Well I’m officially one year closer to my end of days. I did enjoy a wonderful birthday though having lunch with my wife and daughter at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Papa’s & Beer (Carnitas Fajitas, Horchada, and Flan for dessert – delicious) followed by a $3 movie at Cinebarre (Dark Shadows – not so good).
The evening’s entertainment was Doc Chey’s (Spicy basil noodles with chicken) with my wife followed by dessert at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (Chocolate Mocha Stout cake – good, vanilla milkshake – not so good) with some dear friends. My dear friends were not supposed to know it was my birthday but Jen let it slip. They brought me a magnificent addition to my movie books.
A few years ago my wife bought me this wonderful book on the history of Hammer studios. It is chockful of wonderful photographs and provides wonderful detail on a wide variety of Hammer movies – though mostly their horror and science fiction offerings. I think author Marcus Hearn achieved the perfect balance of knowledge and entertainment to make this not only a wonderful, breezy read but also a suitable coffeetable book.
The Hammer Story apparently did very well because Marcus Hearn followed it up in 2009 with Hammer Glamour, an oversized hardcover about the wonderful ladies in the Hammer movies. In 2010 Hearn released another oversized hardcover, The Art of Hammer, that is dedicated to the poster art of Hammer films. I’m not sure if he’s done yet but last year Hearn released The Hammer Vault (yes I think the title should be The Vault of Hammer but that’s not my decision), a compendium of rare material that Hearn had not yet released.
“This remarkable journey through the Hammer Vault includes props, annotated script pages, unused poster artwork, production designs, rare promotional material and private correspondence. Hundreds of rare and previously unseen stills help to create a rich souvenir of Hammer’s legacy, from the X certificate classics of the 1950s to the studio’s latest productions.
Written and compiled by the official Hammer Films historian Marcus Hearn, and featuring exclusive contributions from the actors and filmmakers associated with the company, this is the most lavish book ever published on the legendary House of Horror. “
I haven’t bought any of these books because I have yet to read my copy of Universal Studios Monsters. Our dear friends bought me The Hammer Vault and I was quite thrilled. I’m looking forward to reading it so much that I’ll probably just skip the Universal book for now.
My mother-in-law absolutely overwhelmed me this year. My movie room is plastered with literally hundreds of movie posters and placards but they were all modern and the vast majority were FREE from the movie theaters over the last few years (three of the four walls are covered in 12×18 plain black frames to hold the 11×17 posters).
For my birthday, my mother-in-law bought me the above original poster for The Last Man on Earth (she knows I love Vincent Price). I don’t want to know what she spent on it as I know collecting old movie posters is well beyond our means. We’re having it professionally framed (yikes!) and I’ll post a before and after in a few weeks. My eldest daughter also got me The Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-Ray in steelbook from Best Buy. I don’t know why but I do love those steelbook cases.
All in all a pretty sweet birthday.