. Going to all the Premieres, getting photographed and telling everyone how inundated I was with work offers. At the after show party for the premiere of Alfred The Great I sat next to James Carreras, boss of Hammer. I didn't know who he was but I gave him the treatment. He asked me to come to his office - he might have a couple of jobs for me. I'd heard that ploy before but in reality I hadn't anything on the hob so I went. And was totally surprised when I walked out of the door with Vampire Lovers a quarter of an hour later.

HC: The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula and The Wicker Man are considered as classics of the genre, did you think at the time that these movies would become so revered?

IP: I don't think you think like that at the time. It's a job of work. You get paid and get back in line and wait for another part. I'm grateful to the cinema fans who have kept all three in the public eye. It helps out in my old age.

HC: Is there one movie or performance that you are particularly proud of?

IP: Proud? I don't think so. My movie career has been much like the rest of my life. Someone offers me something, I do it and then do other things until something else pops up. I'm lucky. I have a stable home life, have found out that people like what I write so I try to push out a book a year when I'm able and get just enough cameo parts in films to keep it interesting.

HC: Have you ever had any reservations about nudity in your films?

IP: None whatsoever. And I don't plead the caveat that I have done it because it was essential to the films' integrity. I just like getting my kit off. As Confucius should have said. "If you've got it, flaunt it!"

HC: Were you nervous working alongside actors such as Clint Eastwood, Peter Cushing, and Jon Pertwee?

IP: It's nerve making enough just shooting a film. I don't think I had any nerves left over for my co-stars. But I was very appreciative. I suppose the three actors who made the greatest impression were Clint Eastwood, Alec Guinness and Richard Burton. For very different reasons. Clint is the consummate professional. When he's working on a film he is totally dedicated to every aspect of it. Alec Guinness was also dedicated but only to what ended up on the screen. He was selfless and didn't mind if he wasn't in shot as long as it was good for the work as a whole. And that is saying something for a leading actor. And Richard Burton? I found it desperately sad that an actor of his talent hadn't sufficient control of himself to stop drinking.

HC: You have appeared in many television programs, do you prefer this medium to movies?

IP: Not that many that I could give a considered answer. I suppose film work usually pays better and is less hectic. In TV I have usually played guest stars. Very flattering but usually, in a series, just furniture for the lead actors to bounce off. One of my favourite TV parts was as the bitchy film star in The Zoo Gang. Well it was the South of France and I did have some lovely actors in support.

HC: You have become (like it or not) a cinema icon, is this label hard to live with?

IP: I don't live with it. And if you read the Hammer website forum you will soon be informed that I don't merit the accolade. I guess that is why I no longer have Ingrid Pitt - Icon on my calling cards.

HC: Did being associated with horror movies ever hinder your career or do you think it helped it?

IP: I don't think it hindered it. It didn't help my career that I married and then divorced a top executive at Rank. I couldn't get work in this country because my husband warned producers that if they had me in a film it wouldn't get shown. I don't blame them for taking the warning to heart. I went and lived in Argentina for a few years and came back after he died. But the boat was over the horizon by then.

HC: You say that you like playing “baddies” in movies, why is this? Do they always get the best lines?

IP: The best lines - usually. But you definitely get remembered. It was something new in film when I came along. Before that women were usually there to fuel the male testosterone. I was extremely lucky to be on the cusp of a new wave. Remember the Modesty Blaize movie? It came out in 1966 and was fractionally before its time. It kicked off too early. The audience wasn't prepared for a ballsy woman. I'm amazed no producers have tried another shot at it now. I think it might be a winner.

HC: Tell us about your time with a tribe of Indians in Colorado.

IP: My transition period! I had been working the American cow towns with the Pasadena Playhouse. My first husband, a US Marine Major at the time, had gone off to Viet Nam - again. I had a baby daughter and an old Oldsmobile and the clothes I lolled around in. And I was mad that my husband had decided to go off and fight an unpopular war. When the touring company ran out of money I did a bunk. Driving north, with the little money I had running out, I was desperate when I got a puncture. Luckily it was near a little Indian village that sold worn out tyres at the road side. They realised how desperate I was and insisted that I stayed over until I was feeling better. I finished up staying for about a month. They were fabulous. They had practically nothing but what they got from the government, and that went to the liquor store as soon as it arrived, but they looked after us as if they had loads of cash and we were visiting royalty. It's a wonderful memory. But it was finally time to leave and I went on my journey which would finally deposit me in Madrid.

HC: What advice would you give to young actresses just starting their careers? Were there any mistakes you made and people could learn from?

IP: Learn to type. Go to an acting school. The business has changed now and it is harder to break into unless you've a drama school you can slip into the conversation. Men in the entertainment industry are no more predatory than in any other walk of life. They just get better opportunities to take advantage of a situation. So save it for the real McCoy. Or flaunt it as you wish. Remember that any old biddy like me never listened to anything our elders and betters told us so why should you. Just remember that when you get to my age it's too late to make any adjustments - so go for it. It's not a rehearsal.


MORE ARTICLES
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Posted in Reviews, Friday 18th October 2019
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Georges Boukoff, Anthony d'Amario and Ed Rig
The Omega Productions Records

Pascal Laugier's Ghostland (known in the UK as Incident in a Ghostland) was one of the highlights of FrightFest 2018 and proved once and for all that this director was a master of the sinister and murky.

Produced ten years after Martyrs, the movie was more considered in its tension building and was in its strange way a contained a classic fairy tale structure.

The movie concerns the aftermath of a brutal home invasion experienced by Beth along with mother and sister Vera. Forward a few years and Beth is now a horror novelist and has found solace in her w...

SHARE: READ MORE
Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Posted in Reviews, Thursday 17th October 2019

Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Sacred Bones
Double Vinyl

Halloween 2018 was a box-office hit and gave the franchise a much-needed tension injection. It saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and that of original director John Carpenter though he wasn't in the driving seat for this one. Instead he, alongside his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies created the score and delivered an atmospheric piece which retained whispers to the past without drowning in them.

The soundtrack album was a hit as much as the movie was debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dare you experience Kraken Screamfest: The Director's Cut?
Posted in News, Tuesday 15th October 2019

This Halloween, London braces itself for The Kraken Rum to deliver a unique bar and horror experience like no other, commissioning legendary horror mastermind Neil Marshall to direct every detail of the night. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is joining forces with the esteemed Hollywood Director to present 'Kraken Screamfest: Director's Cut' - promising to bestow fresh new nightmares on even the most devoted fans of the horror genre.

Neil Marshall, famed for classics The Descent, Dog Soldiers and Game of Thrones, will be terrifying those brave enough to step inside the real-world creation of his darkest imaginings. Everything from the decor and the staff to the Kraken Rum cockt...

SHARE: READ MORE
Superb supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary to have UK cinema release on 25th October
Posted in News, Tuesday 15th October 2019

Wildcard Distribution is bringing the Irish supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary to UK cinemas on 25th October. The film will play exclusively in key cities around the UK with Odeon Cinemas.

Extra Ordinary stars comedian/writer/actress Maeve Higgins (Naked Camera, Inside Amy Schumer), Barry Ward (Jimmy's Hall, MAZE), Will Forte (Nebraska, McGruber, Last Man on Earth), and Claudia O'Doherty (Trainwreck, Love, Inside Amy Schumer, Long Shot) and tells the story of Rose, a sweet and lonely small town driving instructor who must use her supernatural 'talent' to save the daughter of a local man from a washed up rock-star looking to use her in a satanic pact that will reignite his fame.

The film wh...

SHARE: READ MORE
"It's the most zombified time of the year!" Anna and the Apocalypse is coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Thursday 10th October 2019
Anna and the Apocalypse Bluray cover

What better way to celebrate the festive season than with a zombie apocalypse Christmas musical?

Anna and the Apocalypse is set for its UK Blu-ray debut on 2 December in a feature packed double-disc edition, courtesy of Second Sight.

It's Christmas time and the sleepy Scottish town of Little Haven is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But even zombies can't stop the teen drama: will Anna's best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) reveal his true feelings for her, or will her smu...

SHARE: READ MORE
Terry Pratchett's Discworld comes to vinyl for the first time this November
Posted in News, Thursday 10th October 2019

Terry Pratchett's Vinyl Discworld is a 15LP vinyl audiobook box set featuring seven classic stories, which will be released on Friday 29th November.

Following the very successful Good Omens, Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy releases on vinyl, Demon Music Group presents Discworld featuring the following stories:
Mort
Wyrd Sisters
Guards! Guards!
Eric
Small Gods
Night Watch
Bonus non-Discworld story Only You Can Save Mankind

41 Discworld novels were written, set on a fictional flat planet, balanced on the backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle. It is estimated that more than 80 milli...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted in Interviews, Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

SHARE: READ MORE
13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted in Features, Tuesday 8th October 2019

For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.

Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chris Bavota, co-director of Dead Dicks
Posted in Interviews, Sunday 6th October 2019
ChrisBavota_DeadDicks

Horror is the perfect genre for getting across very serious issues. Dead Dicks, which is showing at Grimmfest today does exactly that by looking at the sensitive subject of mental health. Here co-director Chris Bavota talks about this intriguing movie.

HC: How did you and co-writer and co-director Lee Paula Springer first meet?

CB: In case people don't know, Lee and I have been married for almost 10 years and we have 2 young daughters. Making movies somehow came as a natural evolution of that but wasn't really a part of our lives until about three or four years ago. We originally met back around 2004 through a mutual friend and honestly, we didn't really ge...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Robi Michael, writer and director of Every Time I Die
Posted in Interviews, Saturday 5th October 2019
Robi Michael

Grimmfest 2019 is well underway and one of the stand out movies so far has been Every Time I Die from director Robi Michael. Here he chats about this gripping movie.

HC: Was there one person or movie that you saw that made you want to be a director?

RM: Hard to think of one person or movie, because as long as I remember, it was clear to me that all I want to do is make movies - I was in love with films and decided to pursue it from a very early age. I was too young to realized what it takes to make movies or what is the job of a director. I can say that an early big influence in story telling is the legendary graphic novel writer, Alan Moore. Books like "Watchmen" and "V for...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2019 event
Posted in Frightfest, News, Thursday 3rd October 2019
FF19-Halloween logoArrow Video FrightFest continues on its highly acclaimed and hugely successful Twenty Bloody Year rampage with a fear-packed journey through Halloween traditions, religious deviance, unstoppable maniacs, warped fairy tales, terrifying board games and the very rules of horror themselves.

The popular Halloween all-day event returns to the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3 November and the 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four UK premieres, one European and one International premiere.

The day kicks off with the European Premiere of Josh Hasty's Candy Corn. With an impressive all-star genre cast (including Tony Todd, who exec-produces), an innovative iconic killer...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Stir Of Echoes
STIR OF ECHOES
Tuesday 22nd October
9.00 PM
Boo
BOO
Wednesday 30th October
9.00 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Wednesday 30th October
7.00 PM