The Hammer double feature


I’m off to the Jameson’s Cult Film Club on Thursday night to soak up some atmosphere in St George’s Hall and enjoy some old fashioned British horror. Incidentally, before we start Mark Gatiss has an excellent documentary on this subject  which is available for a week and a half from here.

So, let us begin with a classic of Gothic Horror cinema.

Dracula (1958), the film I’m off to see this week, featured a tall and handsome Christopher Lee in an early role as the Count. He had already begun to make a name for himself as the Monster in Frankenstein but here, with blood dripping down from his fangs, he created a vampire who was as sexual and suave as he is violent and animal-like.

Hammer can be tarnished with the brush of being quite cheesy but here, in these early films, it’s all about dark shocks and burning sexuality.

On to the trailers and it’s important to mix things up a little to show some of the things Hammer is renowned for. Heaving chests is a good start.

Then mental sequels spring to mind too

And also, finally for our intermission trailers one of my favourite Hammer horrors.

On to our second feature and I’m going for something a little different to the gothic horrors.

Quatermass Xperiment (1955), a remake of the live BBC series, ramped up the scares and proved their was a market for X rated fantasy, which led on to the horror production line Hammer became. It was a film proud to show off it’s adults only credentials, as the poster above shows.

It’s also a great example of how Hammer was able to repackage its work and sell it to different markets, Below is the US trailer, which looks like it’s from a different film. Also, who wouldn’t want to see a film called The Creeping Unknown.

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