By Denis Meikle
No corporation within the historical past of cinema did extra to legitimize the horror movie than Hammer movies - the small British self reliant, which operated out of its tiny Bray Studios at the banks of the River Thames. From the Gothic splendor of The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula to the violent sexploitation of The Vampire fans and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, the Hammer identify stood for something to a new release of movies enthusiasts, because the time period 'Hammer Horror' grew to become part of the language. This revised and up to date version of A background of Horrors strains the existence and 'spirit' of Hammer, from its fledgling days within the overdue Nineteen Forties via its successes of the Nineteen Fifties and '60s to its decline and eventual liquidation within the past due Nineteen Seventies. With the specific participation of all the group of workers who have been key to Hammer's good fortune, Denis Meikle paints a shiny and engaging photograph of the increase and fall of a movie empire, providing new and revealing insights into 'the fact at the back of the legend.' a lot has been written approximately Hammer's motion pictures, yet this can be the single publication to inform the tale of the corporate itself from the viewpoint of these who ran it in its heyday and who helped to show it right into a common byword for terror at the display. This definitive background additionally comprises solid and credit listings for the 'Hammer Horrors' and an entire filmography of all of Hammer's characteristic productions.
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Extra resources for A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer
To their credit, the hierarchy at Hammer had now begun to realize that part of the success of Xperiment had lain in the essential humanity of that film’s monster, and 3 31 they began to cast around for subjects of similar appeal. As X the Unknown went into postproduction under the aegis of Tony Hinds, Hyman was approached by Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg—who were later to found Hammer’s rival, Amicus Films—with a view to having him finance a remake of Mary Shelley’s horror classic Frankenstein.
Investigation reveals the existence of a vast construction at the site that replicates Quatermass’s own “Moon Project”—an artificial environment designed to enable man to exist in an alien atmosphere. Qua- The Rebirth of Frankenstein, 1956–1957 termass discovers that the meteors come from an asteroid orbiting on the dark side of the Earth, and that they contain parasites capable of controlling their human hosts. It soon becomes apparent that the alien control extends to the government itself and that this “synthetic food plant” has been built to house these invaders.
For the usual reasons of economy, Sangster had been allowed to adapt the Victor Canning short story “A Man on the Beach” for American director Joseph Losey, who was now working in Britain as a result of the persecution of left-wing sympathizers in the United States by Senator Joe McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). To cash in on Xperiment, what Hammer needed was a variation on Nigel Kneale’s theme of an extraterrestrial invader. Unhappy with Brian Donlevy’s performance as Quatermass in the film version, however, Kneale had refused Hammer permission to reuse the name of his professor and, with time at a premium, Hinds asked Sangster if he could come up with something.
A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer by Denis Meikle