Hammer’s historical films aren’t famed for their period accuracies or epic expanses, yet for all their faults, there is something extremely watchable about them. Though the pre-historic films have the obvious draw of a scantily clad cast and dinosaurs, 1966’s Rasputin The Mad Monk appears to have little to bring in the crowds other than the presence of Christopher Lee. Yet behind its confused genre … Continue reading Rasputin The Mad Monk – Don Sharp (1966)
Following on from Hammer’s The Quatermass Xperiment, the company continued their desire for rating incorporated titles with 1956’s X The Unknown. It may perhaps hold the most unimaginative of Hammer’s titles but the film itself has some surprisingly good moments. The story follows an extremely similar route to its predecessor but certain tweaks allow more paranoia to build specifically around the radiation that clearly obsessed … Continue reading X The Unknown – Leslie Norman (1956)
Hammer’s output from 1958 can roughly be categorised into three separate entities. The first two are relatively obvious with Frankenstein and general vampire action but the third seems to cover a multitude of different themes and monsters. Plague of the Zombies (1966) is one of these films that veered away from the usual Hammer tropes in an aim to create something slightly different and is … Continue reading Plague of the Zombies – John Gilling (1966)
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)
Roger Corman’s adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories are just as vital to the classic horror canon as the films by Hammer and Amicus productions. Their influence is vast and the number of big names to come out from under Corman’s wing is monumental. Having set up a distinctive style to filming Poe’s work by shooting them all on soundstages, Corman sort to go … Continue reading The Tomb of Ligeia – Roger Corman (1964)
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.