Gothique Film Society

 

 

 

FILMS FOR THE CONNOISSEUR OF THE MACABRE

 

 

 

 

Filmography details linked to in the film titles on these pages are all courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.

 

 

 

Season 49 October 2014-March 2015

 

 

 

Friday 17 October

 

MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY & GIRLY (1970) 

 

FINAL APPOINTMENT (1954)  

 

SEASON 49                                                    FIRST SHOW                                          17 OCTOBER 2014

 

MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY AND GIRLY                                     Brigitte/1969                                                           102 minutes

 

Producer: Ronald J. Kahn; Director: Freddie Francis; Screenplay: Brian Comport; Photography: David Muir; Editor: Tristam Cones; Music: Bernard Ebbinghouse

 

Michael Bryant (New Friend), Ursula Howells (Mumsy), Patricia Heywood (Nanny), Howard Trevor (Sonny), Vanessa Howard (Girly), Robert Swann (Soldier), Imogen Hassall (Girl-friend), Michael Ripper (Zoo keeper), Hugh Armstrong (Friend in Five)  

 

FINAL APPOINTMENT                                                   A.C.T. Films/1954                                                                  60 minutes

 

Producer: Francis Searle; Director: Terence Fisher; Screenplay: Kenneth Hayles; Photography: Jonah Jones; Editor: John Ferris; Music: [un-credited] 

 

John Bentley (Mike Billings), Eleanor Summerfield (Jenny), Hubert Gregg (Hartnell), Jean Lodge (Laura Robens), Sam Kydd (Vickery), Meredith Edwards (Tom Martin), Liam Redmond (Inspector Corcoran), Arthur Lowe (Barratt)

 

FINAL APPOINTMENT finds director Terence Fisher on familiar territory, as he toiled away through the 1950s on low budget features, until achieving his breakthrough with Hammer’s Gothic horrors. Dismissed by the Monthly Film Bulletin (November 1954) as a “formula crime melodrama”, this might well be the only ‘serial killer’ film released with a ‘U’ certificate! Based on the play Death Keeps a Date, and running a brisk hour, the film was produced at Nettlefold Studios, Walton on Thames, which had been founded way back in 1899 by film pioneer Cecil Hepworth but acquired by industrial magnate Archibald Nettlefold in 1926. The film was retitled The Last Appointment in the USA.          

 

MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY AND GIRLY, according to the Monthly Film Bulletin (March 1970), was “always agreeable to look at, with Freddie Francis and his camera prowling as elegantly as usual, [but] is a distinct disappointment in what might have been a happy return to the territory of The Psychopath and Torture Garden”. The reviewer went on to suggest that “Most of the trouble seems to lie in the script, which has evident ambitions to cross Pinter with Gothic, but succeeds merely in being Grand Guignol, and pretty limp Grand Guignol at that.” This is a shame, as the film began as a dream project for Freddie Francis. His previous features had come to him on commission from a studio, and he had long dreamed of making a film over which he had complete creative control. During his career, he had shot several exterior scenes at Oakley Court (the Gothic mansion next door to Down Place/Bray Studios that became a luxury hotel in 1981), but long lamented that neither he nor any other director had ever had the opportunity to film inside the building. Putting together this project, he decided that his film would be set in and around it, with the script tailored to the building's unique landscaping and architecture. Having never written a film himself, Mr. Francis hired writer Brian Comport to craft a screenplay. Trying to come up with ideas, they attended the off West End play The Happy Family, written by Maisie Mosco, then a radio playwright for the BBC. They thought the play - which was overtly sexual and dealt explicitly with incest, lesbianism, and sadomasochism - “terrible”, but agreed that it was an excellent tipping-off point for a story that could take place at Oakley Court. Owing to the film's origins as a stage production, the cast was largely filled out with experienced stage performers who had made the transition to film, such as Ursula Howells, Patricia Heywood and Michael Bryant. (It’s also nice to see Michael Ripper in crop up.) Vanessa Howard was a relative newcomer; she performed so well that it was decided in post-production that she would become the centerpiece of the film's marketing campaign, with the intention of turning the film into a star vehicle for her. Unfortunately the film was produced amidst a backlash against indecency in the British media. Media watchdogs latched onto a scene at the beginning in which Girly suggestively sucks Sonny's finger after accepting a sweet from him. This was the result of the writer having toyed with the idea of carrying over the incest themes from the play. In the end he merely suggested incest, but this scene came to be the film's defining moment in many reviews. And, coincidentally, the film was released concurrently with Goodbye Gemini, about a mentally imbalanced young man sexually obsessed with his sister. The two created a moral panic amongst media watchdogs, and were held up as indicative of the state of the British film industry. Due to this backlash, few cinemas screened it. In an attempt to recoup its losses, the film was rebranded for release in the United States, where exploitation films were enjoying moderate success. Retitled simply Girly, the film's advertising campaign was retooled to be built exclusively around Vanessa Howard. The film performed surprisingly well, and Mr. Francis maintained for the rest of his life that it had been his best work, and his personal favourite of all the films he made. In a footnote, modern film critics have speculated that the film was a possible influence on Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, for the scene in which Nanny chases one of the ‘friends’ with an axe, hacking through the panel of a door and exposing her face to the room's occupant. This, of course, predated the infamous “Here's Johnny!” sequence by over a decade.    

                                                                                                                                                                                         Dave Simpson

 

Our next show is on 21 November, when our ‘Classic Colour Programme’ double bill will be SHE (1935, dirs: Lansing C. Holden and Irving Pichel) and DR. CYCLOPS (1940, dir: Ernest B. Schoedsack).

 

 

 

 

Friday 21 November

6:45pm Start

 

DR CYCLOPS (1940) 

 

SHE (1935). 

 

 

 

Friday 19 December

 

FANTASTIC DISAPPEARING MAN (1958) 

 

INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (1977)

 

 

 

Friday 16 January

 

STRANGLER (1964) 

 

HAND OF DEATH (1962)

 

 

 

Friday 13 February

 

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? (1972) 

 

CLUE OF THE NEW PIN (1961) 

 

 

 

Friday 6 March

 

DIABOLICAL DR Z (1966) 

 

AWFUL DR ORLOF (1962) 

 

 

 

Friday 20 March

 

VELVET VAMPIRE (1971) 

 

CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE (1961) 

 

 

 

Filmography details linked to in the film titles on these pages are all courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the text from the programme that is mailed out to members is reproduced below.  Comments on the films directly below the credits are either by Robin James or Dave Simpson.

 

 

j_s_davies@hotmail.com

 

 

 

For members unable to attend screenings, copies of Dave Simpson’s programme notes (for the current season) are available from Simon Davies:

j_s_davies@hotmail.com

 

 

 

With the unavailability of and cost of screening titles on 16mm film, all shows are now on DVD.

 

 

 

Newcomers to the Gothique are always welcome.  Note that for each programme the screening order will not necessarily be as shown here.  Also, the society is really for people interested in the films being shown rather than those who enjoy a perfect cinema experience.  The screening facilities at Conway Hall could be described as basic – unraked seats that some may find uncomfortable, occasional intrusive noise from other people using the building …. 

 

 

 

The cost of membership for the whole season is £17.50 (£7.00 for guest tickets for a single show).

 

Send Robin a cheque (see below for his address) – we don’t do anything sophisticated like payment by Paypal or credit cards.  Let him know whether you are happy to collect your membership card when you first attend a show or would like it posting (obviously enclose a stamped self addressed envelope for this).

 

Or turn up early and join on the spot when you first attend a show.

 

 

 

 

 

Season 49 October 2014-March 2015

 

 

 

 

The Gothique Film Society is fast approaching its 50th season.  Hard to imagine that any member could survive this long!  Hopefully we will get there; just watch this space!

 

In the meantime we present Season 49 with some interesting ‘link up’ programmes, some known, some not so familiar and some rarely seen!  The season kicks off with a tribute to our late and great Gothique presidents, Terence Fisher and Freddie Francis and we are showing two of their rarely seen films.  This is a great double bill.

 

Two vintage ‘classics’ follow, Dr Cyclops, a newly restored original technicolour print.  Coupled with She (1935) which has been restored in a new colourised version and it is like watching a brand new movie!  Again, a great double.  The season also includes a vintage classic double bill by Jess Franco made before his more familiar ‘sexploitation’ style movies.

 

And don’t miss The Strangler, a gripping thriller, coupled with Hand of Death, a low budget 1950s shocker.  Both these films have rarely been seen.  Add a couple of ‘cult’ style movies to help complete the season and we have another great line up; enjoy!

 

Robin James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute to the Gothique’s Presidents

 

 

 

Friday 17 October 2014

6:45pm Start

 

 

 

MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY & GIRLY (aka Girly) (1969).  dir. Freddie Francis.  102 mins.  Michael Bryant.  Ursula Howells.  Patricia Heywood.  Howard Trevor.  Vanessa Howard.

 

You wouldn’t want to have tea with this family!  If you don’t play by their rules you are sent to ‘live with the angels’; in other words, they kill you!  Downbeat mix of black comedy and horror which is unpleasant at times.  This is one of Freddie Francis’s seldom seen films and it is now time for a reappraisal.

 

 

 

“Although always agreeable to look at, with Freddie Francis and his camera prowling as elegantly as usual, this is a distinct disappointment in what might have been a happy return to the territory of The psychopath and Torture Garden.  Most of the trouble seems to lie in the script, which has evident ambitions to cross Pinter with Gothic but succeeds merely in being Grand Guignol, and pretty limp Grand Guignol at that.   The latter half picks up somewhat though, …” II Average. according to Monthly Film Bulletin March 1970

 

“... Tedious boredom is one of the least of my objections to Mumsy – along with a preposterous plot, trite dialogue, cheap shock tricks and embarrassingly bad acting, one out lives tedium – but the basic immorality of the film sticks to one like slime.”according to  Peter Buckley in Films and filming June 1970

 

“This whimsically ghoulish horror melodrama needed either more ghoul and guignol or more of the deliberate grotesquerie of something like The munsters teleseries. ... The fey ghoulish premise of the narrative based on Maisie Mosco’s play, has adults pretending to be wayward and malevolent inhabitants of the nursery, a dimension underscored by the characters’ names, but this is also precludes any development of the potentially satirical aspects of the material and Comport’s script remains on the level of a slightly eccentric farce instead of the anarchic explosion of familial stereotypes it might have been.” according to Hardy (1985)

 

“This off-beat melodrama about a sickly sweet family who live on a country estate and get their kicks from kidnapping and murder appears to have disappeared from sight.  … it was not received at all well upon release.  .“ according to Flesh & Blood 2 (1993)’s British horror filmography 1970 – 1972.

 

“Crime. Murderous teenagers kidnap drunk to play games with” according to Gifford (2000)

 

“Two adolescents bring home lonely people as playthings for a homicidal family.  Revolting black comedy for masochists representing the British cinema at its lowest ebb.” according to Halliwell.

 

“In a crumbling country mansion, a matriarchal family – seemingly lost in Victorian/ Edwardian customs and values – kidnaps vagrants off the streets and forces them to join in their infantile games, doing away with each “friend” when they fail to keep to the “rules”.  But then the latest victim cunningly begins to turn the tables on Mumsy, Nanny and especially Girly.    Side-stepping the safety of Hammer/ Amicus for one moment, Freddie Francis’ Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly exists in a polite English borderland of dust and decay, simultaneously doffing an ill-fitted school cap to the past whilst brutally ridiculing it.  The Victorian Gothic structure of Oakley Court, Berkshire is the setting for this peculiar story.  Once a Hammer location for the likes of Plague of the zombies (1965) and The reptile (1966), here it has fallen into grand disrepair; a smothering Petri dish, where unsuitable questions are not allowed at dinner table.  Where did these people come from?  Why are they acting this way?  Where’s daddy?  Why are they playing a game?  The only answer to that is “You’ve got to play the game.” … it is, in fact, a passing reference to Charles Kingsley’s The water babies that best sums up the family: all the strenuous attempts to present an idealised version of purity and virtue to the world in fact merely allows the audience to glimpse, horrified, at unearthed preoccupations of an unnatural, sexual nature … Such a disturbing take on supposed normality makes  Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly a truly deranged classic, and also home to one of the most biting put-downs ever uttered in British cinema: “Just remember.” Mumsy tells her subordinate, “You’re only the Nanny.  I’m the Mumsy.” “ according to Upton.

 

 

 

FINAL APPOINTMENT (1954). dir. Terence Fisher.  65 mins.  Hubert Gregg.  John Bentley.  Eleanor Summerfield.

 

A hack crime reporter investigates a series of mysterious deaths in this early 1950s British thick eared penny dreadful.  It’s directed by Terence Fisher before he hit his stride with the classic Hammer horrors.  The short running time and fast pace help to keep this nifty pot boiler from overcooking!

 

 

 

“Formula crime melodrama, in which a clever young journalist solves a crime in the intervals of exchanging back-chat with his reporter girlfriend and a police inspector.” III (Poor). according to Monthly Film Bulletin November 1954

 

“Silly comedy-thriller, characters repeated in Stolen Assignment (1955)” according to Quinlan.

 

Dixon talks about this being a lost Fisher, one of the small number of Fisher films that he was unable to view while writing his book.  No copy in the National Film Archive, not Hammer so not available from their vaults and because it was not released in the US, no Library of Congress copy.  He should have asked BECTU.

 

“Crime.  Reporter saves lawyer from being killed by victim of wartime court martial.”  according to Gifford (2000)

 

“A newspaper journalist and his wise-cracking assistant team up with the police to solve a perplexing murder case involving war veterans, each killed on the same date each year” DVD cover (no trumpeting it as a long lost Fisher).

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Colour Programme

 

 

 

Friday 21 November

 

 

DR CYCLOPS (1940).  dir. Ernest Schoedsack.  65 mins.  Albert Dekker.  Janice Logan.

 

Deep in the jungles of Brazil a nasty scientist miniaturises five of his colleagues for his sinister experiments.  Excellent trick photography and fabulous technicolour help make this mad doctor hokum a bit of a classic of its kind.

 

 

 

“In a year overrun with the cloying ministrations of Dr Kildare and Dr Christian, the medical malpractices of Dr Cyclops somewhat restored the balance.  An interesting stunt shocker, part of the big new horror cycle that had started with Son of Frankenstein, it marked Ernest B. Schoedsack’s return to the horror field after some curiously empty and wasted years in which the glories of King Kong had given way to pleasant programmers like John Barrymore’s Long lost father, and the Jack Holt melodrama Outlaws of the orient.  Moreover it represented the first attempt since The mystery of the wax museum to harness Technicolour to the service of screen horror.  … The return of Schoedsack, the use of colour, the novelty of the subject matter – veering more to science fiction than most of the other horror films of the 1939 – 1940 years – perhaps justify the inclusion of the usually ignored and frankly disappointing  Dr Cyclops in a discussion of horror classics, although it is far from classic itself. … The colour made everything so bright and gay that it robbed the plot of menace or suspense, and it was helped in this by a jolly frolicking musical score, almost Disney-like in its concentration on the novelty of the situation rather than its horror.  (Quite incidentally, the storm sequence which should have been genuinely nightmarish since it is the doll people’s first experience of the outside world in their new size, is much inferior to, and certainly less frightening than Disney’s similar storm sequence in Snow White and the seven dwarfs.)  Schoedsack, who prepared everything so carefully and mathematically in King Kong is here bland and casual to a fault: everything starts too early, continues placidly on an even keel, and finishes with only the slightest buildup to a climax.  There is not even the (one would think both obligatory and essential) subjective view of the giant scientist from the doll people’s point of view.  The economical trick work is … devoid of real imagination and especially lacking the presence of Willis O’Brien. …  Albert Dekker … has none of the verve of an Attwill or Zucco.  Thomas Coley’s hero is singularly dull and Janice Logan is pretty and ladylike but a rank amateur in the bosom-heaving screams that call for the expertise of a Fay Wray.  … Colour … was presumably the major cost factor with this film; the cast was inexpensive, …   As much money was spent on an admittedly striking advertising campaign as had been spent on the picture itself and commercially, it undoubtedly paid off well for Paramount.  It remains diverting hokum – but one of the major wasted opportunities among horror films.” according to Everson.

 

“… Conventional juvenile horror story benefits from solid special effects: it was the first time transparencies, split screens and double exposures had been used in a colour film.  The tiny people look authentic.  Director Ernest B Schoedsack borrowed ideas from Willis O’Brien who’d done the special effects for Schoedsack’s King Kong and Son of Kong. …” according to Peary.

 

"This marvellous film features Dekker as the mad scientist of the title who in the midst of the Peruvian jungle is conducting clandestine experiments in reducing humans to one fifth their normal size.  Gloriously photographed in Technicolour by Hoch and Sharp and imaginatively directed by Schoedsack, best known for his production of King Kong , ... The special effects, mostly matte and back projection, are well executed - the film was made 'with a slide rule and blueprints' Schoedsack once told an interviewer - but it is the simple central idea that gives the movie its power." according to Hardy (1995).

 

“Jungle travellers are captured and miniaturized by a mad scientist.  Splendid special effects and an appropriately sombre atmosphere are hampered by a slow paced narrative in this minor horror classic.” according to Halliwell.

 

 

 

SHE (1935).  dir. Irving Pichel, Lancing G Holden.  84 mins.  Randolph Scott.  Nigel Bruce.  Helen Gahagan.

 

A group of explorers seek out a mysterious Kingdom hidden deep in the Arctic regions ruled by a Queen who cannot age.  This vintage version of the classic story is being shown in a newly restored and colourized version, it’s like viewing a new film.

 

 

 

“Ancient papers lead a Cambridge professor and his friends to the lost city where dwells a queen who cannot die – until she falls in love.  The producers have the right spirit for this Victorian fantasy but tried too hard to emulate the mood of their own King Kong, and it was a mistake to transfer the setting from Africa to the Arctic.  One for connoisseurs though.”   “Beautiful production but story dubious for discriminating adults.” Variety. “To an unrepentant Haggard fan it does sometimes seem to catch the thrill as well as the childishness of his invention”.   Graham Greene.  “A spectacle of magnificent proportions with the decadent effluvium of the tomb period.” Photoplay. “The stagey décor of Kor is in the art deco style of Radio City Music Hall and you keep expecting the Rockettes to turn up.”  Pauline Kael.. according to Halliwell.

 

 

 

 

 

Men Decaying Badly

 

 

 

Friday 19 December

 

 

 

 

FANTASTIC DISAPPEARING MAN (aka The return of Dracula aka Curse of Dracula) (1958)  dir. Paul Landres.  77 mins.   Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt

 

Also known as ‘The Return of Dracula’, you-know-who leaves his native Balkans, murders a Czech artist and moves in with the man’s American cousins. The poster proclaimed “The Most Horrifying Thrill in the History of Motion Pictures”. But then it would, wouldn’t it?

 

 

 

“The novelty of this Dracula film is the introduction of the horrific into the everyday life of a suburban household.  Like most films of this kind the patches between the moments of horror are plodding and lax; only twice is the ordinary elevated into the frightening – once when a car horn blares at night and again when a Halloween mask appears in violent close up.  Apart from that, this is a tired little variation on a dying theme.” II Average. according to Monthly Film Bulletin December 1958

 

“When the impressionistic approach fostered in pictures such as [Dracula and Son of Dracula] by Universal studios ended in the late Forties, the vampire film in America went into a dormant stage.  Curious genre experiments such as the vampire western Curse of the undead (1959) …; quasi science fiction in films like The vampire (1957); or the “shadow-of-a-doubt” vampirism of The return of Dracula (1958) in which a Dracula figure impersonates the Eastern European cousin of a small town family to gain a secure base of operations but is unmasked by a suspicious teenage daughter – all these contributed to a confusion and breakdown of genre expectations built up by earlier releases.  Not until the 1970s – ten years after the revival of the vampire film began in Europe and Mexico – did the undead return to the screen in the United States in sufficient numbers to reconstitute a genre identity.” according to Silver & Ursini.

 

"...  without a wolf or curl of mist to perpetrate his horror, [Dracula] usually maintains a social presence that is as disarmingly suave as Uncle Charlie's in Hitchcock's Shadow of a doubt (1943).  It's an intelligent conception for a B movie, and distinctly above average in execution, with just a shade of the master's thriller touch to the patient pursuit of the vampire by an investigator from the Department of Immigration whose cigarette lighter doubles as a miniature camera.  McKenzie's camerawork - notably a scene where the investigator, about to leave by train, suddenly sees a woman in white seemingly materialise on the edge of the woods on the other side of the tracks - on occasion reveals a flair worthy of Georges Franju." according to Hardy (1985).

 

“Surprisingly effective low budget independent Dracula movie, released just before Hammer’s colour remake made the count a major box office draw again.  Lederer is a rather cold vampire, forced out of his Transylvanian resting place, who moves in with an ordinary American family as Count Bellac while preying on the inhabitants of a small Californian town.  He is finally impaled on a wooden stake in an old mineshaft (red tinted in original prints).” according to Jones.

 

“A European vampire makes his way to an American small town in the guise of a refugee Iron Curtain painter.  Quite nicely made low budget horror film with a good balance of the supernatural and the ordinary.” according to Halliwell.

 

“DRACULA-The Most Terrifying Name in the History of the World”

“The most terrifying name in the history of the world now gives you the most horrifying thrill in the history of motion pictures!”

 

 

 

INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (1977)  dir. William Sachs.  84 mins.   Alex Rebar, Burr DeBenning

 

This poster announced “The First New Horror Creature”, as an astronaut returning from space turns into a murderous, gelatinous mass. Perhaps the distributors hadn’t seen ‘The Quatermass Experiment’! Great fun, though! 

 

 

 

“Stumbling past a bush, the melting man deposits upon it a mess of sticky goo detached from his anatomy.  “Oh, god, it’s his ear!” bleats our hero, much given to outbursts of distress alternating between his unfortunate friend and his miscarriage-prone wife.  Because the leading characters are drawn straight from the stockpile, such moments (like the absurdly obtuse General’s bland descent from Olympus: “Why not just call me Mike?”) are risible rather than funny, apparently inadvertent slips in an otherwise  solemn diatribe against the dangers of Establishment power drives.  On the other hand, in its minor characterisations the film sometimes discovers a pleasantly quirkish sense of humour.  Two sequences in particular are strikingly successful (and much more vividly written than the rest); a perilous game of hide and seek played by three small children, which starts with the decapitated head of  an angler lazily tumbling over a waterfall and ends with the little girl running screaming to her incredulous mother that she has just seen Frankenstein’s monster; and the splendidly coy moonlit dalliance by two creakingly amorous old age pensioners in a lovers’ lane where the man-eater lurks just round the corner.  A curious mixture, often pedantically naïve (low angle shots for the descent of the General from his plane), undoubtedly prolonging the agony well beyond its welcome (several murders too many; little noticeable physical or mental development in the monster), The incredible melting man .nevertheless has its moments.”  according to Tom Milne in  Monthly Film Bulletin March 1978

 

"Similar in theme to the magnificent The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), this spotty but interesting film ...."  Though the special effects are only routine, Rebar inspiring laughter rather than the terror and pity we are clearly intended to feel for him, Sachs injects the film with a grisly humour ... The result is a better than average monster on the rampage outing"  according to Hardy (1995).

 

“The survivor of a space flight is rushed to hospital with radiation burns and an infection which causes his flesh to melt.  Unpleasant and nonsensical horror film with a few unintentional laughs and a plot borrowed from The Quatermass Experiment.”  according to Halliwell.

 

"An astronaut returns to earth and melts.  Take a plot from a 50s B movie and oodles of sloppy gore and the result is mucho fun!  This, often hilarious and occasionally disgusting tongue in cheek piece of schlock is just the thing for anyone jaded by sophisticated splatter films!  There's a spectacular scene involving a severed head, awful music, corny acting, a topless appearance and a putrescent sack of walking pus, skilfully supplied by Rick Baker"  according to Barley.

 

DVD box.

 

“The first new horror creature.”

“ ... come prepared!”

 

 

 

 

You need hands

 

 

 

Friday 16 January

 

 

 

STRANGLER (1964)  dir. Burt Topper.  85 mins.  Victor Buono.  Ellen Corby.  Diane Sayer.  Bill McLean.

 

A repressed mother-dominated loner releases his sexual passions by strangling young girls.  Very strong, gripping thriller starring the late and great Victor Buono.

 

 

 

“Competently mounted in crisp black and white, this unpretentious character study of a mother ridden, fetish collecting murderer provides a splendid vehicle for Victor Buono..Chain smoking, smirking, arrogant and pathetic, he gives a subtle and underplayed variation on the familiar figure of the lonely fat boy, warped in childhood by a voraciously possessive mother.  Ellen Corby whines most convincingly as this terrible lady; Diane Sayer catches the eye as the catty little blonde, Barbara; and the police, hard pressed and ulcer prone, are played with the same sort of self-effacement which marks the whole film.  Sometimes this goes too far, as in the skimped ending, which is cowardly compared with a classic like M.  Sometimes it is admirable, as in the discreet filming of the actual murders.  Part of the script’s consistent grip lies in its interesting, newsy asides, such as the methods used by most New York girls today in arming themselves against nocturnal attack.” I Good (of its type). according to Monthly Film Bulletin February 1965

 

“An obese lab technician murders nurses who help his mother.  Modest lively shocker.”

according to Halliwell

 

 

 

HAND OF DEATH (1962) dir. Gene Nelson.  62 mins. John Agar.  Paula Raymond.

 

A scientist’s experiment goes horribly wrong and he becomes a bloated monstrosity whose very touch means death and why not?  Enjoyable, very low budget shocker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The intriguing opening shots promise something different in the line of pseudo science fiction; this promise, maintained for a while despite unconvincing acting, collapses when the distressed scientist  is transformed (too quickly) into a convention al monster figure.  Later developments, as well as the climax, are completely routine and unenterprising,” III Poor. according to Monthly Film Bulletin June 1963

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute to Edgar Wallace

 

 

 

Friday 13 February

 

 

 

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? (aka Who's Next? aka Cosa avete fatto a Solange? aka Who Killed Solange? aka The Secret of the Green Pins) (1972)  dir. Massimo Dallamano.  102 mins.   Fabio Testi, Cristina Galbo

 

A womanising professor enjoys the sexual favours of his female students – but then becomes the main culprit when they start turning up dead. That’ll teach the naughty boy! Classic Italian ‘giallo’, based, unusually, on a novel by Edgar Wallace. 

 

 

 

CLUE OF THE NEW PIN (1961)   dir. Allan Davis.  58 mins.   Bernard Archard , Paul Daneman

 

 

 

How does a murderer place a key to a locked vault on a table inside, beside a dead man? All will be revealed in this superior entry in the Merton Park Studios series of Edgar Wallace adaptations. 

 

 

 

“A listless attempt is made to bring this old fashioned Edgar Wallace thriller up to date by introducing a television announcer, contemporary furniture and nylon thread.  Played in period, the heavy handed melodrama might have seemed more convincing.  As it is, with its Chinese manservant, vaulted treasure and fortune made “out east” (to say nothing of the footling trick with key and pin on which the plot revolves), it is merely an unlikely oddity among second feature thrillers.” III (Poor). according to Monthly Film Bulletin April 1964

 

“Crime. TV interviewer saves girl from man who killed his rich uncle and blackmailer.” according to Gifford (2000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 6 March

 

 

 

 

Jess Franco Could Make Good Films!

 

 

 

DIABOLICAL DR Z (Miss Muerte aka Miss Death aka Miss Death and Dr. Z in the Grip of the Maniac) (1966)  dir. Jesus Franco.  86 mins.   Estella Blain, Howard Vernon

 

Yes, it’s true! Back in the ‘60s, Jess Franco turned out some excellent horror thrillers! Here’s one of the very best, about a scientist’s daughter who avenges her father’s death by taking control of a beautiful nightclub dancer.  As you do!

 

 

 

 

“The diabolical Dr Z?  Well, actually it’s his daughter, as black a villainess as they come.  The film gets down to cases without any time wasting, starting with a prison escape in a thunderstorm and quickly entering the domain of the bubbling retort school of horror.  Franco here shows an eye for unusual images – notably in Miss Death’s bizarre but rather tame dance act – and a veritable passion for long corridors and spiral; staircases which ,may or may not involve Freudian connotations.  The dubbed dialogue carries some lovely lines perhaps the nicest being a piece of advice tendered to someone waiting at a front door: “It’s no use ringing there – everybody’s dead.”  Crude indeed but it does have its felicities.” I Good (of its type). according to Monthly Film Bulletin November 1967

 

"Carriere, Bunuel's regular collaborator (the pair worked otogether on Belle de jour (1966)) helped adapt the novel by David Kuhne (Franco) on which this second sequel to Gritos en la noche (1962) is based.  ... Franco's work offers a classic example of how the nightmare side of phallocratic fantasies can produce sick but sometimes effective cinema with beautifully stylised imagery, with women as both the victims and perpetrators of sadistic aggression.  ... Stylistically, the stark black and white of the opening sequence featuring a prison escape in a thunderstorm and the many shots of corridors, spiral straircases and Karr's doll-filled room which contrasts with the deadly caress of her nails, imbue the movie with a coldly disturbing sensuality.  Unfortunately, Franco's films rarely achieve the intensity of fully fledged cinematic delirium, as in Mario Bava's work, nor do they bcome pathological case studies, in the style of the films of Jose Mojica Marins.  Instead, his work often has the distance associated with a cynically exploitative attitude which easily degenerates into a mechanical stringing together of exploitative scenes.  This picture seems poised between nightmare and crude sensationalism, lacking the sadistic exuberance of  Gritos en la noche  but not yet a callous exploitation of sadism, as in his numerous women in prison movies (such as  Frauengefangnis (1976). ..." according to  Hardy (1985).

 

 

 

 

AWFUL DR ORLOF (Gritos en la noche aka Cries in the Night aka Screams in the Night aka The Diabolical Dr. Satan) (1962)  dir. Jesus Franco.  90 mins.   Howard Vernon, Diana Lorys

 

This is Franco’s most popular film, which introduced his favourite character to the waiting world. Here the good doctor abducts beautiful women from nightclubs to use their skin to repair his daughter’s fire-scarred face. Yes, we know this sounds familiar but it’s still a classic in its own right!

 

 

 

“This film is at once appalling and unique, so bad as to be almost enjoyable for its ludicrous qualities, so singular that curiosity hunters are likely to look at it agog.  An occasional shot or two is worthy of James Whale or Epstein but it is the soundtrack which provides the film’s most bewildering aspect, containing as it does the weirdest collection of quasi-musical noises, The ramshackle plot is Les yeux sans visage plus a blend of Frankenstein and Dracula, represented by the demon doctor and his monster slave respectively; the brave heroine is worthy of the utmost admiration.  A singular film … really most extraordinary.” III (Poor). according to Monthly Film Bulletin June 1963

 

"The initiator of an entire sub-genre mixing horror and medical science fiction in a gory way bordering on the pornographic, exacerbating a tradition started in the fifties Mexican science fiction stories and codifying itinto a generic formula.  Based on the novel by David Kuhne, the film tells the story of Dr Orloff (Vernon) ... The film lingers on the denuded bodies of women as Vernon uses his scalpel on them and as the blind Morpho explores their figures, lying chained in the doctor's dungeon.  This is a sick combination of Jack the Ripper stories set at the turn of the century, with Vernon stalking the foggy backstreets in search of victims, with elements from Terence Fisher's horror movies made for Hammer in the late fifties.  The mixture of eroticism and sadistic surgery must have struck a chord in its audiences for this film spawned not only a number of sequels but also set the tone for a peculiarly Hispanic type of science fiction that flourished for more than a decade, dominated by the visually surreal, excessively visceral, but often lazily filmed (relying on a surfeit of zooms), movies of Franco, usually starring Vernon or Christopher Lee, occasionally Klaus Kinski: El secreto del Dr Orloff (1964), Besame Monstruo (1967), Ojos del Dr Orloff (1973) and many more.  Even the less gruesome examples of Hispanic Science Fiction veered towards the motifs that had proved successful at the box office, such as brain transplants and other forms of physical horror...." according to  Hardy (1985)/.Hardy (1995).

 

 

according to the cover.

 

“You'll get an insight into the face of terror!”

“His Shrine Was the Face of Terror!”

 

 

 

 

 

Attack of the Dolls

 

 

 

Friday 20 March

6:45pm Start

 

 

 

VELVET VAMPIRE (aka Cemetery girls aka The devil is a woman aka The waking hour) (1971)  dir. Stephanie Rothman.  80 mins.   Celeste Yarnall, Sherry Miles

 

They should have paid more attention to her name!  Lee and Susan soon regret accepting an invitation to visit the secluded Californian castle (!) of the mysterious Diane LeFanu…

 

 

 

 

The Velvet Vampire (1971) is more of an analogue to Count Yorga, interesting both because the antagonist has no compunctions about the practice of her vampirism and also because it parodies certain aspects of the genre – ranging from simple homages such as an art exhibit in the ‘Stoker Gallery’ and naming the woman vampire  Diane Le Fanu to the more elaborate novelties of having her make her home in the desert or demonstrate a taste for raw chicken.  The eclectic style of this film – day-lit desert landscapes and a final chase through Los Angeles providing a contrast with low-lit interiors full of unnatural colours – encompasses some imaginative narrative turns (the vampire using her strength to overpower and kill an unsuspecting mugger which antedates a similar scene with two pimps in  Scream Blacula scream; her body “floating” down an escalator in the chase scene in a manner reminiscent of Son of Dracula) but like Count Yorga, The Velvet Vampire  never really comes to terms with the broader implications of the genre, never makes the female figure’s vampirism more than an inexplicable aberration, or, like her fondness for velvet, a fetish.” according to Silver & Ursini.

 

“… A more promising diversification for the vampire than Blacula has emerged from Stephanie Rothman, one of the few women working in commercial features and the first woman ever to make a vampire movie.  She studied in the graduate course in cinema at the University of Southern California and followed it with a fellowship from the Director’s Guild of America, during which she worked for some time as an assistant to Roger Corman.  Corman’s help and sponsorship, which has played such a major part in the American genre movie scene, enabled her to direct a series of pictures.  The first was Blood bath, alternatively titled Track of the vampire, in 1966.  Co-directed and co-written with Jack Hill, this was an odd amalgamation of the old House of wax type plot with the undead: an artist who is the reincarnation of a vampire, drinks his models’ blood and then uses their corpses as the basis of his work.  After this first stab at the theme, she made It’s a bikini world in 19627 and three years later the intriguing Student nurses for Corman.  Then in 1971, Rothman attempted a far more ambitious vampire picture, The Velvet Vampire, which occasionally came near to being a feminist answer to the Yorga movies.  Celeste Yarnall plays a lesbian-inclined vampire with a liking for velvet who, in a deft tribute to the creator of the lesbian undead, is named Diane Le Fanu.  She meets a young couple at an art exhibition in the ‘Stoker’ gallery and lures them back to her desert home.  There they gradually grasp her real nature and the movie ends with a spectacular chase through Los Angeles.   Stephanie Rothman manages the same overall intelligence and style which Kelljan had brought to the Yorga movies, utilizing the hippie milieu of Southern California as a conveniently fantasy-orientated setting.  There is also the same pre Taxi driver quality, notable in Scream Blacula scream, this time given a feminist twist when Diane turns her attentions on a mugger/ rapist.  Of course by the early seventies California already had the connotations of mass murder and hypnotic mind control that had been generated by the Manson murders. …” according to Pirie.

 

“One of New World’s first productions (along with Stephanie Rothman’s The Student Nurses), this was launched, Corman quickie style, in order to cash in on a current vogue for vampires.  Rothman has turned the restrictions imposed by a poverty row budget ($165 000) to deft advantage, with a droll sense of incongruity of having her vampire stalk her prey at a radical chic private view, inhabit a sun-drenched desert hacienda instead of some gloomy Transylvanian castle, and finally meet her fate in downtown LA at the hands of a bunch of jesus freaks.  These California locations are superbly captured in luminous cinematography from Lelouch collaborator Daniel Lacambre (in fact, given the rudimentary dialogue and truly terrible acting, notably from Sherry Miles, the film looks infinitely better than it sounds).  Rothman’s decision not to opt for a mood of American Gothick as the obvious substitute for the sexual angst of Dracula’s Victorian milieu is intriguing in view of her reputation as a liberal feminist film maker.  Indeed, the arly 70s West Coast counter cultural setting of The Velvet Vampire suggests surprising parallels with her own comedies of contemporary manners (Group marriage, The working girls). Rather than with the film’s Hammer horror progenitors.  Although the abundant bedroom scenes draw on the customary sexual connotations of vampirism, there is a startling absence of the genre’s conventional sadistic/ misogynistic overtones.  The first scene involves a typical Rothman turnaround when Diane, a seemingly easy female target in scarlet dress slashed to the thigh, successfully fends off and despatches an assailant.  Expectations later raised when the terrified Susan, alone and clad only in a tiny bikini, hitches a ride in the middle of the desert, are similarly thwarted.  As the film’s rather more evocative American title indicates, this is a seductively vampish vampire, sensual without any particular trace of decadence.” according to Sheila Johnston in Monthly Film Bulletin April 1984  [13 years to get a British release?]

 

“One of the few horror movies to be directed by a woman … this is a visually inventive film which makes excellent use of strikingly shot California locations to lend an air of incongruity to its tale of a lady vampire (Yarnall) stalking her prey among the East Coast culturati.  However, apart from being indifferently acted, the film suffers from a rudimentary narrative.    Despite the film’s reputation, it is difficult to perceive any particularly feminist slant on the proceedings.” according to Hardy (1985)

 

“… Although this offbeat vampire movie contains much in the classic horror tradition, it is basically about an unconventional love triangle in which one of the two women  just happens to be a vampire.  There is not much bloodletting; there’s plenty of nudity and racy dialogue.  The few critics who saw this film upon release guessed they were laughing at lines and situations that were so outrageous that they couldn’t have been planned that way.  But this film is most certainly a comedy.  (At one point the two women argue as to who is the greatest voyeur!)  Stylish set design, direction by Stephanie Rothman.  Its plot line and feminist perspective will remind some of Daughters of darkness.  My only complaint is that Rothman backs away from showing a lesbian love scene, which she could have handled well, and instead ends film with a disappointing chase sequence in LA.” according to Peary.

 

“… Her next film, The Velvet Vampire, was less commercially successful [than The Student Nurses], but has remained a cult art house hit.  An offbeat female vampire film set in Southern California, it satirises contemporary sexual mores while reversing the woman- as- victim expectations of vampire mythology.  Comic reversals could be said to be the keynote of Rothman’s films, combined with a playful approach to stereotypes and genre cliches which enables her to turn back on audiences some of their voyeuristic and / or sadistic pleasures. … ” according to Pam Cook’s entry on Stephanie Rothman  in Kuhn.

 

“From the co-director of Blood bath (1966) comes this slow moving vampire movie featuring Yarnall as centuries old Diana LeFanu who moves around in sunlight and sleeps with her dead husband in his coffin.  She invites young married couple Blodgett and Miles to her desert home and seduces both of them, until she is finally destroyed by hippies with crosses.” according to Jones.

 

Night of the living dead had a slow burning influence, which would become all pervasive.  AIP passed on distributing Romero’s film but made a hit of another indie pick up, Robert Kelljan’s Count Yorga,  Originally planned as a skinflick …  Count Yorga  was the first of a cycle of films which reintroduced classic monsters in contemporary settings.  The film draws on the edgy, up-to-the-moment feel of Romero, with sudden bursts of shocking gore and a downbeat ironic ending.  There would be a sequel and variations.  The weirdly feminist The Velvet Vampire (1971), the blaxploitation Blacula  (1972), Hammer’s desperately trendy Dracula AD 1972  (1972), … and the comedy Love at first bite (1979) all follow .Count Yorga. to some extent, finding a way of fitting the first – and perhaps most overfamiliar – horror-movie icon into a recognisable world nearer our own than Hammer’s peculiarly British Transylvania.” according to Marriott and Newman.

 

“A couple accepts an invitation from the mysterious Diane LeFanu (Celeste Yarnall, The mechanic) to visit her in her secluded desert estate.  Unaware that Diane is actually a centuries old vampire, the couple soon realise that they are both the objects of her seduction and cravings …” according to the cover.

 

“They desired her body... She craved their blood.”

“She's waiting to love you...to death! Climax after climax of terror and desire...where the living change places with the dead”

 

 

 

 

 

CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE (aka Devil Doll Men aka Muñecos infernales) (1961)  dir.Benito Alazraki .  91 mins.   Elvira Quintana, Ramon Gay

 

Four men are cursed by a voodoo priest after stealing a sacred idol from his temple. Soon a band of murderous "doll men" are after them and their families. Outrageous but fun horror from down Mexico way

 

 

 

"... The little dolls stalking the coridors looking for their designated victims exude the required atmosphere of menace, although the script and the final appearance of a long-haired Bulnes dressed in a black robe decoratred with a gigantic white snake are disappointing.  Alazraki had made a significant impact with his debut film Raices (1953) but his career developed very unevenly veering from abjectly sentimental melodramas and Tin Tan farces to Frankenstein, el vampirio y cia (1961) and masked wrestler epics, including Santo contra los zombies (1961) and Espiritismo (1961)." according to Hardy (1985).

 

according to Barley.

 

 

“A group of archaeologists travel to the ancient grounds of Coombas and help themselves to a souvenir, a sacred idol.  The keeper of the tomb puts a curse on the men for desecrating their holy ground.  Once home, the archaeologists consult with an expert on ancient rites to find out about the curse that has been invoked upon them.  The curse is to strike by midnight and with only five minutes to go it seems the group is safe from the curse.  Just then, the power goes out and, a few moments later the first member of the group succumbs to a seizure…” according to the cover.

 

 

“A psychedelic trip into the 5th dimension!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unattributed quotes above are film advertising/ trailer Taglines from IMDB.  Otherwise, the quotes are borrowed from Monthly Film Bulletin or the following:-

 

 

 

 

 

Trevor Barley The very best of video horror Media Publications 1993

 

Wheeler Winston Dixon The charm of evil: the life and films of Terence Fisher Scarecrow 1991

 

William K Everson Classics of the horror film Citadel 1974

 

Denis Gifford British film catalogue FD 2000

 

Phil Hardy Aurum film encyclopedia Horror Aurum 1985

 

Phil Hardy Aurum film encyclopedia Science fiction Aurum 1995

 

Stephen Jones Illustrated vampire movie guide Titan 1993

 

Annette Kuhn Women’s companion to international film Virago 1990

 

James Marriott and Kim Newman Horror!  333 films to scare you to death  Carlton 2010

 

Danny Peary Guide for the film fanatic Simon & Schuster 1987

 

David Pirie Vampire cinema Quarto 1977

 

David Quinlan British sound films - the studio years 1928-1959  Batsford 1984

 

Silver & Ursini The vampire film Tantivy 1973

 

Julian Upton Offbeat – British cinema’s curiosities, obscurities and forgotten gems  Headpress 2012

 

John Walker Halliwell’s film, DVD & video guide 2007  HarperCollins 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigel J Burrell and Paul J Brown Hispanic horrors Midnight Media 2005

 

Robert Ottoson A reference guide to the American film noir: 1940-1958 Scarecrow 1981

 

Spencer Selby Dark city McFarland 1984

 

Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs Immoral tales Primitive 1994

 

Videohound's complete guide to cult flicks and trash pics  Visible Ink 1996

 

 


 

 

Filmography details linked to in the film titles on these pages are all courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Membership subscription for all 7 shows...£17.50

 

 

 

Members' Guests...£7.00

 

 

 

All shows are held on Fridays at:
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

 

 

 

Shows start promptly at 7:00pm. (unless otherwise stated)

 

Refreshments are available during the interval.

 

 

 

All correspondence should be addressed to:
Robin James, 75 Burns Ave., Feltham, Middlesex, TW14 9LX

 

email enquiries c/o:

j_s_davies@hotmail.com

but don’t expect an instant response.

Follow us on Twitter @Gothiquefilmsoc

 

 

 

Committee: Robin James, Roger Townsend, David Smith

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP FORM

 

 

 

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Please make cheques payable to ‘Gothique Film Society’.

 

 

 

Send to:-

 

Robin James, 75 Burns Ave., Feltham, Middlesex, TW14 9LX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Simpson has comprehensively updated the sections which end this website “A History of The Gothique Film Society” and “Gothique programmes 1966-2012”.  Please note his appeal to any long standing society members who may be able to supply information to help complete his records.

 

 

 

 

A History of The Gothique Film Society

 

by Dave Simpson

 

 

The Gothique Film Society is a specialised club for horror and fantasy enthusiasts, quite possibly the longest running specialist film society in the UK. It evolved out of genre fanzine Gothique, created in 1965 by an editorial collective comprising Stan Nicholls, Jean Dempsey, David Griffiths, Ernest Harris and David Stokes (and which continued for 10 issues until March 1970, with a 20th anniversary special being published in July 1985). One of the contributing writers and artists was Robin James, who, in 1966, founded the Gothique Film Society with Jim Kearley. Apart from allowing use of the name “Gothique”, and contributing artwork and programme notes for some of the early shows, Gothique magazine had little involvement with the film society.

 

Robin and Jim were a true ‘dream team’, able to utilise Robin’s extensive knowledge of the horror and fantasy genres and contacts in the world of 16mm film, and Jim’s long experience in organising and running film societies.

 

The society’s first meeting was held in September 1966 in the basement cinema at the London School of Film Technique (now the London Film School) in Shelton Street, Covent Garden. A modest audience of about 20 enthusiasts watched Son of Kong.

 

By sheer optimism, a lot of perseverance and positive word of mouth, membership steadily increased. It was very soon evident that a larger auditorium was required, and one was found in the hall on the top floor of Holborn Library, Theobalds Road, WC1. This is where the Gothique came into its own and presented some of its finest double bills of horror classics. Two of the first honorary Presidents were actor Christopher Lee and legendary Hammer director Terence Fisher, who both made regular visits, as did many other stars and personalities.

 

The Gothique’ seasons were hugely enhanced from January 1970, when Yeovil born, but New York based film writer, scholar and collector William K. Everson presented a show during his seasonal visit to London. He continued presenting his Christmas shows right up until shortly before his death in 1996. Especially in the pre-video days his shows, in which he introduced films from his extensive collection or rare prints borrowed from other US collectors, were the highlight of each season.

 

The other outstanding Gothique supporter and President was entertainer and comedian Bob Monkhouse, who first attended in March 1968 when he heard, from screenwriter Robert Muller (Billie Whitelaw’s husband) that The Raven (1935) was being shown. In spite of Fridays being the busiest time on the after dinner circuit, where Bob was in high demand, he managed to fit in further personal visits and his introductory talks showed his incredible knowledge of, and love of, the cinema. He was also a very accomplished artist and he drew many of the covers for the society’s programme brochures. A renowned collector, he was also instrumental in helping to track down some of the obscure and rare films that have been shown over the years.

 

Over the years many people connected with the 'Gothique' genre have popped in. An early visitor, at the October 1972 show, was DJ Mike Raven, who, in a brief acting career, made a name for himself as a sinister presence in Lust for a Vampire, I, Monster, Crucible of Terror (all 1971) and Disciple of Death (1972).

 

After the first few seasons the society fell into something very similar to its current pattern, with, at that time, shows running from October to April. A rare foray away from the Library Hall was a social evening, held on Saturday 17 March 1973 at the Barley Mow, Horseferry Road, SW1. My principal memory of that evening is being part of a quiz team, comprising young newcomers (I was then just 20), that was annihilated by a team of film enthusiasts of, shall we say, rather longer standing!

 

Due to work commitments, Christopher Lee resigned as a president in 1975. He was replaced by horror director and legendary cameraman Freddie Francis.

  

The society’s tenth anniversary was celebrated in appropriate fashion, if not a little early, on Friday 27 February 1976 at Holborn Library Hall. This was a separate occasion, not part of that season’s programme; the only film entertainment was the compilation Monsters We’ve Known and Loved. The many guests included Gothique Presidents Terence Fisher and Freddie Francis, actors Susan Hampshire, Nicky Henson, Jenny Runacre, Ingrid Pitt, Derek Francis and Dave Prowse, film historian John Huntley and genre historian, and Gothique regular, Denis Gifford. A highlight of the evening was a quiz between mixed teams of celebrities and members – and this time I was on the winning side!

 

During Season 13, on 27 April 1979, a new initiative, “Members’ Choice” was tested. Clive Bennett and I were given the opportunity to select the films and prepare the programme notes. In those pre-video days we were anxious to show something we hadn’t seen, so we presented “Two Corman Classics”: Dementia 13 and The Beast With a Million Eyes. Unfortunately, these are (of course) anything but classics – and after a rather more sensible “Members’ Choice” (Lewton’s Curse of the Cat People and The Leopard Man, chosen by author Stephen Jones) the following season Robin has never been brave enough to repeat this experiment!

 

Mention should also be made of Kim Newman, who joined the Gothique as a university student and was the one amongst us young fans who achieved his dream of forging a career in the movie business. He is now, of course, a renowned critic, author and media personality, but still pops in from time to time.

 

Freddie Francis resigned as a President after Season 13 (1978-79) and we sadly lost Terence Fisher a short while later, when he died on 18 June 1980. Season 15 (1980-81) was dedicated to him, with a special tribute screening on 5 December 1980 of Dracula and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.    

 

As Season 19 (1984-85) approached the Gothique reached another of its periodic ‘make or break’ moments, with declining attendances quite a concern. In response, and with attendances especially poor for the April shows, the decision was made to reduce the number of shows from nine to (usually) seven, with future seasons running from October to March. As it was, that season kicked off in fine style with an evening with special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen.

 

For the Gothique’s 20th anniversary season (1985-86), Bob Monkhouse penned a personal note for the programme booklet explaining his life-long fascination with the macabre and how, influenced in equal measure by Boris Karloff and the Marx Brothers, he fell into comedy, rather than horror, since telling jokes came easiest to him!

 

In 1986 Robin was pleased to announce the Gothique had won two awards, gold and silver, from the British Federation of Film Societies, for its contribution to the film society movement. The awards were handed out at a ceremony at the National Film Theatre.

 

During Season 27 (1992-93) a potentially fatal blow was struck when, in March 1993, it was announced that the Library Hall was to close, to be transformed into office space. The hunt was on for alternative premises, ideally in the same central area and, even more importantly, at a reasonable rate. Fortunately, with the assistance of the Holborn Film Society, a new home was found just around the corner, in the Brockway Room at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1. The Hall opened in 1929 and is owned by humanist organisation South Place Ethical Society.

 

Unlike at the Library Hall there is no separate projection box. Siting the projectors in the body of the room allowed another of the Gothique’s stalwarts, Roger Townsend, to take a more visible role. Roger was our trusty projectionist pretty much from the beginning (Jim projected the very early shows) but, hidden away in the projection box at the Library Hall he was well nigh invisible. At last he could be a part of the crowd!

 

The move to Conway Hall also saw David Smith join the team to organise the interval refreshments. For some years at the Library Hall my late wife Diane had undertaken this most important of duties, but David stepped in as part of the move and he has supplied members with coffee and biscuits ever since.

 

Despite settling in reasonably well at Conway Hall, Robin has always hoped that another venue, especially one better designed for cinema use, might be found. And, for Season 30 (1995-96) he found it in the Crown Preview Theatre, 86 Wardour Street, W1. This splendid mini-cinema had 16mm, 35mm and large screen video facilities and appeared to be ideal. At last, as Robin put it at the time, the Gothique was moving upmarket!

 

But it was not to be. Following a preview screening on 26 May 1995, Season 30 started as planned – and then it was announced that the Crown would be closing on 15 December! Fortunately Conway Hall was still available so, from January 1996 the society moved back into the Brockway Room, where it has remained ever since.

 

1996 also brought forth a double dose of sad news, with the death of Bill Everson on 14 April and Jim Kearley’s increasing incapacity, due to illness, preventing him from continuing with the society. Season 31 (1996-97) was dedicated to Bill; the situation was especially poignant as it was Jim who had introduced Bill to the Gothique.         

 

Season 33 (1998-99) heralded a technological revolution, with the introduction of large-screen video. This had been inevitable; the sources for 16mm prints were becoming scarcer, and so much rare material was available on the digital format. Not everyone was pleased, of course, but Robin was keen to reassure members that 16mm would still be the first choice, and video would be used sparingly. Happily, that has remained the case and, to this day, with much effort by Robin, many presentations are still on 16mm.

 

Following his long illness, Jim Kearley died in early 2000. Season 35 (2000-01) was dedicated to him. We also lost genre historian, and Gothique regular, Denis Gifford the same year.

 

On a brighter note that year, actress Janina Faye was interviewed by archivist and film historian John Huntley in connection with a screening of Never Take Sweets from a Stranger. Also on that bill was Green Fingers, a short film directed by Gothique member Paul Cotgrove. Other guest appearances in recent years have included actress Valerie Leon, interviewed by John Huntley when Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb was screened during Season 34 (1999-2000), screenwriter David MacGillivray (Frightmare, screened during Season 36 [2001-02]) and actresses Vera Day, for a screening of Woman Eater during Season 38 (2003-04) and Muriel Pavlow for The Shop at Sly Corner, shown during Season 43 (2008-09).  

 

Back in 2003, we sadly lost John Huntley in the August, followed by Bob Monkhouse in the December. Both men were fervent supporters of the Gothique, but it is impossible, in particular, to over-state Bob’s contribution; we can only hope he is looking down as the society he supported, pretty much from the beginning, marches on towards its fifth decade.   

 

Yet another stalwart member, Richard Batten, decided to call it a day during 2007. He had answered a call, way back in 1972, for someone to write the programme notes. His first were for Count Dracula in November 1972, during Season 7, and he continued until the end of Season 41 in March 2007!  Roger Townsend who, due to increasing ill health, was doing less and less of the projection work, took over the notes for Season 42, after which I was pleased to offer my services. I only hope I can follow Richard in compiling them for 35 seasons!

 

Sadly in April 2012 Roger's increasing frailty finally took its toll and he passed away. Fittingly, for someone who devoted a large amount of his life to the Gothique, he had at least managed to attend many of the shows in the season that had only just ended.  He will be sorely missed; the following season was dedicated to him.

 

Season 47 (2012-2013) might well have marked the end of 16mm shows.  Only one was scheduled, in December, but that had to be cancelled (it was replaced by an all-DVD show).  However, Conway Hall had acquired new (portable) sound equipment and front and rear wall-mounted speakers had been permanently installed in the Brockway Room.  This has substantially enhanced the projection of DVDs and, indeed, provides the best visual and sound quality we have had for many years.  So the move to wholly DVD, while unfortunate from a film purist point of view, has actually enhanced the viewing experience.

 

Still one of the few specialised film clubs in Great Britain, the Gothique Film Society is thriving, with no plans to slow down. New members are always welcome, thereby keeping the cinema of fantasy, mystery and horror alive. The philosophy of the Gothique has always been that every film should be judged on its own merits. People should make up their own minds. So please do join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gothique programmes 1966-2014

 

Compiled by Dave Simpson

 

 

The society has not maintained an ‘official’ record of everything that has been shown over the years. However, from the programme booklets, Robin’s recollections, information from long-standing member Alan Kibble and my own notes (I’ve been a member since Season 6 [1971-72]) I’ve been able to reconstruct most of the programmes. However, there are still a few gaps. These are shown in red I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who can help with any of them.

 

I can be contacted at david.simpson399@btinternet.com or see me on the front row at the meetings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember: ‘OTHERS CREATE, WE IMITATE’

 

 

 

Season 48 2013 - 2014

 

Friday 18 October

 

 

SKULL (1965)

 

PSYCHOPATH (1966)  

 

Friday 22 November

 

 

LODGER (1944). 

 

FACE AT THE WINDOW (1939) 

 

Friday 20 December

 

 

7 MURDERS FOR SCOTLAND YARD (1971)

 

WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (1976) 

 

Friday 17 January

 

 

BUSY BODIES (1933)

 

MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932)

 

KONGO (1932) 

 

Friday 14 February

 

 

SHOCK WAVES (1977)   

 

JACK THE RIPPER (1976) [Replaced OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (1976)]

 

Friday 07 March

 

 

PROWLER (1951) 

 

M (1951) 

 

Friday 21 March

 

 

BURNING (1981) 

 

PIT (1981) 

 

 

 

Season 47 2012 - 2013

 

Friday 19 October

 

 

DIARY OF A MADMAN (1963)

 

NIGHT MONSTER (1941)

 

Friday 23 November

 

 

NAKED ALIBI (1954)

 

BLACK TUESDAY (1954)

 

Friday 21 December

 

 

BLACK DOLL (1938) 

 

THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939) 

 

[Replaced advertised 16mm screenings of GUEST IN THE HOUSE (1944) and THE BOOGIE MAN WILL GET YOU (1941)]

 

Friday 18 January

 

 

VENGEANCE (1962)

 

VOODOO WOMAN (1957)

 

Friday 15 February

 

 

DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE (1932) 

 

MAD LOVE (1935)

 

Friday 08 March

 

 

NIGHTMARE (1956)

 

REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943) [Replaced ALIAS JOHN PRESTON (1956)]

 

Friday 22 March

 

 

DIAL 999 (1955) 

 

THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1938) 

 

 

 

The season was dedicated to the memory of Roger Townsend.

 

 

 

Season 46 2011 - 2012

 

Friday 14 October

 

 

THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970) 

 

BLONDES FOR DANGER (1938)

 

Friday 18 November

 

 

BLACK LIMELIGHT (1938)

 

THE GOLEM (THE LEGEND OF PRAGUE) (1935)

 

Friday 16 December

 

 

DANCING WITH CRIME  (1947) 

 

LOVE FROM A STRANGER (1937) 

 

Friday 20 January

 

 

THE BLACK PIT OF DOCTOR M (1959).

 

CURSE OF THE DEVIL (1973) 

 

Friday 17 February

 

 

LADY IN A CAGE (1964). 

 

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (1956) 

 

Friday 09 March

 

 

THE WARE CASE (1938) 

 

THE WIND (1987) 

 

Friday 23 March

 

 

IN THE LINE OF DUTY: THE FBI MURDERS (1988) [Replaced SANTA SANGRE (1989)]

 

CONDEMNED TO LIVE (1935)

 

 

 

Season 45 2010 - 2011

 

Friday 22 October 2010

 

 

THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING (1964)

 

THE LAST PAGE (1952)

 

Friday 19 November 2010

 

 

BLACK MAGIC (1949)

 

THE HORROR OF IT ALL (1963)

 

Friday 17 December 2010

 

 

APPOINTMENT WITH CRIME (1946) 

 

MURDER IN SOHO (1938)

 

Friday 21 January 2011

 

 

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1956).

 

DEAD MEN ARE DANGEROUS (1939) 

 

Friday 18 February 2011

 

 

THE CABINET OF CALIGARI (1962). 

 

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD (1959) 

 

Friday 11 March 2011

 

 

FEAR IN THE NIGHT (1972) 

 

VIKING WOMEN (1957) 

 

Friday 25 March 2011

 

 

NIGHT MUST FALL (1937) 

 

THE PRICE OF VANITY (1955/Episode from “The Vise”) 

 

 

 

Season 44 2009 - 2010

 

Friday 23 October 2009

 

 

FACE THE MUSIC (1954) 

 

MEET SEXTON BLAKE (1944) 

 

Friday 20 November 2009

 

 

MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928).

 

BLACK MOON (1934)

 

Friday 18 December 2009

 

 

BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960) 

 

DEATH IN HIGH HEELS (1947) 

 

Friday 22 January 2010

 

 

MINE OWN EXECUTIONER (1947) 

 

DEAD MEN WALK (1943) 

 

Friday 19 February 2010

 

 

THE HANDS OF ORLAC (1960) 

 

OUT OF THE FOG (1962) 

 

Friday 12 March 2010

 

 

THE SNORKEL (1958) 

 

BLACK MEMORY (1947) 

 

Friday 26 March 2010

 

 

TOURIST TRAP (1979) 

 

SUSPECTED PERSON (1942)

 

 

 

Season 43 2008 - 2009

 

Friday 17 October 2008

 

 

CRESCENDO (1969)

 

BOSTON BLACKIE’S RENDEZVOUS (1946)

 

Friday 21 November 2008

 

 

THE SHOP AT SLY CORNER (1946)

Actress Muriel Pavlow was interviewed by film archivist John Huntley

 

COSH BOY (1952)

 

Friday 19 December 2008

 

 

Special surprise show:

 

MURDER AT THE GRANGE (1952/31mins)

 

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1949) (“Lights Out” TV series/30mins)

 

THE DARK LAKE (“Douglas Fairbanks Jr Presents”/1955)

 

MONICA (“Thirty Minute Theatre”/1965)

 

THE TRIUMPH OF DEATH (“Late Night Horror”/1968)

 

Friday 16 January 2009

 

 

UNEARTHLY STRANGER (1963)

 

FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE (1956)

 

Friday 6 February 2009

 

 

COMMUNION (1977)

 

THE BLACK ROOM (1935)

 

Friday 6 March 2009

 

 

CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER (1974)

 

THE DARK LIGHT (1951).

 

Friday 27 March 2009

 

 

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (1965)

 

THE HANGMAN WAITS (1947) 

 

 

 

Season 42 2007 - 2008

 

Friday 12 October 2007

 

 

TERROR OF THE TONGS (1961)

 

CAT GIRL (1957)

 

Friday 16 November 2007

 

MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS (1944)

 

MUMMY’S BOYS (1936)

 

Friday 14 December 2007

 

GOTHIC (1986)

 

ANOTHER FACE (1935)

 

Friday 11 January 2008

 

MAN WITHOUT A BODY (1957)

 

THE RETURN OF PETER GRIMM (1935)

 

Friday 8 February 2008

 

THE WITCHES (1966)

 

THE PROJECTED MAN (1967)

 

Friday 7 March 2008

 

THE DEVIL COMMANDS (1941).

 

PAUL TEMPLE RETURNS (1952)

 

Friday 28 March 2008

 

THE FLANAGAN BOY (1953)

 

VOODOO MAN (1944).

 

 

 

Season 41 2006 - 2007

 

Friday 13 October 2006

 

 

THE CAMP ON BLOOD ISLAND (1958) [replaced FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1949)]

 

THE ECHO MURDERS (1945)

 

Friday 17 November 2006

 

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958)

 

THE PHANTOM OF CRESTWOOD (1932)

 

Friday 15 December 2006

 

A STOLEN FACE (1952)

 

THE CRIMES OF STEPHEN HAWKE (1936)

 

Friday 12 January 2007

 

SO EVIL MY LOVE (1948)

 

SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE (1930)

 

Friday 9 February 2007

 

GHOST SHIP (1943)

 

GHOST SHIP (1952)

 

Friday 2 March 2007

 

THE UNINVITED (1944)

 

THE CASE OF CHARLES PEACE (1948)

 

Friday 23 March 2007

 

CLOUDBURST (1951)

 

THE LOST SQUADRON (1932)

 

 

 

Season 40 2005 - 2006

 

Friday 21 October 2005

 

 

A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN (1945)

 

EXCESS BAGGAGE (1933)

 

Friday 17 November 2005

 

THE DARK MAN (1950)

 

THE BLACK ABBOTT (1933)

 

Friday 9 December 2005

 

SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950)

 

FORBIDDEN (1948)

 

Friday 13 January 2006

 

THE AMAZING MR X (1948)

 

SHOCK (1946)

 

Friday 10 February 2006

 

MURDER IN REVERSE (1945)

 

THE SQUEAKER (1937)

 

Friday 3 March 2006

 

DOCTOR SYN (1937)

 

DARK SECRET (1949)

 

Friday 17 March 2006

 

DUAL ALIBI (1947)

 

CRIME OVER LONDON (1936)

 

 

 

Season 39 2004 - 2005

 

Friday 22 October 2004

 

 

HANGOVER SQUARE (1945)

 

THE TOWER OF TERROR (1941)

 

Friday 19 November 2004

 

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1945)

 

THE MAN FROM YESTERDAY (1949)

 

Friday 10 December 2004

 

THINGS TO COME (1936)

 

THE SPHINX (1933)

 

Friday 14 January 2005

 

POISON PEN (1939)

 

DEAD EYES OF LONDON (1961)

 

Friday 11 February 2005

 

GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES (1961)

 

CORRUPTION (1968)

 

Friday 4 March 2005

 

COUNTERBLAST (1948)

 

BLACULA (1972)

 

Friday 18 March 2005

 

HATTER’S CASTLE (1941)

 

MIDNIGHT AT MADAME TUSSAUD’S (1936)

 

 

 

Season 38 2003 - 2004

 

Friday 17 October 2003

 

 

THE FACE OF FIRE (1959)

 

THE THIRTEENTH CHAIR (1937)

 

Friday 14 November 2003

 

 

LATIN QUARTER (1945)

 

LADIES IN RETIREMENT (1941)

 

Friday 12 December 2003

 

 

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (1935)

 

SCROOGE (1935)

 

 

Friday 16 January 2004

 

THE GAUNT STRANGER (1938)

 

FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE (1952)

 

 

Friday 13 February 2004

 

CLAYDEN TREASURE MYSTERY (1938)

 

DEATHTRAP (1976)

 

 

Friday 5 March 2004

 

THE QUEEN OF SPADES (1949)

 

TANGLED EVIDENCE (1934)

 

 

Friday 19 March 2004

 

THE GHOST OF ST MICHAELS (1941)

 

WOMAN EATER (1957)

 

 

 

Season 37  2002 – 2003

 

Friday 18 October 2002

 

 

THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE (1959)

 

A GAME OF DEATH (1946

 

Friday 15 November 2002

 

 

MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND (1936)

 

THARK – THE HAUNTED HOUSE (1932)

 

Friday 13 December 2002

 

 

DERANGED (1974)

 

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943)

 

Friday 17 January 2003

 

THE PHARAOH’S CURSE (1957)

 

CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN (1958)

 

Friday 14 February 2003

 

LOVE FROM A STRANGER (1947)

 

THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN (1946)

 

Friday 7 March 2003

 

TWICE TOLD TALES (1963)

 

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE CIRCUS (1936)

 

Friday 21 March 2003

 

MASTER MINDS (1949)

 

DEAD MAN (1996)

 

 

 

Season 36  2001 – 2002

 

Friday 19 October 2001

 

 

FRIGHTMARE (1974)

Actress Sheila Keith had been invited, but was unable to attend so a videotaped interview was shown. Scriptwriter David McGillivray attended instead.

 

Friday 16 November 2001

 

 

COBRA WOMAN (1944)

 

CULT OF THE COBRA (1955)

 

Friday 14 December 2001

 

 

NIGHT STRANGLER (1973)

 

THE MONKEY’S PAW (1948)

 

Friday 18 January 2002

 

THE LOST CITY (1935)

 

THINGS HAPPEN AT NIGHT (1947)

 

Friday 15 February 2002

 

THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954/in 3D)

 

CHARLIE CHAN IN EGYPT (1935)

 

Friday 8 March 2002

 

THE TELL TALE HEART (1960)

 

THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (1953)

 

Friday 22 March 2002

 

SO DARK THE NIGHT (1946)

 

FLESH AND FANTASY (1943)

 

 

 

Season 35  2000 – 2001

 

Friday 20 October 2000

 

 

THE BAT (1959)

 

THE QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966)

 

Friday 17 November 2000

 

 

NEVER TAKE SWEETS FROM A STRANGER (1960)

Actress Janina Faye was interviewed by film archivist John Huntley

 

GREEN FINGERS (1999/short)

 

Friday 15 December 2000

 

 

UNKNOWN ISLAND (1948)

 

DANTE’S INFERNO (1935)

 

Friday 12 January 2001

 

 

THE WOMAN IN WHITE (1948)

 

THE DELUGE (1933)

 

Friday 9 February 2001

 

 

EXPERIMENT IN EVIL/THE TESTAMENT OF DR. CORDELIER (1959)

 

THE NORLISS TAPES (1973)

 

Friday 2 March 2001

 

 

DR JEKYLL AND THE WEREWOLF (1972)

 

CATMAN OF PARIS (1946)

 

Friday 24 March 2001

 

 

SOMETHING CREEPING IN THE DARK (1971)

 

WHISPERING GHOSTS (1942)

 

 

 

Season 34 October 1999-March 2000

 

Friday 22 October 1999

 

 

BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1972)

Actress Valerie Leon was interviewed by film archivist John Huntley

 

Friday 12 November 1999

 

I, MONSTER (1970)

 

BRIDE OF THE GORILLA (1951)

 

Friday 17 December 1999

 

DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY (1934)

 

BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (1955)

 

Friday 7 January 2000

 

WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS (1971)

 

THE WEREWOLF (1956)

 

Friday 4 February 2000

 

THE VAMPIRE’S COFFIN (1958)

 

THE VAMPIRE (1957)

 

Friday 3 March 2000

 

THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1963)

 

THE GREEN SLIME (1968) [QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966) was unavailable]

 

Friday 24 March 2000

 

THE CORPSE (1970)

 

DEATH IS A NUMBER (1951)

 

 

 

Season 33  1998 – 1999

 

Friday 23 October 1998

 

 

THE BLACK SLEEP (1956)

 

THE BRAINIAC (1961)

 

Friday 13 November 1998

 

 

TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971)

 

THE MYSTERIOUS DOCTOR (1945)

 

Friday 18 December 1998

 

 

FIEND WHO WALKED THE WEST (1958)

 

VALLEY OF THE ZOMBIES (1946)

 

Friday 8 January 1999

 

 

BLOOD AND ROSES (1960)

 

TERROR IS A MAN (1959)

 

Friday 5 February 1999

 

 

NIGHT TIDE (1961)

 

BARON BLOOD (1972)

 

Friday 5 March 1999

 

 

THE MASK (1961/in 3D)

 

FACE OF MARBLE (1944)

 

Friday 26 March 1999

 

 

I BURY THE LIVING (1958)

 

THE MANSTER (1959)

 

 

 

Season 32  1997 – 1998

 

Friday 17 October 1997

 

 

DONOVAN’S BRAIN (1953)

 

TARGET EARTH (1964)

 

Friday 7 November 1997

 

 

CAULDRON OF BLOOD (1967)

 

HOUSE OF HORRORS (1946)

 

Friday 9 January 1998

 

 

TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE (1966)

 

DEAD MEN WALK (1943)

 

Friday 6 February 1998

 

 

PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE (1954)

 

MARS NEEDS WOMEN (1968)

 

Friday 6 March 1998

 

 

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE (1963)

 

THE LONDON BLACKOUT MURDERS (1942)

 

Friday 3 April 1998

 

 

HANNAH – QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES (1972)

 

SOUL OF A MONSTER (1944)

 

 

 

 

Season 31  1996 – 1997

 

Friday 18 October 1996

 

 

MURDER MANSION (1946)

 

CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON (1953)

 

Friday 15 November 1996

 

 

JUST IMAGINE (1930)

 

THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES (1940)

 

Friday 6 December 1996

 

 

ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932)

 

INVISIBLE RAY (1936)

 

Friday 3 January 1997

 

 

THE MAZE (1953) [DONOVAN’S BRAIN (1953) was unavailable]

 

INNER SANCTUM (1948)

 

Friday 31 January 1997

 

 

THE WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935)

 

TOWER OF LONDON (1939)

 

Friday 14 February 1997

 

 

DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE (1961)

 

THE APE (1940)

 

Friday 14 March 1997

 

 

THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932)

 

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932)

 

Friday 11 April 1997

 

 

THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970)

 

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE (1961)

 

 

 

The season was dedicated to the memory of William K. Everson.

 

 

 

Season 30 October 1995-April 1996

 

Friday 6 October 1995

 

 

Billed as William K. Everson’s show, but he was too ill to attend

 

HOUSE OF MYSTERY (1961)

 

NIGHT WATCH (details/year?)

 

Friday 3 November 1995

 

 

FRANKENSTEIN 1970 (1958)

 

THE INVISIBLE GHOST (1941)

 

Friday 15 December 1995

 

 

UNNATURAL (1952)

 

QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (1958)

 

 

 

 

The following shows were cancelled when the Crown Preview Theatre closed:

 

Friday 12 January 1996

 

DEATHTRAP (1976)

 

PROJECT MOONBASE (1953)

 

Friday 9 February 1996

 

CULT OF THE COBRA (1955)

 

ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957)

 

Friday 8 March 1996

 

DOCTOR BLOOD’S COFFIN (1960)

 

THE MANSTER (1959)

 

Friday 29 March 1996

 

NIGHT TIDE (1961)

 

TERROR IS A MAN (1959)

 

Friday 12 April 1996

 

30th anniversary celebration

 

 

 

The following rearranged shows were held at Conway Hall:

 

 

 

Friday 12 January 1996

 

 

CAT PEOPLE (1982)

 

PROJECT MOONBASE (1953)

 

Friday 9 February 1996

 

 

NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (1979)

 

ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957)

 

Friday 8 March 1996

 

 

CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER (1974)

 

CAPTAIN CLEGG (1962)

 

Friday 22 March 1996

 

 

DOCTOR BLOOD’S COFFIN (1960)

 

HOMICIDAL

 

Friday 12 April 1996

30th anniversary celebration:

 

 

THE LOST CONTINENT (1951)

 

 

 

This season saw the Gothique move to the Crown Preview Theatre but that closed in December 1995 and the society returned to Conway Hall.

 

 

 

Before the main season there had been an introductory show at the Crown Preview Theatre:

 

Friday 26 May 1995

 

 

THE HITCH-HIKER (1953)

 

THE MYSTERIOUS MR. WONG (1935)

 

 

 

Season 29  1994 – 1995

 

Friday 21 October 1994

 

 

CRY OF THE WEREWOLF (1944)

 

DEAD MEN TELL (1941) [replaced CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN (1955)]

 

INSOMNIE (short)

 

Friday 18 November 1994

 

 

THE MYSTERY OF THE MARIE CELESTE/PHANTOM SHIP (1935)

 

MADHOUSE (1974)

 

Friday 23 December 1994

 

 

BACK FROM THE DEAD (1957)

 

THE GAMMA PEOPLE (1956)

 

Friday 6 January 1995

William K. Everson presents:

 

 

THREE WEIRD SISTERS (1948)

 

THE MAD MONSTER (1942)

 

Friday 10 February 1995

 

 

THE ANGRY RED PLANET (1959)

 

THE DISEMBODIED (1957)

 

Friday 10 March 1995

 

 

THE CAT O’NINE TAILS (1970)

 

ONE BODY TOO MANY (1944)

 

Friday 7 April 1995

 

 

Members’ Choice, from a selection of titles provided on the night:

 

THE CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN (1955)

 

THE BLACK RAVEN (1943)

 

 

 

Season 28 October 1993-April 1994

 

Friday 15 October 1993

 

 

THE STRANGE DOOR (1951)

 

THE MONSTER MAKER (1944)

 

Friday 26 November 1993

 

RIDERS TO THE STARS (1954)

 

THE GIANT CLAW (1957)

 

Thursday 9 December 1993

 

 

ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY (1963)

 

THIRTEEN GHOSTS (1960)

 

 

Friday 7 January 1994

William K Everson presents:

 

JUNGLE WOMAN (1944)

 

THE UNKNOWN (1946)

 

Friday 11 February 1994

 

 

HORROR CASTLE (1963)

 

THE CASE OF THE FRIGHTENED LADY (1944)

 

Friday 11 March 1994

 

 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1983)

 

THE PHANTOM CREEPS (1939)

 

Friday 15 April 1994

 

 

HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959)

 

 

 

This was the Gothique’s first season in its new home, just around the corner at Conway Hall in Red Lion Square.

 

 

 

Season 27  1992 – 1993

 

Friday 30 October 1992

 

 

THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951)

 

GOG (1954)

 

Friday 20 November 1992

 

 

HELL NIGHT (1981)

 

MR WONG DETECTIVE (1938)

 

Friday 4 December 1992

 

 

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964)

 

FLIGHT TO MARS (1951)

 

Friday 15 January 1993

William K. Everson presents:

 

 

DEAD MEN WALK

 

THE MAN ON THE TRAIN (c20mins/dir: Robert Florey)

 

THE PREDICTION (“Thriller”)

 

Friday 12 February 1993

 

 

GORILLA AT LARGE (1954)

 

GORILLA MAN (1943)

 

Friday 12 March 1993

 

 

THIRST (1979)

 

THE MAGIC SWORD (1962)

 

Friday 2 April 1993

27th anniversary celebration:

 

 

THE EVILS OF CHINATOWN (1962)

 

FLASH GORDON (US TV episode)

 

 

 

This was the Gothique’s final season at Holborn Library Hall, following the announcement in March 1993 that the hall was to be converted into office space.

 

 

 

Season 26  1991 – 1992

 

Friday 18 October 1991

 

THE SHOUT (1978)

 

SHE WOLF OF LONDON (1946)

 

Friday 15 November 1991

 

THE BEES (1978) [replaced NIGHT OF THE EAGLE, shown on 17 January]

 

THE STRANGE MR. GREGORY (1945) [replaced HOUSE ON MARSH ROAD, shown on 27 December]

 

Friday 6 December 1991

 

THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED (1958)

 

SVENGALI (1954)

 

Friday 27 December 1991

William K. Everson presents:

 

BEWITCHED (1945)

 

THE HOUSE ON MARSH ROAD (1960)

 

Friday 17 January 1992

 

NIGHT OF THE EAGLE (1962) [replaced THE BEES, shown on 15 November]

 

SON OF DOCTOR JEKYLL (1951)

 

Friday 14 February 1992

 

THE SENTINEL (1977)

 

DOOMED TO DIE (1940)

 

Friday 13 March 1992

Members only 26th anniversary celebration:

 

THE ELECTRONIC MONSTER (1958)

 

 

 

Season 25  1990 – 1991

 

Friday 19 October 1990

 

THE MONSTER WALKS (1932)

 

THE MAN WHO TURNED TO STONE (1957)

 

DARK SHADOWS (“Crime Does Not Pay” short)

 

Friday 16 November 1990

 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1916)

 

THE GIRL FROM SCOTLAND YARD (1937)

 

Friday 7 December 1990

 

DICK TRACY’S G MEN (1939)

 

THEATRE OF DEATH (1966) [replaced HOUSE OF FEAR (1945)]

 

Friday 28 December 1990

William K. Everson presents:

 

THE LONDON BLACKOUT MURDERS (1943)

 

THE BLACK CAMEL (1931)

 

SWEET SPIRITS OF NIGHTER (1941/only the second of two reels shown)

 

Friday 18 January 1991

 

SUDDENLY (1954) [replaced EVILS OF CHINATOWN (1962)]

 

THE LIVING DEAD (1934)

 

Friday 15 February 1991

Members only 25th anniversary celebration:

 

STRANGE ILLUSION (1945)

 

Friday 15 March 1991

 

WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968)

 

SHE DEMONS (1958)

 

 

 

Season 24  1989 – 1990

 

Friday 20 October 1989

 

TARANTULA (1955)

 

THE DEATH KISS (1932)

 

Friday 17 November 1989

 

ISLAND OF DOOMED MEN (1940)

 

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR RX (1942)

 

Friday 8 December 1989

 

NEANDERTHAL MAN (1953)

 

GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN (1958)

 

Friday 29 December 1989

William K. Everson presents:

 

CATMAN OF PARIS (1946)

 

THE GLASS KEY (“Alfred Hitchcock Presents”)

 

THE PREMATURE BURIAL (“Thriller”)

 

Friday 19 January 1990

 

A STUDY IN SCARLET (1933) [replaced SHE (1935) *]

 

THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE (1958)

 

Friday 16 February 1990

Members only 24th anniversary celebration:

 

VOODOO MAN (1944)

 

CROONER’S HOLIDAY (1932/19mins)

 

THE CASE OF THE STUTTERING PIG (Warner Bros. cartoon)

 

Friday 16 March 1990

 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925/Tinted red, finest print the society had seen)

 

ATOMIC SUBMARINE (1959)

 

 

 

* SHE was shown on TV around this time, so members were asked whether they wished a change of film. Evidently they did!

 

 

 

Season 23  1988 – 1989

 

Friday 21 October 1988

 

FLESH AND THE FIENDS (1960)

 

VAMPIRE’S GHOST (1945)

 

Friday 18 November 1988

 

THE BAT WHISPERS (1930)

 

INVASION OF THE HELL CREATURES (1957)

 

Friday 9 December 1988

 

SILENT SCREAM (1980)

 

THE SHE CREATURE (1956)

 

Friday 30 December 1988

William K. Everson presents:

 

FAHRMANN MARIA (1936)

 

THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET (1942)

 

Friday 27 January 1989

 

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1971) [replaced HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959)]

 

BLACK ZOO (1963)

 

Friday 17 February 1989

Members only 23rd anniversary celebration

 

CAT GIRL (1957)

 

Friday 17 March 1989

 

BLUE SUNSHINE (1976)

 

DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR JEKYLL (1957)

 

 

 

Season 22  1987 – 1988

 

Friday 30 October 1987

 

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983)

 

THE FLYING SERPENT (1946)

 

Friday 20 November 1987

 

DUNWICH HORROR (1970)

 

FACES IN THE DARK (1960)

 

Friday 11 December 1987

 

NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957)

 

MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL (1958)

 

Friday 30 December 1987

William K. Everson presents:

 

THE CLIMAX (1944)

 

JUNGLE CAPTIVE (1945)

 

Friday 29 January 1988

 

THE FUNHOUSE (1981)

 

THE BRIGHTON STRANGLER (1945)

 

Friday 19 February 1988

Members only 22nd anniversary celebration

 

[Rondo Hatton feature]

 

Friday 18 March 1988

 

THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES (1940)

 

DEVIL DOLL (1964)

 

 

 

Season 21  1986 – 1987

 

Friday 31 October 1986

 

THE KEEP (1983) [replaced SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES – shown October 1987]

 

MURDER BY TELEVISION (1935)

 

Friday 21 November 1986

 

KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS (1977)

 

TERROR IN THE WAX MUSEUM (1973)

 

Friday 12 December 1986

 

BLUEBEARD (1944)

 

TERROR TRAIN (1980)

 

Friday 2 January 1987

William K. Everson presents:

 

THE NINTH GUEST (1934)

 

THE VAMPIRE’S COFFIN (1957)

 

Friday 16 January 1987

 

DARK INTRUDER (1965) [replaced THE VAMPIRE’S GHOST (1945)]

 

SWAMP OF THE LOST MONSTER (1957)

 

Friday 20 February 1987

Members only 21st anniversary celebration

 

THE DEVIL BAT (1941)

 

Friday 20 March 1987

 

THE RED HOUSE (1947)

 

REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943)

 

 

 

Season 20  1985 – 1986

 

Friday 11 October 1985

 

THE FLY (1958)

 

NIGHT OF TERROR (1933)

 

Friday 15 November 1985

20th anniversary celebration:

 

MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933)

 

Friday 13 December 1985

 

RETURN OF THE FLY (1959)

 

I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE (1958)

 

Friday 30 December 1985

William K. Everson presents:

 

DOUBLE DOOR (1934)

 

TORMENTED (1960)

 

Friday 17 January 1986

 

EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1960)

 

SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT (1944)

 

Friday 14 February 1986

 

CURSE OF THE FLY (1965)

 

THE SPIDER WOMAN STRIKES BACK (1946)

 

Friday 14 March 1986

 

MAN WHO WOULDN’T DIE (1942)

 

THE DARK (1982)

 

 

 

Season 19  1984 – 1985

 

Friday 19 October 1984

An evening with Ray Harryhausen:

 

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957)

 

Friday 9 November 1984

 

THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954)

 

FROZEN GHOST (1945)

 

Friday 7 December 1984

 

SHOCK/BEYOND THE DOOR II (1977)

 

THE SOUL OF A MONSTER (1944)

 

Friday 28 December 1984

William K. Everson evening:*

 

SHE (1935)

 

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR RX (1942)

 

Friday 25 January 1985

 

PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965)

 

BLACK SUNDAY (1977)

 

Friday 15 February 1985

 

THE DARK (1979)

 

PASSING CLOUDS (1940)

 

Friday 15 March 1985

 

CHANDU THE MAGICIAN (1932)

 

MIRACLES FOR SALE (1939)

 

 

 

*Unfortunately Bill was too ill to present this show

 

 

 

Season 18  1983 – 1984

 

Friday 14 October 1983

 

PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

 

MASK OF DIIJON (1946)

 

Friday 11 November 1983

 

THE UNSEEN (1945)

 

HANDS OF ORLAC (1935)

 

Friday 9 December 1983

 

TOMB OF LIGEIA (1964)

 

DEAD MAN’S EYES (1944)

 

Friday 30 December 1983

William K. Everson presents:

 

MURDER IN THE BLUE ROOM (1944)

 

THE SILENT WITNESS (1932 version?)

 

Friday 27 January 1984

 

TALES OF TERROR (1962)

 

FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1948)

 

Friday 17 February 1984

 

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945)

 

THE BOSTON STRANGLER (1968) [replaced PREMATURE BURIAL (1962)]

 

Friday 16 March 1984

 

TOWER OF LONDON (1933)

 

TALES OF EDGAR ALLEN POE (1962)

 

Friday 6 April 1984

 

MAN WITH A CLOAK (1951)

 

BEFORE DAWN (1933)

 

Friday 27 April 1984

 

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (1977)

 

SPACEWAYS (1953)

 

 

 

Season 17  1982 – 1983

 

Friday 8 October 1982

 

FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956)

 

MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957)

 

Friday 12 November 1982

 

MAD LOVE (1935)

 

FACE BEHIND THE MASK (1941)

 

Friday 10 December 1982

William K. Everson introduced the INVISIBLE MAN season and presented:

 

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

 

SON OF DRACULA (1943)

 

Friday 7 January 1983

 

INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS (1940)

 

BEHIND THE DOOR (1940)

 

Friday 28 January 1983

 

ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU (1977)

 

INVISIBLE AGENT (1942)

 

Friday 18 February 1983

 

REVENGE OF THE CREATURE (1955/in 3D)

 

THE INVISIBLE MAN’S REVENGE (1944)

 

Friday 11 March 1983

 

CRYPT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1973)

 

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (1940)

 

Friday 8 April 1983

 

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951)

 

THE NIGHT KEY (1937)

 

Friday 22 April 1983

 

REAR WINDOW (1954)

presented by John Huntley, including Hitchcock archive material

 

 

 

Season 16  1981 – 1982

 

Friday 9 October 1981

 

DARK PLACES (1973)

 

SECRETS OF THE FRENCH POLICE (1932)

 

Friday 13 November 1981

 

PATRICK (1978)

 

GHOST SHIP (1943)

 

Friday 11 December 1981

 

THE UNINVITED (1944)

 

MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET (1942)

 

Friday 8 January 1982

William K. Everson presents:

 

THE DEVIL’S PARTNER (1961)

 

MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1929)

 

Friday 29 January 1982

 

BLACK CASTLE (1952)

 

RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE (1944)

 

Friday 19 February 1982

 

THE SCARLET CLAW (1944)

 

THE VULTURE (1967)

 

Friday 12 March 1982

 

FINGERS AT THE WINDOW (1942)

 

DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)

 

Friday 26 March 1982

 

THE DEVIL’S RAIN (1975)

 

THE DEVIL’S HAND (1943)

 

Friday 16 April 1982

 

VERTIGO (1958) [replaced THE UNCANNY (1977) and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960)]

 

 

 

Season 15  1980 – 1981

 

Friday 10 October 1980

 

BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)

 

SCARED TO DEATH (1947)

 

Friday 7 November 1980

 

THE BLACK CAT (1934)

 

YOU’LL FIND OUT (1940)

 

Friday 5 December 1980

Tribute to the late Terence Fisher, former Gothique President

 

DRACULA (1958)

 

FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL (1974)

 

Friday 2 January 1981

William K. Everson presents:

 

THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK (1945)

 

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (1935)

 

Friday 23 January 1981

 

HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1923) with musical accompaniment

 

Friday 13 February 1981

 

SARDONICUS (1961)

 

THE NIGHT WALKER (1964)

 

Friday 27 February 1981

 

THE BLACK ROOM (1935)

 

THE CORPSE VANISHES (1942)

 

Friday 13 March 1981

 

SQUIRM (1976)

 

THE GREAT IMPERSONATION (1935)

 

Friday 3 April 1981

 

HOLD THAT GHOST (1941)

 

DRACULA (1931)

 

 

 

Season 14  1979 – 1980

 

Friday 12 October 1979

 

THE ASPHYX (1973)

 

THE INVISIBLE MENACE (1938)

 

Friday 9 November 1979

 

THE MUMMY’S GHOST (1944)

 

GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)

 

Friday 30 November 1979

 

MAN IN HALF MOON STREET (1945)

 

THE VAMPIRE BAT (1933)

 

Friday 28 December 1979

William K. Everson presents:

 

THE MAD DOCTOR (1940)

 

THE GHOUL (1933)

 

Friday 11 January 1980

 

INVISIBLE RAY (1936)

 

REMEMBER LAST NIGHT (1935)

 

Friday 8 February 1980

 

SSSSNAKE (1973)

 

BOWERY AT MIDNIGHT (1942)

 

Friday 29 February 1980

 

WEIRD WOMAN (1944)

 

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)

 

Friday 21 March 1980

 

LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE (1972)

 

MIDNIGHT MYSTERY (1930)

 

Friday 11 April 1980

 

DOOMWATCH (1972)

 

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA (1936)

 

Friday 25 April 1980

“Members’ Choice”:

Selected by Stephen Jones

 

CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944)

 

LEOPARD MAN (1943)

 

 

 

Season 13  1978 – 1979

 

Friday 13 October 1978

 

THE UNHOLY THREE (1930)

 

MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935)

 

Friday 10 November 1978

 

DAY THE WORLD ENDED (1955)

 

THE MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD (1934)

 

Friday 24 November 1978

 

INVISIBLE MAN’S REVENGE (1944)

 

THE BELLS (1926)

 

Friday 29 December 1978

William K. Everson presents:

 

THIRTEEN WOMEN (1932)

 

THE LADY AND THE MONSTER (1944)

 

Friday 12 January 1979

 

THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943)

 

THREE CASES OF MURDER (1955)

 

Friday 9 February 1979 [show cancelled due to NUPE dispute]

 

FRIGHTMARE (1974)

 

INVISIBLE MENACE (1938)

 

Friday 23 March 1979

 

PEEPING TOM (1960)

 

BLOOD DEMON (1967)

 

Friday 6 April 1979

 

SPY SMASHER (1942)

 

DICK TRACY VS. GRUESOME (1947)

 

Friday 27 April 1979

“Members’ Choice”:

Selected by Clive Bennett and Dave Simpson

 

DEMENTIA 13 (1963)