One of my favourite people in a long, varied and often changing list is Mark Gatiss. At this stage it's a certainty that I'll love anything he's written or been any way involved in. The League of Gentlemen, his Doctor Who episodes, the deliciously decadent fluff that is the Lucifer Box series, his shiny, sexy rebooted version of Sherlock Holmes, the fantastic steampunk adaptation of HG Wells's First Men In The Moon, his catalogue of work just reads like an inventory of my favorite things, really. So it was no surprise that I happily ate up his recent three part BBC4 documentary A History of Horror. The second episode was particularly fun because it focused on the Hammer films of the 50s and 60s, with gorgeously lurid clips from their best and worst movies. But in particular, it introduced me to the absolutely arresting face of Barbara Steele.
All huge beguiling eyes and cheekbones, she made a name for herself starring in 1960s Italian gothic horror films, her breakthrough role being that of a vampire witch in Black Sunday. She said herself she was "always a predatory bitch goddess in all of these movies", which was surely down to her vampy gorgeousness and flair for being wicked. But by Christ she was good at it.