Hammer films

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Hammer is best known for their horror, but also spread out into other genres such as pirate films, crime films, adventure fantasy films and psychological suspense films referred to as “Mini Hitchcock’s”.

I’ve come to find out about more of them as I began delving into my book “Twice the thrills! Twice the Chills! Horror And Science Fiction double features from 1955-1974”. Of which Hammer films often packaged their films as double features, either with their own creations or with other films.

Sad to say, I’ve not had the chance to watch any yet. But I plan on it soon. My question then is this:
What Hammer films, other then the obvious Dracula, Frankenstein and Mummy reboots as well as the many sequels for them they did*, should I focus on?


*Frankenstein has 6 sequels, Dracula 7/8 depending on sources#, and The Mummy has 3.

# there is some debate about whether The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires should be considered a part of the series.



From recent viewings I think Hands of the Ripper (1971) and Vampire Circus (1972) are worth at least a tentative recommendation. I still haven't rewatched Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974) or The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) but I have somewhat positive recollections of them from way back.
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Hammer is best known for their horror, but also spread out into other genres such as pirate films, crime films, adventure fantasy films and psychological suspense films referred to as “Mini Hitchcock’s”.

I’ve come to find out about more of them as I began delving into my book “Twice the thrills! Twice the Chills! Horror And Science Fiction double features from 1955-1974”. Of which Hammer films often packaged their films as double features, either with their own creations or with other films.

Sad to say, I’ve not had the chance to watch any yet. But I plan on it soon. My question then is this:
What Hammer films, other then the obvious Dracula, Frankenstein and Mummy reboots as well as the many sequels for them they did*, should I focus on?


*Frankenstein has 6 sequels, Dracula 7/8 depending on sources#, and The Mummy has 3.

# there is some debate about whether The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires should be considered a part of the series.
If I were to do a "Hall of Fame" and select 11 films for you to watch...




The Abominable Snowman (1957)




The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)






The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)




The Mummy (1959)

Scream of Fear (1961)



The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)




The Plague of Zombies (1966)

Dracula:The Prince of Darkness(1966)


Five Million Years to Earth aka Quartermass and the Pit(1967)


The Woman in Black (2012)


The Lodge (2019)


I can understand not wanted to go with the modern Hammer films though they are sort of adaptations inspired by Lovecraft, and The Woman in Black is the best adaptation of the story.


Vampires with Hammer are almost their entirely own thing they get really experimental. If you must go into Dracula I would avoid House as it's a standard adaptation and Brides is the best but no Christopher Lee so Prince of Darkness is your best call.



New Moon are along similar lines as well. Puppet Master and all.
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My Favorite Films



Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?
Taste of Fear (1961) is an excellent start. This was the UK title. I believe it was Scream of Fear in the U.S. It’s Hammer’s stab at film noir and is well up there with the best they made.

Other mystery films I rate are The Nanny (1965) Fear in the Night(1972) Shadow of the Cat (1961) and Hound of the Baskervilles(1959).

Sci Fi films also worth a look include X the Unknown, Quatermass Experiment(1955), Quatermass 2 (1957) and Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

She (1965) was also well acted with the always reliable Peter Cushing. This was based on the H Rider Haggard novel.

Sword of Sherwood (1960) and A Challenge For Robin Hood (1967) are enjoyable for something a little more light hearted.

Other horrors worth checking out which may not be as well known include:
Plague of Zombies(1966)
The Reptile(1966)
The Gorgon(1964)
Countess Dracula(1971)
Kiss of the Vampire(1963)
The Devil Rides Out(1968)

As for the Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, it’s so ridiculous, but great fun.

The years of film release may differ slightly depending on which sources you look at.

Hope this helps.



I realized I’ve actually seen The Women in Black in Theatres when it was first released. I don’t remember much of it.
It's not too reflective of early Hammer Horror (characterized by campy fun atmosphere and thrills). I thought it was ok, but very perfunctory horror. I actually recommend the 1989 Woman in Black though. Not a Hammer movie, but spooky atmosphere that actually got to me without use of many cliches.



I was actually excited to reply to this thread when I saw it, but was disappointed that pretty much all the good ones have been mentioned.

For what it's worth though, I really like old Hammer films and am especially a fan of Peter Cushing. Favorites are, in order: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Abominable Snowman, Mummy, The Gorgon, Quatermass and the Pit, and The Devil Rides Out. If you're interested in the non-horror side of Hammer, Cash on Demand is a pretty good crime movie.



It's not too reflective of early Hammer Horror (characterized by campy fun atmosphere and thrills). I thought it was ok, but very perfunctory horror. I actually recommend the 1989 Woman in Black though. Not a Hammer movie, but spooky atmosphere that actually got to me without use of many cliches.



I was actually excited to reply to this thread when I saw it, but was disappointed that pretty much all the good ones have been mentioned.

For what it's worth though, I really like old Hammer films and am especially a fan of Peter Cushing. Favorites are, in order: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Abominable Snowman, Mummy, The Gorgon, Quatermass and the Pit, and The Devil Rides Out. If you're interested in the non-horror side of Hammer, Cash on Demand is a pretty good crime movie.
Yeah, I love horror films. And Hammer is one I have yet to delve into with my limited time. I’m aiming to fix that soon.
All films listed above and previously are on my watch list.



It's not too reflective of early Hammer Horror (characterized by campy fun atmosphere and thrills). I thought it was ok, but very perfunctory horror. I actually recommend the 1989 Woman in Black though. Not a Hammer movie, but spooky atmosphere that actually got to me without use of many cliches.



I was actually excited to reply to this thread when I saw it, but was disappointed that pretty much all the good ones have been mentioned.

For what it's worth though, I really like old Hammer films and am especially a fan of Peter Cushing. Favorites are, in order: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Abominable Snowman, Mummy, The Gorgon, Quatermass and the Pit, and The Devil Rides Out. If you're interested in the non-horror side of Hammer, Cash on Demand is a pretty good crime movie.

Cushing fan, eh? Me, as well! Love the man and his movies, at least those I've seen. Of the Hammer films with Cushing, my favorites are The Brides of Dracula (even without Lee as the head vampire, it was Cushing best outing as Van Helsing, IMO), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Gorgon, Night Creatures (not about monsters at all, really), and Frankenstein Created Woman.

Non-Cushing faves are The Curse of the Werewolf, Scars of Dracula, Kiss of the Vampire and Hands of the Ripper.

A non-Hammer Cushing film that is my favorite of his is Island of Terror (1966), which has a bunch of odd-looking but deadly monsters that run rampant on a secluded island, with Cushing and Edward Judd helping the locals fight them. Saw this as a kid at the drive-in and only recently got it on Blu-Ray, and the love for it remains.

Then there's the Amicus films he did, but this is a Hammer thread and I've already gone off the rails!
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A non-Hammer Cushing film that is my favorite of his is Island of Terror (1966), which has a bunch of odd-looking but deadly monsters that run rampant on a secluded island, with Cushing and Edward Judd helping the locals fight them. Saw this as a kid at the drive-in and only recently got it on Blu-Ray, and the love for it remains.
When speaking of non-Hammer Cushings one must mention Horror Express. It's a pretty neat (and loose) adaptation of Who Goes There? (a novella that The Thing was based on). As a bonus, you get Christopher Lee and Telly Savalas as well.



Cushing fan, eh? Me, as well! Love the man and his movies, at least those I've seen. Of the Hammer films with Cushing, my favorites are The Brides of Dracula (even without Lee as the head vampire, it was Cushing best outing as Van Helsing, IMO), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Gorgon, Night Creatures (not about monsters at all, really), and Frankenstein Created Woman.

Non-Cushing faves are The Curse of the Werewolf, Scars of Dracula, Kiss of the Vampire and Hands of the Ripper.

A non-Hammer Cushing film that is my favorite of his is Island of Terror (1966), which has a bunch of odd-looking but deadly monsters that run rampant on a secluded island, with Cushing and Edward Judd helping the locals fight them. Saw this as a kid at the drive-in and only recently got it on Blu-Ray, and the love for it remains.

Then there's the Amicus films he did, but this is a Hammer thread and I've already gone off the rails!

I've seen a few of the Amicus films (Asylum, Beast Must Die, The Skull are the ones I remember). I wasn't too fond of the movies themselves, but Cushing is always a pleasure. One of the handful of actors who have made me seek out likely bad movies just because he was in them.

I like Night Creatures a lot too, although the fleeting horror aspect seems like uber-tacky marketing. It turning out to be a bootlegging pirate movie surprised me, and really should be called Captain Clegg.


When speaking of non-Hammer Cushings one must mention Horror Express. It's a pretty neat (and loose) adaptation of Who Goes There? (a novella that The Thing was based on). As a bonus, you get Christopher Lee and Telly Savalas as well.
Horror Express and The Flesh and the Fiends are my favorite Cushing pics outside of Hammer. I never made The Thing connection before, although I still need to read Who Goes There. I feel like mentioning the all time great Hamlet as well, despite Cushing's somewhat goofy character being a small part. He had the chops and really deserved to be the star in masterpieces of the like.



Warning: does not play well with others


The Quiet Ones is a more current Hammer film. I remember seeing it at the cinema and shows it was a "Hammer Film Production".

The Quiet Ones is currently on Amazon Prime and Tubi TV.

The Woman In Black is one I do watch quite often.

The Lodge is on my "to watch" list but I need to find a good time to watch it as its currently showing on Hulu.

I'm not a huge fan of the old Hammer cinema. To campy for my taste.
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Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?
Cushing fan, eh? Me, as well! Love the man and his movies, at least those I've seen. Of the Hammer films with Cushing, my favorites are The Brides of Dracula (even without Lee as the head vampire, it was Cushing best outing as Van Helsing, IMO), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Gorgon, Night Creatures (not about monsters at all, really), and Frankenstein Created Woman.

Non-Cushing faves are The Curse of the Werewolf, Scars of Dracula, Kiss of the Vampire and Hands of the Ripper.

A non-Hammer Cushing film that is my favorite of his is Island of Terror (1966), which has a bunch of odd-looking but deadly monsters that run rampant on a secluded island, with Cushing and Edward Judd helping the locals fight them. Saw this as a kid at the drive-in and only recently got it on Blu-Ray, and the love for it remains.

Then there's the Amicus films he did, but this is a Hammer thread and I've already gone off the rails!
It’s nice to see some well deserved appreciation for Peter Cushing. I have read that in his role for Dr Frankenstein he insisted on researching how a doctor would perform surgical procedures to give his character maximum authenticity.

He added pure class to a great era of horror. The films of that period were drenched in atmosphere and will be appreciated for many years to come.



Vampire Circus is easily one of my favorite horror movies. It's equal parts horrifying, sexy (in a fun not sleazy way), campy (the panther attack is . . . something), and filled with memorable imagery (like the twins in the house of mirrors).

I'll also endorse Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter, which has a particularly memorable and odd final "showdown".



Vampire Circus is easily one of my favorite horror movies. It's equal parts horrifying, sexy (in a fun not sleazy way), campy (the panther attack is . . . something), and filled with memorable imagery (like the twins in the house of mirrors).

I'll also endorse Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter, which has a particularly memorable and odd final "showdown".
Vampire Circus is OK. It might have been great even, but due to tight schedule some scenes were never shot and the film was edited from what was done. Also, it was censored and the cut footage apparently doesn't exist anymore.

I remember liking Kronos as a kid, but I haven't yet rewatched it. It's been on my list for ages so perhaps one of these days.



Vampire Circus is OK.
"OK"?

*GASP* How dare you? (Kidding).

I admit that I seem to be far more charmed by it than most of my other horror friends.

I just find that it moves really well. I'm never bored and I feel like it doesn't lag at all. I like the scenes with the circus performances. I also appreciate that it is generally sympathetic to its characters, especially the teenage daughter who, in another film, could have been portrayed as stupid and naive. Instead they have that scene where her mother commiserates with her about her feelings.

Plus, like I said in my original post, there are a bunch of moments/images that I just love (like the strongman crushing the cross in his hands or the windswept twins in the mirror's void).