Theme Times – Hammer Horror

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Hammer Film Productions Ltd. is a British film production company based in London. Founded in 1934, the company is best known for a series of gothic horror films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. Many of these involved classic horror characters such as Baron Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and The Mummy, which Hammer re-introduced to audiences by filming them in vivid colour for the first time.  Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers, film noir and comedies, as well as, in later years, television series. During their most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was, in part, due to their distribution partnerships with American companies United Artists, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, American International Pictures and Seven Arts Productions.

During the late 1960s and 1970s the saturation of the horror film market by competitors and the loss of American funding forced changes to the previously lucrative Hammer formula, with varying degrees of success. The company eventually ceased production in the mid-1980s. In 2000, the studio was bought by a consortium including advertising executive and art collector Charles Saatchi and publishing millionaires Neil Mendoza and William Sieghart. The company announced plans to begin making films again after this, but none were produced.

In May 2007, the company name was sold to a consortium headed by Dutch media tycoon John de Mol, who announced plans to spend some $50m (£25m) on new horror films. The new organization acquired the Hammer group’s film library, consisting of 295 pictures. Simon Oakes, who took over as CEO of the new Hammer, said, “Hammer is a great British brand — we intend to take it back into production and develop its global potential. The brand is still alive but no one has invested in it for a long time.” Since then it has produced several films, including Let Me In (2010), The Resident (2011), The Woman in Black (2012) and The Quiet Ones (2014).


Dedicating this to Gary of Bereaved Single Dad


October 24, 2019 at 8:07 am

 “Not enough Cushion and Lee movies for me. Hammer are timeless.”

Well, we can sort that out Gary, it is after all the season of the spooky


Oh my, well where do l start? I grew up, like Gary did with Hammer Horror films as our basic staple to spooky viewing and we are not alone, for the fans of this company and genre are legion! However, what were the best 10 Horror movies ? Let’s find out…. of course this is just my opinion, yours might be different and if so … what were your favourites? Here l offer to you a wide range of gothical nasties for your pleasures …..

1 -Dracula – 1958

On a search for his missing friend Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen), vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is led to Count Dracula’s (Christopher Lee) castle. Upon arriving, Van Helsing finds an undead Harker in Dracula’s crypt and discovers that the count’s next target is Harker’s ailing fiancée, Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh). With the help of her brother, Arthur (Michael Gough), Van Helsing struggles to protect Lucy and put an end to Count Dracula’s parasitic reign of terror.

2 – The Curse of Frankenstein – 1957

Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is a brilliant scientist willing to stop at nothing in his quest to reanimate a deceased body. After alienating his longtime friend and partner, Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart), with his extreme methods, Frankenstein assembles a hideous creature (Christopher Lee) out of dead body parts and succeeds in bringing it to life. But the monster is not as obedient or docile as Frankenstein expected, and it runs amok, resulting in murder and mayhem.

3 – The Brides of Dracula – 1960

A young baron who has inherited the Dracula curse is kept locked away by his mother to hide the family secret – although she does procure for him an occasional victim. However, when he breaks out of his castle prison, she becomes a victim herself, and the undead lad takes flight to terrorise the local village and rampage through a girls’ school before a specialist is called in.

4 – The Mummy – 1959

An archaeology team discover the tomb of an Egyptian princess, guarded by an undead mummy who will avenge all who desecrate the site.

5 – The Devil Rides Out – 1968

When the Duc de Richleau (Christopher Lee) and Rex Van Ryn (Leon Greene) arrive at a fashionable party thrown by de Richleau’s protégé, Simon Aron (Patrick Mower), they soon realize that the party is in fact a gathering of a Satanic cult, led by the high priest Mocata (Charles Gray), that plans to initiate the beautiful Tanith (Nike Arrighi) that night. It’s up to de Richleau and Van Ryn to defeat the devil-worshiping Mocata and save innocent young Tanith and the others from a terrible fate.

6 – The Plague of the Zombies – 1966

A medical professor (Andre Morell) and his daughter (Diane Clare) link a Cornish epidemic to a village squire’s (John Carson) voodoo.

7 – The Gorgon – 1964

A mysterious monster is turning people to stone in a German village in 1910. When his girlfriend is killed, Bruno (Jeremy Longhurst) becomes the prime suspect. His ensuing suicide seems to confirm his guilt, but professor Carl Maister (Christopher Lee) isn’t so sure. He thinks one of the villagers is possessed by the spirit of Megaera, sister to Medusa. Among the possible culprits are Dr. Namaroff (Peter Cushing), gorgeous nurse Carla (Barbara Shelley) and a mental patient.

8 – The Curse of the Werewolf – 1961

A man with brutal and macabre origins, Leon Corledo (Oliver Reed) was raised in the home of Don Alfredo Corledo (Clifford Evans), his kind and loving adopted father. When he leaves Don Alfredo to find work, Leon discovers that he has increasingly violent urges. Although these tendencies are calmed by Leon’s love for the beautiful Christina (Catherine Feller), he ultimately cannot contain his curse and transforms into a werewolf, terrorizing the Spanish countryside.

9 – Quatermass and the Pit – 1967

When prehistoric skeletons are discovered during an expansion of the London Underground, palaeontologist Matthew Roney (James Donald) believes them to be remnants of early man. But the strange metal object found with them is tougher to explain, and Professor Bernard Quatermass (Andrew Keir) thinks it evidence that the creatures came from space. More digging in the area reveals the corpses of actual Martians and a strange energy field that sends London into a panic.

10 – The Hound of the Baskervilles – 1959

Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and Doctor Watson (Andre Morell) meet with a certain Dr. Mortimer (Francis De Wolff), who tells them of the legend of the “hound,” born out of a murder committed by Sir Hugo Baskerville centuries ago. Explaining that Sir Charles Baskerville recently died in the same location as Sir Hugo, Mortimer expresses his deep concern that Sir Henry, the heir to the Baskerville estate, will also fall prey to the evil hound’s curse. Holmes sets out to investigate.


So? Fan, non fan – which was it?

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5 thoughts on “Theme Times – Hammer Horror

    1. I know exactly what you mean Gary, l ‘m not shy to admit to at times one or two times of reaching for the popcor… no l mean cushion!! LOL

      They are l agree with you completely, Timeless Classics 🙂

  1. I’m sure I’ve seen all those movies at one time or another, love those old classics.
    Nice post Rory 😀.


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