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Home   Dartford   News   Article

Former Dracula movie make-up artist Thomas Maylott from Greenhithe wants Hammer Films to return in Kent

23 February 2014
by Alex Matthews

Thomas Maylott, 66, worked for the Hammer Films company - with stars such as Christopher Lee - for more than 20 years as a make-up artist.

He is now looking to set up his own cinematic production group, the Hammer Film Preservation Society.

Thomas Maylott as Dracula, who wants to bring back Hammer films

Thomas Maylott as Dracula, who wants to bring back Hammer films

The group, based in Stone, Dartford, hopes to produce horror films similar to those made by the company in their early years.

Launched in 1934 by jeweller William Hinds and cinema owner Enrique Carreras, Hammer made a series of successful horror films throughout the decades with many, such as Dracula starring legendary actor Christopher Lee, later gaining cult status.

Mr Maylott, of Carlton Avenue, Greenhithe, worked on films such as Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile.

Thomas Maylott, right, shakes hands with Christopher Lee in his make-up artist days

Thomas Maylott, right, shakes hands with Christopher Lee in his make-up artist days

He is now hoping to showcase his skills in his latest project, Dracula Walks the Night.

The make-up man plans to film around Dartford and said that former Hammer actors have shown an interest. Now he is trying to organise funding.

Mr Maylott has had a passion for cinema ever since he was a youngster, but has a particular affinity with Hammer’s horror films, something he is hoping to pass on to a new generation of movie enthusiasts.

He said: "I used to like classic westerns but I just got into Hammer. I've got lots of signed photos from different people and ex-Hammer people and I just want to get this going.

"What we’re trying to do is a community thing, to help teenagers and young people have a go at filming..." - Thomas Maylott

"We can do talks about the history of Hammer. It's a fascinating thing because the films were made in four weeks, back-to-back."

Mr Maylott, who retired after a heart attack, wants budding actors and crew members to join.

He said: "What we're trying to do is a community thing, to help teenagers and young people have a go at filming and using the cameras and make-up, and hopefully we can do that with this film."

Mr Maylott transformed many actors into monsters during his career and said that it took a skilled hand to make a man a beast.

Taken around 20 years ago, this is Thomas Maylott in Highgate Cemetery

Taken around 20 years ago, this is Thomas Maylott in Highgate Cemetery

He said: "It took about three-and-a-half hours on the Curse of Frankenstein the make-up was horrendous.

"It was a sort of mortician's wax and I had to spread it. The actor couldn't eat or anything that day. That was my favourite, that was a top monster.

"It takes a lot of skill and definitely a steady hand."

For information on the Hammer Film Preservation Society, email Mr Maylott at maylott@btinternet.com or phone 07412 925576.

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