Saturday, 22 August 2009

The House of Hammer Films

I suppose, if I am to be honest, it was a combination of things that caught my attention with these films. The 'horror' was all very gothic, which I liked, often very tongue in cheek, sometimes bloody silly if not absurd with some afwul effects and often a little camp. However, I would always watch then with eyes glued to the screen. I think another part of me, the young adolescent with lust in his loins, enjoyed watching the ladies with their boobs hanging out of tightly clinging dresses. This appealed to me as a teenager as much as the story!

Barbara Shelley (1) was gorgeous and Veronica Carlson (2) stunning.

The film stuidio was first founded in 1934 but it wasn't until the 1950's and then through the 60's and 70's that Hammer really came into its own.

Of course it was the superb roster of actors that really helped to make these films. Christopher Lee became the epitome of what we now think of as Dracula even if Bram Stoker's oringinal character was very different. With Lee inhabiting the role, Dracula became not just a sinister member of the dark aristocracy but also a sensual, sexual predator who loved nothing more than plunging his fangs in to buxum beauties.

While the ever elegant, daper Peter Cushing played a diverse range of roles: from Van Helsing to Victor Frankenstein and all with such grace and aplomb.

The studio seemed to fade from view after an excellent run of TV programmes in the 1980's but I hear that they have now been bought out my another company who have pledged to bring back the horror into Hammer. I certainly hope so.



wastedpapiers said...

Some of my favourite films too C.J. I used to sneak off during the day at art school to watch double billed Hammer matinees in the 60's to avoid lettering or some other dull subject.
Not scary atall but incredibly funny. The re-release of Dracula with Christopher Lee as a 12 certificate film just goes to show how times have changed!

gulnaz said...

hey that was interesting and now i know why the pakistanis some time back had such an objection to christopher lee playing jinnah ;)

C.J.Duffy said...

Michael>>>Indeed they have, now days these Hammer Films seem lame and dated but I still love 'em!

C.J.Duffy said...

Gulnaz>>>I didn't realise who Jinnah was until you mentioned him but yes, I guess some may have been a bit put out by 'Dracula' acting as one of their celebrated people!

PS. and on another note... We just won the ashes!!! LOL