Don’t Watch Alone
Don’t Watch Alone
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 6 comments

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As a kid back in the early 1970s, ’Don’t Watch Alone’ was the Scottish Television title which covered all those horror movies shown on a Friday night at 11pm. It was my first introduction to the wonderful old black and white Universal, RKO and also colour-infused Hammer Horror classics that still to this day have remained my favourites.  And as I recently walked the atmospheric Belltown back-alleys to take photos alongside Louie Raffloer’s Black Dog Forge, all those spooky old movies came into my thoughts. 

 

Other films in that slot included The Gorgon, Terror of the Tongs, Son of Dracula and The Curse of the Fly (unforgettable opening sequence!). And to their eternal credit, STV heightened the tension all evening leading up to their broadcast by also using the original cinema trailers to promote that night’s viewing. The Don’t Watch Alone series led to BBC2 taking over the fear franchise by following up a couple of years later with their Saturday night horror double bills that ran every summer ’til 1981. The best remembered is probably 1980 which got the Radio Times front cover that June for Night of the Demon and The Ghoul.

 

While we all remember those two masters of the macabre, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, in their versions of Dracula and Frankenstein (with respective directors Tod Browning and James Whale), we should also not forget the input by the later British duo of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who were responsible for reviving the horror genre again at Hammer. And this Halloween week, I watched online at the BBC iPlayer their late 1950s classics Dracula (screened in the US as Horror of Dracula) and The Curse of Frankenstein (both directed by the underrated Terence Fisher, with the screenplay by Jimmy Sangster) – and what wonderful, gothic-infused movies they are.   

 

Olympus OM1 & Zuiko 50/1.2
Ilford FP4+ (@100)
HC-110 (Dil.H – 1:63 @ 10 minutes)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan

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6 Comments

  • I wasn't raised in Scotland by Tyne Tees showed the same stuff. I rewatched The Gorgon recently and it still gives me the willies.

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    • Turn to stone, as Jeff Lynne would say. The Gorgon is a classic and much underrated. It’s amazing the early work that was done at Hammer by Cushing, Lee and - not forgetting the important third wheel - director Terence Fisher with the limited budget they had.

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  • Nice work John,
    I like your style

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  • Used to shit myself every Friday night as a kid. Don't know why my old man let me watch them.

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