Oakley Court Hotel | A Theatre of Blood tour of the spiritual home of classic British Horror in Windsor

Vincent Price Legacy UK at Oakley CourtFor the past three years, I have been conducting tours of the many London locations used in Theatre of Blood with the assistance of Mike Grant, who hosts the Theatre of Blood Facebook group page, and it has become a fantastic day out criss-crossing London with fans of the black comedy starring Vincent Price and some of Britain’s finest thespians.

From Kensal Green Cemetery to the banks of the Thames in Putney, we have uncovered nearly ever single location used, but two have eluded us – the infamous decapitation scene in which Arthur Lowe loses his head, and a scene in which one of the meths drinkers is interrogated.

Thanks to some expert sleuthing from Rick Squires, who curates the Vincent Price Exhibit, we learned that Lowe’s scenes were shot in Room 103 at Oakley Court in Windsor: a suitably evocative gothic mansion that has been used in many a classic British horror (and non-horror) film, with quite a few by Hammer (whose Bray Film Studios were situated just down the road), as well as Richard O’Brien’s cult hit, Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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With that knowledge, I decided to organise a day out to Oakley Court, with the added attraction of hiring boats to view what is left of Bray Film Studios which is currently lying derelict, awaiting planning permission to be turned into luxury apartments. But the big surprise for those attending was that they would be able to view the infamous Room 103.

Thanks to Andy Ellis, a dedicated film location expert who had booked the room for the night, our group were able to access the room, where much of the furniture has not changed for over 40 years.

The group also got a further surprise when Andy donned scrubs to give his rendition of Vincent Price’s Dr Hypo – aka Edward Lionheart doing Shakespeare’s Cymberline as it had never been played before. And it also gave me a chance to play dead…

Oakley Court Hotel

Dr HypoIt turned out to be a great day – despite the typical British summer weather (yes, it was wet) – where we got to explore a place that has a deep connection with British film in general. The namecheck of the stars who have filmed at Oakley Court is endless – with those kings of horror Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff being the icing on the gothic horror cake.

The outpouring of thank you’s on the Theatre of Blood and Vincent Price Legacy UK Facebook pages following the day has been really touching and the pictures that were taken are a real hoot (check them out by clicking on the photos, and also here).

Below are a handful of comments which I am hugely thankful for as they really make organising these events so worthwhile. Thank you everyone!

THANK YOU’S…
‘A mind blowing day thanks for organising it Peter!’ Merlyn Roberts

‘The best Saturday this year!!!’ Jason D. Brawn

‘An amazing day spent with the most awesome friends’ Alan Hoare 

‘It was a fantastic day! Thanks Pete and Andy’ Roni Romero 

‘Wow!!! We had such a fantastic day yesterday!!! Thank you so much to all the amazing people there, who made it very special. Most of all Peter Fuller for organising everything for us! you are a complete gent!!!’ Selene Paxton-Brooks

‘Many, many thanks to Peter and Andy for a splendid day and everyone else for being so very friendly and sporting on my first legacy jaunt. Oakley Court well surpassed my expectations – it’s really stunning and still has a powerfully magic effect. The interior wasn’t too messed around with either – it still has a grand gothic style & ambience, while Room 103 is truly to die for! Great to see Bray – dog-eared as it is – and explore film locations via Windsor alleyways.’ Paul Houghton

Thank you so much Andy, a great day and your film knowledge is inspirational. Room 103 was an absolute hoot.’ Stuart Carroll

AND A WORD FROM ANDY…
‘I’d like to say a huge thank-you to all the people involved in making last Saturday so special. I had an awesome time, and have masses of very happy memories (and photos!). It was great to meet old and new friends, and to finally see some people who have only been Facebook Friends up till now, and to capture yet more location shots (particularly in rooms that are not always accessible). I loved the boat trip to Bray Studios and really enjoyed showing fellow fans around, especially inside room 103. The biggest thanks have to go to Peter – if you hadn’t found the publicity shot of VP outside the hotel, we’d never have discovered the Oakley Court bedroom (via Rick Squires’ detective work), and your planning the whole event and organisation of the itinerary, the transport, boat hire and room rota were so efficient.’ Andy Ellis

If you’d like to join us on any future Vincent Price Legacy UK tours, then do sign up to the mailing list here: http://bit.ly/2uWRtp0

 

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A Priceless Birthday Weekend | Celebrating Vincent Price’s 106th anniversary

What a ‘Priceless’ Bank Holiday weekend we’ve just had celebrating Vincent Price’s 106th anniversary with his daughter, Victoria Price, flying in from the US to spend it with us.

Victoria Price at Portobello Road Markets Vincent Price and Jane Asher in Portobello Road MarketsFirst up, on Vincent’s actual birthday (27 May), a small group of fans joined Victoria and myself took a stroll through Portobello Markets (just as Vincent did back in the 1960s when he was filming Masque of the Red Death), finishing with an al fresco Spanish lunch in the sunshine.

Then it was off to Vincent’s favourite London museum, the V&A, which is a treasure trove of art, antiques, fashion, furniture and ephemera. Boy, were we all tired after that…

Sunday found Victoria and I bringing a slice of Vincent Price to Birmingham’s wonderful Electric Cinema (the UK’s oldest working cinema) for a packed-out event where Annabel from Conjurer’s Kitchen presented the audience with a spectacular cake honouring Vincent’s horror classics and topped with a working pendulum (which was won by one of the guests – called Vincent).

Vincent Price's 106th Birthday Cake

Victoria Price at Electric Cinema, Birmingham

Electric Cinema, Birmingham

Electric Cinema, BirminghamWe also showed a special clip show that honoured Birmingham’s love of curry, with a video of Vincent demonstrating how to make a curry from scratch. You can watch it here…

North by Northwest, LondonOn Tuesday evening we held a special evening at the Hitchcock-themed North by Northwest pub in Islington. It’s a fab venue filled with posters and prop replicas from Hitchcock’s films – including a life-size Norma Bates.

North by Northwest, LondonIt was also the perfect location to honour the Masters of Suspense and Menace, so we kicked off with a screening of The Perfect Crime, an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV show in which Vincent guest starred, while everyone tucked into some delicious pub grub with a menu that had been given a Vincent Price makeover.

Victoria Price at North by Northwest, London

The audience were then treated to some never-before-seen clips, courtesy of my private collection, and a wonderful presentation by Victoria about her dad’s legacy, which has led to the two of us creating a new venture: ESC Tours.

If you’d like to know more about ESC Tours and sign up to our mailing list, then head over to the website: CLICK HERE

Victoria Price at North by Northwest, LondonIf you’d like to join us next time, or keep up to date with all the project that we are doing to keep Vincent’s legacy alive and relevant, then do sign up to our Vincent Price Legacy UK mailing list, as well: CLICK HERE

Finally, here’s just some super comments about the events we hosted this past weekend. Thank you everyone for coming and making this so special.

Peter Fuller
Curator, Vincent Price Legacy UK

THANK YOU…
Thanks so much for the evening Liz Hopkins. Will stay with me. Thank you Peter Fuller for squeezing us in, a huge success! What an inspirational talk by Vincent Price’s daughter Victoria Price. What a human being Vincent was and indeed his daughter is.’ Matthew Hopkins

It was brilliant – thank you for organising another great event!!!!Selene Paxton-Brooks

Such a moving and inspirational talk from Victoria Price.Julia Morgan

‘A fantastic evening with lots of laughter!’ 😁 Merlyn Roberts

‘Loved every moment of it’ Jason D. Brawn

‘A marvellous affair’ Pete McDonnell

‘Thanks Peter, was wonderful! The past couple of days have been pretty special’ 🙂 Stuart Carroll

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Happy Birthday to Vincent Price!

Today, 27 May 2017, marks the 106th birthday of Vincent Price. So, let’s all raise a toast to the actor, art lover, Anglophile and all-round legend…

Here in the UK, The Vincent Price Legacy UK will be celebrating throughout the Bank Holiday weekend with two very special events happening – one in Birmingham on Sunday and another in London on Tuesday. The London event is sold out, but there is a handful of tickets left for Birmingham. GET THEM HERE

But today, we shall be following in Vincent’s footsteps and doing something that he would have loved… a trip to Portobello Road Market, the V&A and the British Museum.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Here’s some super pics of Vincent at Portobello Road with Jane Asher, his co-star in 1964’s Masque of the Red Death.

Vincent Price and Jane Asher in Portobello Road MarketsVincent Price and Jane Asher in Portobello Road Markets Vincent Price and Jane Asher in Portobello Road MarketsVincent Price and Jane Asher in Portobello Road Markets

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Party Like You’re Vincent Price! A Pop-Up Clip Show Birthday Celebration!

+++++THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT!!!!!+++++

On Tuesday 30 May, Victoria Price will host a very special evening in London at the Hitchcock-themed North By Northwest pub in Islington, in celebration of Vincent Price’s 106th birthday anniversary (Vincent was born on 27 May), and you’re all invited.

BOOK HERE

This event coincides with the UK reprint release of Vincent and Mary’s Come Into the Kitchen Cook Book, so we are offering all attendees the chance to purchase a signed copy of the book when you get your ticket to attend.

In honour of the venue, we shall be screening Vincent’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, The Perfect Crime, plus some exclusive never-before-seen treats.

Some great pub grub will be available to purchase on the night. Plus, everyone who attends will be entered into a free raffle to win some fantastic prizes.

BOOK HERE

This will be Victoria’s only London appearance this year, and tickets are restricted to just 40 attendees.

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Play our Corman’s Castles Quiz

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Girls Like Us | Vincent Price’s wives Edith Barrett and Coral Browne to feature in two 1940s classics at BFI Southbank

As part of the BFI Southbank’s Girls Like Us: British Women and WWII Cinema season in April, the 1946 melodrama Piccadilly Incident, starring Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding, gets a NFT2 screening on Wednesday 19 April (6.15pm) and Sunday 20 April (5.40pm). Co-starring is Coral Browne, the third wife of Vincent Price.

But she’s not the only spouse of the beloved actor to be gracing the BFI, for Vincent’s first wife, Edith Barrett co-stars in the celebrated Val Lewton 1943 horror, I Walked With A Zombie, which screens on Sunday 2 April (8.40pm), as part of their Cult series.

Piccadilly IncidentIn Piccadilly Incident, Wren Diana Fraser (Anna Neagle) returns to England after three years stranded on a desert island to find that Alan Pearson (Michael Wildling), the man whom she married in a London air-raid, had thought her dead and has remarried a woman called Virginia (Coral Browne). This hugely popular weepie teamed Neagle and Wilding for the first time, establishing them as top box-office stars in five more films, beginning with The Courtneys of Curzon Street and ending with The Lady with the Lamp in 1951. It also scored Neagle a Best Actress of the year nod by the readers of Picturegoer magazine.
BOOK TICKETS HERE

In producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Torneur’s famous voodoo chiller I Walk With a Zombie, Canadian nurse Betsy Connell (Frances Dee) arrives in the West Indies and soon gets involved in menacing goings on in the moonlight with Tom Conway’s zombie wife Jessica (Christine Gordon). Much better than its title would indicate, this beautifully made drama is a sort of Haitian voodoo offshoot of Jane Eyre. A little on the slow side, it nonetheless remained Tourneur’s favourite film, mainly because of its poetic qualities. It’s very moody, with a commendably firm central performance by Dee, and great support from Edith Barrett as the mysterious Mrs Rand, who harbours a dark secret.
BOOK TICKETS HERE: 29 March
BOOK TICKETS HERE: (2 April)

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On this day in… 1945 | The film noir sensation Laura is released in the UK

Laura (1945)

Nominated for four Oscars and winning one, this is the ultimate classic noir mystery.

Dana Andrews plays the detective who delves into the murder of Gene Tierney’s enigmatic Laura, with whom everyone is in love with. But it is Clifton Webb who steals the show as the titular ingenue’s creepily elegant social mentor, Waldo Lydecker.

Laura (1945)

Vincent Price, in a role he regarded as one of his all-time favourites, plays the polished Southern playboy Shelby Carpenter who loves the ladies and plays a mean piano. It’s just a shame that the scene of him serenading a party of lovelies is now all but lost…

Laura was released on 11 October 1944 in the US, while the UK had to wait until 15 January 1945 before the film could cast its spell on audiences on the other side of the pond.

Laura (1945)

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Camp Vincent 2016 Diary | Hooray for Hollywood – and Vincent Price!

Camp Vincent 2016As the sun set on Camp Vincent 2016 and a supermoon rose over the Malibu coast on Sunday (13 November), I feel so blessed to have spent the past 10 days celebrating the life and legacy of Vincent Price with a wonderful group of friends – and it ended so beautifully.

Vincent Price sneer
A love this candid shot of Vincent that had been cut out and turned into a little card at the Vincent Price Art Museum

Camp Vincent at the Beverly Hills Hotel

But first, on a surprisingly hot Saturday morning, Victoria Price escorted us, plus a handful of new recruits, on a tour of her dad’s old haunts and former homes.

First up was Hollywood Forever Cemetery where both Vincent and Coral Browne (Mrs Price No3), had their funeral services, and where Coral’s were scattered amongst the white rose bushes by the entrance gates.

Hollywood Forever
Ohio artist Nancy Cintron captured this praying mantis on one of the white roses at Hollywood Forever cemetery

After catching up with old friends like Cecil B De Mille and Peter Lorre (whose funeral Vincent gave the eulogy), we headed out to Pinks, an LA institution for hotdogs (Vincent’s fast food of choice) and Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood (where he hung out daily).

Pinks Pinks

Then it was up to the Hills where we drove past Vincent’s former homes as Victoria gave us an insight of what it was like growing up in the glare of the Hollywood sign, before decamping at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel for cocktails and cake.

Vincent Price home
This former home of Vincent Price featured in his 1961 book, The Book of Joe: About a Dog and his Man, and ended up becoming the residence of actress Jacqueline Bisset
Vincent Price home
One of Vincent’s more grander former homes in Benedict Canyon

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Beverly Hills Hotel
The girls couldn’t resist posing in the Ladies restroom at the swanky Beverly Hills Hotel

In the evening, we were Carson bound to the Phantom Carriage Brewery, where a special dinner was held to celebrate the launch of the reprint of Vincent and Mary Price’s Come Into The Kitchen cookbook.

This took the form of a four-course meal paired with the brewery’s craft beers, accompanied by screenings of The Tingler and Comedy of Terrors, which were introduced by Victoria and myself, and some horror movie-inspired music. It was a super evening, where we all made new friends with some LA-based Vincent Price fans.

The Phantom Carriage The Phantom Carriage

And so we come to Sunday. Following lunch at Paradise Cove in Malibu – the setting for hundred of films and TV shows, including the Beach Party films – and where the Price family enjoyed coming to to eat and fish, we headed out to Nicholas Canyon Beach.

It was here where Vincent Price once owned several acres and had a beach house where his children, Barrett and Victoria, spent many a summer before the land was repossessed under the Reagan regime.

Nicholas Canyon Beach, MalibuNicholas Canyon Beach, Malibu Nicholas Canyon Beach, Malibu

At the bottom of some ruined stairs (the only reminder of where the house once stood) our group created an altar of flowers, shells, rocks, kelp, and a drawing done by the ever talented Gregg Buxbaum of a baby seal wearing Vincent’s favourite straw hat.

As incense and a sage smudge stick – bought during our Southwest travels were set alight – were set alight, we held hands and vowed to go out into the world with love and hope. Then, just as we finished, a flock of pelicans soared above us – very slowly – in a V formation. Now, was that a sign or what?

Nicholas Canyon Beach, Malibu

Nicholas Canyon Beach, Malibu
Victoria Price took this fantastic shot of our shadows looming large over the altar we made at Nicholas Canyon Beach

This year’s tour was an opportunity for fans to ‘Explore. Savor. Celebrate‘ life just like Vincent – something both Victoria Price and myself plan to continue for the foreseeable future, beginning with organising Camp Vincent 2017, which will take place in Madrid, Barcelona and Sitges in Spain in September, as well as some pop-up events in the UK and the US.

We are also working on some cool online swag. So, if you’re interested in hearing and seeing any of Victoria’s presentation, Vincent Price: Master of Menace, Lover of Life — then you can sign up right here to receive more information. There are lots of personal family photos and behind-the-scenes pictures and stories. But mostly, this gives you a glimpse of the glorious life philosophy of Vincent Price. We will also have a live virtual Q&A, which we plan to roll out in the new year.

I do hope you will join us.

Peter Fuller (November 2016)

Vincent Price Late Portrait#VincentPrice #CampVincent @masterofmenace

 

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Black Cat Vincent Price Ale is just ‘purr-fect’ for these Hammer glamour scream queens

Hammer's leading ladies Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith give their best cover girl pose with bottles of Black Cat VPA
Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith loved our Black Cat VPA

Check out these fun snaps of Hammer legends Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith happily posing with bottles of Black Cat, the first officially licensed Vincent Price Ale, at the recent film fair in Camden, London.

Hammer Glamour meets Vincent Price Ale
VPA creator Peter Fuller with Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith

Munro and Smith had the honour of appearing in the Vincent Price classics The Abominable Dr Phibes and Theatre of Blood, while two-time Bond girl Beswick appeared in the 1980s anthology From a Whisper to a Scream – Vincent’s last horror film.

These scream queens were all good friends with Price and loved the concept of a British ale made in honour of the horror icon and self-confessed Anglophile who called UK his second home for over 20 years, beginning in 1964 when he came to London to film the Roger Corman Poe film, Masque of the Red Death.

For the purr-fect Halloween tipple order Black Cat VPA now online at ALES BY MAIL

VPA label designer Graham Humphreys with Caroline Munro, who also appeared in the Vincent Price horror classic, The Abominable Dr Phibes

Illustrator Graham Humphreys, who designed the Black Cat label, is also working on a series of fab retro-looking limited edition Tees dedicated to some of Hammer’s leading ladies, beginning with this homage to Dracula AD72. You can order it online here.

caroline-art-purple-spoiler-2

 

 

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Catch Theatre of Blood on the big screen at Curzon Canterbury this Halloween

Curzon CanterburyThe Curzon Canterbury is proud to bring you a Vincent Price evening, screening Theatre of Blood, with a special Q&A with poster artist extraordinaire Graham Humphreys (who designed the original UK quads for pretty much every iconic horror film of the 80s and also created the fab label on the Vincent Price Ale, Black Cat), and Peter Fuller, curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK!

Join us for a classic horror, unique competition prizes, a great panel discussion and an unforgettable evening – and let’s not forget some Vincent Price Ale.

Tickets ON SALE NOW

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