Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Exhibition

The Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Archive in collaboration with Aberystwyth Arts Centre is proud to present a programme of Eurospy themed events to coincide with the exhibition

KISS KISS KILL KILL: THE GRAPHIC ART AND FORGOTTEN SPY FILMS OF COLD WAR EUROPE on show in Gallery 2, The Aberystwyth Arts Centre 29th Sept 2012 –10th Nov 2012.

EUROSPY DAY
SAT 6TH OCTOBER 2012
ABERYSTWYTH ARTS CENTRE CINEMA
Penglais Road, Aberystwyth SY23 3DE

Tickets: £8 for the Day – access to all events.

Arts Centre Box Office (01970) 62 32 32 Open Mon-Sat 10am – 8pm / Sun 1.30pm – 5.30pm

http://www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk/

 

PROGRAMME

4.15 pm Illustrated Talk – The European-ness of Eurospy

Illustrated with 400 high resolution images from the Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Archive, curator Richard Rhys Davies gives an hour long presentation that examines the spy film myth. Focusing on the Eurospy genre, the talk will reveal how Eurospy melds European identity, heroic tradition and technology into a unique cultural entity.

5.45 pm 35mm Film Screening – Deadlier than the Male (1966)

Recently shown on the beach at Cannes by Quentin Tarantino, this 60s spy gem was voted top ten by The Eurospy Guide. A dizzying kaleidoscope of deadly spy girls, terrorism, Mediterranean excitement, espionage thrills and dangerous grooves, Deadlier then the Male is essential viewing.

7.45 pm Illustrated Talk – Diabolik: European Icon

An illustrated talk by Richard Rhys Davies charting the production and influence of Mario Bava’s seminal Diabolik.

8.00 pm 35mm Film Screening – Diabolik aka Danger: Diabolik (1968)

Diabolik is possibly the coolest film ever made. A fabulous mash up of master criminal, super-spy and psychedelic genres, horror maestro Mario Bava set the benchmark for the cool sixties flick.

THE EXHIBITION

GALLERY 2 ABERYSTWYTH ARTS CENTRE

KISS KISS KILL KILL: THE GRAPHIC ART AND FORGOTTEN SPY FILMS OF COLD WAR EUROPE

An Exhibition of 50s, 60s and 70s Spy Film Posters from The Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Archive

Curated by Richard Rhys Davies

This exciting exhibition will appeal to everyone who loves Eurospy and the spy film genre. The exhibition shows a selection of posters from all over Europe including amazing artwork for many forgotten Soviet bloc films. The very different styles of graphic artwork provide a detailed picture of European taste, national identity and politics during the Cold War.

Kiss Kiss Kill Kill at Aberystwyth Arts Centre is a full remix of a touring exhibition first developed in partnership with UH Galleries and the Goethe-Institut, London. The new show presents new acquisitions previously unseen in addition to newly restored pieces from the original show. Full colour exhibition catalogue available priced £24.99.

To see the full archive visit http://www.kisskisskillkillarchive.com/

For images / press contact info@kisskisskillkillarchive.com

Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Exhibition

Deadlier Than The Male (1967)

Even though Bulldog Drummond can be considered a prototype for the spies who would populate films and television throughout the fifties and even sixties, a strange thing occurred in 1966. Bulldog Drummond was revamped and remodelled to become a swinging sixties spy, well an insurance investigator actually, but none-the-less he became an imitation of the very thing he created. I haven’t written up a review for Deadlier Than The Male, but I will entrust you to the very safe hands of Tanner at the Double Section who has written two fantastic pieces about this seminal sixties action spy film.

To visit the Double O Section and read Tanner’s review of Deadlier Thean The Male, click here.

And additionally for Tanner’s article on Lipstick Feminism, click here.

Deadlier Than The Male (1967)

Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police (1939)

This Bulldog Drummond adventure picks up almost where Bulldog Drummond in Africa left off. Drummond (John Howard) and his fiancée, Phyllis Clavering (Heather Angel) still haven’t tied the knot. But this time it looks like it may actually happen. They are due to be married in twenty hours. All the usual crew, Algy (Reginald Denny), Tenny (E.E. Clive), and Colonel Nielson of Scotland Yard (H.B. Warner) have gathered at Rockingham Lodge for the ceremony.

To celebrate the happy day, click here.

Bulldog Drummond’s Secret Police (1939)

Bulldog Drummond's Secret Police (1939)

Country: USA
Director: James Hogan
Starring: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, J. Carrol Naish, Reginald Denny, Leo G. Carroll, Elizabeth Patterson, E.E. Clive
Based on the book, ‘Temple Tower’ by Sapper

This Bulldog Drummond adventure picks up almost where Bulldog Drummond in Africa left off. Drummond (John Howard) and his fiancée, Phyllis Clavering (Heather Angel) still haven’t tied the knot. But this time it looks like it may actually happen. They are due to be married in twenty hours. All the usual crew, Algy (Reginald Denny), Tenny (E.E. Clive), and Colonel Nielson of Scotland Yard (H.B. Warner) have gathered at Rockingham Lodge for the ceremony.

The preparations are interrupted when absent minded Professor Downie (Forrester Harvey) arrives at the door. He brings with him a diary belonging to Colonel Cooper who hid a great treasure, belonging to Charles I in Rockingham Tower, in a series of secret passages and hidden chambers. Drummond, for the sake of his pending marriage chooses not to go on a treasure hunt, and leaves the Professor to his own devices as a guest. All this changes when the diary is stolen and the Professor murdered.

The ‘secret police’ of the title aren’t that secret, or at all interesting. They are a couple of ‘bobbies’ assigned to patrol Rockingham Lodge’s grounds after the death of the Professor.

The first forty minutes of this production (it runs under an hour) are pretty slow. The only real action sequence is in fact a flashback dream sequence which shows highlights from previous Drummond movies. But once the characters move into the hidden tunnels and the treasure hunt begins in earnest the film becomes what it should be – a good old fashioned cliff hanger adventure. In the catacombs under the tower we are even treated to that time honoured classic of the adventure film – a room with a spiked ceiling, which lowers down to impale and crush our heroes trapped inside. It’s good fun, but has taken too long to start.

This Drummond adventure, if you are patient and a fan of the Drummond films may be worth seeking out. But generally I think most viewers can give this entry a miss.

Bulldog Drummond's Secret Police (1939)

Bulldog Drummond In Africa (1939)

Bulldog Drummond in Africa is a zippy little entry in the series. This episode starts off with Drummond (John Howard), and his manservant, Tenny, (E.E. Clive) trapped in their own house. Not quite trapped! Because Drummond has had to postpone his wedding so many times, after unexpected incidents pop up, he has placed himself in self-imposed exile. He has had the guns removed from the house, and he has even had all the trousers removed. He figures, he can’t leave the house without trousers. As a final safeguard he even cuts the cord to his telephone. That way, news from the outside world cannot filter through, and he cannot be led off on another foolish adventure. This time the wedding is going to take place.

To read the review, click here.

Bulldog Drummond In Africa (1939)

Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937)

Once again I thought it was worth revisiting some of the characters who influenced the great spy boom of the 1960s. Recently I looked at Sherlock Holmes, whose approach to solving problems and battling nefarious villains was an intellectual one. At the opposite end of the scale there is Bulldog Drummond who took a rather physical approach to ‘problem solving’.

Bulldog Drummond was the invention of ‘Sapper,’ a pen name of Herman Cyril McNeile, and the character was a ‘Demobilized Officer who found peacetime dull’. To combat his boredom, in the first book (and in the Ronald Coleman film), Drummond places a personal advertisment in the newspaper. It reads:

“Demobilized officer, finding peace incredibly tedious, would welcome diversion. Legitimate, if possible; but crime, if of a comparatively humorous description, no objection. Excitement essential…”

And so begin the adventures of one of fictions most popular characters. These days the Drummond stories are often derided due to the racist, anti-Semitic and possibly fascist aspects of the stories. For more information on the literary version of Bulldog Drummond, head across to David L. Vineyard’s well researched and engrossing review of The Black Gang.

But the films are a different kettle of fish. They are good, old fashioned, two-fisted adventures, with Drummond battling spies and other assorted hoodlums. Even though Bulldog Drummond can be considered a prototype for the spies who would populate films and television throughout the fifties and even sixties, a strange thing occurred in 1966. Bulldog Drummond was revamped and remodelled to become a swinging sixties spy, well an insurance investigator actually, but none-the-less he became an imitation of the very thing he created. The two films are Deadlier Than The Male and Some Girls Do. But let’s step back a little further than that. By 1937 there had been quite a few Bulldog Drummond adventures committed to celluloid. Bulldog Drummond Escapes was the first in a series of films from Paramount. And this film is one of the best with Ray Milland playing Capt. Hugh ‘Bulldog’ Drummond.

To read at Bulldog Drummond Escapes, click here.

Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937)

Bulldog Drummond In Africa (1938)


Director: Louis King
Starring: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, J. Carrol Naish, Reginald Denny, Anthony Quinn, Michael Brooke
Music: Milan Roder (and various others – stock music)
Based on the book, Challenge by Sapper

Bulldog Drummond in Africa is a fun entry in the series. This episode starts off with Drummond (John Howard), and his manservant, Tenny, (E.E. Clive) trapped in their own house. Not quite trapped! Because Drummond has had to postpone his wedding so many times, after unexpected incidents pop up, he has placed himself in self-imposed exile. He has had the guns removed from the house, and he has even had all the trousers removed. He figures, he can’t leave the house without trousers. As a final safeguard he even cuts the cord to his telephone. That way, news from the outside world cannot filter through, and he cannot be led off on another foolish adventure. This time the wedding is going to take place.

It seems good in principal. But this time it is Phyllis Clavering (Heather Angel), Drummond’s fiancée who get’s caught up in a mess of trouble. She arrives at Colonel Nielsen’s home to pick him up for the wedding. But things go wrong. Richard Lane (J. Carrol Naish), a traitor and a spy has secretly returned to London, and in particular to Nielson’s home. Lane kidnaps Nielsen, because he has information on a new radar defence weapon that the English are working on. Lane intends to sell the military secret for a great profit. Naturally, Phyllis stumbles in on the kidnap and watches as Lane and his accomplice, Fordine (an early role for Anthony Quinn) bundle Nielsen into a car.

Drummond cannot be contacted on the phone, so Phyllis drives to his home, and relays the story to him. Both Drummond and Tenny, without trousers (they have wrapped tartan blankets around their waists, so that they look like kilts), join Phyllis as they try to stop the kidnappers from spiriting Nielsen out of the country. They are too late, and Nielsen is flown to Morocco.

Naturally, Drummond and co. (including Drummond’s best friend Algy (Reginald Denny), who was late on the scene), have boarded a plane are off to Morocco. There’s not too much point outlining the plot of the movie, as this adventure doesn’t even run an hour – and I don’t want to spoil the fun. But Drummond, who’s intervention and investigation is never welcomed by the authorities, has to deal with incompetent police in England and in Morocco as well as a vicious masterspy, who keeps a pride of lions in his courtyard.

For fans of the series, there are a few casting departures. Firstly, H.B. Warner has taken over from John Barrymore as Colonel Nielsen. And secondly, Heather Angel replaces Louise Campbell as Drummond’s love interest…but this is not the first time she has played the role. She had been in an earlier Drummond feature, Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937), with Ray Milland.

Despite the lack of a decent budget, this entry in the Bulldog Drummond series is great fun. It’s a boys own adventure in the style they don’t make any more. And it is incredibly fast paced. Believe me, you wont have time to be bored. If you love those old serials, this is one to check out.

Bulldog Drummond In Africa (1938)