Excitement builds for Whitby's second Bram Stoker International Film Festival

A WORLD first exhibition of legendary British horror film-maker Hammer is coming to Whitby this year.

The exhibition is just one of a whole host of attractions at the second Bram Stoker International Film Festival, which runs from 14 to 17 October this year at Whitby Pavilion.

Special guests attending the event will include Hammer Horror historian Marcus Hearn, Bond girl English actress and model Caroline Munro, who played villain Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me and Hammer's Countess Dracula and Queen of Horror Ingrid Pitt, who was unable to attend last year's festival due to ill health.

Also confirmed as coming to town are British actress and comedian Madeline Smith who is famed for her appearances in both Hammer and Carry On films along with fellow Bond girl Martine Beswick who appeared in From Russia With Love and Thunderball.

The exhibition will give an insight into the Hammer legacy which is responsible for films including the Dracula series starring veteran British actor Christopher Lee as The Count.

It will feature rare footage and original posters as well as previously unseen photos, prints and artwork including scripts, letters and upcoming Hammer films before they go out on general release.

Founded in 1934, Hammer Horror is best-known for its gothic horror films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s, including a series of Frankenstein films starring Lee and fellow actor Peter Cushing.

It later produced science fiction, thrillers, Film Noir, comedies and television series and continues to make present day movies.

Making its debut at the festival will be the official launch of the latest Hammer book about the history of the film company.

Festival director Mike McCarthy said: "Once again, the Bram Stoker International Film Festival has a line-up of genre movies from all over the world with many having their UK and world premiers.

"Many of the films on show will be introduced by their respective directors and producers this year.

"Saturday brings the European Vampire Ball in association with Hammer.

"A fright-filled costume ball with a fantastic night of music, entertainment and a special surprise rendition from the Millenium Choir, a great evening to dress and live the vampire dream."

A rare UK appearance is also expected from famed cult New York screenwriter and historian Frank Henenlotter, who will take questions from the audience about his movies which include Basket Case, Brain Damage and Frankenhooker.

The weekend events continue with a special Steampunk Exhibition, stands, traders, special effects and more.

This year's festival will see the introduction of an awards ceremony.