Classic Universal Vs. Classic Hammer

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by shape22, Sep 18, 2011.

?

Classic Universal or classic Hammer?

  1. Classic Universal

    51.4%
  2. Classic Hammer

    48.6%
  1. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    714
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Since Halloween is a great time to revisit the titans of the genre, now is the perfect time to discuss the golden ages of Universal and Hammer. I know most of us love both. But if you were forced to choose which way would you go?

    Please give some insight on your picks and your favorite films, actors, directors, writers, or composers from Hammer or Universal.
     
  2. othervoice1

    othervoice1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,515
    Likes Received:
    382
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Indiana
    Universal for me
     
  3. zompirejoe

    zompirejoe Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Ocean City, Maryland
    I love them both, but it's Hammer for me. I grew up watching the Hammer films, I love their style. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are a huge factor as well. The cleavage shots in their films don't hurt either.
     
  4. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck Boom Shanka

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,989
    Likes Received:
    450
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Universal, no question. I've never liked Hammer films--I find them very boring.
     
  5. Copyboy

    Copyboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Universal for me. I really do love some of the Hammer films but prefer the Universal originals nearly every time - the one exception being Hammer's The Mummy.

    Totally agree with Myron Breck on Hammer's bore factor. They're stylish and lush but damn, they all seem to have those scenes that just drag on too long for no apparent reason other than to stretch the running time.
     
  6. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,430
    Likes Received:
    1,008
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I have to go with Hammer. I haven't watched most of the Universal films in years although I do have the box sets but I do revisit Hammer films now and again.
     
  7. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    883
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    like most people, i love them both. but i love the universal's more. as much fun as the hammer horrors are, the universals are a piece of film history.
     
  8. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    11,310
    Likes Received:
    996
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Keene, NH
    I have to go with Hammer. I love The Wolf Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon, the first Mummy film and all of the Frankensteins, as well as lesser known films of theirs like The Raven, The Black Cat, Old Dark House and Murders in the Rue Morgue. But aside from those everything else that I've seen is pretty average to boring. Hammer had more "excellent" films: the Dracula, Frankenstein, and Quatermass franchises, The Mummy, Curse of the Werewolf, Captain Kronos, Kiss of the Vampire, The Gorgon, Rasputin, Devil Rides Out, Vampire Lovers and Twins of Evil, Vampire Circus, Countess Dracula, Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile.
     
  9. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    11,310
    Likes Received:
    996
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Keene, NH
    And Hammer isn't? :eek2:
     
  10. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Olds Alberta Canada

    They are but Universal started something that Hammer continued is what I think Dave was trying to say. Universal lead the way for Hammer thus making it more apart of film history.
     
  11. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    883
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    yeah, it is. i was kind of expecting someone to call me on that, but at the time i didn't feel like going into a whole big thing. hammer was obviously very influential. but hammer was in many ways standing on the shoulders of the universal horrors, building on them, if not necessarily straight up remaking them. the universals are the originals in the medium of film. or at least films with sound. they're the forefathers of the genre, and i could never bring myself to place anything in higher esteem.
     
  12. f.ramses

    f.ramses sociopath

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    265
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    region 0
    I've always found the Hammer movies to be more enjoyable. Most what what I've seen just seemed more entertaining and modern but still maintained the classic horror feel that the Universal movies had.
     
  13. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    8,885
    Likes Received:
    1,347
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Illinois
    See I think the opposite. I feel that Universal's Tier 2 films are much better than even Hammer's Tier 1 films. I'd watch pretty much any Universal Horror over any Hammer horror.

    The Hammer films took a pretty quick nose dive in quality too during the 60's. Universal kept the quality levels pretty stable during the 1930's and only started to nose dive after Wolf Man in the 40's. We got a solid decade between Dracula 1931 and Wolf Man 1941. But with Hammer from Curse of Frankenstein 1958 to Dracula Has Risen from the Grave 1968 they were already well behind the eight ball.

    Even Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) at the end of the second decade was a bit of a shot in the arm, allowing Universal to finish strong with the Creature from the Black Lagoon series in the 50's. By the 1970's Hammer was just as much of a joke but they weren't in on it like Abbott and Costello were. If you put the Munsters into the equation then the Universal run lasted for far longer.

    Not to attack Hammer too much though. I like them for what they are, but they're simply not on the same level as the Universals. I'd take Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff over Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee any day. And I love Cushing and Lee. That's not even counting Chaney Sr. and Jr.
     
  14. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    9,610
    Likes Received:
    270
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Like a lot of posters here I love both and I give Universal high mark as Titans in the genre.The made some benchmark films that the entire genre has built on.Kudos !

    Saying that I find myself more drawn to Hammer and it isn't due to them being in color or being more violent or even more sexual.I feel that as their Dracula and particularly their Frankenstein series progressed Hammer did a better job of EXPANDING on their stories than the Universal series did.One big reason I would ultimately give Hammer's Frankenstein's the edge over Universal's is that Universal always bought the MONSTER back to life while Hammer bought Cushing's BARON FRANKENSTEIN back.Focussing on the Baron (Cushing was terrific in the role)allowed the stories to focus on watching a brilliant man with good intentions slowly but surely turn into a monomaniacal monster so obsessed with his theories that he would ultimately sacrifice anyone and anything that got in his way.It's sort of like the story arc to the show BREAKING BAD,watching what was basically a good man lose himself in evil. The later Universal Frankenstein's,fun as they are,are monster rallies with the Frankenstein monster taking on all comers,Dracula,the Wolf Man etc.Hammer's series show Cushing always expanding his research,coming up with new concepts and new ideas to create human life while becoming less and less human himself.It's this emphasis on character (and a stronger grounding in a certain reality) that makes me like the Hammer's more as a whole.
     
  15. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    4,049
    Likes Received:
    391
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Canada
    I really can't choose, I love Universal's The Wolf Man, Creature From The Black Lagoon and Frankenstein, as a sidenote I also love A&C Meet Frankenstein. Universal's The Mummy and Dracula leave me cold.
    However, I do love the Hammer Dracula films from Horror of..to Scars of.., love The Curse of Frankenstein as well as Must Be Destroyed, the Mummy, The Curse of the Werewolf, and the Karnstein trilogy. So I guess for sheer volume of output Hammer gets the nod.
     
  16. blu

    blu New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Agreed.
     
  17. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,649
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I have to go with Hammer. As much as I love and respect Universal for what they did, the way Hammer treated the "classics" just had more meat. The best analogy I can come up with is the original Fly and Cronenberg's. With the exception of Bride of Frankenstein, the Hammer films have more depth, both psychological and socio-political. And to anyone who says that the Hammer films are more boring, I have to ask "When was the last time you watched Universal's Dracula?
     
  18. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Olds Alberta Canada
    It's not that either one is boring, it's just back then pacing was a different story then it is today. Today we have no patience we want the stories to be quickly resolved. Where as back in the 30's & even in the 60's it was all about drawing out the tension & getting you into the story & characters.
     
  19. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    The real question is why are none of these on Blu Ray dammit!
     
  20. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    714
    Trophy Points:
    113
    You can say that again. Hopefully they're doing proper frame-by-frame restorations of these films. Dracula in particular could look a whole lot better.

    It's probably a pipe dream. But I'm really hoping that Universal uses Lowry Digital for the restoration work. I'm sure it would require a huge cash outlay. But MGM was practically broke and they still found the money to restore the Bond series. And the results are really spectacular--especially for the early Connery films.

    I know that black-and-white horror films don't have the mass market appeal of the Bonds. But surely a definitive set of the classic Universal horrors would reap enough of a profit to justify the additional restoration expenses. And if they're not going to do full restorations, what's the point of releasing these films in hi-def?

    I'm cautiously optimistic. If Universal was inclined to put out a subpar set just to squeeze a few more dollars out of the public I think it would have happened by now. Hopefully the wait means that they're trying to do justice to these films.
     

Share This Page