Horror Gets Color And Class.

With "The Curse of Frankenstien" and "Dracula" (a.k.a. "Horror of Dracula") Hammer Films ended the 1950's by establishing a winning formula for gothic horror movies. A strong cast-you can't get better than Peter Cushing (the Baron,Sherlock Holmes, Van Helsing...) and Christopher Lee (the Creature, Dracula, the Mummy...)- atmospheric sets, rich colors, a pinch of sex and a dash of violence, brought horror films back to the big screen.

We still remember spending Saturday afternoons at the local one-screen movie theater watching Van Helsing dash across the library table in order to tear the drapes-spelling doom for the Count in the beams of the streaming sun. To those growing up in the 60's and 70's this was the final frame in horror. This was before the mindless formulaic slasher films which left nothing to the imagination.

I really miss those days. Almost every month I will pick a random weekend and rewatch several Hammer Films back to back. Unfortunately,now I can see the continuity errors and at times weakened production standards. No, our innocence is gone but not these classic horror films. Now back to "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave."...
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1 Response Nov 29, 2012

Hammer films were great. I grew up watching them, usually late on Friday night when, as it was a weekend, I was allowed to stay up. They had a great atmosphere and the rich colour they used, which was an emblem of these films made them so exciting and enthralling.

Christopher Lee was without doubt the best Dracula ever. The Hammer cinematography gave him a vivid, vibrant menace that just jumped out of the screen at you. There is a still close up in a book I have which epitomises this. His eyes are wide with a great expanse of white but the white has a network of blood red vessels, which added to the pale face which has a tinge of green and the fangs made a terrifying sight.

I am proud that these wonderful films were made in my country.