We take a break from the Wild West to pay tribute to one of the unsung icons of Euro-cult cinema.
British born producer Harry Alan Towers, who died last week, was behind a huge number of films, from the Fu Manchu series starring Christopher Lee, to a number of classic soft-core cable porn films in the 1980s. His most important contribution to cult cinema however came in 1968 when he ‘discovered’ the Spanish director Jess Franco and hired him for the four Fu Manchu film.
That film was not to prove a success, but together, Franco and Towers began to explore the limits of film making at the time, looking to the works of the Marquis de Sade to make unprecedented films like Eugenie: The story of her journey into Perversion (1970). Franco only worked with Towers for a few years, but this time set him on the course that he would follow for the rest of his career.
As a tribute to Towers, I have taken a look at Skeleton Coast, a typical example of his 1980s output and a clear demonstration of his key philosopy – that having big names in the cast, even in tiny roles, will sell a film far better than money spent on scripting or effects.
You can also read more in our guide to Harry Alan Towers