Hammer Horror icon Caroline Munro on sex, violence and the future of 007: ‘A woman doesn’t need to be Bond’

Dubbed the ‘Face of 1966’ before finding global fame as a Bond girl in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and a scream queen in ‘Dracula AD 1972’ with Christopher Lee, the British star speaks to David Barnett about typecasting, nude scenes and playing dead opposite Vincent Price

Saturday 16 March 2024 06:00 GMT
Scream queen: Caroline Munro in the classic Hammer horror film ‘Dracula AD 1972’
Scream queen: Caroline Munro in the classic Hammer horror film ‘Dracula AD 1972’ (Alamy Stock Photo)

Hammer Horror queen Caroline Munro has one of the most outrageous CVs in cinema. There’s Slaughter High and Flesh for the Beast. Starcrash, a Star Wars knock-off with a young David Hasselhoff. Maniac and I Don’t Want to Be Born. That last one saw Joan Collins give birth to a demonic baby. In Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, the Berkshire-born, Brighton-raised actor played a girl ignominiously locked up in the village stocks.

It’s 50 years since the film was released, but it’s still one her fans most want to talk to her about at conventions. That and Dracula AD 1972, the schlocky attempt to bring the blood-sucking Count to the present day, in which Munro, dressed in thigh boots and black underwear, became the first victim of Christopher Lee’s vampire. Then there’s The Spy Who Loved Me, in which her villainess Naomi at one point tries to blow up Roger Moore’s 007 from a helicopter. I tell her that there’s a popular GIF of her winking in the cockpit.

“What’s a GIF?” the 75-year-old asks me, fabulously. She doesn’t have a huge amount of truck with online life; she doesn’t even do email. That said, she has a thriving Facebook page, overseen by her manager Jayne, which has 440,000 members. That so many people wish to keep up with her career seems to be a source of delight and slight puzzlement. “It’s funny, sometimes, when I think about it,” she says. “But also very flattering.”

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