Thursday, October 13, 2011

More upcoming British horror films on DVD

Peter Sasdy was born in Budapest, but made his career as a film and TV director in England -- notably with three films for Hammer: Taste the Blood of Dracula, Hands of the Ripper, and Countess Dracula with Ingrid Pitt. After these, he hit his stride as a director of thrillers, including Nothing but the Night in 1973.

Going into the 1970s, it was clear that the glory days of Hammer were past, and several members of that community were looking for new opportunities. Christopher Lee formed his own production company, Charlemagne Productions, with producer Anthony Nelson-Keys, in the hopes of creating interesting science-fiction and horror films with intelligent scripts. Charlemagne's first -- and only -- film, Nothing but the Night, teams Lee with his long-time friend Peter Cushing and Diana Dors in a thriller about possessed children on a remote island. It's finally out on DVD next week from Scorpion Releasing. Extras include a trailer and liner notes by Cushing biographer Christopher Gullo.

Countess Dracula has previously been available on an MGM Midnite Movies double-feature disc with the other Ingrid Pitt vampire film, The Vampire Lovers. Synapse Films is currently in the middle of releasing several Hammer films as Blu-ray/DVD combo packs, and plans to offer Countess Dracula next year after finishing Twins of Evil and Hands of the Ripper.

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