Reviewbr> "It has to be murder. She always knitted so carefully."
Guess itís a strange thing to watch but it was on my review queue so there was no getting around it. The movie ran for about two hours, now thatís a long add break, and did sort of keep me interested if maybe not entertained. Besides a couple of movies having what appeared to be every trailer ever made for them shown, it was a broad mix covering Hammerís output form The Horror of Frankenstein to their last foray down the cinema in the face of big budget U.S studio flicks To The Devil a Daughter.
The Horror of Hammer is structured around sub genres rather than the chronological order that I was expecting. So you get a whole bunch of Frankenstein trailers, a fair wad of Dracula ones, and heck even some caveman stuff. Unfortunately for whoever put this bundle together two of the Cavemen flicks had what looked like major scenes in common.
I was somewhat disappointed with the quality on display. There has been no attempt at re-mastering any of the trailers or featurettes, with just about all of them being grainy, fuzzy, and in some cases faded. Considering I have a copy of the re-mastered The Horror of Frankenstein for a roundtable coming up, and the actual movie has been digitised with a clean print there really is no excuse for simply throwing stuff together without fixing the aging issues. Compounding the visuals is the commentary track which is pretty much unlistenable due to dreadful production quality and an irritating background hiss due no doubt to reel to reel recording. And for those thinking they might get their Prehistoric Women fix, all I can say is the Producers appear to have forgotten to include that movie. Check Roger Cormanís back catalogue if after chicks with little on in cave settings.
Speaking of schlock masters William Castle, who put the mark in marketing when it came to moving ďBĒ graders in the U.S, makes an almost Hitchcock appearance in the trailer for The Old Dark House which I found to be pretty amusing. We didnít get any flying skeletons or the like so clearly the U.S distributors of Hammer movies were keeping Castle on a short lead.
The World's biggest advert break which not surprisingly could have been a hell of a lot better
Have to say in places The Horror of Hammer became repetitive and simply boring. I really donít care how important a movie was to the Studio if this is going to involve umpteen different trailers for it. Once you have seen a trailer for an individual movie you have pretty much see all the possible trailers for that movie. It would be advisable to keep the remote control at hand if planing on dealing yourself into the movie, as for sure you are going to be needing it. I was actually proof reading another writerís article during the course of repeated looks at some of Hammerís back catalogue.
Probably the most interesting aspect to the movie was the number of Hammer productions that featured the talents of Peter Cushing and/or Christopher Lee. Admittedly the guys are horror royalty but itís simply astounding the number of classic and not so classic Hammer horror movies both actors appeared in. Maybe they were contracted to make three flicks for the studio each year or something, and of course who else could play Dracula but Lee, considering Bela wasnít available.
Besides horror Hammer are best known for including busty Actresses not afraid to show off some cleavage in their movies. Judging from the various trailers this was the single most important requirement for most Directors drawn to the studio. Raquel Welch of course started her rise to sex goddess status with a skimpy outfit in the Hammer classic One Million Years B.C. Seems Hammer also tried to keep up with the U.S exploitation Studios by including bare boobs in later movies.
I was kind of interested in a number of the trailers, noted the movies I will get if available, and checked my email on occasion during some of the more laborious movie advertisements. Having never dealt into a collection of trailers before Iím not quite sure if this collection matches up with the best of breed or not.
Guess The Horror of Hammer is a must have for Hammer Studio fans, possibly of interest to general horror fans, and of zero interest to anyone else. Beware all you get are the trailers, nothing but the trailers, and the odd promotion piece. Well at least you can claim to have watched over fifty hammer films after viewing this collection.