Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Movie You've Been Waiting For!

Sanjulian
And always will be.

"The movie you've been waiting for" did not happen, not that way at least.

Once upon a time there was a simply fabulous comic magazine producer called Warren Publishing, the notion of Jim Warren and an ever-changing stable of incredible writers and artists who called back classic horror comics in the grand tradition of legendary EC Comics but with an oddly effective black and white gloss.

Once upon a time there was a delightful movie company called Hammer Films which carved out a highly successful niche with horror films in the grand tradition of the legendary Universal Pictures but with a brightly colored and bloody difference. 

Once upon a time there was a moment when both of these monster-themed companies were on the ebb and they thought it might be prudent to join forces and produce a movie based on a resilient comic character by the name of Vampirella. Vampi was in production at Hammer for quite some time, the details of which can be read here.

Barbara Leigh as Vampi Painted by Bob Larkin
What came from that fusion of two horror enclaves was alas not a movie, but mostly disappointment. There was an exception though. Barbara Leigh, a vivacious and spectacularly beautiful woman was tapped to portray Vampirella, a chance she only got to pursue in photos and in conventions in support of the aborted film project. Some of those photos though became a series of evocative covers during 1978 and 1979 for the Vampirella magazine itself.

Here they are:








That's what we got. No movie, only the wonderfully imaginative thoughts of what might've been. No movie was made starring the "Darling from Drackulon" until 1996 when a beauty named Talisa Soto got the role in an action/horror flick alongside The Who lead singer Roger Daltrey.


I've never seen this one, not all the way through. But here is a glimpse at the trailer.

Sanjulian
Soon sadly both Hammer and Warren were gone (at least in their original forms), impressive and influential in their time in the world of horror narrative. They never got together on what might've been one of their most memorable projects. It's a classic "what if", and a significant shame it didn't happen. 

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5 comments:

  1. My major complaint (I have lots of minor ones) about the flick was the way they screwed up Vampi's costume.
    Admittedly, the comic book version is not the most practical garb for an action heroine, but the one they used on-screen looked as modest as a 1950s Esther Williams swimsuit!

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    1. The costume in the comic is impossible, though I have seen some pics online of women who seem to have it down exactly. They aren't moving though and that makes a big difference I'd imagine.

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    2. There's always spirit gum... ;-)

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  2. Shame the movie was never made, Barbara Leigh looks really hot as Vampirella. :)

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    1. Yes she does! I'm going to look at those pics again right now.

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