Beauty and the beasts

SCREAM QUEEN What kind of a woman tempts both Dracula and Frankenstein? Gorgeous Veronica Carlson, that’s who — star of Hammer classics Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). Now an artist and devoted grandmother living in Florida, Carlson’s coming to town to share her memories of the golden age of British goth horror as part of this weekend’s "Shock It to Me!" film fest. I spoke with the classy Carlson over the phone to get some blood-curdling scoop.

SFBG Were you always a fan of horror films?

VERONICA CARLSON Absolutely! I skipped college classes to go and see them. I was a fan of the gothic horror of Hammer. It was absolutely magical. [Movies today, as well as the real world,] are too scary — you could be safely horrified back then.

SFBG What was it like working at the Hammer studios?

VC The set was always beautiful, and [after I got my hair and makeup done] I would wander around and just see everything, all the details. It was quite extraordinary. I loved every minute of it. When I wasn’t in a scene, I would sit and watch the other actors and be part of it.

SFBG Who’s scarier, Dracula or Frankenstein?

VC When [Christopher Lee] is in character, he is really spooky. But then when Peter [Cushing] is his own cold self, he’s really scary too — that cold, calcuutf8g, distant person that’s chopping people up. They’re so convincing in what they do. I can’t choose who’s worse!


Fri/5–Sun/7, $6–$10 (festival pass, $48)

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF