Hammer Films

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Anthropophagus, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    This post is a few months late as I was too busy when Famous Monsters Issue 252 was originally released. Did anyone get this Halloween issue retrospective of Hammer films? I thought they did an outstanding job that would have made Forrest J. Ackerman proud. In fact, the magazine reignited my passion for the world of Hammer films, in revisiting many of the studio's most popular movies I've noticed that many of my favorites were not the critical successes of the day.
    I was wondering how many members are fans of Hammer studios and what are your personal favorites?
    I prefer the Dracula series over the Frankenstein, in fact I'm not a huge fan of the Frankenstein films apart from Curse... and ...Must Be Destroyed. I think that Christopher Lee is the perfect evocation of Dracula and just the right combination of suave elegance and feral violence. Highlights of the series for me would be Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, largely because of the presence of Veronica Carlson and the originality of the plot which was somewhat pilfered for Morrissey's Blood For Dracula in 1974. I also love Scars of Dracula because of the increased level of sadistic violence for the era and the increased amount of screen time for the Dracula character. Even though not a part of the Dracula series, Lust For A Vampire remains a favorite also.
    What are your Hammer highlights?
     
  2. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Thanks for the heads up regarding the Famous Monsters magazine. I'm a huge fan of the films. My favorites include the Karnstein Trilogy, the suspense films and of course the Christopher Lee vampire films. I actually have a sealed region 2 Ultimate Hammer Collection (21 disc set) if anyone is interested. Send me a PM if you are.
     
  3. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    How can you not love Hammer films? Just saying the name gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
     
  4. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, watching these films on late night cable tv as a kid was my intro to all things horror and fantastic.
     
  5. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    i'm the same way. the only frankenstein i own is ...Monster from Hell, and i picked that up because it was cheap and had a commentary.

    i was pretty impressed by Vampire Circus, which i just saw for the first time, but i also really enjoyed Cash on Demand from the hammer suspense collection from columbia.

    but i do love hammer in all its forms. i'll pick up the rest of the frankensteins if i find them cheap, and anything else that comes along i'll usually go for.
     
  6. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    Anyone seen Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas with Cushing? Is it any good? It's only available on a crappy dvd-r from Amazon.com, paying twenty bucks for a dvd-r seems a bit crazy to me. I am curious about the film though.
     
  7. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    It's funny you ask. I'm getting that in the mail tomorrow via Netflix. I love these old flicks.
     
  8. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    Let me know how it is, if you have the time.
     
  9. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    just found anchor bay's edition of hell is a city for 5 bucks at fye. haven't seen it, but i think its oop. pretty happy with that. looking forward to it.
     
  10. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    I finally got around to watching it. I feel part of the charm of Hammer's films is how colorful they are. This film suffers from being filmed in B&W. The Yeti aren't seen until the last five minutes of the film and as always, Peter Cushing adds class and presence to a film that I believe would otherwise be forgettable.
     
  11. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    Anchor Bay released Abominable Snowman as part of their Hammer film collection. I haven't watched my copy yet but AB usually delivers good quality.
     
  12. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    I pretty much agree with most of what you've said. Lee is the best Dracula ever...Dracula Has Risen From the Grave is my favorite of the Dracula series and I, too, like Hammer's Dracula series better than the Frankenstein series, though I love those too. Veronica Carlson was awesome. Their Mummy series is fairly good as well. Some of my other favorite Hammer standouts are The Phantom of the Opera(62) w/ Herber Lom, Curse of the Werewolf with Oliver Reed (who was another fine actor), The Devil Rides Out and The Brides of Dracula with David Peel as the bloodsucker. I honestly cannot think of any Hammer horror film that I didn't like. Some are obviously better than others, but I loved everything about their style. Roy Ashton's marvelous make-up work, the scores, the set design and the gothic style behind these films. The acting was always superb and with directors like Terence Fisher (my favorite) and Freddie Francis (an Oscar winner), the studio was by far the best of the 50's and 60's. Least I not forget..Peter Cushing, which goes without saying. He and Lee were the two best of all of Hammer's stable of actors. Then you had Michael Gough, another outstanding Hammer veteran actor, and Michael Ripper, perhaps the finest character actor of the studio. He played the bar owner in Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, along with many other Hammer roles and he was always terrific. I too have Famous Monsters #252 and it's a really nice tribute.
     
  13. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I'm a "Hammerhead"from way back.I love the studio's unique blend of class and exploitation.Cushing and Lee are two of the Titans of horror stars and the look and feel of vintage Hammer really puts me in the mood for prime,old school horror.Among my favorites of their catalog are THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN,THE DEVIL RIDES OUT,QUATERMAS AND THE PIT,HANDS OF THE RIPPER,FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN,FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED and CAPTAIN KRONOS:VAMPIRE KILLER.A shout out too to the late composer James Bernard who composed many scores for the studio,a highly underrated talent.
     
  14. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Big love for the Hammer here as well. Particularly for the ones Fisher directed. All of his films stand out as high points of horror and sci-fi for me. Even his "exile" films like Night of the Big Heat were at least interesting.

    I actually prefer the Frankenstein films over the Dracula series. Dracula had the better babes, but the story arch for Dr. Frankenstein is so fantastic and interesting that it's hard to believe that it wasn't planned out in advance.

    I actually like Snowman a lot. I think it's one of their most intelligent films. True, it is more drama and character study than horror, but I still think it ranks up there as one of their best early efforts.

    I'll also defend To the Devil a Daughter. Yes, the end is terrible, stupid, insulting and anti-climactic. But, up until those last few minutes, it's one of the best satanic movies out there with an incredibly perverse menacing atmosphere to the whole thing.

    But, I'd probably single out Curse of the Werewolf as my favorite of their films. Thematically, it is so rich and Reed simply smolders in this one.

    So anxious for more of these to hit the BluRay.
     
  15. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    i was surprised to discover that One Million Years B.C. was a hammer production.
     
  16. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I'll go along with that.There is a real development in the Frankenstein cycle while the Dracula films (as fun as they are) generally feel like one offs rather than parts of a saga.As to the ladies though I have to single out the lovely Veronica Carlson who was in BOTH series.She graced DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE and FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED.A talented actress as well as a great beauty !
     
  17. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    Veronica Carlson was also in The Horror Of Frankenstein with Ralph Bates.
     
  18. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    I second that. Veronica Carlson was my favorite of all of the Hammer actresses. The had a lot who were amazing, but her peformances outshone all of the others.
     
  19. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, I agree for sure-great actress, amazing presence and tremendous sex appeal.
     

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