Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Shane Briant's Hammer films

Shane Briant, who was recently seen in the series Serangoon Road and in Roland Joffé's The Lovers, will play the Burgermeister of Darmstadt in our movie Sherlock Holmes vs Frankenstein. Fourty years ago, he starred in several Hammer films before the company sadly went out of business.

Shane started his screen career at the age of 25. After a bit part in Von Richthofen and Brown, directed by Roger Corman, he landed a key role in Hammer's Demons of the Mind (1972), which can be considered as his true screen debut. Oddly enough, his face is proeminently featured on the original poster, even though his name does not among the main actors. Directed by Peter Sykes, who would later direct Christopher Lee in the famous To the Devil A Daughter, Demons of the Mind is not one of the most successful films produced by Hammer. Still, Shane's performance was so remarkable that the studio offered him the lead in their next production.

Straight on Till Morning is a dark thriller directed by Peter Collinson (The Italian Job with Michael Caine). Shane Briant co-stars with Rita Tushingham, who becomes his victim when he reveals himself to be a vicious serial killer. Cruel but handsome, cold but elegant, the young actor came across as a perfect fit for one of Hammer's most famous franchises...

Logically, in 1973, Shane is cast as Peter Cushing's co-star in the new installment in Frankenstein's saga. Playing the immoral young Simon Helder, he becomes the doctor's assistant in Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell, directed by the legendary Terence Fisher.

The infamous baron and his new assistant team up to create a new monster, played by David Prowse (Cushing and Prowse would eventually meet again in Star Wars, where the former plays Grand Moff Tarkin and the latter Darth Vader!). Madeline Smith, Bernard Lee and ex-Doctor Who Patrick Troughton complete the wonderful cast of this incredibly atmospheric entry. Unfortunately, Monster From Hell would end up being both Hammer's last Frankenstein and Fisher's last film, which prevented Helder from ever returning.

The next and last Hammer film for Shane Briant would be Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter, a pre-Buffy vampire caper written and directed by Brian Clemens, showrunner of the BBC Avengers. Shane plays the decadent Paul Durward, and shares the screen with Horst Janson, scream queen Caroline Munro and ex-Avenger Ian Hendry. Captain Kronos could have been a great TV series or movie franchise, but Hammer's reign was about to end, along with an era of gothic horror that had started with Curse of Frankenstein in 1957.

Now, Shane Briant is set to return to the world of Frankenstein, where he will also meet Holmes and Watson. You can be a part of this adventure by joining the ongoing crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which is now collecting funds for the January shoot with Shane. If you want his costume and the set to be gorgeous, contribute now:


  1. I shall be shooting some promo scenes in Paris in early January 2016. I am so happy to be back as Simon Helder and remember those halcyon days with Peter and Maddy.

  2. It will great to finally see this film, and I am sure Gautier is making something memorable for us all to enjoy... :)