It is common between the fans of horror to give their immense adoration to movies made by British Hammer. They wanted to adapt novels, gothic stories, Satanism, fairytales and legends (mostly from the nineteenth century) on big screen, to get people close to mystic and unknown in this sphere of art. Hammer shocked people since 1934 and it is, probably, the best label of this kind of motion picture art.
Hammer was found in London and is one of the oldest film productions in the world. Early years of Hammer weren’t so promising. After releasing first movies The Public Life of Henry the Ninth (1935) and The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (1936), the production bankrupted in 1937, as whole British film industry did. Renewal occurred in 1945, after the Second World War.
Period from 1950s to 1970s was so fertile for Hammer. This period is for sure, the most significant, because these flicks gained great success. For instance, The Curse of Frankenstein was the most successful movie of the year 1957 in England. Main themes and inspiration for this period were gothic horror literature and art. Ideal example is adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s dark novel Carmilla on which three explicit films were made, full of sex, violence and vampiric bloodlust. Also, the novels by Bram Stoker, Merry Shelly and Robert Louis Stevenson were adapted. In 1953 Hammer began to broadcast spooky science fiction series named The Quatermass Experiment, popular but censored by British law.
Ingrid Pitt, actress who played many roles in Hammer Films
After the gold age of gothic films, Hammer started to create different kind of horror in the seventies, because they had to compete with American horror realizations and because gothic horror was out of fashion. The invention of colored television was another struck for Hammer Films these years, so this decade was the last for these film-making legends. Decade starts with a flick named When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth and continues with Dracula sequel movies, such us: Scars of Dracula, Dracula AD 1972 and apocalyptic The Satanic Rites of Dracula. The last movie made by Hammer in the 20th century was satanic To the Devil a Daughter (1976). With that film Hammer wanted to compete with Hollywood blockbusters like The Exorcism, but the competition was lost.
Christopher Lee in one of his creature of the night role
Nowadays, Hammer Films production is working but not as successfully as earlier. Let me in was their first release in 21st century. As well, they made The resident, Wake Wood and Woman in Black (staring by famous Daniel Radcliffe), and paranormal thriller The Quiet Ones.
Hammer is the reason we all like performances of actors like Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Brian Donlevy, Ingrid Pitt and others. Their roles will always be in fashion in horror subculture. Nowadays musicians, artists and writers are influenced by these films and its actors whose plays will always be part of modern culture.
Hammer movies for recommendation: The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, The Abominable Snowman, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Devil Rides Out, Countess Dracula, To the Devil a Daughter, The resident, Let me in.
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