Two new books

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Mr Lee futures in the following new books:

"James Bond's London" by Gary L. Giblin, Christopher Lee, Peter Hunt

Mr Lee contributes with a special tribute to Ian Fleming, his cousin.

The second book, which is due in August, is "Lips of Blood: An Illustrated Guide to Hammer's Dracula Movies Starring Christopher Lee"

The editorial review states:

A stunning visual tribute to Christopher Lee's magnetic, archetypal incarnation of the vampire Count in his seven stylish films. There's also material on the rise of Hammer Films as well as Lee's other Dracula films:



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Barnes and Noble has just been hacked. Not by us, just in case you were wondering. Looks like the work of the Israelis, but not too sure.

I cannot verify the last book information.



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great two books ill have to get, hope i can find them in the states.



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They are on sale at Amazon.



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James Bond's London has been touted for some time now, but this is the first I'd heard of Mr. Lee's involvement. Can't think of a better person to contribute a tribute to Ian Fleming, although I'm not sure a travelogue about Bond is exactly the best place for it.

As for the second title Lips of Blood I have to say that I've never heard of Glitter Books (the publisher) or the book itself, although the title is, I believe, that of a Jean Rollins film (which has nothing to do with Mr. Lee, before anyone asks). As the book isn't released until August, I suppose that we'll just have to wait and see what it holds, although I can't imagine what John Jewel can possibly say about Mr. Lee's Hammer Dracula films that hasn't already been said. Time will tell I suppose...

Cheers!

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Charles Prepolec www.sherlocknews.com



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Quote:
). As the book isn't released until August, I suppose that we'll just have to wait and see what it holds, although I can't imagine what John Jewel can possibly say about Mr. Lee's Hammer Dracula films that hasn't already been said

It would depend entirely on Mr Lee contributing to it or not. There is a lot still for Mr Lee to talk about Dracula. I suppose the question is, is there an author that can have a conversation with Mr Lee on Dracula and instead of making him repeat the same old stories, project enough confidence for him to open up? I honestly doubt anyone who describes himself as a "Hammer fanatic" is able to last 5 minutes into the conversation. Saying that, the quote might have been used as a marketing tool. Same as "Tall, Dark and Gruesome". Mr Lee never chose the title, it was forced onto the book.

The other question is, are fans ready for it? Some no doubt are, but I still think the majority of people who rush onto buying a Dracula book are not and never will.

I know is just a mater of time before Mr Lee finally says what he really thinks. I don't believe he cares anymore what a minority would say and make out of it. At the end of the day, his relation with Dracula as much as one likes, dislikes or fantasises with, was a very important part of his career. Not so much playing it, but moving away from it to the point he no longer wishes to even talk about it with certain groups. Dracula has done more bad than good to Mr Lee's career, you cannot call it serious acting. When 99% of the scripts you are offered, including "Blade II" to name one which is recent, you have to have a lot of determination and persistent to get away from it, "It no longer bothers me", "No, Never" are his responses. In that situation, weaker actors would have reached for the bottle or may have changed profession. Only a very strong person with enough dignity would have found themselves, after thirty years, not only acting and completely turning away from that garbish, but going on to star in 5 blockbuster movies. Not even counting a series of other very memorable roles, a couple of which he is still fighting for, namely "The Wicker Man" and "Jinnah". Did Dracula get him there? I somehow don't think so. Nearly 80 and still wanting to keep doing films with the sole intention to make the Count long forgotten.

Dracula was a phenomenon in which acting did not play an important part, IMO it wasn't that good acting at all. When you see and believe, that's acting be it good or bad.

I would like to see a book on Dracula and I'm sure Mr Lee would like it as well, however the book has to leave behind all fanatism and be objective. I don't think anyone who is a Dracula fan is able to do that. Not for one to be released would be a real shame, because no one will ever know the truth.



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Quote:

In that situation, weaker actors would have reached for the bottle or may have changed profession.

Indeed, one has only to consider the tragedy that overcame Bela Lugosi.

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Firstly, I wouldn't dismiss BLADE II so easily. I haven't seen it, and perhaps the film is rubbish, but it is directed by one of the most talented men working in contemporary fantastique -- Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro is known for films like CRONOS and MIMIC, and last year made one of the most unique of horror films, equally moving and chilling, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE.

Secondly, I detect a rather dismissive attitude toward Lee's Dracula role that should be addressed. Far from doing Lee's career damage, Dracula (as well as other roles in horror/fantasy/mystery films) made Lee known internationally, so that he would be solicited for roles such as Lord Summerisle. I do not know how the producers of JINNAH became aware of Christopher Lee, but my bet would be that they knew of him because of his reputation based on the films he has made, a significant portion of which were in the fantastique genre, and Dracula is one of the more notable and important (career-wise) characters that Lee has played in that genre.

And, really, how can "the Count" be "long forgotten"? The Dracula films are part of cinema history and will remain so until life ceases to exist as we know it. I have no problem with Christopher Lee wishing to move on to what he deems are brighter horizons and vistas (and he has, in spades!), but the legacy of his film work is there -- for the viewing and the appreciation -- and will remain so.



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Mirek,

With all my respects, read "Inside The Wicker Man" and if you have, go to the chapter which explains why Mr Lee did the film for free. The film only became well known recently, it was dismissed at the time and only managed second billing.

Regarding "Jinnah". Because of Dracula, he received death threats and the goverment withdrew all the funding from the film. Go to the multimedia files and listen to the Barbican Interview about Jinnah, I warn you that you may be offended by Mr Lee's comments on Dracula

Those two films and a couple of others were the turning point in Mr Lee's career, none of which include Dracula. Dracula brought him to fame, but it was for the wrong reasons. You can be famous for being a drunk, a killer...

Dracula did make Lee known internationally, so that he would be solicited for roles. Most of these were as vampires and monsters in low budget movies, even some keep trying it on today. Jesus Franco, with his charm managed to get him in a few of this so called important roles. He was cheated left right and center and with no money left to sue. It was only when he left for the US that he got a break and these started with comedies and finally TMWTGG. Now, that was his cousing and not Dracula which made it possible.

You see what I meant by saying that Mr Lee won't talk about Dracula? it is a waste of time. Every Dracula fan believes what he wants to believe and denies every fact as if they didn't exsist. Mr Lee makes them all up, you see? If I have to go with your argument, all the multimedia files at the sites are lies

if you can provide any proof that Dracula was the best thing that happened to Mr Lee and the casting in his important roles was due to those particular performances, I would be only too happy to accept your facts. However when the actor himself wanted to move away from the role after his first expirience, doesn't that tell you something?

If you believe all the lies that have been said by tacky Horror magazines over the years, then you have no case. Mr Lee himself spots a misquote or a plain lie nearly every day of his life. It has only been recently, with the power of the internet where the words come as he says them in voice and video form, without cuts or even a moderator trying to influence you opinion. There are claims about exclusive interviews which he never made, for fear of embarasing a couple of poor souls trying to make a living out of fanatism I will not mention them. There is a book published by someone who frequents all the Hammer lists who claimed to have writen a book on CL with his cooperation. These we ignore, they are meaningless. Newspapers are carefull with what they publish because Mr Lee can answer back and embarass them in public if a lie or misquote has been said. Once they realised their mistake, they cannot apologise fast enough. There are at least 5 or 6 examples at these forums including copies of the apologies. Times have changed, before half of the stuff published he had no knowledge of, today it is impossible that a single article or interview passes him by.

Same as the claims that is a bore and aloof, anyone that has either met him in real life or spoken to him at this site, can tell you that these were simple lies.

Believe what and who you want to believe, but base yourself on facts and not the material which does not come out directly from Mr Lee or the people who went pass the 5 minute interview barrier. That is not history.

Part of the answer to the DVD question maybe here. I also recommend you listen to the files in the multimedia section, specially the Questions to Mr Lee ones.

It is his role in LOTR and the forthcoming SWII, the suscess of the Anchor Bay's TWM DVD, which made Warner Bros want to release HOD only it's the weakest of them all. It is those same roles which will have Jinnah released. Let's do it and get it out quickly, while he is the flavour of the month. I'll tell you something, I will believe HOD comes out on DVD when I see it. Do you think WB cares about a minority? Their main selling point is Mr Lee's commentary and participation on the features. Hopefully, they would have tried to be clever enough to force him into talking LOTR and perhaps some SW. They know by expirienece that Hammer vs one of these films is like comparing a cent with 1.000.0000. Hammer fans are not worth WB's time, that's why the long wait.

Anyone can give a release date? I don't think so. Mr Lee would be wise to keep his best stuff for a Jinnah DVD. Dracula played a more important part in that film, even in the documentary.



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To say Dracula wasn't a turning point in Mr Lee's career is ridiculas. It did alot for his popularity appearing in a hugely succsesful film and while it might have hinderd him getting some roles it has helped him get others. I agree that casting him in Jinnah was not done on the basis of the Dracula films as this caused more problems than helped but I am afraid to say the Dracula films will be rememberd for alot longer than Jinnah.This might not be a good thing but it is true. I would like to add that I have too think that Mr Lee's Hammer roles did help him get those blockbuster roles. Tim Burton is a big fan of theHammer film's and that age of horror films and this is one of the reason's he cast Mr Lee in Sleepy Hollow and the main reason he would know of his work.Also if thes film's don't influence his casting why is he cast as a villian in bothThe Lord ofRings and Star Wars fims. I am not trying to detract from Mr Lee's other work but ther are a great many people who found his work due to Dracula and went on to appriciate the wide variaty of roles he has taken on since. I love those Dracula films and don't think they should be dismissed because they are not deemed serious. To say that a fan of Mr Lee's Dracula films can't be objective is insulting.Should somone who dosn't like them write a book on them and do a hatchet job on the film's. I accept them for what they are entertainment no to be taken too seriously but fun never the less. Much the same way I view Star Wars and Lord of The Rings which both have equallly fanatical fan's. Should fan's of these films not bel allowed to write book's either because they can't be objective. All these film's have fault's but it's rare film's don't.

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Unfortunately, I can't download the Barbicon inteview (for whatever reason), or the other interviews it seems....

THE WICKER MAN was certainly known by me and most fantasy and horror film fans for decades. CINEFANTASTIQUE did a major piece on THE WICKER MAN, in-depth and many pages long (with cover!), sometime in the mid-1970s, and folks still refer to that special issue as being instrumental in getting the word out about the film and its by-then already sad distribution history. The film did become available on video in various versions thereafter. Yes, a new generation has been introduced to the film via Anchor Bay's DVD, and this compounds the number of people who appreciate and savor the movie, but AB's disc is not selling like hotcakes, either. Copies of the limited wooden box edition are still available in most of the video/dvd stores I frequent.

You write that Dracula brought Mr. Lee fame, but "for the wrong reasons".... Wrong reasons or right reasons do not matter. The fact is that Dracula, and other roles in genre films, brought Christopher Lee fame. And I certainly wouldn't equate the renown one gets from playing Stoker's character with being a notorious drunk or a killer! Egad!

I really don't understand your take that I possibly "believe all the lies that have been said by tacky Horror magazines".... My evaluation of Christopher Lee's career has nothing to do with any information gleaned from horror magazines and the like, but rather an appraisal based on having been an admirer of his work and cinematic presence for what must be four decades and counting. Why would I have suffered through THE STUPIDS otherwise, a film I would have walked out on in the first five minutes if not for Christopher Lee? I also add into the equation a serious interest in film in general and years of research into aspects of the profession, none of which have to do with Christopher Lee.

Of course, Christopher Lee is free to make whatever evaluation he wants to of his career. He is looking at it from a different angle and has different concerns, emotions and aspirations than those "on the outside." You have that freedom too. So do I. But please consider that Lee's current "big" roles are still in the fantastique genre and he is STILL playing evil characters. Please also consider that the people who crave to have him in his films are, like Burton, Lucas and Jackson, fans of fantastique and Christopher Lee horror/mystery/fantasy films.

Oh, by the way, I would love to see JINNAH and can guarantee my signature on any petition to get the film released and better known. And I support any project Christopher Lee wishes to get involved in.



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Wasn't this post about two new books? It seems it has become a post about what movie was the turning point in CL's career.
Can we get back to the subject, please?

Is Amazon the only source for these books? I don't want to order the book and recieve it two months after it's release. Amazon tends to be a bit slow.

BB



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Quote:
Is Amazon the only source for these books? I don't want to order the book and recieve it two months after it's release. Amazon tends to be a bit slow

No, Barnes and Noble has them and so most internet books stores. Charles will be able to answer that better that I would.

Quote:
Unfortunately, I can't download the Barbicon inteview (for whatever reason), or the other interviews it seems....

What happens when you click? Do you get presented with a blank screen or Real Player doesn't play the file? I would very much like you to hear them.

You and kenmcintyre make valid points and you are entitled to you opinions, which I must respect. However I get to hear the truth from the hourse's mouth.

I don't particularly like or dislike Dracula, these films mean nothing to me. You guys, go to the cimema watch a performace and make your conclusions based on your personal tastes. You like them so much, to the point where Dracula is the main subject of attention and you consider them to be the highlight of his career or the turning point. That is normal.

I watch a film based on my tastes. The difference is that I can go and ask Mr Lee , get more information about the movie than mearly his character and/or performance. I get the full and unreserved insight of what it meant to him in terms of self-satisfaction and the future roles he was offered. In fact, how he happend to land on the next. The point that I was trying to discuss is that Dracula did nothing in the creative terms, nor was ever a role that would have got him anything other than more vampires movies. It was his determination alone, and a couple of well choses roles which showed the many talents that he possesed.

Before even meeting Mr Lee, I was advised not to mention Dracula in front of him. I wouldn't have done so, because it wasn't anything that I had a remote interest for. When someone contacts me and asks to speak with Mr Lee, if the subject in question is Dracula I am simply told to let him go through his agent, meaning bye-bye. That is, unless the person in question is either a very good friend of his or someone he can trust.

That to me, that means that he is not prepared to even discuss the subject. If it was as an important role as Dracula fans claim it to be and landed him all those very good roles, apart from one or two exceptions, namely "Sleepy Hollow" and not playing a vampire in that case, don't you think he would be more than happy to keep getting into those roles? Then why shut up about it?

Another very anoying thing to him is that some people simply would not let go, specially most of the sensionalistic press. Serious roles, require serious acting unless you actually heared the reason for directors casting Mr Lee, speculation that Dracula was a big help is total nonsense because it simply isn't true. Dooku and Saruman are villains, not vampires. So were some of his pre-Dracula roles, namely "A Tale of Two Cities".

I still believe that listening to him and making your own conclusion is better than arguying with me, I cannot agree on something which I know 100% not to be true.

That is why I fully support a Dracula book that would examine not the films and the performance but an insight on something that is not so well documented as some may wish. No one has to agree with it, but I find it unfear that most of these books are written by fans of the films for fans of the films. That is were my quote on objectivity came from, not meant as an insult. I want to be able to have it on print, read it and keep asking questions.

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When I click on any of the interviews links, I am sent to a bare Download page with a search form. Nothing else happens. I even tried to put in "Barbicon" into the search engine and did not receive any response....

I think you misunderstand my posts in relation to Dracula. Dracula is not the main subject of my attention in regards to Christopher Lee. Nothing of the sort, in fact. I view Christopher Lee as an accomplished actor with a wide range of achievements and experiences. When I think of "Christopher Lee," I do not think "Dracula." To do so, would be ludicrous. But I do think an actor's career is formed by personal choices AND the roles he gets. Yes, Christopher Lee has made choices, possibly difficult and requiring steely determination, to move away from certain roles that made him initially famous, Dracula included. But, by the same token, those were the roles on which his career is based (or evolved from, if you so wish). I think it would be difficult to think of casting Christopher Lee in a film and not reflect upon his filmography, a good chunk of which is in films he may want to move away from on an artistic and personal level.

I also think (well, not think, I know) that Christopher Lee has made himself available to talk about Dracula under the proper circumstances. After all, he has recorded commentaries for DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS and SCARS OF DRACULA. He certainly is not negating his involvement with these films or dismissing them from his filmography.



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Click here and it will work.



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Quote:
I also think (well, not think, I know) that Christopher Lee has made himself available to talk about Dracula under the proper circumstances. After all, he has recorded commentaries for DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS and SCARS OF DRACULA. He certainly is not negating his involvement with these films or dismissing them from his filmography.

And should Anchor Bay keep asking him, he would continue to do so in any subject. Mr Lee feels totally at ease with these team and considers them trustworthy people.

BTW, is it just me or the Barbican file stops after 18 minutes? I might have to re-record the file again, could have got corrupted during the sever move.



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Quote:

Is Amazon the only source for these books?  I don't want to order the book and recieve it two months after it's release.  Amazon tends to be a bit slow.

Michelle, while I've personally found Amazon to be relatively good, I can understand where you are coming from. I'm sure that James Bond's London is or will be available from a variety of online sources. At present I've found autographed copies listed for $20 at Spy Guise and regular unsigned copies at The James Bond International Fan Club. Personally I'd say that Spy Guise (whom I just ordered a copy from) is the better deal.

As an aside, it might be worth knowing that the Bond fans rate the book quite highly with positive reviews being the norm.

As to Lips of Blood: An Illustrated Guide to Hammer's Dracula Movies Starring Christopher Lee I've been able to find nothing in the way of information beyond the listing at Amazon. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not familiar with the publisher at all, which after more than 12 years in the book trade surprises me somewhat. If I do find more, I'll certainly post something here.

Cheers!

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Charles Prepolec www.sherlocknews.com

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Don't know if it's the same Glitter Books, but a Glitter Books published a volume on the films of Bruce Lee. I believe the company has some connection with Creation Books of England. If you put in Glitter Books and Creation Books into a good search engine, like Google, you should get a bit more info.



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Juan wrote that Mr. Lee was offered a role in " Blade II ".
It would have been great to see Wesley Snipes and Mr. Lee together on the silver screen and from what I heard the movie was good (although it will never be a critics favorite) and perhaps the next cultmovie. But I also understand that the media would have acted strange and would have made comparisons to Mr. Lees Drucula films with the same old questions and issues if he would have made Blade 2 . I hope that Mr. Lee will maybe star in an Ann Rice Vampire Movie in the future.( Which will hopefully be more like "Interview wit h a Vampire" than "Queen of the Damned")



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I dont understand saying "Dracula is not serious acting"?? With all do respect the first Dracula is an amazing performance that has made the first film one of the most popular horror films of all time. If people dont like horror films personally thats cool but Christopher Lee as Dracula in that first film gives a powerful performance . The scene where he chokes Harker with his mouth shaking is so powerful .I understand the resentmant for having trouble getting away from the image which we all know was difficult the people on this site, the true fans of Christopher Lee films, not just Dracula films, know hes done so much more than horror films and yes i have told people after Sleepy Hollow that IS him and he IS still alive!!!Many people dont know he has stayed acting and busy in many roles and hasnt made horror pictures in years but . as an actor im sure you want the meatiest roles to test yourself ( LOTR, tour de force)We know hes been a cowboy and gay biker but downplaying dracula (Horror of Dracula )in his filmography is a mistake. It deserves to be mentioned along side of Saruman anf Bailey the gunsmith and skull. A few bad apples who wont let it die and move on ruin it for many people. I would love to talk to Mr. Lee about some of his hammer films that have meant so much to me ,Gee, i followed his career because of them!. Im smart enough to know it was 40 years ago and he has done so much more and doesnt like to talk about it because to many narrow minded people its all hes done. Many people dont even know hes played as many good guys as Bad. Whatever. I only wish we could talk about Dracula without insulting him or people on this site. It deserves its place next to the Wicker Man and Jinnah



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FredB,

Quote:
I dont understand saying "Dracula is not serious acting"??

I used the wrong choice of words, I should have said that is the part in which all the jokes and nastiness bring. The character which people use to offend Mr Lee with.

Everything else you said, it's true. HOD is a classic and Mr Lee never has denied that. What followed after that, is another story.



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Quote:

A few bad apples who wont let it die and move on ruin it for many people. I would love to talk to Mr. Lee about some of his hammer films that have meant so much to me ,Gee, i followed his career because of them!. Im smart enough to know it was 40 years ago and he has done so much more and doesnt like to talk about it because to many narrow minded people its all hes done. Many people dont even know hes played as many good guys as Bad. Whatever. I only wish we could talk about Dracula without insulting him or people on this site. It deserves its place next to the Wicker Man and Jinnah

Fred,

I think your first sentence hits the nail squarely on the head: The draculators and fanatics ruining it for the true fans. You've been around this website long enough to know that no one here is ashamed of or embarrassed by Dracula. Just look at the image gallery, the multimedia section, the fan art and reviews. Mr. Lee gave us a great interpretation of a great character and a great role.

And here's the difference between the true fan and the draculator: The true fan equally enjoys and relishes all the other great roles and great interpretations -- and anticipates the ones yet to come. The draculator couldn't care less. I'm with Juan in wishing that the skin bleached, tooth filed, black-clad crowd would latch on to some other poor "horror icon" and leave us in peace.

As for the scene you mention in HoD. Even today, the expression of pure rage and fury that Mr. Lee brings to the character's face can draw a gasp from anyone who's never seen the film before. No make-up, no prosthetics, no CGI -- just great acting.



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Lips of Blood is set to be released on May 1st. Mr. Lee is listed in the Barnes & Noble database as "contributing author." Sometimes there are errors so I can't claim that this is entirely true. I think you can preorder on bn.com. I don't think that many stores will have it in stock so the internet is the best bet. It doesn't look like it will be widely distributed in the B&N stores themselves.
I don't know about the James Bond book though.



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Thanks Josslyn!

A big slap to my forehead and a resounding "Doh!" for not checking Barnes & Noble! Can we all say "Tacky Garish Cover"? Incidentally, the cover, from what I can see of the tiny type, makes no mention of involvement by Mr. Lee, as contributing author, or otherwise. The short description makes it sound like a standard survey of Mr. Lee's Hammer Dracula films.

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Mr Lee has no involvement with this book whatsoever or has contributed to it in any way.

Mistakes are corrected, I think it is there on purpose to deceive. Not wanting to keep bashing it, but it is always the dracula people that do this kind of things.



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That is strange but what do I expect when our database has several authors listed multiple times with different spellings. . . . I don't know if the bn.com database has Mr. Lee listed as a contributing author but the stores themselves do. We've got basically the same description as bn.com but the added difference of that incorrect author listing and the usual boring technical stuff.
Pity they messed it up. I was all excited because I can order it soon.
Oh, and the cover is hideous. It is a bit better than House of Horror: the Complete Hammer Films Story. That one is awful even if the book isn't half bad itself. Every time I look at the cover of that one I think about how badly those contacts must've hurt.



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I for one im excited about the book to add to my collection. Its cheap enough too. I still have as of yet to get the Rigby book and the (shame, i know)Cushing and Lee book. I will say this as a Chris Lee fan. The book is marketed to his fans and uses him and his name so strongly I feel he should be getting some compensation . Its obvious its targeted at his fans more than horror fans and with his name used as it is . whats the legal situation here... is he able to get compensated for his name used as it is ....If not I would be pretty upset Being and actor in the public domain one thing.... but to have someone profit from your name is wrong



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The legal situation is very clear, the marketing of a book under false pretences to raise its profile. When I posted the news, I thought it was true and had no reason to believe otherwise until Mr Lee denied it.



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I would say that merchants only have the information the publisher gives them. If the publisher choses to mislead, well, it's their decision no matter how poor it is.
It is a shame though. The book's contents should be able to stand on their own with or without the apparent marketing ploy. We won't know that until we read it.



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The merchants are not at fault in any way.

I agree it is the publisher's responsibility. They don't need to list Mr Lee as an author, fans will buy it anyway and can tell by reading it if Mr Lee has contributed or not. It is the non-fans who may be deceived that worries me and the new fans from LOTR and SW. In other words, those who buy it with the purpose of learning.

I have already ordered the book, it makes no difference to me. I've also read "The Cult Films of Christopher Lee", knowing that some information was stolen from another author, its author lied about Mr Lee's involvement and falsified an interview which was published on the web. Still, if people are prepared to put money before their reputation, good luck to them. You'll find that their career and credibility ends and fast as it gets started.



Frederick Bergstrom's picture
  • Online Status: Offline
  • Joined: 6 Nov 2001
  • Post Number: #30

i will definatly be ordering it...but i feel like im cheating Mr. Lee by giving this author royalties

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