Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Barbara Steele - The Ultimate Horror Queen

Barbara Steele in Black Sunday

Horror is strange, as subjective a thing as humour or music. But when someone gets it right, it becomes an inspired thing. People say that Tod Browning saw beauty in horror. Mario Bava's La Maschera del demonio (also known as Black Sunday) was based upon Nicholai Gogol's short story, reworking the folk tale The Viy. And Bava was fortunate in having the most remarkable actress in Britain's almost unnaturally beautiful Barbara Steele to play the role of the witch Katia Vajda.

If Barbara Steele was not an actress of ability and presence, and Bava's film had not exuded mood and atmosphere, probably it would have disappeared after a time - it has to be admitted that the story lacks a little in pace, and perhaps the script didn't translate too well from the Italian. But the film had horror, opening with Steele's witch having a mask nailed to her face before being burned alive, and the atmosphere has rarely been equalled, with a mist-shrouded graveyard and a castle riddled with secret passages.

And most of all, it had Barbara Steele, who without question became instantly the Queen of all Scream Queens. One tagline read:

"STARE INTO THESE EYES... discover deep within them the unspeakable terrifying secret of BLACK SUNDAY... it will paralyze you with fright!

And no one ever had eyes that could fascinate like those of Barbara Steele.

And - which is perhaps more important - few others share her affinity with gothic horror and the power women's sexuality plays in it.

Roger B Pile

Visit Barbara Steele's MySpace blog.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Graphic Novel

The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Story© Copyright 2005 Robert Tinnell and Adrian Salmon

Click here to view a 20 page preview, one page at a time or as a Flash movie!

He's willing to go to Hell - so you won't have to!


By day, Terry Sharp is a hard-living, skirt-chasing, celebrated director of classic horror films. But by night, the horror turns real - Terry has discovered a shadowy group of Satanists hell-bent on taking control of the British government. This knowledge has made him a marked man. Black magic or bullets - the Faceless conspirators don't particularly care which - as long as the end result is Terry's death.

Too bad for them, Terry Sharp isn't ready to die just yet - not without taking a whole lot of bad guys with him.

THE FACELESS now scheduled to be in stores
September 28th!

The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Story available for Preorder June '05


Order today from or from New England Comics!

The Faceless at Amazon

I think these drawings suggest a bit of Hergé, as well as the usual DC and Marvel influence. Whatever or whoever inspired Adrian Salmon, it has to be something good, because I like the slightly retro feel these graphics have. This book looks exciting and moody, and I'm ordering mine!

Roger B Pile