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 sufficient, which operated out of its tiny Bray Studios at the banks of the River Thames. From the Gothic attractiveness 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 variation 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 overdue Nineteen Seventies. With the particular participation of the entire team of workers who have been key to Hammer's luck, Denis Meikle paints a brilliant and interesting photograph of the increase and fall of a movie empire, supplying new and revealing insights into 'the fact at the back of the legend.' a lot has been written approximately Hammer's movies, yet this can be the single publication to inform the tale of the corporate itself from the point of view of these who ran it in its heyday and who helped to show it right into a common byword for terror at the monitor. This definitive background additionally comprises forged and credit listings for the 'Hammer Horrors' and an entire filmography of all of Hammer's characteristic productions.
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Additional resources for A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer
The company was informed in no uncertain terms that it faced litigation from Universal Studios, makers of the first Frankenstein film series, if any part of this “new” Frankenstein infringed on copyrights held by Universal, including Jack Pierce’s makeup for Boris Karloff. By the end of May, with Frankenstein undergoing some hasty revision in light of the threat from Universal, shooting was about to commence on Quatermass 2. United Artists having had its corporate arm twisted by James Carreras to foot almost three-quarters of the bill, Tony Hinds was allotted a leisurely six-week schedule this time, and a considerably upgraded budget of £92,000, to mount Hammer’s version of the second Quatermass serial in the more expansive surroundings of Borehamwood.
3 19 record turnovers of preceding years. Radical, the HindsCarreras partnership was not. Theirs had been a no-risk strategy. They had followed established patterns and traded on proven success. Their strength was in sales and promotion, and their business had been founded on the simple principles of supply and demand. But suddenly, that demand was abating. Despite the typically upbeat announcement of a plethora of new productions for 1955, Hammer would make only one more feature over the next twelve months: Women without Men—and that, simply because it was too late to stop it.
14 Exclusive’s 20th Anniversary Sales Conference of 1954. Among those at the table are Anthony Hinds, William Hinds, and James and Michael Carreras. From Exclusive to Xperiment, 1947–1955 Hammer was not entirely a stranger to science fiction, having dipped three toes in its virgin waters with Stolen Face (1951), Four Sided Triangle (1952), and the more overt space operatics of Charles Eric Maine’s Spaceways (1952). The first was a plastic-surgery thriller of the change-the-face-but-the-personality-remains-the-same variety (a plot that would resurface under the guise of Frankenstein Created Woman in 1967).