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Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood! (1987)

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 »

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Cast

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James Bernard ...
Himself
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Herself (archive footage)
James Carreras ...
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Michael Carreras ...
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...
Himself
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Himself (archive footage)
Len Harris ...
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Himself (archive footage)
Anthony Hinds ...
Himself
...
Himself
James Needs ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself
Jimmy Sangster ...
Himself
...
Himself
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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 with actors, actresses, directors and producers who worked on these films. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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References Blackout (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

The Vampire Rhapsody
from The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)
Performed by James Bernard
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Hammer: THE STUDIO THAT DRIPPED BLOOD! {TV} (David Thompson, 1987) **1/2
12 July 2015 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

The DVD era was instrumental in giving not only eager film buffs a genuine insight into the making of classics, cult movies and odd obscurities but also a providential lease of life to those semi-retired film industry insiders who were still around and willing to wax lyrically about their past work. The horror classics issued by Hammer Films during their 20-year heyday received their due through the patronage of US companies like Anchor Bay Entertainment on that home video format; however, when the documentary under review was made by the BBC, such supplemental wealth was still more than a decade away and, therefore, one can only imagine the sheer novelty value of having not only beloved genre icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee talking about the good old days and ubiquitous celebrity fanboy Martin Scorsese spouting his admiration but also gave a face to Hammer stalwarts like director Don Sharp, writers Jimmy Sangster and Anthony Hinds and composer James Bernard.

Although the validity of this 50-minute documentary was later to be overtaken by Ted Newsom's more exhaustive FLESH AND BLOOD: THE HAMMER HERITAGE OF HORROR (1994; TV), it is still a worthwhile watch – not least because it includes some exclusive anecdotes: Bernard speaking of his "strained" working relationship with the great Joseph Losey on THE DAMNED (1963) is a case in point. Indeed, some of the material was later recycled for the above-mentioned companion piece but, this being a study of my top film genre and one of my most favourite exponents of it (the recently deceased Sir Christopher Lee), I could watch these people talk about their subject all day long. In hindsight, it is somewhat ironic that the documentary takes its name from one of the better products of Hammer's main rival at the time, Amicus! As if this was not enough, there is yet another hour-long documentary available on "You Tube" that deals with British Horror films in general and, needless to say, focuses also on Hammer's output, Mark Gatiss' 3-part study of the genre A HISTORY OF HORROR (2010) – but I have yet to catch that one…


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