The Horror Channel isn't exactly renowned for offering quality viewing entertainment, but among the mountains of pap they do present the occasional treat and this festive season they're serving up a menu of blood and barely restrained cleavage for a celebration of Hammer's glorious 70s supernatural sirens as they present a crop of Hammer favourites including Ingrid Pitt, Yutte Stensgaard, Martine Beswick and real-life twins and former Playboy Playmates Mary and Madeleine Collinson. Take a look at the line-up, which is gaurenteed to get you warmed up during the dark nights...
Saturday December 24th @ 23:10 - Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde - Orignally from Jamaica, Martine Beswick, who plays Sister Hyde, was a favourite of the film director Terence Young who cast her in two Bond films. Nicknamed ‘Battling Beswick’, due to her provocative ‘onscreen catfights, Hammer cast her as the ferocious Nupundi in One Million Years BC opposite Rachel Welsh, and spin-off film Slave Girls. She is now retired from acting.
Saturday December 31st @ 23:10 - Lust for a Vampire - Yutte Stensgaard only appeared in one Hammer film but made quite an impression with male viewers as the predatory Mircalla who bites her way through the pupils of a ladies finishing school. She then accepted an offer to become the hostess of ATV’s game show The Golden Shot but the British press shot her down and she went to live in the USA, where she now works for a Radio Network.
Saturday January 7th @ 23:10 - Countess Dracula - Polish-born Ingrid Pitt is perhaps the most iconic of the Hammer leading ladies and when the company was re-instated in 2007 it was Ingrid they chose to represent the old guard in Beyond The Rave. The Hammer Films’ “Queen of Horror” had a successful acting career beyond playing insidious vampires, starring in The Wicker Man, Who Dares Wins and Smiley’s People. She died in 2010, aged 73.
Saturday January 14th @ 23:10 - Twins of Evil - Born in Malta, Mary and Madeleine Collinson have the distinction of being the only Hammer debutants to appear on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show – this after Hugh Hefner chose them as Playboy’s 1970s ‘Misses October’. Although the film remains one of the most popular amongst fans and the twins give highly credible performances their on-screen careers shuddered to a halt and they retired from acting in 1978.
The Horror Channel can be found on Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138.