Posted by demonik on August 20, 2007
Ronald Holmes – Witchfinder General (Pan, 1968: Herbert Jenkings, 1966)
A vivid, colourful and brutal novel – based on the life of Matthew Hopkins, one of the most vicious Englishmen who ever lived.
While Cavaliers and Roundheads are locked in bloody combat, Hopkins – self-appointed Witchfinder General – wages a savage war against the helpless under the pretext they are servants of Satan. Mercilessly he satisfies his appetite for lust and cruelty by spreading a trail of terror through the Eastern Counties. And with every innocent death his purse grew heavier …
Hilary Dwyer as Sam and Vincent Price as Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General, as they appear in a scene from the new Tigon screen version of this book. Produced by Arnold Miller, Philip Waddilove and Louis M. Heyward, the picture is directed by Micheal Reeves. Executive Producer Tony Tenser. Released by Tigon Pictures Ltd.
‘A catalogue of horror’ Eastern Daily Press
‘There is a degree of authenticity that makes the blood run cold’ Cambridge News
Two other great historical novels by Ronald Bassett in PAN
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Posted by demonik on August 17, 2007
David Seltzer – The Omen (Futura, 1978; originally Futura 1976)
” One night in Rome Robert Thorn, American diplomat, exchanges his still-born son for a new-born orphan. Only Thorn and the priest who arranged the unofficial adoption could tell the difference. Kathy and Robert Thorn called the child Damien.
Five years later in England Damien’s Nanny dies tragically … a ferocious black dog and an officious new Nanny mysteriously appear to guard the child … Kathy Thorn is badly hurt in a fall … and a wild-eyed priest tells Thorn that Damien is the spawn of the devil.
In an agonizing and frenzied search that takes him to Rome, Jerusalem and back to London. Robert Thorn begins to unravel the horrible truth …
* A powerful, spell-binding story of a child who is not a child and a man who must become less than a father and more of a man. *
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Posted by demonik on August 7, 2007
Peter Saxon – Scream And Scream Again (Paperback Library, Dec. 1967. Previously known as The Disorientated Man)
I couldn’t make sense of the film on one viewing and I also struggled with the novel first time around, so lets see if I’m any the wiser after a rematch.
London. Detective Chief-Super Dale Keene is investigating a series of gruesome murders. The victims are young women whose throats have been slashed and all the blood drained from their bodies. On the wrists of the deceased, twin puncture marks which suggest that the killer is a vampire. One of the girls was employed as a maid by mild-mannered Dr. Browning, so he’s obviously our number one suspect. A plan to capture the murderer using P.C. Helen Bradford as bait backfires when the bloodsucker kills her on Tooting Common and effortlessly toughs up her colleagues when they race to her rescue after hearing sucking noises over their tracking device.
Elsewhere Ken Spartan, Olympic athlete, collapses while out jogging. He wakes up in hospital with a silent nurse feeding him something through a straw. His arms and legs are systematically amputated over a period of …. days? months? Spartan has no way of knowing as he’s kept permanently stoned.
Meanwhile in East Germany, the sadist Konrath has risen through the ranks of the Secret Police, disposing of any immediate superiors with the patented Vulcan death grip whenever they question his methods of obtaining information.
That brings us up to the halfway mark. Seems to me as though 70 pages is not gonna be enough to bring all these strands together satisfactorily which is maybe what baffled me last time. And the back cover blurb promises Black Magic – we’ve not had a hint of any of that yet.
What happens next? “Review” continues on Vault of Evil!
Thanks to ade for top cover scan!
Posted in Amicus, Film, Peter Saxon, Scream And Scream Again, Vampire, witchcraft & black magic | Leave a Comment »
Posted by demonik on July 27, 2007
Elsie Lee – The Masque Of The Red Death (Lancer, 1964)
This is a personal favourite, along with the James Burke Hammer novelisations that were shortly to follow. Lee’s writing certainly captures the mood and excitement of the film, and the main characters are well drawn. Price was excellent as Prospero, as he would be as Matthew Hopkins in the soon-come Witchfinder General.
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