A horror spectacle

Ingrid Pitt as Countess Dracula (1971)
Ingrid Pitt as Countess Dracula (1971)

THIS WEEKEND sees the launch of the Queen of Horror Festival, held in memory of one of the Hammer Horror genre of films’ biggest stars Ingrid Pitt.

The three-day event, which is being backed by Hastings Borough Council, is set to take place at a range of venues in the Old Town.

Ingrid Pitt’s starring roles in cult classics of the 1970s, such as Countess Dracula, and The Vampire Lovers, earned her the title Queen of Horror.

But the Polish-born actress also appeared alongside Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in Where Eagles Dare, as well as in a stream of TV shows such as Dr Who.

Over the weekend at Venuu, in George Street, there will be a selection of film screenings, Q&A sessions, and award ceremonies, including the crowning of the Hastings Queen of Horror, screenings of entries to the film competition, and the results of the short story competition presented by chiller writer James Herbert. A masqued ball will also take place at Venuu on Saturday evening.

At Electric Palace Cinema, in High Street, a selection of Ingrid Pitt’s films will be shown on Saturday including Vampire Circus, Twins of Evil, and Vampire Lovers. The films will be introduced by director Robert Young, director John Hough, and actors Damien Thomas and Maddy Smith, who will also be fielding Q&A sessions.

Ingrid Pitt’s long awaited 15th book Dracula Who..? will be launched by publishers, Avalard.

At Revolver Lounge there will be memorabilia for sale, and the chance to venture into the crypt for a Tarot reading by Psychic Simone, Ingrid’s niece.

The Queen of Horror parade, panel discussions, memorabilia stalls, and signings by Maddy Smith and James Herbert will take place at Black Market.

A one-day pass is £20, a two-day pass £30, with VIP and gold passes available.

For full details visit www.queenofhorror.co.uk or facebook.com/queenofhorror.