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Old 23-08-2005, 09:04   #1
Dave T
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Best Hammer Horror

Which were the best films produced by Hammer? The less campy the better although I'm aware that that might be like asking for a serious Carry On film.
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Old 23-08-2005, 09:46   #2
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Vampire Circus
(as you won't let me choose 7 golden vampires)

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Old 23-08-2005, 09:50   #3
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If you don't want campy then it's probably best to stick to the earlier films. Most of Terence Fishers efforts are worth checking out, he was the most skilled of the Hammer directors and his films are distinguished by fine camera work and art direction. My favourites Hammer films are:

Quatermass and the Pit - Thanks to Nigel Kneale's provocative screenplay this is still one of the best Sci-Fi films ever made.

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed - The best, darkest and most brutal of the Frankenstein films.

Dracula - Despite alterations and omissions this is still my favourite adaptation of the novel.

Brides of Dracula - Despite the title a Dracula-free first sequel but still one of the best.

Dracula, Prince of Darkness - The first Dracula sequel to star Lee again is the the most atmospheric and unsettling of the Dracula films, with Lee as a particularely ferocious Count D.

Hound of the Baskervilles - Not surprisingly focusing on the horror elements of the book, this may be the best looking of all Hammer films.

The Devil Rides Out - Great Dennis Wheatly adaptation.

Kiss of the Vampire - Stylish non-Dracula Vampire film with a nod to Hitchcock's The Birds.

The Damned - Atypical, bleak scinece fiction allegory.

One Million Years BC - This is camp, but it started my love for all things Ray Harryhausen.

Twins of Evil - So is this, the best entry in the "lesbploitation" Karnsein series, but it's great fun.

Curse of Frankenstein - The one that started it all. Not the best of the Frankenstein films, but still an interesting interpretation which focused on Frankenstein himself rather than on the monster.

...And Frankenstein Created Woman, Hands of the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde - Three estrogen heavy variations on old themes, starring female versions of the monsters and all of them pretty good.

Last edited by Reno; 23-08-2005 at 11:33.
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Old 23-08-2005, 12:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno

Kiss of the Vampire - Stylish non-Dracula Vampire film with a nod to Hitchcock's The Birds.
I'm fairly certain that this Hammer film was made before The Birds, but sat on the shelf for a year after Hammer heard about Hitch's film. It was afterall made in 1962, while The Birds is credited as 1963. So nobody 'copied' anyone in this instance.

My Top Ten:

1.Dracula.
2.The Curse Of Frankenstein.
3.Plague of the Zombies.
4.Brides of Dracula.
5.The Vampire Lovers.
6.Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed.
7.Vampire Circus.
8.Taste the Blood of Dracula
9.Dr.Jeckyll and Sister Hyde.
10.She.

The Devil Rides Out is also one of the best, while Frankenstein Created Woman is an underrated classic.

Last edited by bes; 23-08-2005 at 12:58.
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Old 23-08-2005, 10:01   #5
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Dracula : Prince of Darkness
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Old 23-08-2005, 10:56   #6
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Hard to argue with anything on Reno's list (and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a peach), but I'll add the quite unsettling Plague of The Zombies and hammer my heart with a wooden stake, but I thoroughly enjoy both Taste the Blood of Dracula and even the sometimes hysterically funny Dracula A.D. 1972.

Looking forward immensely to the Universal R1 set, particularly Curse of The Werewolf!

BTW - if you don't already know about it, Zeta Minor's Hammer DVD Guide is an excellent resource.
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Old 23-08-2005, 11:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
Hard to argue with anything on Reno's list (and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a peach), but I'll add the quite unsettling Plague of The Zombies and hammer my heart with a wooden stake, but I thoroughly enjoy both Taste the Blood of Dracula and even the sometimes hysterically funny Dracula A.D. 1972.

Looking forward immensely to the Universal R1 set, particularly Curse of The Werewolf!

BTW - if you don't already know about it, Zeta Minor's Hammer DVD Guide is an excellent resource.
True, Plague... is an intriguing addition to the zombie genre, I just haven't seen it in such a long time that I wasn't sure how it holds up.

In Germany were I grew up Dracula A.D. 1972 had the added attraction of carrying the ludicrous title Dracula Chases Mini Girls (as in "mini skirt girls").

I suppose being a fan since I was a kid, there isn't a single Hammer horror film that doesn't have something to recommend it for me.

Last edited by Reno; 23-08-2005 at 11:46.
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Old 23-08-2005, 11:57   #8
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My person favs -

Brides of Dracula
Kiss of the Vampire
Twins of Evil
Vampire Circus
Quatermass and the Pitt
Hound of the Baskervilles
Dracula AD 72
Satanic Rites of Dracula
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Old 23-08-2005, 12:16   #9
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My favourites:

Quatermass II
Dracula
The Mummy
Taste Of Fear
Plague of the Zombies
The Devil Rides Out
Quatermass And The Pit
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
Taste The Blood Of Dracula
Vampire Circus
Demons Of The Mind
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb
Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde
Dracula AD 1972
The Satanic Rites Of Dracula
Straight On Till Morning
Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell
To The Devil - A Daughter
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Old 23-08-2005, 12:17   #10
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However, further to the above, for sheer camp value I'm very fond of Bette Davis chewing the wallpaper in The Anniversary
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Old 23-08-2005, 13:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
However, further to the above, for sheer camp value I'm very fond of Bette Davis chewing the wallpaper in The Anniversary
Her slightly more subdued turn in The Nanny is also worth checking out. It's probably Hammers best excursion into psycho thriller territory featuring great b&w cinematography by Harry Wexler.



I think you're right Bes, Kiss... probably wasn't directly influenced by The Birds, though that film was also shot in 1962 (and due to the complex effects work it was a longer than average production) and the Universal publicity machine worked overtime from the moment it got the go ahead.

Last edited by Reno; 23-08-2005 at 15:01.
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Old 23-08-2005, 13:46   #12
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hmmm....looking top buy Dracula....whats the best version - reg 1 or 2 ???

and is it known as The horror of dracula (1958) Its just that i see it as that on Amazon ????

Last edited by Celtic; 23-08-2005 at 13:47.
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Old 23-08-2005, 14:55   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic
hmmm....looking top buy Dracula....whats the best version - reg 1 or 2 ???

and is it known as The horror of dracula (1958) Its just that i see it as that on Amazon ????
That is the US title (due to copyright issues with the Lugosi version I suppose).

To my knowledge the R1 and R2 are pretty much identical and it's a nice enough transfer. When I got the R2 the film was only available as part of a box set that also included Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy. That may have changed by now.

Last edited by Reno; 23-08-2005 at 15:08.
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Old 23-08-2005, 15:37   #14
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The Devil rides out was terrifying when i was younger. The apparition of the Demon during the seance had me speechless.
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Old 23-08-2005, 16:55   #15
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Are there any copies of Hammer's "Dracula" available without the American title on the opening credits?
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Old 23-08-2005, 17:10   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Are there any copies of Hammer's "Dracula" available without the American title on the opening credits?
Not that I'm aware; even the old VHS transfer had the US title sequence.

Weird isn't it, that Warners, who have performed minor miracles during the past 2-3 years, should give such short shrift to ther Hammer titles.

Yes, the transfers of all Warners Hammer titles are mainly excelllent, but there's nothing of note in the way of extras, not even on the 'crown jewels', which is puzzling to say the least. If I just give my crystal ball a quick rub, I can forsee an extras stuffed Warners Hammer box coming in the not too distant future - betcha... (though I wish they'd get their skates on and give Chris Lee what he wants to do commentaries - apparently he demanded, quite rightly, a kings ransom for his services).
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Old 23-08-2005, 18:36   #17
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My top five:

1. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
2. Plague of the Zombies
3. Dracula Prince of Darkness
4. Vampire Circus
5. Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (OK, this is camp, but it is excellent fun)
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Old 23-08-2005, 18:38   #18
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All the ones where the busty wenches get their baps out
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Old 25-08-2005, 11:24   #19
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Hammer bargain heads up;

Curse of Frankenstein & Taste the Blood of Dracula - R1 double pack from Warners, Ł4.37 plus p&p at DVD Pacific.
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Old 25-08-2005, 15:30   #20
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All the ones where the busty wenches get their baps out
Ah Ingrid Pitt I wonder how she looks these days?
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Blood From The Mummy's Tomb, Demons Of The Mind, Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein must be Destroyed, Hammer, Hammer horror, Plague of the Zombies, quatermass and the pit, Quatermass II, Taste Of Fear, Taste the Blood of Dracula, The Devil Rides Out, The Mummy, Vampire Circus

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