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Hammer Horror

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Pete Battista, Feb 15, 2018.

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  1. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Cinematographer

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    Years ago after watching a single Hammer film I basically written them all off because I really didn't care for the film or it's style... so in my head the Hammer films were not for me. That film being The Satanic Rights of Dracula that I got in a public domain set.

    But recently I watched another Hammer film that I enjoyed quite a bit. The film Vampire Circus. A film I watched during my Halloween marathon. Making me realize that there is good Hammer films out there. And making me want to give them a far chance.

    So today I placed an order through Amazon and ended up ordering this 8 movie blu ray box set...

    [​IMG]
    Which Includes....

    Brides of Dracula
    A brave young woman (Yvonne Monlaur) takes refuge in a mysterious chateau, but soon finds herself the prey of a treacherous vampire intent on claiming her.

    The Curse of the Werewolf
    This maniacal tale of terror follows the dark journey of a werewolf (Oliver Reed) as he transforms from an innocent youth to a killer beast at night with uncontrollable urges.

    The Evil of Frankenstein
    Dr. Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) and his assistant recover their monster from the ice, and a demented hypnotist (Peter Woodthorpe) soon arrives with plans to use the creature as a tool for terror.

    The Kiss of the Vampire
    A vampire cult kidnaps a woman (Jennifer Daniel) on her honeymoon trip, and it is up to her new husband (Edward De Souza) and a vampire hunter (Clifford Evans) to track her down before it is too late.

    Night Creatures
    A captain (Patrick Allen) and his sailors investigate the rampaging "Marsh Phantoms" terrorizing a coastal town, but their search is hindered by a local reverend (Peter Cushing) and a horrifying curse.

    Nightmare
    A young student (Jennie Linden) is haunted by recurring dreams of her mother murdering her father, but her nightmare is just beginning as she tries to prove to her loved ones that she is not insane.

    Paranoiac
    A psychotic man (Oliver Reed) schemes to drive his sister (Janette Scott) mad so that he can claim her inheritance, but a deadly game of cat-and-mouse begins when an impostor (Alexander Davion) intervenes.

    Phantom of the Opera
    A London opera house is haunted by tragic events on its opening night, but when its star (Heather Sears) is kidnapped, a producer (Edward De Souza) tracks down the Phantom (Herbert Lom) who is intent on seeking his revenge.

    I know it is not much to go on.... 1 film I liked and 1 film I disliked... but with that in mind do you think I made a smart purchase for myself... or will I be sorry?
     
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  2. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    So, yes, the film you began with, Santanic Rights, is really not the best place to start to get a feel for Hammer. It came late in the cycle of films and they were running out of steam a bit. The set you just picked up includes films that really are more representative of the Gothic yarns they are best known for. These films really grew out of the classic Universal monster films but typically took things up a few notches with color photography and more blood and more sexy women. Obviously there are many talented people that worked on these films from Terence Fisher and Jimmy Sangster to Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. You will always get gorgeous photography and beautiful sets and costumes.

    Everybody has favorites from Hammer but the two I would most recommend checking out are The Devil Rides Out and Quatermass and the Pit after you have gone through the monster films. Enjoy!
     
  3. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Brides of Dracula in that set is also one of Hammer's best vampire films, IMO.
     
  4. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Cinematographer

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    Thanks... looking forward to checking them out. :)
     
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  5. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Hammer really begins with THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE HORROR OF DRACULA and a crash course on the studio should start with those films. Like Reggie, I'm a big fan of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (aka FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH) and THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (aka THE DEVIL'S BRIDE). Another favorite is FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED. I remember DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS being pretty good as well. I'm looking forward to revisiting THE GORGON and THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, which are on another set that I picked up recently.

    I was very lucky to catch several Hammer films on the big screen back in the '70s, including THE HORROR OF DRACULA, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, TWINS OF EVIL, HANDS OF THE RIPPER, CRESCENDO and DRACULA A.D. 1972.
     
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  6. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Cinematographer

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    [​IMG] Brides of Dracula (1960/United Kingdom)
    IMDb |Wikipedia |Trailer |
    [​IMG] Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (United States)
    Director: Terence Fisher
    Writing: Jimmy Sangster (Screenwriter), Peter Bryan (Screenwriter), Edward Percy (Screenwriter)
    Length: 86 min.
    Video: Widescreen 2.00:1
    Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio: Mono
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
    Stars:
    Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing
    Martita Hunt as Baroness Meinster
    Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne
    Freda Jackson as Greta
    David Peel as Baron Meinster

    Plot:
    A brave young woman (Yvonne Monlaur) takes refuge in a mysterious chateau, but soon finds herself the prey of a treacherous vampire intent on claiming her.

    Extras:
    • Scene Access


    My Thoughts:

    This is the third Hammer film I have seen... and the second one I actually liked. The story is good... even though with the title you expect a Dracula film... this one Dracula is already dead and it is one of his disciples the is the master vampire in this film. I thought the visuals was great. An early Technicolor film where the color usage is good where the color of the background and costumes pop out at you without looking over done. And I must say Peter Cushing did a great job as Doctor Van Helsing, I can easily see myself re-watching this one. Well worth the time put in to watch it. Recommended.

    Rating:
    [​IMG]
     
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