Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Legend of Hell House

Some stills from The Legend of Hell House, circa 1973. Two spirit guides, a machine-toting professor and his wife investigate "the world's most haunted house." Two things: first, the séance scene involving a gorgeous red filter, a throne, ectoplasm, and a reel-to-reel to record the house's electromagnetic energy. Looks like a recording session for White Noise. Second, Pamela Franklin's mullet. I love this hairdo. Kind of Hester Prynne in the front, rock-n-roll in the back. There must have been all kinds of weirdness going on in the astral planes because this is exactly the same haircut as Delia Derbyshire's (inset), who (with Brian Hodgson) happened to be on soundtrack duties. It's uncanny -- whenever Franklin appears onscreen I can't help but think of Derbyshire. I love the black turtleneck and amulet. There's not much music per se, except for a nice concrète tam-tam beat over the opening and closing credits.

Check here and here and here for more UK TV arcana.


  1. How I miss the hunting and gathering of mp3s - can you make your sound cloud links available? Please.

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  3. I made the mp3 downloadable. Sorry it's such a brief clip. It's sort of better in the context of the film.

  4. There's now a longer mix over on the Unmann-Wittering weblog for those that fancy a bit more. Cheers!

  5. The synchro-mesh is strong in this one....out of the seven stills you took, six of them are identical to the ones I took for my own amusement (including an exact duplication of the double exposure shot, we must have both stopped it at the exact same micro-second as I overlayed them both in photoshop and they fitted perfectly!...I know kinda sad I checked in PS, I was just astonished!)

    Anyway, I am glad its not just my overactive imagination who saw a strange non-local resonance between the character (and haircut!) played by the bewitchingly gorgeous Pamela Franklin and Dame Delia herself (recently titled by Unmann-Wittering).
    Its wonderful hearing the excerpt here and the one over at UW, both complement each other perfectly.

    Did you both take the music from the DVD release of LOHH? I read on a review that there is a Dolby 2.0 stereo mix as well as the original mono mix as well as a "French dub"?! version of parts of the soundtrack....I guess there is no way of separating the sound from the dialogue and to be honest having both is part of the charm.

    I have just written to David Butler to ask him if they have discovered any parts of the soundtrack in Delia's archive or if he knows anyone who has located it. Obviously Brian Hodgson is the man to ask but I cannot find his contact details!

    Interestingly, in a recent interview, he had this to say about Delia's involvment:

    "She did a little bit on The Legend of Hell House [horror film for which Electrophon composed the soundtrack] but not very much. Once we started Electrophon she really opted out and eventually was a radio operator on the gas line they were putting in all over the country."

    I found this really odd as I 'hear' Delia's tones and textures throughout the entire piece but I guess this is from the horses mouth as it were.

    Anyway, I have loved both yours and Unmann-Wittering's contributions to the Radiophonic May Days postings, they show just how creative and innovative the world of blogging can be and as fascinating (if not more so) than any mainstream media documents on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

  6. Hi Saucer People. Thanks for writing! So funny that we took the same snaps. Yeah, Pamela Franklin is great. Love her and her glasses in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. If David Butler writes back, ask him if he has a copy of Delia's score for Yoko Ono's Wrapping Piece/Trafalgar square thingie.