Classic Monsters Taking Over The British Museum

I previously posted about the BFI Gothic season ‘The Dark Heart of Film’ which is due to run to January 2014. It is kicking off from August with a selection of classic monster movies being shown at The British Museum.

Starting on Thursday 29th August at 8pm the first film will be Jacques Tourneur 1957 ‘Night of the Demon’.

Night of the Demon


Sceptical American psychologist Holden (Dana Andrews) must reconsider his beliefs when genial occultist and children’s entertainer Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) passes him a cursed parchment and informs him that he will die within four days. Aided by perceptive Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins), Holden races to escape his destiny. Adapted from M.R. James’ Casting the Runes by Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett, the film was atmospherically directed by the legendary Jacques Tourneur, who had built his reputation with an exceptional string of Val Lewton-produced horrors, including Cat People. Yet Night of the Demon – gripping, intelligent, eerily entertaining, and chillingly plausible in its depiction of witchcraft – still might be the finest of Tourneur’s works.

The full length British version of the film has been digitally remastered in high-definition by the BFI National Archive from 35mm negatives.

Then on Friday 30th August at 8pm the film will be the 1958 Hammer Horror Classic ‘Dracula’

0084615.jpg / Film - Dracula


Maligned and misunderstood by critics on first release, Hammer’s bloodily beautiful reworking of Dracula has grown in reputation over the decades and is widely regarded as the definitive film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. Wonderfully cast, with Christopher Lee icily magnetic as the centuries-old vampire and Peter Cushing a resolutely upstanding Van Helsing, it was evocatively directed by Gothic-auteur Terence Fisher; and here the viscerally erotic allure of the Count and his shadowy realm was captured – in full colour – as never before. The titanic climactic confrontation between Cushing and Lee, though much imitated, remains unsurpassed.

Restored by the BFI National Archive in 2007, the film will be screened in a new digitally remastered version with additional footage.

The last film showing will be on Saturday 31st August at 8pm, and will be another Hammer classic the 1958 ‘The Mummy’

the mummy


The success of Dracula saw Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing – by now referred to by one newspaper as ‘The Horror Boys’ – teamed again in this Universal-sanctioned refresh of the Mummy mythos. But whereas Karloff had quickly relinquished his bandages, Lee – as reanimated Ancient Egyptian Kharis – retains his. Devoid of dialogue, his chillingly expressive eyes tell a tale of torment, as he wreaks violent vengeance on those who desecrated the resting place of his long-lost love (Furneaux). Director Fisher expertly piles on atmosphere and excitement, as supernaturally strong Kharis erupts nightmarishly from shadowy swamp to violate the well-ordered world of enfeebled archaeologist Banning, impeccably portrayed by Cushing.

The film will be screened in a digitally remastered version.

Tickets go on sale from 11:30m on Thursday 6th June. Tickets can be purchased for £15 per film, or alternatively you can get a Joint Weekender Ticket for all three screening for £39.

Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic drinks will both be available to buy, and make sure you arrive early to enjoy a ‘mouth-watering’ supper…..oh and maybe a cushion to hide behind – just in case!

Source: BFI
Reporter: darkphoenix1701

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One comment

  1. Good monster flix.

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