It's a chilling season at the Quad! Brace yourself for mummies, vampires, werewolves, and more with our extensive two-part retrospective celebrating Britain's genre studio powerhouse, Hammer Films
With 32 titles in the first installment (22 on 35mm), including Frankenstein Created Woman, The Curse of Frankenstein,Dracula: Prince of Darkness, and The Quatermass Experiment
Look forward to Part II (1967-76) this July, with highlights including: Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde, and The Vampire Lover.
Throughout film history, many countries have had their own point-of-pride movie studios; Britain can claim several, whether as backlots or sites of creative capital. In Hammer Films, a genre-oriented counterpart to Ealing Films, the UK could boast of one with all that and more; Hammer’s output in the second half of the 20th century sent aesthetic and sensory frissons throughout the nation while influencing pop culture and world cinema. Although synonymous with horror, the Hammer library was stocked from the beginning with films of all kinds. Founded in November 1934 as Hammer Film Productions and based in London, the studio came out of the gate with dramas and then specialized in “B” pictures and homegrown tales, pausing only for WWII. A turning point came in the mid-1950s with a move into genre fare with an accent on the Gothic, and this first crop of titles in the Quad’s extensive two-part Hammer retrospective demonstrates that—as Universal Pictures had found in the 1930s—famous monsters were a good (and generally inexpensive) way to expand your industry footprint. Hammer finally made its first color movie in 1954; a good thing, too, since what would the next quarter-century of movies have been like without all that scarlet sanguinary screen imagery?
"If we saw the logo of Hammer Films, we knew it was a very special picture. We knew it was a certain kind of film. A surprising experience, usually—and shocking." — Martin Scorsese
The Abominable Snowman Val Guest, 1957, UK, 91m, 35mm The Brides of Dracula Terence Fisher, 1960, UK, 85m, 35mm The Camp on Blood Island Val Guest, 1958, UK, 82m, 35mm Cash on Demand Quentin Lawrence, 1961, UK, 89m, 35mm The Curse of Frankenstein Terence Fisher, 1957, UK, 83m, 35mm The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb Michael Carreras, 1964, UK, 81m, 35mm The Curse of the Werewolf Terence Fisher, 1961, UK, 93m, DCP The Damned (aka These Are the Damned) Joseph Losey, 1962, UK, 96m, DCP The Devil Rides Out (aka The Devil's Bride) Terence Fisher, 1968, UK, 95m, 16mm Dracula: Prince of Darkness Terence Fisher, 1966, UK, 90m, 35mm The Evil of Frankenstein Freddie Francis, 1964, UK, 84m, 16mm Fanatic (aka Die! Die! My Darling) Silvio Narizzano, 1965, UK, 97m, 35mm Frankenstein Created Woman Terence Fisher, 1967, UK, 92m, 35mm The Gorgon Terence Fisher, 1964, UK, 83m, DCP Horror of Dracula Terence Fisher, 1958, UK, 82m, 35mm The Hound of the Baskervilles Terence Fisher, 1959, UK, 87m, 16mm Hysteria Freddie Francis, 1965, UK, 85m, 16mm The Mummy Terence Fisher, 1959, UK, 88m, 35mm The Nanny Ian Holt, 1965, UK, 93m, 16mm Never Take Sweets from a Stranger Cyril Frankel, 1960, UK, 91m, 35mm One Million Years B.C. Don Chaffey, 1966, UK, 100m, DCP The Phantom of the Opera Terence Fisher, 1962, UK, 84m, 35mm The Pirates of Blood River John Gilling, 1962, UK, 87m, 35mm Quatermass and the Pit (aka Five Million Years to Earth) Roy Ward Baker, 1967, UK, 98m, 35mm The Quatermass Experiment Val Guest, 1955, UK, 82m, 35mm Rasputin: The Mad Monk Don Sharp, 1966, UK, 92m, 35mm The Revenge of Frankenstein Terence Fisher, 1958, UK, 91m, 35mm The Stranglers of Bombay Terence Fisher, 1959, UK, 80m, 35mm Ten Seconds to Hell Robert Aldrich, 1959, UK/US/West Germany, 93m, 35mm The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll Terence Fisher, 1960, UK, 88m, 35mm X—The Unknown Leslie Norman, 1956, UK, 81m, 16mm Yesterday's Enemy Val Guest, 1959, UK, 95m, 35mm