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Maidstone Museum new exhibition, Scream and Scream Again will honour British horror films of the 50s to 70s

By Angela Cole

It could drive a stake through the heart of the most hardened of film fans.

The golden age of British horror films, from the 1950s to the 1970s, was filled with bats, vampires and wickedly sharp fangs, along with two of the country’s unmistakable stars – Peter Cushing, from Whitstable, and Christopher Lee.

A new exhibition set to open at Maidstone Museum celebrates the influence the British horror film studios had on the movie industry worldwide and on us, as viewers.

Maidstone Museum's lates in October are linked to its Scream exhibition, in honour of British horror films from the 50s to 70s, such as Dracula AD, 1972

Maidstone Museum's lates in October are linked to its Scream exhibition, in honour of British horror films from the 50s to 70s, such as Dracula AD, 1972

Scream & Scream Again explores some of the most bloodthirsty and gory films from the period, featuring a number of original international film posters showing everything from the early gothic style to the infiltration of pop culture in the 1970s.

A collection of rare original lobby cards and posters from around the world will also be on display alongside some of the museum’s own weird and wonderful objects, including William Hazlitt’s death mask, gruesome taxidermy, mummified remains – both human and animal – and chilling dentistry equipment... enough to make anyone squirm!

Chairman of the Maidstone council’s heritage, culture and leisure committee, Cllr David Pickett, said: “It’s great to be able to offer such a diverse programme of events to our residents and visitors.

“I have great memories of this period of British horror films and I am looking forward to this very special exhibition.”

Although PG-rated, there might be some scary sights for children.

Actor Peter Cushing was famous for his starring roles in British horror films

Actor Peter Cushing was famous for his starring roles in British horror films

Museum director Victoria Barlow said: “We’re excited to have secured this ghoul-tastic exhibition, especially in time for Halloween and we’re looking forward to having a lot of fun with it.”

DETAILS

Scream & Scream Again will be at Maidstone Museum from Tuesday, October 10 to Saturday, December 2.

Entry costs £4, £3 for children, and £12 for a family of up to four. For more details visit maidstonemuseum.org or call 01622 602838.

More fright nights across Kent 

AND SCREAM AGAIN...

For those made of strong stuff, there are two linked Museum Lates events being staged at the museum.

Actor Christopher Lee was one of the British horror stars

Actor Christopher Lee was one of the British horror stars

On Thursday, October 26, there will be Chiller! from 6pm. It will kick off with a ShockTail while visitors view some of the gruesome objects with curators, followed by a tour of the building to uncover the dark urban legends and nerve-jangling ghost stories associated with the museum.

On Friday, December 1, Scream Night, also from 6pm. Visitors – who are encouraged to come dressed for the occasion – can watch a terrifying classic Hammer horror movie, Dracula A.D.1972, and drinks and snacks will be available to buy. Entry to the Scream Night includes entry to the Scream exhibition. Tickets cost £10 each and are for 18s and over.

 

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