Tags: Hammer Films
Posted: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 12:00
The early 1920s. The passenger zeppelin Helios heads across the arctic wastes, searching for any sign of a lost expedition from ten years earlier. When storm clouds hit and the zeppelin is forced off-course it finds itself forced to confront a lost world that holds secrets from beyond time - including a flock of deadly flying predators…
Zeppelin V Pterodactyls is a live stage reading of a script developed by Mayhem Film Festival from a scenario written for Hammer Films by David Allen in 1970. The original scenario forms part of the Hammer Films collection at De Montfort University's Cinema and Television History (CATH) archive.
JONNY PHILLIPS as THE NARRATOR
THOMAS FARTHING as GORDON EASTON
Thomas is a film and stage actor from Derby. For more information on Thomas's work see: https://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/8216-0169-4090
MELVYN RAWLINSON as DR. EDMUND FULMER
Melvyn has been an actor for over 30 years specialising in Mask and Physical Theatre and toured across Britain and Europe with his solo show The Pied Piper of Hamelin. More recently, Melvyn has been seen in commercials, short films and local theatre, where he has played a range of diverse characters including a time travelling Gnome, a malevolent paranormal investigator, and Nottingham's very own philanthropist and abolitionist, Samuel Morley. He is just about to record the next thrilling instalments with the Black Library for the War Hammer series of audio Dramas. Having grown up during Hammer's heyday he is delighted to be involved with bringing to life one of the studio's lost treasures.
OLIVIA NEWTON as DELANDRIA
Olivia is an actor from Nottingham who trained at the Television Workshop under Ian Smith.
ROB GOLL as CAPTAIN RAMSEY
Rob trained at Bretton Hall. His theatre credits include: NEAT 16 Studio Ensemble; The Second Minute; The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui; The League of Youth (Nottingham Playhouse); King Lear; Much Ado About Nothing; Henry V; The Tempest; Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet; Twelfth Night; Richard II; Richard III (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival); Sleuth (Quirksome Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Garden Theatre). Television credits include: Panto! Mayhem, Make Up and Magic (BBC Storyville/Met Film/Glimmer Films).Other credits include: Narrator of 20 Audiobook titles, mainly Sci-Fi and Fantasy, with some Horror, Historical Fiction and a spot of Poetry.
SYLVIA ROBSON as RUTH IMRIE
In 2014 Sylvia was named Female Actor to Watch by Sarah Bodinar (Nottingham Evening Post) for her role in A Dozen Summers (film). Recently she has been touring with Shakespeare theatre productions and just completed a run in Middlesbrough with a thriller The Nightmare Room. For more information on Sylvia's work see here:
Zeppelin V Pterodactyls features an original score by Gavin Morrow and Gerallt Ruggiero.
Script by Steven Sheil from an original outline by David Allen.
Posted: Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:43
Hammer Films is a mainstay in British popular culture. The revival of the British gothic horror in the late 1950s, coupled with the iconic, indelible pairing of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, cemented the company's status as one of Britain's most renowned film studios. Yet for every classic Hammer Film like The Quatermass Xperiment, The Curse of Frankenstein or Dracula, film historians and fans of the studio find themselves equally intrigued by the Hammer Films that never made it to the screen. These unmade films not only provide a number of intriguing 'what-if' scenarios for the history of the studio, but by providing new production and development contexts, can also offer us new insights into how Hammer operated at the height of its powers.
One of the earliest and most infamous unmade Hammer Films was Night Creatures,an adaptation of Richard Matheson's seminal novel I Am Legend, adapted into a screenplay for Hammer by Matheson himself in 1957. Hammer's regular clashes with the British censor are legendary, with films such as The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula all keenly contested, and Hammer's The Curse of the Werewolf irrevocably altered by the censor's interference. However, Night Creatures was one of the few projects where Hammer failed to placate the censor, with the script by Matheson being dismissed outright. The rejection of Matheson's screenplay left Hammer with no choice but to cancel the film, but remnants of The Night Creatures still exist. Hammer sold the script to Robert Lippert, who produced the I Am Legend adaptation The Last Man on Earth in 1964. Hammer even made sure the title didn't go to waste, with The Night Creatures being used as the American title of Captain Clegg in 1962.
However, despite the censor scuppering Night Creatures, Hammer had a remarkably successful produced to unproduced ratio throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. It was not until the 1970s, with the American and British Film industry on the verge of collapse, that Hammer began to see some of it's more ambitious projects fall by the wayside.
In the early 1970s, Hammer began to realise that their gothic horror formula was no longer securing finance and distribution from increasingly risk-adverse American studios. As a result, Hammer's owner Michael Carreras embarked on a new, ambitious strategy, putting a number of large-scale multi-million dollar pictures into production, with the hope that their cross-market appeal and potential for international box office would make them more appealing to financiers. This strategy ultimately proved unsuccessful, but it led to a number of intriguing unmade prospects at Hammer.
Perhaps the apex of this strategy was Hammer's unmade Nessie, a proposed $7million monster movie which would have seen an irradiated Loch Ness Monster emerge from the Loch and terrorise international waters. The project was developed as a co-production between Hammer, Columbia and Toho Studios, who were to provide distribution in Japan as well as providing the special effects to bring Nessie to life. The project proved too ambitious for Hammer, with a big budget production proving unworkable for the company against the back-drop of a failing film industry.
The decline of the industry also put paid to Hammer's planned adaptation of the science fiction comic-book Vampirella. Another attempt at a big-budget production, the film got remarkably close to making it to the screen. Michael Carreras promoted the project in New York, taking stars Peter Cushing and Barbra Leigh to the Famous Monster Convention in November 1975 to promote the film. The Hammer Script Archive at De Montfort University even holds an expenses document that budgets the potential hotel expenses of the stars during production. Ultimately however the state of the film industry, as well as complex rights issues surrounding the character of Vampirella, meant the project never made it in front of the cameras.
These projects were all developed extensively at Hammer, with Night Creatures, Nessie and Vampirella all having screenplays, directors and stars attached. However, a project such as the intriguingly titled Zeppelins V Pterodactyls, where only a storyline and poster were produced, offers a number of other intriguing questions. Who would have starred? Who would have directed? How would the brief outline's plot be developed into a full screenplay? Although these questions will sadly remain hypothetical, the screenplay developed by Steven Sheil based on the outline, to be performed in a one-off script reading at Mayhem Festival, can at least offer us a tantalising glimpse behind the curtain of one of the greatest what-ifs in Hammer's history.
Kieran Foster is based at De Montfort University as a Midlands3Cities/AHRC funded PhD student, currently undertaking his 3rd year of study. His thesis uses the archival materials available at De Montfort University's Hammer Script Archive in order to examine the unmade projects of Hammer Films.
Jonny Phillips leads cast for Mayhem Film Festival’s live stage reading of Hammer Films’ ZEPPELIN V PTERODACTYLS
Posted: Thu, 28 Sep 2017 10:45
Mayhem Film Festival is proud to reveal the full cast of its exclusive live stage reading of unmade Hammer Films script, Zeppelin V Pterodactyls.
Jonny Phillips (Titanic, Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime), who previously played Dracula in Mayhem's live stage reading of The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula back in 2015, will return to the festival as the narrator in this year's production of Zeppelin V Pterodactyls. Derby actor, Thomas Farthing, and Nottingham-based actors, Melvyn Rawlinson, Olivia Newton, Rob Goll and Sylvia Robson, will join Jonny Phillips on stage and complete the cast.
The one-of-a-kind event will take place at Broadway, Nottingham as part of Mayhem's 13th edition on Sunday 15 October at 5PM, with the group of actors bringing to life a never-seen-before Hammer story, accompanied by original music from Gavin Morrow and Gerallt Ruggiero.
Based on a thought-lost outline from the Hammer Scripts Archive, now faithfully expanded into a full-length script by Mayhem Co-Director, Steven Sheil (Mum & Dad, Dead Mine), Zeppelin V Pterodactylswill take audience members on an epic sci-fi adventure to a lost world beyond the arctic snows where prehistoric creatures may still roam. The event is made possible with thanks to Hammer Films and CATH (Cinema and Television History) Research Centre at DeMontfort University.
Earlier this month, Mayhem announced its full line-up of events and guests, including guested screenings of Double Date, which will be followed by a Q&A with director Benjamin Barfoot, writer/actor Danny Morgan, actress Georgia Groome and producer Matt Wilkinson; Habit with special guests director Simeon Halligan, producer Rachel Richardson-Jones and actor Elliot Langridge, and the UK Premiere of Preywith special guest director Dick Maas. The festival will also host screenings of Friday the 13th Part III – 3D on Friday 13th October, a new restoration of Dario Argento's Suspiria as part of The CultFilms Tour of SUSPIRIA-4k, the UK Premiere of Korean film A Day, and previews of festival favourites Most Beautiful Island, 68 Kill, Mayhem, M.F.A., Top Knot Detective and many more.
The full line-up and schedule is available at https://www.mayhemfilmfestival.com/tickets
The live stage reading of Zeppelin V Pterodactyls will take place on Sunday 15 October at Broadway, Nottingham at 5PM. Mayhem Film Festival takes place on 12-15 October 2017.
Individual tickets, day passes and full festival passes are now on sale. For more information, please visitwww.mayhemfilmfestival.com
Posted: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 11:41
With less than two months to go before the festival's 13th edition, we are proud to announce two new titles and a special event as part of their programme.
Building on the success of The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula from the 2015 edition, Mayhem Film Festival will present a new live stage reading of an unmade Hammer production – the legendary Zeppelin vs Pterodactyls. Based on a thought-lost outline from the Hammer Scripts Archive, now faithfully expanded into a full-length script by Mayhem Co-Director, Steven Sheil (Mum & Dad, Dead Mine), Zeppelin vs Pterodactyls will take you on an epic sci-fi adventure to a lost world beyond the arctic snows where prehistoric creatures may still roam. If you couldn't attend the 2015 production, expect an immersive 'screenless cinema' experience with actors bringing the screenplay vividly to life. This one of a kind event is made possible with thanks to Hammer Films and CATH (Cinema and Television History) Research Centre at DeMontfort University.
In addition to this special live event, Mayhem is proud to announce two more films from their 2017 line-up, including Simeon Halligan's Habit. In this subversive film from the director of White Settlers, a young man working in a massage parlour discovers something dangerous and sinister lurking in the mysterious room no.9. Director Simeon Halligan will present the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.
Wrapping up this second wave of announcements is Shudder's fittingly titled Mayhem, from American director Joe Lynch. Beyond the endless amusement of Mayhem screening at Mayhem, the film is a relentlessly fun corporate horror in which Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) finds himself trapped within the law firm he has just been fired from, as a super virus making people lose all of their inhibitions condemns the building to quarantine.
Mayhem Film Festival will take place at Broadway, Nottingham on 12-15 October 2017. Early Bird passes are still available for a limited time only at the discounted rate of £65.