Hammer horror - which one to get (best movie)?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Two part question:

    1) If I was to choose just one Hammer horror from the 1950s-1970s, which is the one to get?

    2) Which of the Hammer horrors is the bloodiest, goriest one?

    Eric
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Blimey; tough one. I mean just one? Damn - right now at this moment, Dracula, but ask me again tomorrow and I'd give you a different answer. If you're looking for gore I'd suggest Frankenstein and The Monster from Hell and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (the latter is also a fave Hammer horror)

    Try this on for size - Zeta Minor's Hammer Top Ten Lists
     
  3. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Eric,

    If you're on a budget I'd offer two recommendations:

    1. Universal's HAMMER HORROR Franchise Collection -- several studio gems in one set for a great price (BRIDES OF DRACULA is terrific!)

    2. HORROR OF DRACULA from Warner -- pretty much as good as it gets [​IMG]
     
  4. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I'm far from an expert, but I would start any foray into Hammer Horror with their earliest Dracula and Frankenstein films from the late '50s ("Curse of Frankenstein" and "Horror of Dracula" were the titles in the USA - both on DVD from Warner) and then progress from there. Gore-wise, the Frankenstein series in particular got progressively more gruesome as it went on.

    Warner has a nice box set with "Horror of Dracula", "Curse of Frankenstein", "The Mummy", "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed", "Taste the Blood of Dracula", and "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave". The two later Dracula films are a little weak, but the other four titles are great. It's not quite the bargain of the Universal set, but it's worthwhile just the same.

    Regards,
     
  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    If you're stuck with just one, I'd go CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, as the best of the lot, and the first real Hammer Horror as people think of them today (though there are a couple precursors like ROOM TO LET and the QUATERMASS pictures).

    It's not terribly gory though; the later you go in Hammer's history, the gorier they get since the censorship restrictions didn't lift until the late 1960s. TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA gets pretty lurid; so do the films in the Karnstein trilogy, such as LUST FOR A VAMPIRE. But being British, they never go into DEAD ALIVE gorefest territory.
     
  6. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Wow. That's like asking me which of my children is the best! Well, not quite. [​IMG] Hammer horror films have a lot to offer, and, as has been mentioned before, it really depends on what you are looking for...

    Well, I hate to be boring, but probably the best Hammer horror film overall is Dracula a.k.a. The Horror of Dracula. There are some cropping issues on the Warner Bros. DVD, but nothing that would completely ruin your enjoyment of the film.

    I think the best presenation of a Hammer horror film on DVD is The Brides of Dracula from Universal's Hammer Horror Collection.

    The goriest Hammer horror is probably Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, as mentioned before. Though it you are looking for gore, you are probably better off looking somewhere else. Hammer's use of gore was ahead of its time, but very tame by today's standards.

    A couple of Hammer horrors with the most skin are Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde and The Vampire Lovers. [​IMG]

    One of my favorite Hammer horrors, which is pretty well reviled, is The Satanic Rites of Dracula. I'm not sure how anyone can resist a Dracula movie where Van Helsing plays the role of James Bond to Dracula's Bloefeld. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I hope that helps...
     
  7. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    I also recommend HAMMER HORROR Franchise Collection. It's cheap & is a great sampler of Hammer. Plus it has some great transfers.
     
  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    The Dracula and Frankenstein films are the most popular but I think THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN is Hammer's best film.
     
  9. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I agree, it's a wonderful film, but it's a little hard to classify. It's not, by definition a Hammer 'horror' film, at least when placed alongside the Dracula and Frankenstein films; in fact Nigel Kneale stands in a classification all his own - his Quatermass series blur the lines between horror and sci-fi in trademark fashion. I'd say Hell is a City is also a pretty fair shout for Hammer's best, but then we're into Hammer 'noir'.
     
  10. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I also reccomend the Universal Franchise Collections. Very Good Transfers and Very Good price for 8 films.
     
  11. Steve.P

    Steve.P Agent

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    I can't believe no one has mentioned "The Devil Rides Out" yet. Christopher Lee plays a good guy for once, while the hisses from the gallery go to the underrated Charles Gray for a wonderfully creepy performance as leader of the Satanist cult. Some nice special effects, and even an appearance by Beelzebub himself, round out this excellent horror, confidently directed by the always-reliable Terence Fisher.
     
  12. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    Quatermass and the Pit would be my #1 pick. #2 would be The Devil Rides Out.
     
  13. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Have to agree with Steve P., THE DEVIL RIDES OUT is pretty good. Also glanced over but also very good is PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES. THE REPTILE is also a bunch of fun. A lot of people knock them, but the Universals have just as much good writing, directing, cast, etc. as the WB years. Not a horror film per say, but CAPTAIN CLEGG (aka NIGHT RIDERS) is a LOT of fun! PARANOIC is also pretty sadistic, and has some really striking photography.

    FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL is pretty graphic, even for a Hammer film. FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED is certainly the most mean spirited of the series (that rape scene is about as evil as Frankenstein gets). I'm also forgetting the title, but Hammer did a Jack the Ripper film that really put my off my apetite. Someone remember?
     
  14. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    Would that be Hands of the Ripper?
     
  15. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Correct!
     
  16. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    If you're just starting out, then HORROR OF DRACULA and THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN would be the first two to start with, as most fans would probably tell you. After that, if you enjoy them, there are others.
     
  17. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    What? no love for REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN? For my money, it's the best Frankenstein film ever made, just as DRACULA/HORROR OF DRACULA is the best Dracula film ever made (BRIDES OF DRACULA doesn't count, Dracula isn't in it.)

    I guess if I had to buy just one disc, I'd also go with the Universal Hammer Collection. But then I'd go without lunch for a week so I could pick up another one.
     
  18. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    My personal favorite Hammer Horror is one of the least gory ones, The Devil Rides Out (1968).

    2nd favorite, Quatermass and the Pit (1967).

    Of the Dracula's the first, Dracula (1958), is the best IMO.

    Other favorites of mine include, Brides of Dracula, Curse of the Werewolf and Dracula Has Risen from the Grave.

    Of the 'goriest' Hammer's I'd recommend Vampire Circus, Twins of Evil and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.
     
  19. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    Two of my favorites are The Gorgon (the first Hammer film I remember seeing) and Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (because of how unusual it is and The Avengers connection).

    The main problem with being a Hammer fan these days is that so many of the films are unavailable in R1. The Warner and Universal ones are easy to find, but I spend several months tracking down the Anchor Bay Hammers. I just wish that Sony would get around to releasing the Columbia and MGM Hammers they have rights to.
     
  20. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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