Susan Denberg | Frankenstein Created Woman | Hammer Studios | 1967
“Born Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner on 02 August 1944, model/actress Denberg was brought up in the Austrian resort of Klagenfurt. At eighteen, she left for London, where she worked briefly as an au pair before auditioning for the renowned Bluebell Girls troupe. Touring in America, she signed with Warner Bros. to play a randy German chambermaid in the film An American Dream, and featured in an early Star Trek episode, Mudd’s Women. Playboy magazine selected her as its centrefold of August 1966 and soon after she was chosen as Hammer’s Christina [Frankenstein Created Woman]. Post-Frankenstein, however, she became plagued by mental health problems elicited by drug abuse. Recovered, she sold her story to the News of the World in November 1969, apparently in anticipation of a comeback that wasn’t to be.” — The Hammer Story, Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 1997
“Ingrid Pitt was offered the starring role in The Vampire Lovers soon after meeting [film producer] James Carreras at the premiere party for Alfred the Great in 1969. The full-frontal nudity demanded by the script bothered her little. ‘I remember my first nude scene with Maddy Smith was coming up and, although neither of us particularly minded, at that time it wasn’t an everyday event. Jimmy Carreras was okay about it, but I was told the other producers, Harry Fine and Michael Style, were a bit po-faced. I was walking to the stage when I met Fine and Style, looking very dejected, walking in the opposite direction. I felt so sorry for them. As I drew near, I stopped and ripped open my dressing gown with all the brio of an experienced flasher on Hampstead Heath.’” – The Hammer Story: The Authorized History of Hammer Films, Marcus Hearns & Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 2007.
Lust for a Vampire (1971)
Hammer Films | Starring Yutte Stensgaard | Ralph Bates | Directed by Jimmy Sangster
“Lust for a Vampire is a cynical and depressing exercise that has all been disowned by its director.” – The Hammer Story: The Authorized History of Hammer Films, Marcus Hearns & Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 2007.
Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971)
Hammer Films | Starring Valerie Leon | Andrew Kier | Directed by Seth Holt
“Margaret (Valerie Leon) suffers a recurring nightmare in which she sees an ancient Egyptian queen, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, sealed up in a sarcophagus. The priests who entomb her first chop off her hand, but, after throwing the member to the jackals, are killed by a mysterious and powerful force that lacerates their throats. The day before her birthday, Margaret’s father, archaeologist Professor Fuchs (Andrew Kier), gives her a ruby ring. It transpires that the ring was discovered when, twenty years before, Fuchs…broke into the tomb of Queen Tera and found the ring on her disembodied hand. Her perfectly preserved body lay in a golden coffin beside it, with the stump of her arm leaking blood. At that moment, thousands of miles away, Margaret’s mother died giving birth to her. Margaret, it seems, is a vessel for Tera’s magic. Soon, when a certain celestial conjunction is complete and three artifacts assembled beside Tera’s corpse, this evil sorceress will be born anew…” – The Hammer Story: The Authorized History of Hammer Films, Marcus Hearns & Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 2oo7.
Madeleine and Mary Collinson, real-life twins and Playboy centerfolds (“Misses October”, 1970), play good and evil twin sisters Frieda and Maria Gellhorn in Hammer’s Gothic vampire tale, Twins of Evil (1971). Staying with their uncle Gustav (Peter Cushing), a witch-hunting religious zealot, the orphaned twins fall victim to the seductive spell of vampiric libertine, Count Karnstein (Damien Thomas).
Born in Malta in 1952, the Collinson sisters’ thick accents were dubbed over by voice actors in the film.
Gustav Weil: “The devil has sent me twins of evil!”