HAMMER TOP TEN LISTS
I'm often asked to recommend a Hammer
film, or to suggest where a DVD enthusiast should begin their Hammer
collection. There are a few undisputed classics - films that can proudly
stand alongside the best of British cinema on equal terms - but once you get
past those there seems to be no real consensus as to which the better films
It wouldn't be fair to simply impose my
own favourites upon a budding Hammer fan, so I asked some of the horror
genre's brightest and best, and some noted Hammer enthusiasts, what their
favourite Hammer films were...
My sincere thanks to all those who have contributed
to this section.
Stephen Gallagher is the author of more than a dozen novels, including
(both later adapted as TV mini-series), two
Doctor Who stories, and several episodes of Bugs and Rosemary & Thyme.
He also wrote three episodes of the Yorkshire TV anthology series
Chiller, and a feature-length episode of the BBC's series
Murder Rooms, titled The Kingdom of Bones. He recently created the ITV science fiction
series Eleventh Hour. You can find his website at
It's always dodgy recommending personal
favourites, especially stuff that got its hooks into you way back. Time
moves on, styles change. Someone who comes to it new can be left wondering
what on earth you see in it... and goes off privately thinking you're not
the judge of material they thought you were.
So the following is not necessarily a gallery
of greats. It's just a list of those Hammer films that have stayed with me
for one reason or another, and which I regard with affection... they may not
be the cream of the crop but they had their impact on me at the time.
They're not in any particular order, apart from placing my top title last.
Quite possibly the first Hammer I saw on the
big screen. It was either this or The Gorgon, which has a similar
fear-of- female- sexuality theme. John Burke's novelisation of it was the lead
story in the Second Hammer Horror Film Omnibus and that was a big
favourite, as well. The story's tight, simple, classic, and unfettered by
the necessary trappings that had to be included in the Hammers that recycled
traditional screen monsters. Jacqueline Pearce turned up in a Man in a
Suitcase episode on DVD a few nights ago, and I was reminded of how
interesting and slightly offbeat her screen presence always was. In a way
it's a pity that she's become so closely associated with Blake's 7 in
people's minds -- if you don't buy into that show then she tends to be off
THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT
I reckon all of Hammer's Quatermass movies
did rather well by the material. Quatermass and the Pit is probably
the most accomplished, and has the best of all Quatermasses in Andrew Kier.
But I'm opting for the first one for its solemn, British (if you exclude
Brian Donlevy, oddly credible despite the accent and the heavy reliance on
hipflask and hairpiece), almost factual tone, and for the special
associations it has for me. The late Harry Nadler, tirelessly active in the
Manchester movie scene and the man behind the Festival of Fantastic Films,
used to rent out his film collection from a shop in Salford. We didn't meet
up until years later but The Quatermass Experiment was one of the
titles I rented from him... or rather from his mother, who ran the shop when
he wasn't there. It was a standard 8 sound print with three reel changes, as
I recall. How best to explain the significance of this...? Let me put it
this way. There's a farm cafe in Watendlath in the Lake District that has
the best tea and rock cakes in the world. There's nothing special about
them. But what makes them better than good is the three hours of strenuous
climbing and bog-trotting it takes to get you there. Anyone who ever
collected and ran movies in those pre-video days knows the extra sweetness
that comes with all the gear you had to master and the trouble you had to
HANDS OF THE RIPPER
Like The Reptile, another Hammer that
takes an unexpected angle on its subject and comes up fresh. Stars the great
Eric Porter (the real Soames Forsyte) and Angharad Rees, who
apparently now sells her own designs of jewellery from Belgravia. Solid
direction from Peter Sasdy and lovely colour photography by Kenneth Talbot.
Music by Christopher Gunning, who did the music for Rosemary & Thyme.
Banned in Norway!
CAPTAIN KRONOS - VAMPIRE HUNTER
Brian Clemens' sole foray into directing and
a precursor, when you think about it, to the likes of Buffy and
Xena... an action fantasy with a light and playful touch, never taking
itself too seriously but never falling into spoof.
Or Horror of Dracula, in the US. Took
Stoker's rambling, baggy masterpiece and honed it into a fast-moving arrow
of a movie. Excellent, tight screenplay. And Van Helsing's trick with the
cross improvised from candlesticks is one of the great movie moments.
WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH
Not a great movie, but what a great title!
And to be honest, I always liked this one better than One Million Years
BC. I know that BC had the great Ray Harryhausen helming the fx,
but this was probably Jim Danforth's finest hour and he deserves the
recognition. When Creatures the World Forgot came out, I went along
expecting more of the same... only to sit through two hours of caveman soap
opera with not a dinosaur to be seen! Creatures the World Forgot??
Yeah, they forgot the fricking DINOSAURS! Something in me died that day...
I'd always felt a pact of common interest between me and the people who made
the stuff I loved, but I realised that they can shaft you just like anyone
CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF
A film that I often see treated with great
disdain, but which I like. It's elevated by good casting (a young Oliver
Reed) and the best makeup in werewolf movies (David Rintoul's in Legend
of the Werewolf running it a close second).
Oliver Reed again... I'm a sucker for any
film or story set in a dead-loss, off-season seaside town. With its title
and its weird mutant children, this one was obviously hoping to ride on the
coattails of Village of the Damned without actually having to pay
anything out to the Wyndham estate... but it's the locations and the
atmosphere that stick with me more than the actual narrative. Directed by
Joseph Losey, no less.
THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
Studio-bound, literate, restrained and
atmospheric feature version of a Nigel Kneale TV play. If they'd ballsed it
up, this could so easily have been The Trollenberg Terror.
UP THE CREEK
I'm also a sucker for 1950s silly British
comedies, and this one's got David Tomlinson and a battleship along with the
usual cast of British regulars. OK, it's a guilty pleasure. I also like
The Runaway Bus and Heavens Above. I draw the line at Hammer's
On the Buses adaptations... actually, I draw the line a considerable
distance ahead of them.
HELL IS A CITY
My top Hammer film. A great Stanley Baker
performance and a top directing job from Val Guest, and a flawed good vs
complex evil theme that gives it some of the feel of a superior Western. My
guess is that Hammer saw a chance to do a Brit version of The Naked City,
reinvigorating the staid police drama with gritty urban settings and
location shooting. And it wasn't London! It's not perfect, and every now and
again you get some stock element or a false note that reminds you that
you're not watching an A-movie -- I'm always creased up when Stanley Baker
walks in through the front door of a Manchester terraced house and appears
in a studio lounge with Georgian fireplace and open-plan staircase -- but
even if the observation and commitment to realism aren't quite complete, the
feel and the plotting and the pacing and the energy make up for it all. A
couple of years back I tried to interest a few TV companies in the idea of a
series based on Maurice Procter's Harry Martineau novels, tough period
police dramas set in the 'fifties. Nobody bit, and then along came Robert
Lindsay in Jericho and pretty much killed off the chance of it.
Hell is a City features a Manchester that I can just about remember from
my childhood, much as A Taste of Honey does for the Salford where all
my relatives lived.
Copyright © Stephen Gallagher 2006. All
Stephen Jones is the winner of three World
Fantasy Awards, three Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards and
three International Horror Guild Awards, as well as being a Hugo Award
nominee and a sixteen-times recipient of the British Fantasy Award. One of
Britain’s most acclaimed anthologists of horror and dark fantasy, his more
than eighty books include The Hellraiser Chronicles, Clive
Barker’s A-Z of Horror, The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide
The Essential Monster Movie Guide. A contributor to The
Encyclopedia of Fantasy, The BFI Companion to Horror and Supernatural
Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, you can visit his web site at
QUATERMASS AND THE PIT
My first Hammer film and still my favourite!
I went to see this at the cinema the day it opened – even though I was still
two years too young for its ‘X’ certificate. It inexplicably took eight
years for Nigel Kneale’s adaptation of the third part of his BBC-TV series
to reach the screen. For me, Andrew Keir is the definitive Professor
Quatermass, called in to investigate a “Martian” spacecraft discovered
during excavations beneath a London Underground station that is linked to
demonic sightings in the same area dating back to prehistoric times.
Kneale’s story is an audacious blend of science fiction and the
supernatural, and the memorable climax features a horned Devil appearing
above the streets of a burning London. Director Roy Ward Baker manages to
give the film an epic sweep, especially during scenes of the city’s chaotic
descent into anarchy, and it is only let down by unconvincing miniatures of
the Martian race wars of five million years ago. With a distinguished cast
that includes James Donald, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover and Duncan
Lamont, this remains a shining example of British science fiction at its
Following the studio’s box-office success
with The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Hammer revised another classic
horror character with the first colour version of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel.
Jimmy Sangster’s incident-filled screenplay was helped by lavish production
values, Terence Fisher’s stylish direction and – pretty daring for a 1950s
film – strongly implied sexual and graphic overtones. Peter Cushing gives
one of his most assured and iconic performances as a dynamic Van Helsing and
Christopher Lee established himself as an instant sex symbol as a seductive
Count Dracula. The climactic duel between these forces for Good and Evil
remains a masterpiece of modern horror cinema and was later used as the
lead-in to Fisher’s belated sequel, Dracula Prince of Darkness
(1965). The perfect Gothic fairy-tale, there is solid support from Michael
Gough, Melissa Stribling, Charles Lloyd Pack, George Woodbridge, Miles
Malleson, Geoffrey Bayldon and Valerie Gaunt as Dracula’s single vampire
“Bride”. I first saw this in the cinema during the late 1960s on a
re-release double bill with The Curse of Frankenstein. If you ever
get the opportunity, I would recommend catching it on the big screen to
truly appreciate Terence Fisher’s masterly compositions.
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Hammer’s wonderfully Gothic adaptation of Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1901 story is still the best version of this
much-filmed tale. From the atmospheric opening flashback to the exciting
climax, Peter Cushing brings the same energy to his portrayal of Sherlock
Holmes as he did to Van Helsing. Along with André Morell’s dependable Dr.
Watson, Cushing’s committed performance moves Peter Bryan’s economic
screenplay along at a cracking pace. The excellent supporting cast includes
Christopher Lee’s likeable Sir Henry Baskerville, Frances de Wolff, John Le
Mesurier and Sam Kydd, while a comical Miles Malleson steals the scenes he’s
in, as usual. Featuring beautiful colour cinematography and nicely evocative
set design, director Terence Fisher gives this detective mystery the Hammer
horror touch (to the extent of introducing deadly tarantulas and mysterious
sacrificial rites!). Although the hound from Hell, when finally revealed, is
a touch disappointing, this remains one of the finest adaptations of the
story and is classic Hammer. Unfortunately, the film did not do well enough
upon its initial release to lead to a proposed series starring Cushing as
THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE
This is one of Hammer’s most stylish films of
the 1960s and an unusual variation on the vampire mythology. While on a
motoring honeymoon in the Carpathian mountains, British newlyweds Gerald and
Marianne Harcourt (Edward de Souza and Jennifer Daniel) find themselves
stranded at a local inn. The young wife soon attracts the attention of the
mysterious Dr. Ravna (Noel Willman), the leader of a pleasure-seeking cult
of vampires. Top-billed Clifford Evans gives a solid performance as the
drunken Professor Zimmer, waging a fanatical war against the coven, and
director Don Sharp creates some impressive set-pieces: the opening staking
of a vampire with a sexton’s shovel; a macabre masked ball, and the climax
where Zimmer invokes the forces of darkness in the form of a plague of
(animated) bats to destroy the vampires. I first saw this on television in
America under the title Kiss of Evil, a re-edited version of the film
that included new sequences featuring Virginia Gregg, Carl Esmond and
Sheila Wells, along with footage from The Evil of Frankenstein
(1964). Avoid this bowdlerised variation at all costs.
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA
Despite the title, this is not really a
sequel to Dracula (1958). Christopher Lee did not initially want to
repeat his role as the Count, so three scriptwriters (including Jimmy
Sangster) cobbled together this atmospheric follow-up which once again
starred Peter Cushing as a dynamic Doctor Van Helsing. Set at the end of the
19th century, the opening narration explains that, although Dracula is dead,
his disciples live on. When naïve French schoolteacher Marianne Danielle
(Yvonne Monlaur) releases the Baron Meinster (David Peel) from his mother’s
chains, little does she realise that she has set free a vampire to prey upon
a nearby school for girls. Director Terence Fisher once again gives the film
a fairy-tale quality, and the most memorable scenes include Van Helsing
burning a vampire’s bite from his neck; the mad Greta (Freda Jackson)
crawling over the grave of a recent victim, willing the new vampire to rise
from the dead; and an impressive climax where a blazing mill forms the
shadow of a cross. With Martita Hunt, Miles Malleson, Michael Ripper and
Andree Melly as a seductive female vampire. Regrettably, I’ve only ever seen
this on the small screen.
H. Rider Haggard’s classic 1886 “lost race”
novel had previously been filmed to great effect by RKO in 1935. However,
Hammer’s mini-epic remake looks better every time I view it, helped
immeasurably by James Bernard’s sweeping music score. It starts out with a
nice sense of mystery, and if the desert journey to the lost city of Kuma
begins to drag a little, the plot soon picks up again when the band of
explorers encounter Ursula Andress’ immortal queen Ayesha – “She Who Must Be
Obeyed”. The Swiss-born actress may not have much to do but look imperial,
but she is supported by a great cast, including Peter Cushing’s sensible
explorer Holly, Bernard Cribbins’ loyal Job, André Morell’s noble Haumeid,
and Christopher Lee’s cameo as the villainous High Priest, Billali. Although
Robert Day’s workmanlike direction brings little flair to David T.
Chantler’s routine script, the film has enough colourful spectacle,
supernatural thrills and an exciting climax (where Ayesha famously ages
2,000 years while bathing in the Eternal Flame) to capture the imagination
of the most jaded viewer. A disappointing sequel, The Vengeance of She,
was released by Hammer in 1967.
CAPTAIN KRONOS - VAMPIRE HUNTER
Okay, I admit that this is a guilty pleasure.
Not released until 1974, and then barely, this was the first and –
unfortunately – only film in a proposed series created by writer and
director Brian Clemens (TV’s The Avengers). Filmed under the title
Kronos (also the title of the rare tie-in paperback novelisation), this
is a heady blend of Hammer vampires, comic book action, spaghetti Westerns,
heroic fantasy and offbeat comedy. Swashbuckling soldier of fortune Captain
Kronos (German actor Horst Janson, dubbed by Julian Holloway), his
hunchbacked assistant Professor Heironymus Grost (John Cater) and busty
gypsy girl Carla (Caroline Munro, never looking lovelier) must discover the
identity of a vampire (a relation to the Karnstein family) who steals youth
instead of blood. Could it be guest stars John Carson, Ian Hendry or a sexy
Wanda Ventham? Although Clemens’ direction is sometimes unsure, there is
plenty of new vampire lore and some stunning visuals. If this had been given
the chance it deserved, Hammer could have created a successful new franchise
at a time when the studio was struggling.
THE DEVIL RIDES OUT
Christopher Lee makes a perfect Duc de
Richleau in Richard Matheson’s fine adaptation of Dennis Wheatley’s 1934
pot-boiler. When he discovers that his old friend Simon Aron (Patrick Mower)
has fallen under the influence of a Satanic coven, the Duc de Richleau and
his companions attempt to overcome the powers of evil High Priest Mocata
(Charles Gray). Terence Fisher’s direction includes some excellent
set-pieces: the apparition of a demon with hypnotic eyes; the breaking-up of
a Sabbat worshipping a goat-headed Devil, and the climactic attack by the
Angel of Death. Once again, the special effects are not up to the standard
they should be (especially a very unconvincing giant spider) and the
supporting cast is unusually weak for a Hammer production. However, the
1930s period is nicely recreated, Gray’s Mocata is a sophisticated piece of
villainy, and Lee was born to play his role. It is a real shame that Hammer
never went on to make further films in Wheatley’s series.
Following the surprise success of The
Quatermass Experiment (USA: The Creeping Unknown, 1955), Hammer
quickly put the second of Nigel Kneale’s BBC teleplays about Professor
Bernard Quatermass into production. American actor Brian Donlevy returns as
the dedicated rocket scientist, who uncovers a plot by creatures from
another galaxy to control the Earth. The paranoia builds as Quatermass
realises that people in high government positions are under the control of
the blob-like alien intelligence. The cold-blooded killings of Sidney James
as a likeable newspaper reporter and William Franklin as the Professor’s
assistant are as shocking today as when I first saw them on television
nearly thirty years ago. Val Guest’s gritty direction gives the film an
almost documentary feel, and Kneale’s slice of subversive science fiction is
still as relevant today as it was in the 1950s.
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB
I caught this on a double-bill in the cinema
when it was first released and remember that it was like no other mummy
movie I had ever seen, thanks to Christopher Wicking’s literate script,
based on Bram Stoker’s 1903 novel The Jewel of Seven Stars. An odd
blend of the supernatural and suburbia, at the exact moment when
archaeologist Professor Julian Fuchs (the excellent Andrew Keir, who took
over from Peter Cushing after one day’s shooting when the latter’s wife
died) discovers the ancient tomb of evil Egyptian Queen Tera, his daughter
Margaret is born. Years later, an obsessed Fuchs believes that the grown-up
Margaret (a seductive Valerie Leon) has been possessed by the vengeful
spirit of Tera as the members of his original expedition are killed off
through the relics they possess. Maverick director Seth Holt (Hammer’s
The Nanny ) died of a heart attack a week before the end of
filming, and although Michael Carreras completed the shoot, Holt apparently
kept his overall concept for the movie in his head. As a result, the uneven
editing, obscure flashbacks and enigmatic sequences give the film a
dream-like quality (not helped by the fact that some footage Holt shot
doesn’t fit into the finished film). An impressive supporting cast includes
James Villiers, Hugh Burden, George Coulouris, Rosalie Crutchley, Aubrey
Morris, James Cossins, Tamara Ustinov and Mark Edwards as doomed hero Tod
Browning. Stoker’s novel was filmed again in 1980 as The Awakening
because the producers apparently didn’t know about this superior version.
Copyright © Stephen Jones 2006. All rights reserved.
Simon Clark is the author of Blood
Crazy, Darkness Demands, Vampyrrhic, The Dalek Factor,
The Night of the Triffids, London Under Midnight
novels of good versus evil in a dangerous world. He began writing Hammer
Horror influenced fiction in his early teens, including a novel called
Hobs Cross, the title inspired by Hobs Lane, which of course, is where
the alien craft is discovered in Quatermass and the Pit. The novel
has yet to see the light of the day and is deeply buried in a bottom drawer
somewhere. Simon lives in Yorkshire with his family and a jet black dog. His
www.bbr-online.com/nailed features a film about where he finds
inspiration for his horror fiction.
QUATERMASS AND THE PIT
For me the Hammer films were my rites of
passage, the stations I passed through growing from childhood to being a
teenager. In fact they resonate with puberty. When they were in colour they
were TECHNICOLOR with bells on: bright, bright vivid colours. Music crashing
in loudly. Many of the Hammer films drench the senses with image and sound,
they echo that hyper-sensitive time of being twelve years old, sprouting
hair where no hair was before and having your veins awash with freshly
brewed hormones. All the films listed here chimed with that time in my life
when I first saw them and first realised that as a boy I was being
transformed into some new creature -- a teenager.
Quatermass and the Pit, with its long
dormant space probe triggering strange and dangerous behaviour in humans,
has to be my favourite Hammer film because when I saw that, aged around
twelve, I knew that I had to devote my life to creating those kind of
stories. I didn't know then whether I wanted to be a camera operator, actor
or someone who swept the stage afterwards, but I had to be part of the world
of fantastic stories. So Quatermass and the Pit is responsible for me
becoming a writer. I confess: It made me do it -- and I'm still loving it.
THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN
The perfect pairing of the dream team --
Cushing and Lee. I loved monsters and I still love this film, and it
implanted that taste I have for the blending of science fiction and horror.
REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
At twelve years old the monster was
everything for me. I was still monster mad.
Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee again. Lee
is the wizened oldster in bandages but his energy in the film is explosive.
When I first saw this I was thirteen. Now I
didn't notice the monsters so much. I saw the women with heaving breasts,
sighing and yielding at the embrace of the Count. Now Hammer didn't just
mean horror to me it meant S-E-X.
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA
The hormones were wreaking their changes on
my teenage self. The beautiful actresses were holding my attention by now.
THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF
This was my first taste of horror on the big
screen. I was aged about ten and gone to see something like Herbie Rides
Again and the cinema showed a trailer for the Oliver Reed werewolf film.
Those twenty seconds or so of Reed snarling as the wolfman and hurling a
blazing straw bale was easily the best part of the evening out. I got just a
teasing glimpse of the wonders of horror -- and Hammer -- that I would come
to enjoy time and time again as I grew older.
THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
I only saw this for the first time recently.
How I missed it I don't know. I'm a fan of Kneale's work and this story of
men searching for monsters in Tibet and discovering the most evil monster is
inside their own hearts is thought-provoking, intelligent and still achingly
More sex and horror. As a thirteen year old
virgin I got all hot and breathless thinking about sex but I suspected the
fate of anyone who indulged would probably be the same as looking into the
face of the snake-headed femme fatale that is the Gorgon.
THE DEVIL RIDES OUT
A great nuts and bolts occult story of
Satanism and devil worship based on Dennis Wheatley's novel, that in turn
contains stark warnings about meddling with the dark side.
That's my top ten but I recommend any Hammer
film with Cushing and/or Lee. Lee is chillingly ice and steel, even playing
one of the good guys. Cushing is the ordinary, frail man that when lives and
souls depend on it (when he plays the good guy) finds he has the heart of a
lion and the innate goodness to save those in danger. And somehow he
projects from the screen the sense that he is able to save us, the viewers,
Copyright © Simon Clark 2006. All
Mike Sutton is a freelance writer and
regular contributor to
www.dvdtimes.co.uk where he has written over five hundred reviews,
including twenty of Hammer films. His work has also appeared in genre
magazines The Third Alternative
and Rue Morgue
and he is a
member of the British Film Institute's Screenonline team, covering the
work of Nicolas Roeg and a number of the James Bond films. He will shortly
be making regular appearances in Cinema Retro magazine. Mike is a
devoted lover of British horror, be it Hammer, Tigon, Amicus or Heritage.
THE DEVIL RIDES OUT
Quintessential Hammer film with commanding
performances from Christopher Lee and Charles Gray, a literate Richard
Matheson script, Terence Fisher's perfectly judged direction and a couple
of deliciously scary set-pieces.
QUATERMASS AND THE PIT
The best of Hammer's Quatermass series and
probably the finest SF-Horror movie ever made in England. Nigel Kneale's
screenplay is brilliantly worked out, anticipating the central theme of
Kubrick's 2001 and doing so in a much less pretentious manner.
TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA
My favourite of the Dracula series; an
insightful study of hypocritical Victorian London with a cast to die for,
stylish direction and a magnificently weird ending. Although sidelined for
much of the plot, Christopher Lee's imposing Dracula comes into his own
during the final battle.
FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED
By far the best of the disappointing
Frankenstein series, a savage morality tale in which Peter Cushing's
Frankenstein attains new heights of detached sadism as he murders and
rapes his way into a new brain. Freddie Jones is a great monster, the gore
quotient has been upped and the intellectual battle of wills at the finale
has to be seen to be believed.
TO THE DEVIL - A DAUGHTER
Hammer's final throw of the cinematic
horror dice, a bizarre but riveting concoction of gore, devil-movie
clichés and surreal narrative turns that rarely makes sense but never
loses your interest. Christopher Lee gives one of his finest performances
and there's a fascinatingly diverse international cast.
DEMONS OF THE MIND
Complex, offbeat psychological horror movie
which is about as avant-garde as Hammer ever got and all the better for
it. It's got plenty of nudity, some gruelling gore and Michael Hordern
wandering around as a nutter with a huge flaming crucifix. What more could
STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING
No-one else likes this except me but I
think it's a seriously creepy, extremely weird psychological thriller with
a knockout set of performances and one of the most terrifying, downbeat
endings in Hammer's history. It's also a delightfully dated time capsule
of London in 1970.
THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA
Camp city and a minor classic. It's rather
like an episode of The New Avengers with Dracula appearing as an
afterthought. Peter Cushing is on top form as Van Helsing and there's a
career-best piece of dedicated hamming from a delightfully twitchy Freddie
Jones. John Cacavas provides a score which sounds like outtakes from
Starsky and Hutch and it all ends in a mini-Armageddon.
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB
Hammer's final Mummy film. Doesn't make
much sense and is a long way from Bram Stoker's Jewel of Seven Stars
but it's got Andrew Keir and Valerie Leon, some imaginative murders and a
clever finale. The film also features my favourite bit of Hammer dialogue - "The meek
shan't inherit the earth. They wouldn't know what to do with it."
PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES
The only zombie movie that Hammer made is a
Morell versus John Carlisle - a cracking pairing -
some scary monsters and an exciting finale.
Copyright © Mike Sutton 2006. All
NEWS / HAMMER DVD GUIDE INDEX
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