Biography of John Gilling
John Gilling (29 May 1912 – 22 November 1984) was an English film director and screenwriter, born in London. He was chiefly known for his horror films, especially for Hammer Films, for whom he directed Shadow of the Cat (1961), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966) (the latter two filmed back to back in Cornwall) and The Mummy's Shroud, among others. He is also renowned for many low- to mid-budget detective films and teleplays with unexpected touches of comedy blended in.
Gilling entered films in 1933 as an editor and was an assistant director starting with Father O'Flynn in 1935 until his Royal Navy service in World War II. Gilling began screenwriting with Black Memory in 1947, and made his directing debut with a Bulldog Drummond film The Challenge in 1948. Gilling also produced and directed Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire/Vampire Over London/My Son the Vampire in 1952. Gilling continued through the 1950s making several entertaining 'quota quickies' such as The Voice of Merrill for Monty Berman's Tempean Films and entered television directing in several British made series that received international distribution such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr Presents and Gideon's Way, as well as Monty Berman's The Saint, The Champions, and Department S.
Starting in 1956 Gilling directed and wrote several films for Albert R. Broccoli and Irving Allen's Warwick Films beginning with Odongo. An unsuccessful John Gilling Enterprises production company made Fury at Smugglers' Bay in 1961. Gilling joined Hammer Films in 1961 directing Shadow of the Cat where he achieved his greatest fame with several horror films as well as making the non horror Hammer films The Pirates of Blood River (1962) and The Scarlet Blade. Gilling also directed the second Charles Vine superspy film Where the Bullets Fly in 1966.
Gilling retired to Spain where he whiled away the time painting.