Happy Birthday to Harry Alan Towers

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SHOCK remembers the late, great producer Harry Alan Towers.

Although he departed this mortal coil in 2009, SHOCK would like to take a moment to recognize the birthday of one of cult cinema’s most storied and important producers, the wild, wonderful gentleman rogue of Eurogenre films, Mr. Harry Alan Towers.

Born on October 19th, 1920 in London, England, Towers led many lives before entering the world of moviemaking, producing and often writing dozens of feature films throughout the 1960’s including the internationally financed and lensed FU MANCHU series and, of course, it was Towers who gave exploitation film legend Jess Franco some of his largest budgets. The Towers/Franco partnership yielded such notable, lavishly produced pictures as the somber women in prison epic 99 WOMEN, the De Sade adaption JUSTINE,  the Christopher Lee witch hunter vehicle THE BLOODY JUDGE and most famously,  COUNT DRACULA, of which Lee famously cited as his favorite of the Dracula films he starred in. Many of these pictures starred his wife, the lovely actress Maria Rohm, who is still alive and well and living in Canada…

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And even though horror fans will remember Towers primarily for these remarkable Franco pictures, his body of work was expansive and fascinating. He literally never stopped working, producing pictures like the Michael Caine thriller BULLET TO BEIJING, the brilliant Anthony Perkins giallo EDGE OF SANITY (co-written by Franco and co-produced by Rohm), the sequel HOWLING IV and DELTA FORCE 3…his list of credits is long and eccentric.

Towers was indeed an eccentric. A larger than life figure who saw the art and science of making movies as one, big globetrotting adventure. Making these celluloid-locked fantasies allowed Towers to live a life of intrigue that echoed the action-packed worlds etched by the authors and storytellers he loved, like Sax Rohmer, Edgar Wallace and Ian Fleming. There was no one else like Harry Alan Towers. And likely, there never will be again…

So Happy Birthday Harry…wherever you are. Thanks for the dreams. 🙂

 

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Weekend: Aug. 22, 2019, Aug. 25, 2019

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