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Greasepaint and Gore – The Hammer Monsters of Roy Ashton

by Bruce Sachs and Russell Wall

ISBN: 0-953 1926-0-1

167 pages, lavishly illustrated (colour and b/w) throughout


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When you hear the words “Hammer Films”, you instantly conjure up mental images of monsters and vampires. Behind the scenes was one man working flat out to produce those wonderful creatures. That man was Roy Ashton, and it was he who created all of the make-up effects for mummies, werewolves and Gothic horrors. Greasepaint and Gore takes a look into the props wardrobe and make up unit where Ashton, long before computer technology existed, created his own high standards of magical illusions. When Roy passed away in 1995, the authors began to collect his impressive series of preparatory sketches and have married these up with studio shots of the completed article as well as rare pictures of their subject busy at work. This is a remarkable collection and it is appropriate that there is a permanent home to the Roy Ashton Collection at the National Museum of Photography Film and Television. The Museum’s acquisition of this important work was the first time ever that National Lottery money had been spent on film heritage.

With an introduction from the late Peter Cushing OBE, who had the opportunity to watch Roy Ashton at work countless times (after all make-up can also make you look glamorous as well as horrific), this is a demonstration of a true professional at work. Greasepaint and Gore catalogues the largest single collection of Hammer production artefacts in existence, and is a must have for any horror… or indeed any film fan!

Raves about Greasepaint and Gore:

“I much enjoyed this book about Roy Ashton’s work for Hammer. It is a fitting tribute to a man who was not just a ‘make-up artist’…. he had the style and the instinct of a great painter.”
Christopher Lee

“A fascinating insight into that glorious chapter of the British Film industry: the Hammer years …… Greasepaint and Gore is an essential purchase for aficionados of the horror flick …. FOUR STARS”
Total Film Magazine

“A remarkable chronicle littered with interesting and amusing stories ….. Hammer continue to be big news ….. Much of the success of those movies was down to the skill and patience of Ashton.”
Yorkshire Post

“A gem of a book that will appeal as much to general film fans as to Hammer aficionados or aspiring make-up artists ….. Sachs and Wall are both to be complimented …. An excellent book on a fascinating man.”
SFX Magazine

“Greasepaint and Gore is a labour of love …. This book is of inestimable interest to any fan of Horror effects ….. This is a superb book and is worth the money.”
Starburst

“Greasepaint and Gore is charming … The book is a valuable one and is highly recommended to Hammer fans.”
Shivers

“Greasepaint and Gore is magnificent … A must for any Hammer or indeed general film buff, forming an incredible insight into the British film industry.”
The House that Hammer Built

“Thanks to Tomahawk for such a wonderful and marvellous book – Very entertaining and informative. This will be my Christmas present to all my friends.”
Hazel Court

“This is a winner in every department. Beautiful colour printing, tremendous writing and a chance to look into the mind of a make-up genius. Read this book!”
Cult Movies

“It only takes a quick look through Greasepaint and Gore to realise that this is something very special …. a fascinating book and highly recommended.”
Dark Terrors

“Greasepaint and Gore is a fascinating insight into the life of a make-up artist …. From the devoted Hammer film fan or the regular film-goer to the specialist technician, this book will provide the reader with enthusiasm and entertainment. Greasepaint and Gore is a delightful publication to be enjoyed by all.”
Viewfinder (British Universities Film and Video Council)

“An amazing retrospective that contains more never-before-seen classic horror makeup photos than we’ve ever seen assembled in one book. The contents are of the highest quality!”
Video Watchdog

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