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Hammer Horror Films

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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.

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Devil Rides Out is rather good.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbBZ8O_cevY

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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)

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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.com/The-Icons-Suspense-Collection-Stranger/dp/B0034PWPHY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351280782&sr=8-1&keywords=Icons+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.

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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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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.

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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)

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNtNHG_gpdA[/media]

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

Edited by Ambush Bug

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Twins Of Evil (1971)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nu7BIJDKGQ

IMO, the best of the Karnstein trilogy and dont worry each film is a standalone. This film is not only superior to the two previous installments but more tame as well as Hammer entered the 1970s, the studio grew more decadent in response to the demands of the times and its own failing box office. The very best Hammer offered was from between the late 1950s to the late 1960s. I may post up a couple more Hammer films if the mods are peachy about it.

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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)

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNtNHG_gpdA[/media]

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

My husband's just sold a DVD of this brilliant film as he has replaced it with the bluray; the bluray version includes the DVD too, though it's locked to UK and European players. Incidentally, early DVD releases of the film aren't that great other than the Anchor Bay version.

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My husband's just sold a DVD of this brilliant film as he has replaced it with the bluray; the bluray version includes the DVD too, though it's locked to UK and European players. Incidentally, early DVD releases of the film aren't that great other than the Anchor Bay version.

Yes, I wouldnt buy earlier R1 DVD versions of The Reptile unless it was Anchor Bay, but the asking price can be steep for a brand new DVD. I would recommend just waiting for it (and Plague Of The Zombies) to be re-released on R1.

Fortunately, most of the greatest Hammer Horror is still available on DVD. They still need to put out the Quatermass trilogy, X The Unknown, and The Devil Rides Out on R1 DVD.

For vampires I would recommend Horror Of Dracula, Brides Of Dracula, Twins Of Evil, Vampire Circus, and Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter. One is set there.

The rest of the Dracula and Karnstein films are recommended for completists only.

Just too little of Dracula himself and Van Helsing disappears for more than half of the sequels. They can still be gorgeous films with infrequent nice action sequences too but that is not enough to eliminate the regurgitated familiarity and overall inferiority.

For the Baron Frankenstein I would recommend Curse Of Frankenstein, Revenge Of Frankenstein, and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. One is set there.

The rest of the Frankenstein films are recommended for Cushing completists only.

Evil of Frankenstein = atrocious absolutely atrocious creature design that looks papermache (incorporates elements of Universal Pictures' Son Of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man sans the Wolf Man, yuck!). Frankenstein Created Woman = Meh, truly bizarre genderbender. Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell = Just plain stupid. Only Peter Cushing redeems these films as he is fantastic as always in all his Frankenstein films.

The Mummy films, honestly, I have only seen the original The Mummy with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. No comment on the rest. Which is worth owning but not near my favorite Hammer Horror. And plus I love the Universal Pictures original that starred Boris Karloff anyways. Overall, I dont dig Mummy horror sequels, they're just lumbering unstoppable monsters much like the Frankenstein creature.

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Christopher Lee discusses Dracula and Hammer

PS. There will never be another Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing again. Neither will there ever be another Hammer phenomenon ever again. They simply dont make and CANT make movies like that ever again.

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A Fan Tribute To The Brides Of Dracula To The Music Of Danny Elfman (Sleepy Hollow) - DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVENT SEEN THE FILM YET, SPOILER ALERT

PS. This tribute gave me the chills had to include it in the thread. Brides Of Dracula is Hammer's finest Dracula sequel (though not featuring either Dracula or Christopher Lee). The climatic end of BoD inspired the climatic end of Sleepy Hollow.

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A Fan Tribute To The Brides Of Dracula To The Music Of Danny Elfman (Sleepy Hollow) - DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVENT SEEN THE FILM YET, SPOILER ALERT

PS. This tribute gave me the chills had to include it in the thread. Brides Of Dracula is Hammer's finest Dracula sequel (though not featuring either Dracula or Christopher Lee). The climatic end of BoD inspired the climatic end of Sleepy Hollow.

BoD is a great film; Yvonne Monlaur is a tad wooden but Martita Hunt is absolutely fantastic and Peter Cushing as good as ever. It holds a special place in my heart too because I met my now-husband at a screening of it!

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BoD is a great film; Yvonne Monlaur is a tad wooden but Martita Hunt is absolutely fantastic and Peter Cushing as good as ever. It holds a special place in my heart too because I met my now-husband at a screening of it!

That is awesome, congratulations btw! :clap: Its great to find another enthusiastic Hammerphile. Turner Classic Movies inspired me to create a thread dedicated to Hammer for Halloween.

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee co-starred together in 22 movies (that is more than Lugosi/Karloff did by a large margin).

8 were Hammer Films... Curse Of Frankenstein, Horror Of Dracula, Hound Of The Baskervilles, The Mummy, The Gorgon, She, Dracula AD 1972, and The Satanic Rites Of Dracula.

What is your favorite Hammer film? Or top 5 favorite?

Maybe next year it will be Universal Monsters. (They released a Blu-Ray collection earlier this month.)

http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008FL8OTK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351656416&sr=8-1&keywords=Universal+Monsters+blu-ray

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A final word many of the best of Hammer Film are available in R1 DVD sets:

TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Hammer Horror (Horror of Dracula / Dracula Has Risen from the Grave / The Curse of Frankenstein / Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed)

http://www.amazon.com/TCM-Greatest-Classic-Film-Collection/dp/B003M8NGG2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352762727&sr=8-1&keywords=TCM+Classic+movies+Hammer+Horror

Franchise Collection: Hammer Horror Series (Brides of Dracula / Curse of the Werewolf / Phantom of the Opera (1962) / Paranoiac / Kiss of the Vampire / Nightmare / Night Creatures / Evil of Frankenstein)

http://www.amazon.com/Werewolf-Paranoiac-Nightmare-Creatures-Frankenstein/dp/B0009X770O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352762455&sr=8-1&keywords=Hammer+Horror

Icons of Horror Collection: Hammer Films (The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb / Scream of Fear / The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll / The Gorgon)

http://www.amazon.com/Icons-Horror-Collection-Hammer-Mummys/dp/B001B9ZVVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352762857&sr=8-1&keywords=Icons+Of+Horror+Hammer+Collection

The Icons of Suspense Collection: Hammer Films (Stop Me Before I Kill! / Cash on Demand / The Snorkel / Maniac / Never Take Candy from a Stranger / These Are the Damned)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Icons-Suspense-Collection-Stranger/dp/B0034PWPHY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352763036&sr=8-1&keywords=Icons+Of+Suspense+Hammer+Collection

Icons of Adventure Collection: Hammer Films (The Pirates of Blood River / The Devil-Ship Pirates / The Stranglers of Bombay / The Terror of the Tongs)

http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Collection-Pirates-Devil-Ship-Stranglers/dp/B0016KCCCC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352763150&sr=8-1&keywords=Icons+Of+Adventure+Hammer+Collection

Technically speaking IMO Horror Of Dracula, Curse Of Frankenstein, Curse Of The Werewolf, and Scream Of Fear represent the very best Hammer ever made. Til Blu-ray or next Halloween which ever may come first.

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The great Hammer British director Terence Fisher made 15 horror and 3 science fiction movies IIRC. These represent some of the greatest gothic horrors of the '50s and '60s, only Mario Bava and Roger Corman (Poe-cycle movies) can stand head and shoulder to the contributions Fisher made to the subgenre. Here is a checklist of his work:

HORROR

The Curse Of Frankenstein - 1957

Horror Of Dracula - 1958

The Revenge Of Frankenstein - 1958

The Man Who Could Cheat Death - 1959

The Mummy - 1959

The Brides Of Dracula - 1960

The Two Faces Of Dr Jekyll - 1960

The Curse Of The Werewolf - 1961

The Phantom Of The Opera - 1961

The Gorgon - 1964

Dracula, Prince Of Darkness - 1966

Frankenstein Created Woman - 1967

The Devil Rides Out - 1968

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed - 1969

Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell - 1973

SCIENCE FICTION

The Earth Dies Screaming - 1964

Island Of Terror - 1966

Night Of The Big Heat aka Island Of The Burning Damned - 1967

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