R.I.P. Jimmy Sangster 1927-2011

Auugh! After getting started back after a long hiatus, our website got hijacked by spammers. It has taken us awhile to get it back on track as we are computer-comfortable but apparently not web-savvy (or not web-savvy enough at any rate).

Sadly back on August 19th,  Hammer icon Jimmy Sangster passed away. While much of the success of Hammer films may be credited to stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, Jimmy Sangster penned many of the snappy scripts they read from. Unfortunately none of his films are currently available on instant Netflix.

His first full-length screenplay was the wonderful pre-Blob gelatinous monster movie X – The Unknown. Modeled after the success of The Quatermass Xperiment (by Nigel Kneale), this is a Quatermass movie in all but name.

After the rousing success of The Quatermass Xperiment (The Creeping Unknown here), X the Unknown, and Quatermass II (Enemy from Space), Hammer executives decided to splurge on color gothic remakes of the classic Universal canon. Jimmy Sangster penned The Curse of Frankenstein, The Horror of Dracula, The Mummy and the first few sequels (Revenge of Frankenstein, Brides of Dracula, Dracula, Prince of Darkness).

Sangster seemed most at home in the thriller with a twist genre. Sadly these do not hold up well as the twists have since been done to death. Sangster wrote the stories and/or screenplays for The Snorkel, Scream of Fear, Paranoiac, Maniac, Nightmare, and the Bette Davis-vehicles The Nanny and The Anniversary.

The only Sangster title I was able to spot on instant Netflix was the Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode Horror in the Heights. It is not a particularly good representation of his work but allows me to plug the good cheesy fun that is Kolchak.