Sunday, September 14, 2008

A nod to Valerie Leon

It was in the late hours of one summer night, while looking for boxing on TV, that I stumbled upon Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, one of those classic British horror flicks produced by Hammer in 1971. Based on the Bram Stoker novel, Jewel of the Seven Stars, this bizarre film of questionable merit, made me discover the statuesque Valerie Leon, in her role of a woman possessed by the spirit of an ancient Egyptian queen with magical powers, in present-day London (for fun movie trivia and an honest review, go here). Hammer was famous for stretching their minuscule budgets and making every effort to inject production values into their pictures. Here, some of that effort obviously went into the groovy stylings of Valerie. The woman steals every scene with her game performance and amazing outfits, each more or less revealing, reminiscent of a Robert McGinnis pin-up. Standing 5'11" and with a generous figure custom-made for B-fiction, Valerie played small roles in such 60s and 70s classics as The Spy Who Loved Me, The Avengers, Queen Kong, Space 1999, The Revenge of the Pink Panther and Never Say Never Again, her last credited major picture in 1983. She returned to the small screen with a couple of TV episodes in 2006-07. I discovered that, at age 62, she still has many fans and a charming web site, in which she expresses her wish of one day appearing again in a feature film. Why not, Valerie, why the hell not, I say?


Yestor said...

I know it's cheesy but I have always loved the feel of this film. Hammer Horror Films are always hit and miss but this one has enough to make it good campy fun and YES Valerie does catch my attention and is possibly the only reason I've seen this 4 or 5 times. Glad to know you got a kick out of it. Being a big Avengers fan it is a great film for spotting BBC regulars.

Anonymous said...

Never say never again, 1983