Why Are Hammer Films Not More Popular?

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Hedjii72

Sr Member
Lately, thanks to some wonderful new published books, I have been going a bit crazy lately over Hammer Films of the 1950s through the 1970s. I discovered Hammer in the 1990s when TNT started airing the films to promote Bram Stoker's Dracula. For the unfamiliar, Hammer is the studio famous for their Horror films that redefined the gothic horror genre with actors like Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

For a web forum dedicated to genre pictures, I am always shocked to see so little mention of interest or excitement in these films. They are very niche, and I can't figure out why they aren't more popular.

The studio fell apart in the 70s, but has recently re-organized and released the Let Me In remake, as well as the brilliant new Woman in Black. Strange that in our little corner of the scifi/horror sector of the internet, there is absolutely no mention of the new Hammer Film, or any one's opinion who went to see it. (Incidentally, I saw it and enjoyed it very much as a modern nod to the gothic horrors of old.) The film, small as it is, was considered an overperformer at the box office last weekend, doing much better than predicted, although I'm sure Daniel Radcliffe was a big part of the draw.

Today there's an article of Hammer CEO Simon Oakes promising they will bring back their own version of a new Dracula Film..

I've just gotta throw it out there that I'm a little disappointed in the general fan community that there isn't more support and excitement for these films. I mean, you've got horror, blood, boobs, legendary British actors, lavish set design, romantic scoring, and heaps and heaps of charm.... what's not to like?

Any of you dig Hammer?
 

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Wolfie138

Well-Known Member
dude, i grew up on Hammer films, and "Hammer House of Horror" on the TV.
when i was a young brat in school, people would be blathering on about the last "match of the day". i'd been watching vampires and demons and cleavage. it made me who i am today.
 

Probe Droid

Master Member
Ditto. I grew up watching the Hammer horror films in the '60s. I still love them and watch a bunch around Halloween. The films are definitly low budget, but there's still a real craft to them. Those guys knew how to make cheap films that still were quality entertainment. And Lee and Cushing, forgetaboutit, one of the great screen duos. Lee gets my vote as the best Dracula. All do respect to Lugosi, but Lee is just ferocious.

That Hammer Vault book is quite good. All Marcus Hearn's books are worth a look.
 

Wolfie138

Well-Known Member
i was about 6 when i saw my first nude girlie courtesy of Blood on Satan's Claw. aside from that, Hammer set me up for a lifelong love affair w/ vampire girlies/lesbians.

Fangs & Cleavage. can't beat em.
 

BornKilr

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I would have to say one reason you don't see much love for Hammer here, is most of the members tend to lean more towards sci-fi here, from what I see. Even the horror movies that get mentioned much have a sci-fi slant (The Thing, Alien, etc.) I tend to be a bigger horror fan and was a little disappointed after first joining here that there weren't as many. But I'm also a member or lurker on numerous horror forums to get my horror fix.
As for the new Hammer, I have to say I actually liked the "Let Me In" remake, as much as I was prepared not to, after seeing the original. And I checked out "The Resident" last week simply because it was a Hammer film, and although it wasn't great, it still had more going for it than most Hollywood "flavor of the week" star-strewn attempts at horror. And Netflix has several good Hammer docs in its the lineup that are worth a look.
And as for books, check out "Hammer Glamour", covering all the hot women that worked on the old Hammer films. Great book.
 

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robn1

Master Member
I'm a big fan of the Hammer films. TCM runs them occasionally, they ran them all month long Halloween before last.

But I tend to like many older horror films, I prefer the creepy and shocking style to the gore fests that are made today.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
I've just gotta throw it out there that I'm a little disappointed in the general fan community that there isn't more support and excitement for these films. I mean, you've got horror, blood, boobs, legendary British actors, lavish set design, romantic scoring, and heaps and heaps of charm.... what's not to like?
If you feel something is missing, go make a post about it. That usually brings the closet people out of the closet and makes them realize they are not alone... but mostly have just been too afraid to take the first step.

Though they have their fair share of cheese, I like Hammer movies and especially the vampire/Chris Lee ones.
 

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Wes R

Legendary Member
My dad got me hooked on Hammer films in the 90s on TNT when they were part of Monstervision before joe bob briggs took over.
 

Timmythekid

Sr Member
Didn't see anything in this thread, but if you hadn't heard yet, you're going to be in geek heaven - Hammer is going through their catalog and doing proper restorations for Blu. HUZZZAH!!!!!!
 

E Q

Active Member
I haven't thought about Hammer Horror films in a long time, nor have I see much of anything collectible from them. I think I've seen a Christopher Lee doll, but that's about it. I'm sure some busts of Christopher as the Monster and Dracula would sell.
 

FrogmanStudio

Active Member
Welp, I must confess, I haven't watched any, and reading this, I know I should.
Are there any on Netflix Instant that you all recommend?
 

Hedjii72

Sr Member
Welp, I must confess, I haven't watched any, and reading this, I know I should.
Are there any on Netflix Instant that you all recommend?
Sadly, there isn't much on Netflix Instant. But definitely give "Vampire Circus" a try. It's a bit bizarre, even for Hammer, but it's a lot of fun.

My favorites:

Horror of Dracula
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
Taste the Blood of Dracula
Curse of Frankenstein
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
The Vampire Lovers
Lust for a Vampire
Twins of Evil
The Mummy
Brides of Dracula
The Devil Rides Out
Plague of the Zombies

Give them a try! They're definitely from a different time, but the studio took full advantage of using every dollar of their budget to ooze atmosphere and color.
 

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Hedjii72

Sr Member
Didn't see anything in this thread, but if you hadn't heard yet, you're going to be in geek heaven - Hammer is going through their catalog and doing proper restorations for Blu. HUZZZAH!!!!!!

What's even better is that the Japanese version of Horror of Dracula will be restored with newly found footage of Dracula's demise and more vampire staking violence put back in! I can't wait!
 

sskunky

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My Brother is a certified Hammer horror nut! :lol

I gotta say that my most memorable is Dracula AD1972 but the above mentioned all do the Hammer label justice......
 

Slave1

Sr Member
Don't know what you mean by your thoughts that they should have more support and that they don't generate more excitement.

My brother and I absolutely crazy over Hammer, as well as the also mostly overlooked Amicus, who put out some pretty nifty antho horror pics based on some of Robert (Psycho) Bloch's short stories.

I think there are plenty of horror mags that cover these films and applaud them for their efforts. Heck, go to a horror con and check out the memorabilia. There's plenty of love for this stuff.

But if you're talking about why isn't there more interest on this forum in particular, well, this is a prop board, so discussions are naturally going to gravitate to films that are rich in props. And sci fi films are more rich in props than any other genre. Does anyone disagree?

I don't think it's that anyone dislikes or overlooks Hammer films here. It's just that there isn't much in the way of props to discuss, though occassionally someone will show off a nice Christopher Lee bust or Curse of the Werewolf bust, etc.
 

Hedjii72

Sr Member
I think I was referring to the lack of chatter, not necessarily on the Prop Replicas section of this board, but in the Entertainment/Movies section, where the topics are pretty diverse, and pretty much every genre picture gets at least a mention from someone. I think it's pretty neat that this one film studio did all those cool/whacky/charming horror and scifi pictures. To see the Hammer name rise from the ashes is pretty exciting, especially when they are talking about bringing back Dracula.

It's just odd to me that the Universal monsters get all the love. Hammer really never became a household name. Like Amicus, it is pretty niche. That's OK with me, I guess, but I'd wager there are a lot of members here who have little knowledge of Hammer's diverse cinematic history.
 

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