Getting acquainted with Hammer Horror

Discussion in 'Classic' started by crikan, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting prepared for October. Last year I chose 8 Paul Naschy films to watch (for the first time) and had a blast. I've never seen a Hammer Horror film so this year I'd like to dive into their catalog. I've done a little research and come up with the list below. Let me know if there is an essential title I should add. TIA

    The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
    The Horror of Dracula (1958)
    The Mummy (1959)
    Countess Dracula (Uncut U.K. Version) (1971)
    Dracula AD 1972 (1972)

    The Vampire Lovers (1970)
    Lust for a Vampire (1971)
    Twins of Evil (1971)

    Also, I am tempted to watch the 1930's Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy in October as well. I just hope I don't get worn out on gothic horror. Maybe I'll hold off on the Mummy films all to together.
     
  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    The Cushing Frankenstein films improve as the series goes on. Mostly because they make Frankenstein to be the villain, with less emphasis on the creation(s). His experiments evolve, and get more sinister in each film (unlike the Universal films, where it was re-animate the Karloff monster, chaos ensues, credits).

    Make sure you get some of the other Dracula films too (AD1972 is not considered to be one of the better films in the series). A lot of people really like Dracula, Prince of Darkness, with Christopher Lee's dialogue-free performance.

    Check out a couple of the non-Dracula/Frankenstein/Mummy films of the mid-60s. Rasputin the Mad Monk, Plague of the Zombies, Kiss of the Vampire.

    I still think one of the best "later" Hammer films is Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter.
     
  3. Suicide

    Suicide Space Bastard!

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    I recommend the movies from this set (although maybe not the actual set since apparently one of the movies freezes up according to Amazon customers)
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0009X770O/dvdaficionado

    From that set I've seen Brides of Dracula, Curse of the Werewolf, Kiss of the Vampire and Phantom of the Opera and those were all pretty solid.
     
  4. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Personally I think Dracula 1972 is the worst Hammer horror film despite Caroline Monro's presence. The Karnstein trilogy is my favorite. I also love Dracula Prince of Darkness, The Mummy, and The Reptile. With most of them you can't go wrong.
     
  5. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I've watched quite a few films off that set and haven't seen a problem. Do you know what film it is?
     
  6. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    I've always loved Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, and even though they are lesser films Scars of Dracula and Lust For A Vampire are sentimental favorites.
    Brides Of Dracula is also essential IMO.
    Dracula AD 1972 along with The Satanic Rites Of Dracula are two of the worst.
     
  7. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    That's why you watch Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter instead. Better movie, and you still get your Caroline Munro. She's hotter in period costume than a contemporary one anyway.
     
  8. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen many, but I love all 3 Quatermass films more than any other Hammer I've watched.
     
  9. bruce h

    bruce h Editor - CINEMA ARCANA

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    I'm with Paff on this one -- definitely give some of their more offbeat titles a go. I usually find them to be my favorites! The more action-oriented titles like CAPTAIN KRONOS or LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES, Hitchcockian noir thrillers like SCREAM OF FEAR, oddball sci-fi like THE LOST CONTINENT -- the studio played around with a lot of diverse genres, so don't be afraid to mix it up!
     
  10. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    You're not kidding! It's a shame she refused Vampirella because of the nudity. Then I'd be recommending that to Crikan. :D
     
  11. Suicide

    Suicide Space Bastard!

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    I think Paranoiac is the one according to a review I read on Amazon.
     
  12. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is tops in Munro boobage for this cat.
     
  13. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe no ones mentioned The Devil Rides Out. That one's pretty excellent. I'll throw my voice in with those recommending the later Frankenstein's and Captain Kronos.
     
  14. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    You have to love Hammer. Caroline Munro, Ingrid Pitt, Stefanie Powers, the list goes on and on. :p
     
  15. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely LOVE Dracula AD 1972 and Satanic Rites. Very underrated, IMO.

    But if I absolutely had to recommend one Hammer Film, then like dave13 it would probably be The Devil Rides Out. But as long as you stick to horror and stay away from the Mummy films other than the first it's hard to go wrong.

    The Witches is another great one that hasn't been mentioned. Also gotta give it up for The Reptile and Plague of the Zombies.
     
  16. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    The Dracula films are chronological so if you watch them all it's like one long film.

    Horror of Dracula
    Dracula Prince of Darkness
    Dracula Has Risen From the Grave
    Taste the Blood of Dracula
    Scars of Dracula
    Dracula A.D. 1972
    Satanic Rites of Dracula

    I've always thought Five Million Years to Earth was quite good and I enjoy Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires as well.
     
  17. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    You can only really do that with the first four. Scars is a one-off, but 1972 and Rites is a two part storyline. None of the last three are really at all related chronologically or otherwise to the earlier films other than having Lee as Dracula and Cushing as Van Helsing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  18. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I hope it's Paranoiac as I watched that DVD few months ago and mine didn't have any issues.
     
  19. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Suggesting Hammer films is easy. All you have to do is look to see if Terence Fisher directed it. His work was stellar. Particularly the Frankenstein films (there is one in the middle of the series that he didn't direct and it shows) and some of the off path films like the Quatermas films, Curse of the Werewolf, and Devil Rides Out.

    The off-beat films are really fun as well. As others said, Kronos and Seven Golden Vampires are really fun. I also liked Lost Continent, because it's just damned loopy, and Demons of the Mind.

    And while there is a noticeable decline as they entered into the 70s. I think that only the Dracula movies show it.
     
  20. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I believe you're talking about Evil of Frankenstein, indeed not the high point of the Hammer Frankenstein series. The only one where the monster resembles the classic Universal Karloff design. Although I remember the deaf red-head being damn fine looking though. Am I thinking about the right film?

    Oddly though, my least favorite of the series is the first one, Curse of Frankenstein. Should be great, what with Fisher directing, and featuring both Cushing and Lee (their only co-starring appearance of the series), but it's just so damn BORING. Every other film in the series, yes, even Evil, improves on it.
     

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