Director: Robert Hartford-Davis
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Sue Lloyd, Noel Trevarthen, Kate O’Mara,
Storyline: A doctor’s model lover gets her face burnt and he does whatever at what cost to help restore her beauty.
Review (Spoils): Surgeon Sir John Rowan (Peter Cushing) is dating a high profile model (Sue Lloyd) who likes to hang around some hipsters. During one of the parties while she is posing for some pictures an argument breaks out between Rowan and the photographer and a light drops on her head. She gets badly burnt and her career hits rocks bottom. She pressures Rowan to start to use a gland from the brain to regrew her flesh on her face. This works but only temporary which leads them both on a non stop hunt for more glands.
This film is not a Hammer Film but the storyline is great. Sure there is some funky hipster music and sometimes the film feels like an acid trip but once the evil pours it pours like a fine wine. Peter Cushing plays the serious doctor but at the same time he just does not fit in the crowd of the film nor does he seem like a likely match for his model girlfriend. We have red blood once the film kicks into high gear, knives, slaughtering of young women, a nasty scar on the face, a bitchy model and the long hunt for woman to kill so his love can be beautiful.
Rating: I personally really liked this film and never heard of it before it I noticed it playing. It had Peter Cushing so I was like what the Hell. This film does not disappoint the acting is well done and the chase scene at the end was great. The photographer can seem a bit annoying but you can get around that as it is a couple short scenes. Thank you Grindhouse yet again for a nice horror classic.
The Mummy (1959)
Director: Terence Fisher
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux
Storyline: The tomb of Princess Ananka has been invaded and since a mummy is stalking the ones involved.
Review (Spoils): A bunch of archaeologists discover a hidden untouched tomb (not sure how they could of missed yet) of the late Princess Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux). When they enter the tomb they get cursed by an Egyptian local and her lost high priest (Christopher Lee) who is now a mummy comes back to life to haunt and terrorize those people that entered the tomb. 3 years later the relics of the tomb get transferred to England and so does the mummy and he continues his terror upon the ones that despoiled the ancient tomb.
This film is messed up in storyline, we start with what is happening in Egypt, then scroll over to England and then have 20min of a flash back before the time in Egypt and then once again thrown into the present. Peter Cushing is playing the part of the son even though he is 100 years old. Christopher Lee plays the high priest and the mummy which is not bad. The make-up is actually well done and I like the way the monster moves but the plot and story is pretty weak.
Rating: I usually enjoy a good Hammer Horror film but this one seemed weak. Christopher Lee was good as the monster but the rest of cast did not cut it for me. Even Yvonne Furneaux seemed lacking for a Hammer film which normally the leading ladies are all over the script. It just felt to setup and forced to be entertaining.
Horror Express (1972)
Director: Eugenio Martin
Main Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Angel del Pozo, Helga Line, Telly Savalas
Storyline: A British anthropologist discovers a frozen prehistoric body in China and tries to import back to Europe via train. As soon as the body is placed on the train the body count starts to rise.
Review (Spoils): Anthropologist Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) discovers a body of ancient being of mankind in a frozen chunk of ice in China. He brings and hides the body in a locked up box upon a train back to the Europe as he believes this could be the missing link. Once the body is placed in a cart people started to be found dead with their eyes white and bloody. This leads to a police investigation and everyone scrambling to find the now missing prehistoric body and the reason for the people’s deaths. Of course to add the mix on the train we have a countess (Silvia Tortosa ) and her dog, another doctor known as Doctor Wells (Peter Cushing), a mad priest (Alberto de Mendoza) and a intrusion of a captain (Telly Savalas).
As silly as this story sounds the movie actually was fun and entertaining. Sure we have the odd scene where someone does something completely dumb or the characters are drop on us as an audience for no reason. But the acting from Christopher Lee, Alberto de Mendoza and Silvia Tortosa was great and this film you could tell had some Spanish vibe to it. We have some bright red blood, white eyes, some red eyes and a hairy clawed arm that keeps roaming the train.
Rating: This was a surprise to me as I have heard of the title many times but never took the time to sit down and watch it. Thanks to my lovely wife and her comments on the film (which she found even more fun than myself) this was actually a fun film filled with cheeziness and red blood even though not a Hammer Film many believed that it was.
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
Director: Terence Fisher
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris
Storyline: A madman scientist brings back the soul of his assistant into the body of a woman
Review (Spoils): Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing ) plays with the object of death and he and Dr. Hertz (Thorley Walters )have a plan to bring someone back to life as they have found a way to trap ones soul. When the young man Hans (Robert Morris) is framed for murder and put to the death they use his soul and place it into a body of young woman found dead in the river. What is not known is that young Hans and the woman known as Christina (Susan Denberg) were secret lovers. When she is brought back to live she goes on a rampage of revenge.
Another Hammer film for the review and as usual we have Peter Cushing, heaving bosoms, red blood, kills off scene and amazing scenery. The story is actually well written and we have a few plots at play here in this storyline. Some bright red blood, hatchets and nice bloody head makes this film very enjoyable.
Rating: I personally actual liked this film a lot. It was a fun film and it had some funny moments and some creepy moments. Susan Denberg was great and I love how she played both the victim and the monster. This film would be great drinking film if you drank every time someone had a glass of wine.
The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
Director: Freddie Francis
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamon, Sandor Eles, Kiwi Kingston
Storyline: Baron Frankenstein continues his madness of creating the monster.
Review (Spoils): Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) finds his old monster (Kiwi Kingston) in a glacier of ice and brings him yet back to life. We have a small rehash of the Universal film storyline but with a touch of Hammer as we have the great scenery, prime acting, buxom ladies, some classic Frankenstein monster movements but some bad make-up ideas. The film plays like other Hammer films with some action scenes surrounding some sexual in the windows and of course the monster.
The film moves along well and there is really never a dull moment (after all it is a Hammer film) but the problem might be with the film is that it’s not their own. We all know the Frankenstein story from the classic Boris days of Universal so it is very hard to compete to that. But the scenery does once again overtake and save the film.
Rating: This film is not one of the stronger Hammer films but at the same time is not the worst. We have a nice Frankenstein film with a descent storyline and the final battle scene is worth the watch alone. Grab some betters as it is Hammer time with Frankie!
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
Director: Alan Gibson
Main Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Caroline Munro, Marsha Hunt
Storyline: It’s 1972 and someone has raised Count Dracula and he hunts down the bloodline of Van Helsing.
Review (Spoils): the final battle of 1872 with Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) and Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) has the vampire falling to his death from a piece of wooden wheel through the heart. During this battle the great Van Helsing also dies from his wounds. He gets buried and the some of the vampire ashes and ring are kept in secretive by his apprentice. In 1972 now the Count gets resurrected by a bloodline relative of the apprentice. The Count is raised and he starts to continue his hatred towards the Van Helsings.
What we have here is the sequel to Satanic Rites of Dracula and a nice Hammer Film located in the 70s. We have top notch acting yet again from Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, some sexy 70s babes (what’s a Hammer film without the ladies) and crazy 70s lingo. This film sure is not as great as the past one’s of the series but the Dracula series from Hammer is still going strong with this entry. The opening battle scene alone is a horror classic.
Rating: When it comes the Hammer films the Dracula series is by far the best of them. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are great yet again. This might be the weaker of them but trust me this does not make this a bad film. It’s worth to drink too and check out and “Tell us about the blood Johnny?”
Captain Clegg (1962)
Director: Peter Graham Scott
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Yvonne Romain, Patrick Allen, Oliver Reed
Storyline: It’s the 18th century and Captain Collier has been hired to figure out and stop all the smuggling.
Review (Spoils): The Royal Crown suspects that there is smuggling happening so they hire Captain Collier and his crew to check it out. When the captain starts to investigate in what is happening out on the foggy seas we learn the haunting tale of Captain Clegg. He suspects that the village vicar is holding a secret and trying to drive away their investigation with such ghost stories.
When I think of Hammer films I think of vampires, monsters and voluptuous women. This film is a lot different than those tales and films. This film is very dark, grainy and sets a morbid mood. Some of the classic parts of the film are when we are introduced to a crew known as the Marsh Phantoms that set the scene with skeletons and skeletal horses. Picture a film of gloominess and a touch of pirate humour and that is what makes this a hidden gem for Hammer films.
I like to mention that both Peter Cushing and beautiful Yvonne Romain stole the stage of this film and of course the perfect gentleman Oliver Reed. When it comes to the cast it screams Hammer but when it comes to the story telling it is something different.
Rating: Not as classic as many other Hammer films so it is not as popular but this still a hidden gem when it comes to horror films of the 60s. This film is also known as Night Creatures but it is hard to not want to sit down and watch Yvonne Romain.
Horror of Dracula (1958)
Director: Jimmy Sangster
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Striblin, Carol Marsh
Storyline: Dracula wants revenge on the Harker family and hunt them down including haunting his fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Only Dr. Van Helsing can stop him!
Review (Spoils): This screams classic Hammer and it is! We have Peter Cushing playing the classic Dr. Van Helsing trying to track down and destroy his arch nemesis Dracula, who is played by none other than Christopher Lee. Christopher Lee makes Dracula actually be frightening and not slick. We have the first of the many times Christopher Lee plays the character and it is the best. We have the fangs, blood and the red eyes. This is the way Dracula is remember and portrayed. We have true eroticism in the film that follows Dracula and many other Hammer films. We got blood, we have bosoms, blood dripping coffins, lots of burning flesh from crosses and one of the best of Hammer horror.
Rating: This is the best Dracula out there, this movie rules when it comes to horror or Hammer films overall. You cannot go wrong with this film Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are top notch in this film and created some of the most classic characters in horror.
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Director: Terence Fisher
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Hazel Court
Storyline: Dr. Frankenstein recalls the tale of the creation of the monster.
Review (Spoils): Hammer is back on my horror list and this time we have Peter Cushing playing Dr. Frankenstein and Christopher Lee playing the monster. The storyline is pretty much the same as we have a young Frankenstein trying to create life but this time not using lightning but using a liquid formula. We have Hazel Court playing the voluptuous redhead that loves the doctor and tries her hardest to have his full attention instead of dealing with secret experiments. The acting in the film is very well done and the storyline is not that far off from the Universal one but the monster make-up for Christopher Lee is semi poor and that really takes away from the film. I know Hammer tried to do something unique but I just cannot get past the bluish rubber skin and the seam located along the neckline. This looks a little too amateur for Hammer films and there just was not enough meat in the film keep myself on my toes.
Rating: Not a bad movie but I have seen better Hammer films. I was excited to check this out but was let down on how bad the makeup was done in this film. Peter Cushing did an amazing job playing the doctor but there just was not enough going on to keep my interest like other Hammer films.
From Beyond the Grave (1974)
Director: Kevin Connor
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Donald Pleasence
Storyline: Four short stories that are all related to items from an antique shop.
Review: Came across this little film when on a hunt for some Hammer Production films that I have not seen or own. I had no idea that it was four short stories similar to the Creepshow idea (probably stolen from this idea) which to me is a downfall. I’m not a big fan of these types of films, so yes we are starting negative. The four stories come with the titles “The Gate Crasher”, “An Act of Kindness”, “The Elemental” and “The Door”.
“The Gate Crasher” is the best one of the whole bunch which is not saying much. This involves a haunted mirror and man who has to kill to feed the ghost that is trapped within it.
“An Act of Kindness” is a strange story which involves an ex military man’s medal and a man gets caught in lie around being a war vet. This is the second best story of the movie.
“The Elemental” is the dumbest of them all it is about a snuff box with an invisible elemental that haunts a man’s shoulder.
“The Door” is another one that was boring, where a man buys an ancient evil looking door that opens to another plane.
Rating: I had high hopes for this film after the first two stories and then it just fell very flat. It’s too bad as I’m a Hammer Film fan but this one was just lame and boring towards the end.