A retrospective of the films of Britain's Hammer Studios, renowned for making stylish horror films in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. Included are clips from Hammer productions and interviews ... See full summary »
In Spain, Leon is born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl who was raped by a beggar. His mother dies giving birth and he is looked after by Don Alfredo. As a child Leon becomes a ... See full summary »
The movie chronicles the events of history's "man of mystery," Rasputin. Although not quite historically accurate and little emphasis is put on the politics of the day, Rasputin's rise to ... See full summary »
In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the ... See full summary »
A documentary history of Hammer Film Productions that is entertaining and informative.
Hammer Films was the most successful independent production company in the history of the British film industry. Starting in the 1950's, they produced a memorable series of low budget science fiction and gothic horror films. These films were marked by high production values, solid technical work, strong acting, and intelligent writing and directing.
Their breakthrough came in 1957 with the release of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. This low budget film became one of the most profitable films in the history of British cinema, as well as the most influential genre film to be released since the end of the Second World War. Today, numerous film makers acknowledge Hammer Films as an influence on their work. They include, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, Joe Dante, John Landis, and John Carpenter, to name only a few.
Ted Newsom, the writer and director of FLESH AND BLOOD, originally made it in 1994, when it was shown on British television. The Anchor Bay Video Edition is Copyright 1997. Ted Newsom has succeeded in capturing a moment in time when a number of the people who made these films were still with us. Now, a few short years later this is no longer the case.
This was the last project that Peter Cushing completed before his death in 1994. He is heard in the off camera narration and seen only in film clips. Cushing's old friend Christopher Lee joins him in the off camera narration and in an on camera interview, as well as in film clips. The other interviews are candid and informative. Most of these people remember working for Hammer with real affection.
The one drawback in this documentary is that the film clips are taken from trailers. This avoided paying fees to distributors, but limits the choice and quality of the footage. On the other hand, FLESH AND BLOOD is well organized and researched. It presents a view of a memorable era in British film production with clarity and insight. For anyone who is already a Hammer fan, this is a must. For anyone who is just getting acquainted with their films, this will serve as an excellent introduction.
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