Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

Guide to the Fontana Ghost, Horror & Tales of Terror series’.

Archive for the ‘Film/ TV tie-in’ Category

Tom Cullen – Life & Crimes Of Jack The Ripper

Posted by demonik on May 6, 2008

Tom Cullen – The Life And Crimes Of Jack The Ripper (Fontana, 1973)


The cover shows Chris Fenwick as John Richardson in the first episode of the BBC television series Jack The Ripper. The episode was directed by Leonard Lewis and the series produced by Paul Bonner and Leonard Lewis. Photograph by Jeremy Grayson.

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Bernard Taylor – The Godsend

Posted by demonik on August 23, 2007

Bernard Taylor – The Godsend (Fontana, 1977)

The Godsend Bernard Taylor

Cover photograph by Chris Yeats


The Marlowes took the beautiful, abandoned baby to their hearts. And when their own new baby died golden-haired, blue-eyed little Bonnie was a godsend, a comfort in their grief, a wonderful new sister for their three happy children.

Then the next child died …..

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Hugh Enfield – Kronos

Posted by demonik on August 18, 2007

Hugh Enfield – Kronos (Fontana, 1972)

Hugh Enfield - Kronos

Kronos gave a great karate shout of ‘Ha!’ which echoed through the air like a shot from gun. He countered Hagen’s first terrible lunge and their swords locked at the hilt.
Hagen, his face transfigured with hellish glee, fought like a maniac and yelled as he felt his sword sink into the soft muscles of Kronos’s arm. Kronos dropped his weapon, but he backed swiftly and warily towards the stairs, and, snatching up a rapier from the wall, plunged its point deep in Hagen’s chest. It pierced his trunk and protruded from his back.
With red hatred in his eyes and his fangs protruding, Hagen stepped back a few paces and shouted in triumph, ‘You can’t hurt me, Kronos! No one can do that…!’

This is the novelization of the Brian Clemens-directed Captain Kronos-Vampire Hunter, released by Hammer in 1974.

The story follows the exploits of a swashbuckling vampire hunter, Captain Kronos, and his assistant, Professor Grost, as they struggle to rid the village of Durward from the scourge of a youth-sucking vampire. Rather than drawing blood, this one literally sucks the youth from its (usually beautiful young girl) victims. Along the way, Kronos picks up a girl put in the stocks for dancing on a sunday–wonder what kind of dance she was doing to pee off the locals? Anyway, she provides the love interest. There’s also the obligatory noble family with secrets, and it’s not too difficult to work out exactly who is turning teenage girls into old crones.

As novelizations go this one is ok. Nothing special, just workman-like. To me, the novel didn’t quite capture the energy and originality of the film. I’m a fan of CKVH the movie and it’s a crying shame that the original plan to make a series of sequels or a TV series never happened. The pre-titles sequence of a girl being drained of her youth in the woods in the movie has been shifted further into the novel. Perhaps that reflects editing changes to the film that took place after the novel was written for the book seems to have appeared over a year prior to the movie. Also the famous tavern scene where Kronos deals with three baddies is very different in the novel and I was rather disappointed by that. Some notable dialogue from the film is missing from Enfield’s novelization.

I did enjoy the book overall and would have liked to see further print adventures of Kronos and Grost and the potential for a series of novels was there. It would have been interesting to have seen how a Lawrence James would have developed a series, or even an Angus Wells, but that was not to be.

Recommended for collectors, but for others just buy the DVD.

Review by Ripper. Originally appeared on Vault Of Evil.

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H. G. Wells – The Valley Of The Spiders

Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

H. G. Wells – The Valley Of The Spiders: Featuring Empire Of The Ants (Fontana, 1964: Feb, 1978 edn.)

“The Gigantic ants did not move in columns, but in open, spaced-out lines, oddly suggestive of the rushes of modern infantry advancing under fire. A number were taking cover under the dead man’s clothes.

He did not see them actually rush for the lieutenant … but he had no doubt they did make a concerted rush. Suddenly the Lieutenant was shouting and cursing and beating at his legs …”

Pollock And The Porrah Man, In The Avu Observatory, The Flowering Of The Strange Orchid, The Red Room, The Valley Of The Spiders, The Empire Of The Ants, The Moth, The Story Of The Late Mr. Elvesham, The Temptation Of Harringay, The Inexperienced Ghost, The Stolen Body, The Crystal Egg, The Door In The Wall.

Neat selection of Wells’ supernatural and horror fiction (although sadly lacking that most hideous of revenge stories, “The Cone”). Vampire Plants, voodoo, mutant insects and at least three classic ghost stories (”The Red Room”, “The Door In The Wall” and “The Inexperienced Ghost”) provide a marvellous introduction to Wells as master of the macabre.

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