Satanism and Devil worship has been a popular topic for horror films since the genre’s first exploration of its dark ways in Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 film Haxan. The genre of occult horror saw a new golden age for itself born in the late 1950s and Hammer’s 1968 film The Devil Rides Out is a product of this re-emerging genre. Based on the classic novel by … Continue reading The Devil Rides Out – Terence Fisher (1967)
One of the most original of Hammer’s Dracula series, Brides of Dracula is easily one of the strongest of the sequels made. Perhaps the lack of Christopher Lee meant that scriptwriter Jimmy Sangster (along with Peter Bryan and Edward Percy) had to be more innovative in making the vampire villain more of a menace but this has lead to it becoming one of the most … Continue reading Brides of Dracula – Terence Fisher (1960)
Moving away from the established ideals of the first two Hammer Quatermass films, 1967’s Quatermass and the Pit has much to praise. Part of this is most definitely down to the change in director to Hammer regular Roy Wood Baker who creates an interestingly claustrophobic London. While excavating renovation for Hobb’s End Tube station, workman come across what appears to be an unexploded bomb. Upon … Continue reading Quatermass and the Pit – Roy Ward Baker (1967)
Though perhaps not one of the first titles to come to mind at the mention of Hammer Horror, Quatermass 2 has been done a disservice over the years. Maybe due to it being the sequel to the film that effectively kick started Hammer’s horror cycle for definite, it seems unfairly overlooked in the Hammer back catalogue. Sitting in the shadow of The Quatermass Experiment and … Continue reading Quatermass 2 – Val Guest (1957)
Still reeling from the massive success of Cold War infused science fiction, Hammer films clearly saw a gap in the market for a British flavoured take on the paranoid happenings around space travel and nuclear weapons. Adapting Nigel Kneale’s original BBC Quatermass series is an absolute masterstroke by Hammer producer Anthony Hinds and it can be argued that the success of this one film lead … Continue reading The Quatermass Xperiment – Val Guest (1955)
INTRODUCTION 1968 was the year that horror cinema sought to change the way in which it scored its films and began to develop alternatives to the increasingly cliched sounds that had become a staple of the genre since the silent era. David Raskin, who had scored the first two Basil Rathbone-starring Sherlock Holmes films in the early thirties, as well as a number of film … Continue reading The Horror Film Score Rebellion Part 1 – Classic Horror
As mentioned in the vintage horror article, here is a guide to the best of Hammer Horror films. It’s a name that isn’t as familiar as it should be in film circles, mainly because critical overviews often find the more snobbish of film reviewer calling them too tongue in cheek or camp. Hammer Horror films are so much more than this though and I hope … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Hammer Horror.
Taking a side step from simply looking into the work of one particular director, here we are going to be looking at the highlights from a whole genre. It seems like a big ask but really the genre of horror needs its past remembering now more than ever. With the modern interpretation of genre reliant on set pieces or gore and torture, and with very … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Vintage Horror 1920 – 1960.