CineSavant Column

Tuesday January 9, 2024



Correspondent Dan Mottola gives us a link to a video I enjoyed about a UK miniature maker, who gives a nice talk about the history of model-making. He’s a professional now taking it easy as a hobbyist.

Lots of commercial plastic models figure into The Miniature World of Mat Irvine, who starts with a kit of the moon space ship from Lang’s Frau im Mond. He goes a bit into the history of each model.

For a time Mat is only talking about movies. He goes off topic to explain stop motion animation (?) but then digs into some lesser-known English filmmakers as well. Then he shows some of the work he did for movies — he has years of effects credits. The most fun is seeing his shop stacked with vintage model kits, and to watch him tinker about.

We identify with Mat … like a garden-variety fan, he pulls out a box with his prized collection of James Bond cars.

. . . Note, 01 09 24, from correspondent Martin Hennessee:

“Mat Irvine is a hallowed name in the annals of Doctor Who fandom. He created some excellent models and effects for the original show, from 1972 until it ended in 1989, and wrote a great book on techniques of the era. He came back to help create the new Daleks for the 2005 revival, and his sturdy new build has served the series well ever since. He has also supervised some excellent practical effects for the new series. Truly an unsung hero of FX!”

— Good to know, Martin, thanks!



This is the first disc revelation of the year — I don’t want to scoop my upcoming review, but Severin Films’ new boxed set Danza Macabra Volume Two: The Italian Gothic Collection contains a fantastic 4K Ultra HD disc of Antonio Margheriti’s Castle of Blood — a film we’ve previously seen in at least 3 indifferent or so-so disc releases.

The new disc is everything a collector of classic Eurohorror would want, and more . . . I’ll be reviewing it right away. I previously thought the show a little overrated, but not now — it’s up there with the very best of Barbara Steele.

If I avoid being hung on an iron gate, a review will be up on Saturday. A full review of Severin’s boxed set will follow.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson