With the economy still in the toilet, it’s tragic when anyone has to lose their home, and now a legendary house of horror in Britain may be meeting the steamroller to make way for luxury houses. As the UK Daily Mail (via Fearnet.) tell us, Bray Studios, where many great Hammer film classics were made, including ‘Horror of Dracula’ and ‘Curse of Frankenstein,’ will be demolished.
For horror fans, especially, this is a tragedy and two filmmakers who are protesting this are Terry Gilliam, who actually made some of ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ at Bray Studios, and ‘Rocky Horror’ mastermind Richard O’Brien. Those who are furious at this development are blaming the current owner, Neville Hendricks, who is allegedly mishandling the property. As Gilliam said, “There is still a place for the smaller studios like Bray.” O’Brien lamented, “I would hate to see developers turn Bray into some riverside homes.” (The current owner has told the Daily Mail that the studio is no longer viable to run.)
There’s currently a Save Bray Studios petition and the goal is to get 10,000 people to sign on. (It’s currently a little over a thousand.) As the first page of the petition tells us, “Bray Studios is part of our great cultural history with the Main house dating back to the 1600’s and later our cinema legacy. We intend to preserve it.”
With ‘The Woman in Black’, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Hammer Films finally came back big time, and as Simon Oakes, the current chief of Hammer told The Daily Mail, “I would love Bray to survive as it was an important part of the Hammer story. But I was there a couple of years ago and the facilities were pretty dilapidated, even then.”
Master director Martin Scorsese has been a huge Hammer fan and once said, “In my early teens, I went with groups of friends to go and see certain films. If we saw the logo of Hammer Films, we knew it was going to be a very special picture.” And it would indeed be a sad day if the legendary Bray Studios gets crushed under the wheels of progress.