Hammer Profile: Caroline Munro

Caroline MunroAfter reviewng both Hammer’s “Dracula” movies and what we dubbed, “The Vampire Tales” it seems only fair and just that we turn our attention to one of their female icons and who takes her place amongst a gallery of “Hammer Glamour” ladies.

Caroline Munro, who has been dubbed the first lady of Sci-Fi and Fantasy starred in both Dracula AD 1972 and Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter, established herself into the British horror syndicate and garnered a cult following for the numerous films that she starred in during the 70s and 80s repectively.

Still an advocate for Hammer film conventions and her dedication to the fans that support her, it’s no wonder that she is held in high esteem.

So, with a firm salute to her contribution to the Hammer film industry, we at Hammer Horror Podcast would like to showcase soem of her film highlights over the years.

Film Highlights

caroline_munro G.G.Passion (1966)After winning a “Face of the Year” contest, Munro landed her first modelling job with Vogue magazine. This in turn would introduce her to famous Bristish photographer Bill Bailey. G.G. Passion is a short film helmed by Bailey and led Munro in front of the camera for the fist time, albeit in an uncredited role.This film is duly noted as it was the first of important steps that Munro would take before becoming a cult icon.
munro_phibesThe Abominable Dr Phibes (1971)Another uncredited role, but again an important step in her movie career. She would play the deceased Mrs Victoria Regina Phibes opposite hollywood horror icon. Vincent Price. (The first of several icons that she would be fortunate to star opposite)She would reprise her role in the sequel Dr Phibes Rises again, 1 year later.
caroline-munro-dracula-a-d-1972Dracula AD 1972 (1972)The moment where she became folklore for all Hammerites with her introduction to Hammer films with the role of Laura Bellows. One of the many reasons that she became so prominent within hammer and horror circles was due to the famous bloody sacrifice, whereby she is doused in the thick red blood in order to resurrect Dracula and become his willing victim. This along with some other fine assets that she brought to the role to as pictured left. (ahem)This film would also see her credited alongside icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee although she would only share screentime with the latter. Her time with Mr Cushing would come a short time later in her career.Our review of the film can be found here
sinbadThe Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)Shortly after being thrust infront of numerous film producers’ gaze, Caroline found herself cast in yet another iconic role alongside one of cinemas heralded heros, Sinbad.Playing the damsel in distress role of Margiana opposite John Philip Law, Tom Baker and Martin Shaw, this movie arguably propelled her into movie stardomThe movie cast are outdone however by the fine work of Ray Harryhausens’ stop animation, which personally has left an imprint on my cinematic experience that will never be forgotten.
captainkronosCaptain Kronos Vampire Hunter (1974)Caroline’s second and last Hammer film outing would swiftly follow with Kronos, which has gathered a cult following in recent years and saw her playing the gypsy-like; sunday dancing girl with fight, Carla.Although her role was fairly routine, she still stood out amongst her peers for the feistiness that she delivered on screen, subjecting herself as bait to draw out the vampire that had been terrorising the village girls.Strangeley the wayard Carla, would find herself set adrift once more in the conclusion of the movie which saw her lover and titular hero riding off into the sunset. The iamge of Carla is still embeeded though in the vortex of your average hammer Horror fan.HHP reviewed the film in our second season, Vampire Tales, which you can listen to here.
at the earths coreAt The Earth’s Core (1976)At The Earth’s Core would see Caroline’s time in the limelight shine brighter still and would reunite her with fellow Hammer Horror icon, Peter Cushing and this time she would share screentime with the film icon.Her role here, would see her portray one of the members of the human race imbedded towards The Earth’s Core uncovered by a small team of Victorian scientists in this imagining of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel.The movie itself was panned for its lame attempt at special effects and was brought to the screen by rival Hammer production studios, Amicus, for what would be their last film. Its still worth a visit though for any sci-fi fantasy enthusiasts.
bond - The Spy Who Loved MeThe Spy Who Loved Me (1977)This would see Caroline appear for the second time in a ‘Bond’ film, albeit previously in comedy farce, Casino Royale. this time she would truly inherit the title of Bond girl as part of the official Bond Franchise. A role in itself was pushed by Roger Moore himself with Caroline in mind to play.To date, the most memorable moment is the helicopter sequence that stands firm for the celluloid fan. “It’s time we said goodbye to an uninvited guest.”
starcrashStarcrash (1979)This film on paper hadd all the hallmarks of being a great success, especially considering that SciFi Fantasy films were a huge success at the time, particularly following a certain Star Wars film that preceeded this. However, one can’t help but feel left short amongst the mad visuals and loose plotline and as a viewer is left something of a loss at what could have been.Also stars Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff and some striking outfits from Caroline to boot. Again check it out for some light-hearted fun, despite the fact that Caroline would be dubbed throughout the movie.
maniacManiac  (1980)Starring alongside another horror regular, Joe Spinell, Maniac also gathered something of a following. The story focuses on a psychotic killer, with a mother complex, who would scalp his victims. When he is accidentally photographed by our heroine (none other than Caroline Munro) he decides to befriend her believing her to potentially be the perfect woman. Well who could blame him.
absence-of-lightThe Absence of Light (2006)Caroline has quite rightfully garnered a strong allegance of fans over the years due to the cult appeal that she brought to the screen. This would in turn unit her with other iconic actors such as, Tom Savini (From Dusk Till Dawn); Tony Todd (Candyman) and Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) helmed by one such fan, Patrick Desmond.This independant film was collaborated with the help of some special effects at numerous conventions (hence why Patrick Desmond was able to use so many stars in the movie) al interwoven with a loose plotline around a scientist discovering the meaning of life. Well worth a look if only how to study a way of making a movie effectively out of nothing.

Trailers

The Abominable Dr Phibes

Dracula AD 1972

Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

At The Earth’s Core

The Spy Who Loved Me

Starcrash

Maniac

The Absence of Light

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

For more info on Caroline Munro and her movies, check out Robert Michael Bobb Cotter’s book, Caroline Munro: first Lady of Fantasy here.

You can also, check out her official website here.

LINKS:
Hammer Profile: Christopher Lee
Hammer Profile: Peter Cushing


2 Responses to “Hammer Profile: Caroline Munro”

  1. […] Hammer Profile: Caroline Munro […]

  2. […] LINKS: Hammer Profile: Christopher Lee Hammer Profile: Peter Cushing Hammer Profile: Caroline Munro […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: