My childhood Fridays were dominated by two things; Googie Withers and Appointment With Fear.
Googie Withers, because she starred in Within These Walls, a TV show I have no memory of, other than that it starred Googie Withers.
Appointment With Fear dominated my Fridays because that TV feature dragged late Friday evenings down into a pit of terror from which no human mind could ever hope to escape.
Admittedly, even though I was of tender years and an habitual coward, Appointment With Fear never actually managed to scare me in the slightest. In truth, its introductory sequence of monsters' faces morphing into each other, one after the other, seemed more menacing than the movies ever did but it did introduce me to what seemed like an endless parade of Hammer horror films that all seemed to have exactly the same cast.
But ITV wasn't my only source of mallet based mayhem in the 1970s.
There was another.
And that was The House of Hammer, a magazine launched by future Marvel UK editor Dez Skinn, featuring comic strip adaptations of classic Hammer movies, and prose and photo features on the work of the company.
Admittedly, it wasn't much of a source for me, because I only ever had one issue and that was the one above, which published an adaptation of that cheeky tale of Karnstein based vampirism The Twins of Evil. Who could forget Peter Cushing's turn as a puritanical nutjob trying to rid his village of wanton and lascivious women, only to find that one of his own nieces is no better than she should be and likes to drink people's blood while she's at it? Why, I doubt that anyone with his wits about him could forget that film.
However, up until recently, I'd totally forgotten I once owned the magazine that adapted it. Happily, the internet is a wonderful place and the moment I accidentally stumbled across the cover on it, I realised at once that it had formerly been in my possession.
As always with this feature, despite the title of this post, The House of Hammer #7 wasn't at all forgettable. Now that my memory's been prodded by the cover image, I recall its take on the Twins of Evil quite clearly. I also recall that the issue contained an article about a movie I've only ever seen once, one which featured human sacrifice and possibly Donald Pleasance. What was the title of that movie? I have no idea. I know it wasn't Curse of the Crimson Altar but could say nothing beyond that.
The issue may also have featured a last-page photo of Yutte Stensgaard with fangs, and blood all over her. This image was clearly taken from Lust For A Vampire. However, I couldn't swear on my life that that image was indeed present, as it might actually have been in the one issue of Skywald's Nightmare that I ever owned.
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