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Hammer Horror Films


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#1    SCFan

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:08 AM

The other night, Turner Classic Movies channel, had abit of marathon of these classic British horror films that really revitalized the gothic horror genre with the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Werewolf, Phantom of the Opera, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde but also included many originals such as The Reptile, The Gorgon, etc.

Their two longest running franchises were Doctor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) and Dracula (Christopher Lee).

The former by far is much superior to the latter IMO, because the films were made much better and Cushing's Frankenstein has never been portrayed more maniacal and villainous on the big screen.

Yet, Horror Of Dracula just might be my all-time Hammer fav. Christoper Lee made an elegant and equally handsome and frightening Count. Plus, Bram Stoker's Dracula is my one of my favorite horror books of all time. But the sequels are largely dismal and derivative of HOD and each other. In the original Horror of Dracula, Mr Lee has plenty of dialogue that is not so with the sequels where Saruman has minimal screentime and sparse or no dialogue, he is simply a prop piece rather than a genuine character. IIRC, I believe Christopher Lee himself even admits he regrets making these Dracula films.

The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957)
The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958)
The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964)
Frankestein Created Woman (1966)
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (1974)

The Horror Of Dracula (1958)
Dracula, Prince Of Darkness (1966)
Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)
Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970)
The Scars Of Dracula (1970)
Dracula, A.D. 1972 (1972)
The Satanic Rites Of Dracula (1973)

Other Hammer Horror notables,

The Quatermass Xperiment (1956)
Quatermass 2 (1957)
The Abominable Snowman (1957)
The Hound Of The Baskervilles (1959)
The Mummy (1959)
Brides Of Dracula (1960)
The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961)
The Gorgon (1964)
She (1965)
The Reptile (1966)
One Million Years, B.C. (1966)
Plague Of The Zombies (1966)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Five Million Years To Earth (1968)
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Twins Of Evil (1971)
Vampire Circus (1971)
Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974)

For true Hammer fans, what are your top 5 favorite Hammer horrors?

Here are mine:

1. The Horror Of Dracula
2. The Curse Of The Werewolf
3. The Gorgon
4. The Reptile
5. Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter

Damn this is difficult, especially not to include either The Curse Of Frankenstein or Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed in my top 5 just for Cushing alone. Next week my top 5 will be radically different.

I have loved them since my youth, they notoriously introduced me to Lee, Cushing, gorgeous sets, technicolor brilliance, red - "blood" splatter, and voluptuous britons with eye-widening cleavage.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#2    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:29 AM

Devil Rides Out is rather good.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

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#3    SCFan

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:42 PM

View PostWearer of Hats, on 20 October 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

Devil Rides Out is rather good.

Yeah, I have a difficult time not placing The Devil Rides Out in my top 5. Great tale of good versus supernatural evil adapted from a Dennis Wheatley novel.

It was Christopher Lee himself who personally pushed for this book to be made into a movie and also went on record that it was one of his favorite roles ever. Not to mention Hammer's greatest film maker ever directed it too, the legendary Terence Fisher.

In fact, today, I would say my top 5 would have to be 1. Horror Of Dracula 2. Curse Of The Werewolf 3. The Curse Of Frankenstein 4. The Reptile 5. Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter

I would say that is about set in stone. But next week who knows.

Tough runners up would be The Gorgon, Brides Of Dracula, Plague of the Zombies, The Devil Rides Out, Quatermass And The Pit, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Twins Of Evil, and Vampire Circus.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#4    Bling

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

I've got the Hammer box set....my favourite is yet to be discovered as I haven't watched them all yet.


#5    SCFan

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:36 PM

View PostBling, on 21 October 2012 - 07:40 PM, said:

I've got the Hammer box set....my favourite is yet to be discovered as I haven't watched them all yet.

What box set, may I ask?

But I'll give you a hint, Terence Fisher is synonymous with Hammer, Hammer is synonymous with Terence Fisher. Basically. He just about singlehandedly made Hammer what it is because not only for the amount of films he made for Hammer but because the greater majority of the very best from Hammer were directed by Terence Fisher too.

There are few exceptions such as John Gilling, Roy Ward Baker, Freddie Francis, Peter Sasdy, etc.

But Freddie Francis and Roy Ward Back made contributions to Amicus Productions the premiere British company of portmanteau anthology horror films throughout the 60s and 70s with titles such as Dr Terror's House Of Horrors, Tales From The Crypt, Torture Garden, Asylum, and Vault Of Horror.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#6    Bling

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:38 PM

This one  :)

http://www.amazon.co...c/dp/B000HN31KQ


#7    SCFan

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:48 PM

View PostBling, on 21 October 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:


NICE! I wished I still had my multi-region player as the UK puts out alot of Hammer films unlike the US. For awhile, Anchor Bay and Warner Bros put out some Hammer films but many of them are now out of print.

'The Devil Rides Out' (1968), 'Dracula, Prince of Darkness' (1966), 'The Nanny' (1965), 'One Million Years BC' (1966), 'Plague of the Zombies' (1966), 'Quatermass and the Pit (1967), 'The Reptile' (1966), 'She' (1965).

These are my favorites from this set. I really, really love these ones.

The spfx is abit spotty for The Reptile, but it is too damn good of a creepy story. I love the backstory of the creature and the creature itself is interesting. My favorite of the set with The Devil Rides Out, Plague Of The Zombies, and Quatermass And The Pit riding hard on its tail. The bolded titles are absolute must sees.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#8    schizoidwoman

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:04 AM

Good topic! When I did my MA in Film Studies, I specialised in the Karnstein Trilogy; I absolutely love Hammer horror and even met my husband because of it!


#9    SCFan

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:45 AM

View Postschizoidwoman, on 22 October 2012 - 08:04 AM, said:

Good topic! When I did my MA in Film Studies, I specialised in the Karnstein Trilogy; I absolutely love Hammer horror and even met my husband because of it!

Awesome, oh I forgot to list Lust For A Vampire, the second of the trilogy. I had The Vampire Lovers and Twins Of Evil.

Twins Of Evil represents the best of the Karnstein trilogy. IIRC Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter mentions or features Karnstein vampires too.

Here is another great Hammer classic I failed to list: Scream Of Fear aka Taste Of Fear:

Scream of Fear (originally titled Taste of Fear in Britain), the first and best of the psychological thrillers to come out of Hammer Studios, was produced in the wake of Psycho's international success but actually owes more to the cool calculation and grueling psychodrama of Henri-George Clouzot's Les Diaboliques.



"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#10    SCFan

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:54 PM

Here is my update on the Hammer Dracula and Frankenstein films broken down (or a lame excuse to bump my own thread up):

Dracula

Essential: The Horror Of Dracula (1958)

Not Missing Anything: Dracula, Prince Of Darkness (1966), Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968), Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970)

Enter At Own Risk: The Scars Of Dracula (1970), Dracula, A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites Of Dracula (1973)


Frankenstein

Essential: The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957)

Required For Hammer Fans: The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

Not Missing Anything: Frankestein Created Woman (1966)

Enter At Own Risk: The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964), Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (1974)

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#11    Oniomancer

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:01 PM

You missed quite a few of them.

http://en.wikipedia....ilm_Productions

http://en.wikipedia....mer_filmography

(You'll have to dig through the second list)

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#12    SCFan

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 08:04 PM

View PostOniomancer, on 23 October 2012 - 02:01 PM, said:

You missed quite a few of them.

http://en.wikipedia....ilm_Productions

http://en.wikipedia....mer_filmography

(You'll have to dig through the second list)

Well, here lies the problem, I havent seen every film by Hammer Film Productions. Not all of them were up to par with the work of director Terence Fisher nor featured a cast that included two horror legends Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee. Ironically, I dont believe I have seen any of their noir films.

I do want to see Never Take Sweets From A Stranger and These Are The Damned (a Joseph Losey film). Both are available on a DVD called Icons Of Suspense I just havent purchased it yet.

http://www.amazon.co...ons of Suspense

So I am just commenting on the Hammer horror that deserve mentions for the upcoming Halloween season that are near guaranteed not to disappoint.

In some ways, Hammer's Horror Of Dracula, Curse Of Frankenstein, and Curse Of The Werewolf are superior to their earlier progenitors from Universal Studios that is Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf-Man because the presentation of their content is more disturbing and nuanced.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#13    Oniomancer

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:39 PM

View PostAmbush Bug, on 26 October 2012 - 08:04 PM, said:

Well, here lies the problem, I havent seen every film by Hammer Film Productions. Not all of them were up to par with the work of director Terence Fisher nor featured a cast that included two horror legends Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee. Ironically, I dont believe I have seen any of their noir films.

I do want to see Never Take Sweets From A Stranger and These Are The Damned (a Joseph Losey film). Both are available on a DVD called Icons Of Suspense I just havent purchased it yet.

http://www.amazon.co...ons of Suspense

So I am just commenting on the Hammer horror that deserve mentions for the upcoming Halloween season that are near guaranteed not to disappoint.

In some ways, Hammer's Horror Of Dracula, Curse Of Frankenstein, and Curse Of The Werewolf are superior to their earlier progenitors from Universal Studios that is Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf-Man because the presentation of their content is more disturbing and nuanced.

I see, but you skipped a few classics like X the Unknown, barely mantioned The Phantom of The Opera featuring the recently deceased Herbert Lom. and bad or not, no list of Hammer Dracula movies would be complete without the Legend of The Seven Golden Vampires,

As it happens. I haven't even seen all the ones you've listed. Keep an eye on Turner classic. I caught These are the Damned and a few other obscure Hammer flicks just within the last year or so.

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#14    SCFan

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:18 PM

View PostOniomancer, on 26 October 2012 - 09:39 PM, said:

I see, but you skipped a few classics like X the Unknown, barely mantioned The Phantom of The Opera featuring the recently deceased Herbert Lom. and bad or not, no list of Hammer Dracula movies would be complete without the Legend of The Seven Golden Vampires,

As it happens. I haven't even seen all the ones you've listed. Keep an eye on Turner classic. I caught These are the Damned and a few other obscure Hammer flicks just within the last year or so.

Ah, I simply forgot to add X The Unknown between the Quatermass films. Sorry.

Phantom Of The Opera is an absolutely gorgeous film to look at and listen to, but the story departs from Leroux novel quite a lot. Well, sure, Horror Of Dracula and Curse Of Frankenstein can depart from their source material but in this instance the Hammer films fails to incorporate the whole major plot of the Leroux novel, the relationship between Christine and Erik (his name is Professor Petrie in the Hammer version), where Erik (Professor Petrie) merely tutors Christine with no romantic inclinations. It is still one of the better versions committed to film. Though personally I am fond of the Lon Chaney silent version.

Yes, I rabidly watch TCM in spurts. I must have missed the listings for These Are The Damned.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#15    SCFan

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

Browsing through yt today and discovered this, it has long been out of print. To get a brand new and sealed DVD fetches a small fortune.

The Reptile (1966)


IMO, this film features one of Hammer's creepiest monsters.

Edited by Ambush Bug, 27 October 2012 - 10:23 PM.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).




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