The Writings of Ingrid Pitt

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Ingrid's Obituary


Ingrid Says... Pitt of Horror Website Message

February 1999

Anyone who tells you that a computer isn't only for Christmas ought to get their bumps felt. That is exactly what it is. A Christmas bauble. On the 6th. January it should be bunged in the bin with the rest of the trimmings. But keep the boxes - they are terrific for storing the mountains of mutilated paper the computer insists on spewing out.

I'm up to here - and that's just below ceiling level - with computers. It takes me twice as long to do anything, goes through more expensive ink cartridges than Bugs Bunny goes through carrots, and insists on crashing when I've been bashing away at the keyboard for two hours and forgotten to save.

Well that's gripe numero uno out of the way so what is new. Not a lot. My autobiography has now got a title - LIFE'S A SCREAM - would you believe. In spite of my second thoughts about baring my all, Random House still reckon to have it on the book shelves by June. I think I'll leave the country - any offers?

I've also picked up a new commission for February 2000. It's called YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW and I'm still trying to figure out what that is all about.

There's a new Catalogue out for the PITT OF HORROR and you can get that by sending a stamped, addressed envelope to Pitt of Horror, PO BOX 403., Richmond, TW10 6FW Surrey, U.K. (Overseas fans, please send 2 IRCs).

And what about that holiday? Seven days of fright on an isolated cliff top and the opportunity to star in your own movie. I'm really looking forward to it. So are some friends of mine who have promised to join us. Doug Bradley for one. He stars as Pinhead in Clive Barker's series of Hellraiser films. The only thing that is likely to keep Doug away is if the projected Hellraiser - The Stage Show in the West End of London conflicts with it.

Caroline Munro will also be there. And I'm hoping to persuade such Hammer stalwarts as Veronica Carlson, Ray Harryhausen, Mary and Madeleine Collinson, Valerie Leone and many, many more, that what they really need is a week of menace on the cliff top.

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee

And who would want to miss the burning of the twenty five foot high Wicker Man Effigy on the final night after the ball? That should be a scene to take with you into the old peoples home. And when are you going to get a better run at appearing in a movie made by professionals? The Pitt of Horror is taking bookings now so why not get in early and secure your place? There are a limited number of places available.

I recently made a TV documentary with Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward and director Robin Hardy about the background to the WICKER MAN. Talk about a devious tale. And different versions of the same story. Talk about Chinese whispers. I listened to what the others had to say and could hardly believe my ears. But - there you go. Everybody sees things from different angles. I guess Robin Hardy and Chris knew more about the murky undercurrent. They were the lead figures. I was just a bit of titillation for the boys. Anyway someone must think I had something to say.

I've been approached about writing a book on the making of the Wicker Man. It all depends on whether producer Peter Snell can find a 104 minute version of the film to go out with it. So if you have a long version Wicker Man mouldering in your attic along with your Elvis LP's, now's the time to shout eureka and jump out of the bath. But put some clothes on before you e-mail me with the news. At my age I can't afford to get overexcited.

The name of the piece is THE WICKER MAN and it was made by the BBC. It has already been shown in Scotland so should be out, at least in Britain, very soon. Someone sent me a tape of it and I must say it was very good - but then I guess I get paid to say that don't I?

The NFT held a public tribute to Roy Ward Baker - or plain Roy Baker as was, in one of their well-appointed cinemas at the beginning of December. Not before time. In spite of a CV that encompasses Marilyn Monroe's first outing as a regular film actress in Don't Bother to Knock, the gritty and highly successful film of the Titanic zeroing in on an iceberg, A Night To Remember, and takes in Quatermass and the Pit and a mass of television such as The Saint, The Avengers and Minder, Roy is a vastly under-appreciated hero of entertainment.

Indeed, where would the horror industry be without the Scars of Dracula, The Masks of Death, Asylum, The Vault of Horror or The Monster Club? Where would I be without The Vampire Lovers? Where would I be without cabbage soup? Where would Dolly Parton be without.... Are we discussing existentialism here or what? And where would Roger Moore be without The Saint? Roger was on hand to introduce Roy and say exactly that. It was a treat meeting Roger again after a long spell of sailing in different waters. He's a lovely man.

After a quick nosh of delicious finger food in the riverside cafe, and a few theatrical 'Darlink's' to the likes of Herbert Lom, Sylvia Sims, Jimmy Sangster and James Barnard, I went and saw a screening of A Night to Remember. How does it compare with the latest offering, Titanic? It would be the smart-arsed thing to say that Roy's was better. What I really feel is that they are so different it is impossible to compare them.

Roger Moore

Roger Moore

A Night to Remember is in black and white and tells a story of terror, incompetence and heroism. Titanic is a beautiful love story in which a big boat unfortunately sinks and parts the lovers. But even that might not be the end of it, I hear. It is said that even now, a film in which either the Titanic or DiCaprio doesn't sink, is on the stocks.

How was your New Year? When somebody asks a question like that you know they are only getting over the preliminaries so that they can tell you all about their own. So settle back and assume a bored expression.

I decided to have a dinner party for a few close friends. I love candles so I bought some really fat ones and spread them extensively throughout the apartment. The atmosphere they created was magical. Everything was seen through a wonderful haze. Nothing better for dropping off the years without the benefits of the surgeons scalpel. I went to bed feeling marvellous.

Next morning came like a douche of wet fish. Over where each candle had stood was a six foot diameter coal black patch. Too late I remembered what my mother had said about not buying candles with rag wicks.

I got a man in to try and wash off the soot but I knew his efforts were doomed to failure before he gave the first sigh and the long suffering expression. It was a job for the decorators. I spent most of January having paint dripped onto my mink sofa and putting hand prints over wet doors.

Every year I promise myself that I will go away over the whole holiday period - next year I'm promising myself the same.

I don't think I'll get the opportunity to do many conventions this year, though I do have a couple of dates clear at the moment. Most of the year is going to be taken up with promoting the books. It's a shame really, I enjoy the festivals. Perhaps it's just as well to keep away from them for a while. Everyone must be sick of the sight of me by now. But that doesn't mean you can't come and see me at book signings. You don"t have to buy a book although it does give my bank balance a little glow and takes the furrows out of my bank manager's brow if you do.

Keep homed in for updates on the holiday and try to make it for a real old Indian Joe summer.

Luv Ingrid

The Writings of Ingrid Pitt