Archive for Fangoria

Hurry While Shocks Last

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2015 by dcairns
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I’m in Fangoria!
Daniel Riccuito, Jennifer Matsui and I have authored a Barbara Steele encomium/mash note, featuring original interviews with the First Lady of Fright herself. My clunky memory tells me I only contributed plot synopses (which are fun to do for eccentric Italian horror movies, and not so much for anything else) but looking through the piece I spotted this bit ~

While Italian movies robbed Steele of her voice, they liberated her from what it had meant in Britain. Leading ladies in Brit films tended to be well brought-up young things, unless they were lusty and working-class like Diana Dors. Even at Hammer, where sexuality was unleashed regularly via bouts of vampirism, the erotically active roles usually went to continental lovelies (Polish immigrant Ingrid Pitt got her work permit based on Hammer’s claim that no native-born actress could exude such desire and desirability). Steele turns up all-too briefly in Basil Dearden’s Sapphire (1959) as an art school girl, the only kind of role that might allow for both intelligence and a certain liberated attitude. And Steele really was exactly that type. Her appearance is so arresting, you want the movie to simply abandon its plot and follow her into some fresh storyline: it wouldn’t really matter what.

Yeah, that’s one of mine!

Thanks and congratulations to my collaborators and the good folks at the mag and Ms. Steele herself. (Just typing “Ms. Steele” provokes a masochistic frisson Try it!)

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