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 Posted:   Oct 3, 2009 - 12:33 PM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)

I like virtually all of them, but then, I was their target audience when most of these played in theaters, so I've always felt a special affinity for them.

My favorites:

HORROR OF DRACULA, the movie that started it all. Tame by today's standards, but packed a mighty punch when I saw it as a young'un. Besides, pretty much anything with both Lee and Cushing in it is going to be well worth seeing. Excellent score from James Bernard, too.

THE BRIDES OF DRACULA.

DOCTOR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE. I hated this movie when I first saw it, but then, I didn't really understand it. When it came out on DVD, I rented it through NetFlix, and was stunned at how well it works. The physical resemblance between the male and female leads (Ralph Bates and Martine Beswick) was startling, and it's one of the reasons why the movie works so well. And it, too, has a great score.

CAPTAIN KRONOS, VAMPIRE HUNTER. Fun, fun, fun!!!

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT.

TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER.

THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN are my two favorites from that series.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2009 - 12:34 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Must...resist...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2009 - 1:22 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

In the end I couldn't resist. Good list of titles, Cow. I'm surprised by your inclusion of TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER though. It's better than its terrible reputation makes out, but a far cry from the best of the bunch, in my humble opinion of course.

In the "Absolute Masterpiece" category -

(HORROR OF) DRACULA (1958) - Sheer brilliance, a class act, and still very "thrilling" (and very nearly still "scary").

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN (1967) - Amazing, and very underrated.

FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969) - Probably the very best of the very best.

THE MUMMY (1959) - Beautiful, engrossing, just perfect.

In the "Almost There" category -

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968) - It almost pains me to not list this in the "Absolute Masterpiece" category, but I saw it recently and it kind of just fell short. Lots of gobbledygook dialogue and some weak special effects (which shouldn't bother anyone, but in a film like this they're fundamental).

QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1967) - Intelligent. Great ideas, the best of the Qs.

In the "Honourable Mention" category -

DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971) - Probably my favourite late-period Hammer. Clever and witty.

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1960) - Almost there. Interesting indeed, but not as "enjoyable" as I would have liked.

DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966) - Worthy sequel to HORROR OF. The subsequent ones were increasingly bad.

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (1957) - Low-key, hardly "horror" at all, but great.

THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) - The one that started the ball rolling. Great, of course, but some of the sequels were surprisingly even greater.

In the "So Long Ago I Can't Really Remember But I Think They're Really Good" category -

PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1966) - So long ago I can't really remember, but I think it's really good.

THE GORGON (1964) - Ditto. The last time I saw it I was ten years old and it scared me schidtless.

In the "Overrated But What-Do-I-Know" category -

BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960) - Maybe I need to see this one again.

THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1958) - Can't see what all the fuss is about.

Etc.

 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2009 - 1:45 PM   
 By:   Mark Ford   (Member)

Graham broke down and couldn't resist, but I will only because I wouldn't even know where to begin on a list, there are just so many I like. Graham gets my proxy post!

That said however, I will mention Captain Kronos as being possibly my favorite even though it's not classic "old school" Hammer. Still, hard to say definitively though. Kronos does contain my favorite score to a Hammer film with music by Laurie Johnson.

My favorite British horror film will probably always be Jacques Tourneur's Night of the Demon, ironically not a Hammer film. How did that happen?!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2009 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE - My first "X" film, I was only 13 but tall for my age. I saw it a few weeks back (it's part of the excellent Universal Hammer Box) & it stands up really well.

HORROR OF DRACULA - Real class, the framing of the DVD is wrong, the top of peoples heads are cut off.

THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN - Looks better every time I see it.

QUATERMASS 2 - A real classic, the best of the Quatermass bunch.

THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF - The best werewolf film

THE GORGON/THE CURSE OF THE MUMMYS TOMB - I saw these as a double bill when they first came out in England. Part of the Sony Hammer Box, so I'm going to see them again in a couple of weeks time as a double bill.

And lots more. I have the DVD's of THE DAMNED & THE CAMP ON BLOOD ISLAND on there way to me. Hammer films have done really well with DVD releases.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2009 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Mark, I haven't seen CAPTAIN KRONOS in many a year. I think it may have gone over my head as a youngster. I'd like to see how my "adult" (as you can see, in inverted commas) mind captures it nowadays. The Brian Clemens connection is a good sign. I imagine it's agreeably quirky, like DOC JEK AND SIS HYDE (another one that I've only recently fully appreciated). Oh, and I don't know why NIGHT (CURSE) OF THE DEMON wasn't a Hammer film. Although I'm sure the answer is really easy, sort of like "Why wasn't I born on a different day?". Eh, that answer is easier.

CinemaScope - KISS OF THE VAMPIRE is a film I like very much. Some erudite people consider it the best of Hammer's vampire films. I think it's good, but not THAT good. I saw QUATERMASS 2 recently, and it's amazingly provocative thematically. I nearly put that one on my list. QUATERMASS AND THE PIT won out in the end though. CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB is the weakest Mummy film for me. Drab. Now, THE DAMNED - there's a film I'd love to see again. Haven't seen it since I was ten years old, although I saw bits on YouTube recently. It really stuck with me as a child, although it must have been much more over my head than even CAPTAIN KRONOS! Joseph Losey? Hammer? I imagine it's not completely successful, but it must be at least "interesting".

OK, enough of this waffle. Best Hammer film - (HORROR OF) DRACULA.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2021 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   Viscount Bark R. Y.   (Member)

Is there anyone else besides me watching classic late 1950s-early 1970s Hammer horror movies this autumn? I've been watching the Dracula series (one each weekend); this evening I'm re-watching my favorite Hammer - The Witches (a.k.a. The Devil's Own): nutty devil cult hijinks in a bucolic English country village.

Featuring the drop-dead beauty Ingrid Brett (later Boulting.) It makes sense in context why she is mustached in this particular shot:

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 4:53 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Why's she got a Python sketch moustache, Viscount?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 4:58 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

In the end I couldn't resist. Good list of titles, Cow. I'm surprised by your inclusion of TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER though. It's better than its terrible reputation makes out, but a far cry from the best of the bunch, in my humble opinion of course.

In the "Absolute Masterpiece" category -

(HORROR OF) DRACULA (1958) - Sheer brilliance, a class act, and still very "thrilling" (and very nearly still "scary").

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN (1967) - Amazing, and very underrated.

FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969) - Probably the very best of the very best.

THE MUMMY (1959) - Beautiful, engrossing, just perfect.

In the "Almost There" category -

THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968) - It almost pains me to not list this in the "Absolute Masterpiece" category, but I saw it recently and it kind of just fell short. Lots of gobbledygook dialogue and some weak special effects (which shouldn't bother anyone, but in a film like this they're fundamental).

QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1967) - Intelligent. Great ideas, the best of the Qs.

In the "Honourable Mention" category -

DR JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971) - Probably my favourite late-period Hammer. Clever and witty.

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1960) - Almost there. Interesting indeed, but not as "enjoyable" as I would have liked.

DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966) - Worthy sequel to HORROR OF. The subsequent ones were increasingly bad.

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (1957) - Low-key, hardly "horror" at all, but great.

THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) - The one that started the ball rolling. Great, of course, but some of the sequels were surprisingly even greater.

In the "So Long Ago I Can't Really Remember But I Think They're Really Good" category -

PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1966) - So long ago I can't really remember, but I think it's really good.

THE GORGON (1964) - Ditto. The last time I saw it I was ten years old and it scared me schidtless.

In the "Overrated But What-Do-I-Know" category -

BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960) - Maybe I need to see this one again.

THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1958) - Can't see what all the fuss is about.

Etc.


The infantile "Graham S. Watt" posted that twelve years ago, when he was twelve years old (and it shows). Now marginally more mature, and dropping the pretentious "S", someone with a similar name sees now that he actually got the list pretty much as I would have done it. The only difference is that I now think that THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN is probably the very best. That nutmeg had put it in the "honourable mentions" category back when he was a numbskull.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 5:47 AM   
 By:   Mark   (Member)


I'm enjoying the brilliant Talking Pictures Friday night Hammer showings in the UK. I've also been rewatching other Hammer movies from my collection.

I'm a little surprised (given a lot of people like to be different) that
Fanatic (released as Die! Die! My Darling! in the United States) is not on anyone's list. It would certainly make my top five, along with the likes of The Devil Rides Out etc etc.

Fanatic is a superb horror - visually it is great, it features a terrific performance from Tallulah Bankhead and a really strong support cast too. Unfortunately it doesn't get shown on TV over here in BBC UK

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I tend to feel that it's usually a case of the earlier the better with Hammer. They're a little closer to the plushness of Hollywood in the late 50s and then as the 60s give way to the 70s they get tackier and cheaper looking.

But anything with Cushing and Lee in is a must. What a shame Lee took such an attitude to his most famous role, and didn't carry on doing them earlier. Brides of Dracula is at least as good as the first film, and none of the rest of them in that series comes close to those two.

The reason I like Revenge of Frankenstein is for this reason. It's sufficiently close to Curse to look great, and it has a great monster. Similar qualities dramatically to Must Be Destroyed, which is another goody.

Let's not forget She and the Harryhausen film in the middle era. And Twins of Evil gets my vote along with sister Hyde for the later period. Great performance as ever from the Cush, a great score and a cracking opening theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Revenge of Frankenstein has a great new transfer from Sony, it hasn't been released in the US yet, but the UK Indicator Blu-ray is multi-region. I haven't looked at it yet, just dipped into it, I'll look at it along with the Warner Archive Curse Of Frankenstein over the Christmas holidays. The big holdout is She (1965), I hope it's not too long before Warner Archive releases it on Blu-ray.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Viscount Bark R. Y.   (Member)

Why's she got a Python sketch moustache, Viscount?

She's performing as Galileo in a school play. (As I said, it makes sense in context!)

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 9:24 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Why's she got a Python sketch moustache, Viscount?

She's performing as Galileo in a school play. (As I said, it makes sense in context!)


You added that last sentence on to your post after I'd asked, didn't you?

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Viscount Bark R. Y.   (Member)

Why's she got a Python sketch moustache, Viscount?

She's performing as Galileo in a school play. (As I said, it makes sense in context!)


You added that last sentence on to your post after I'd asked, didn't you?


Of course not!

I wish Hammer had done more "crazy cult" films like this one and "The Devil Rides Out." I assume they weren't as big a hit as the Dracula and Frankenstein franchises.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 11:28 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Vampire Lovers. Ingrid. No contest.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 11:43 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

"Curse Of The Werewolf" replete with a great score by Benjamin Frankel.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 4:57 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

"Curse Of The Werewolf" replete with a great score by Benjamin Frankel.


That's my Top #1 as well.
Apart from all the things in it that I love in a werewolf movie, it has the incomparable Yvonne Romain.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 9:55 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)


I'm a little surprised (given a lot of people like to be different) that Fanatic (released as Die! Die! My Darling! in the United States) is not on anyone's list.


Actually, Mark, Fanatic is indeed my highest-ranking Hammer film. But it's not my favorite British horror; ironically, Hammer's competition produced more faves than Hammer itself.

1. Eye of the Devil
2. Night of the Eagle (aka Burn, Witch, Burn)
3. The Haunting
4. The Flesh and the Fiends (Peter Cushing directed by John Gilling - but not a Hammer)
5. Corridors of Blood
then
6. Fanatic/Die! Die, My Darling!
then
7. Cash On Demand (not a horror, but a very good Hammer)
8. Twins of Evil
9. The House That Dripped Blood (Cushing & Lee, but Amicus)
10. The Nanny (more of a psychological thriller)
11. Never Take Sweets From A Stranger (same as #7 above)
12. The Tomb of Ligeia (a Corman Poe)
13. Torture Garden (Cushing directed by Freddie Francis, but an Amicus)
14. Shadow of the Cat
15. The Snorkel (Hammer did Columbo-type murder years before COLUMBO)
16. Quatermass and the Pit (not a horror)
17. These Are the Damned
18. The Abominable Snowman (more Nigel Kneale)
19. City of the Dead aka Horror Hotel (C. Lee, but not Hammer)
20. Taste of Fear (C. Lee Hammer, but not horror)
21. The Stranglers of Bombay (not horror, but directed by Terence Fisher with music by James Bernard)
22. X - The Unknown

There's more to like, to be sure, but X marks the spot where no other Hammers reside in my favorite 200 films. [I haven't ranked any more from collection beyond my initial couple-hundred faves ... ]

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2021 - 2:35 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

And...Blood Of The Vampire (1958), a lovely gruesome Eastman coloured horror staring an eye rolling Sir Donald Wolfit. France released a lovely new transfer Mediabook Blu-ray this year.

 
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