Originally Posted by Rollocop
I think they got released the same time Texas Chinsaw and Exorcist and this made them look like watered down horror.
Well ultimately it was this that put the end to Hammer Horror. People wanted gritty contempory horror, so you could believe it was really going to happen - upping the scare factor. The Hammer films, in contrast, were 'safe' period horrors for the most part, that may have looked great, but were pure fantasy.
Hammer did try to respond, To the Devil, A Daughter
(1974) being a good example, as they tried to put a contempory spin on things. But ultimately it was not to be, and without distributors willing to buy the films for the US market, Hammer was finished, and with it, a chapter in British cinema history. Afterall, could Amicus or Tigon have ever got by without the Hammer-bolstered British horror scene. Even the British exploitation directors, Warren, Walker and Tenser likely got quite a boost from the Hammer era - their films often offering daring viewers an alternative to the period-set Hammer films.
Pity really that the films are so overlooked by non-horror fans. Most run-throughs of British cinema merely gel over the whole exciting period, prefering to spend an extra few minutes/pages discussing Laurence of Arabia
or Brief Encounter
Its a fascinating period. On that note, can anyone recommend any good books about Hammer studios?