Like many kids of my generation, my introduction to British actor Michael Gough was through his appearance as the butler Alfred in Tim Burton’s Batman, but the man also had a lengthy career starring in schlocky British horror films from the ’50s through the ’70s, many of which appeared on Toronto screens.
My intention was to find an ad for Freddie Francis’ fantastic Trog, where Gough plays a scientist alongside Joan Crawford, but then I saw this great ad for Horror of Dracula opening at various 20th Century Theatres like the Downtown and the Midtown on June 24, 1958. In Hammer’s second foray into the world of the characters popularized by Universal in the 1930s, Gough played Arthur Holmwood alongside Christopher Lee’s debonair Dracula.
The above ad claims “all performances will be stopped at a moment of supreme shock so that patrons may prepare themselves for the greater nerve-shattering scenes that follow!” Gotta wonder when, and if that even happened.
Although the film — and its double-bill counterpart The Thing That Wouldn’t Die — were both rated Adult Entertainment, a special children’s matinee was held at the Odeon and Scarboro Theatres on Saturday, June 28. On the Sunday, the Downtown held a midnight show featuring Cry Baby Killer with a young Jack Nicholson and Hot Rod Girl with June Kenny.