The Hammer Horror studio is best known for putting Christopher Lee in the role of Dracula time and time again, and while some people absolutely loathe the movies that came out of the studio, others find the films to be awesome, especially those that mixed exploitation and horror quite nicely. Admittedly, some of the movies are horrible, and boring, but there are some shining gems amidst a lot of the movies that were continually being pushed to the public. Here is my list of the top 5 Hammer Horror movies.
The Brides of Dracula – The Brides of Dracula put together sex and vampires together long before HBO decided to throw it all together. This film from the 1960s has that classic old school feel and while the pacing can use some work, the blood and artistic viewpoint of the Dracula myth is all presented quite nicely. The brides come out of their graves to become the antagonists of this gothic horror picture, and while we get another shot at Peter Cushing in his infamous rolls with Hammer, it’s Baron Meinster that really gets the credit here. I love it, and you might enjoy it too.
Dracula Has Risen From The Grave – The year was 1968 when this movie came out and Christopher Lee played Dracula, in one of the better interpretations of the original tale. When you see this movie you will feel as though you are on set, or watching a stage play, the way the camera moves, the way the costumes are meticulously made, the way the acting draws you in. The whole time you are not sure whether to cheer for the vampire or to cheer for the hero, because Christopher Lee makes the old bastard look so cool.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed – A year after the aforementioned film, Peter Cushing reprised his role of an evil Baron, only this time he isn’t a protagonist, he is all bad. This guy is pure evil and he is out to somehow get his way and create a monster that will do his bidding. While some people will be mad at me for including this film in this list due to the strong rape scene, I will say that it’s just a movie and a Hammer movie at that. Grow up, it’s not making it “cool”, ok. Peter Cushing and his monster get the #3 spot, even though Frankenstein must be destroyed!
The Curse of the Werewolf – This wasn’t exactly a great one, but after repeated viewings this movie is actually not half bad. The movie has a lot of slow points, then really picks up in the third and fourth act, with the wolf going nuts and getting beaten and shot. The cool thing here was the mutation scene, which was far better than the Universal Monster movies. Although, my favorite wolf transition happens in The Howling, this one is kind of cool, even though it was from the early 1960s.
Now, at this point you probably are wondering what I would pick for the number one spot, and when you see it, you’ll understand, especially because the poster is so rad.
Dracula 1972 – One of my favorite movie posters is also my favorite Hammer Horror movie. This film updates the story of Dracula and places him in the present (well at the time it was the present), and with an all-new updated cast of cronies to help him. We also are introduced to the descendent of Van Helsing with Jessica Van Helsing, and Johnny Alucard. (Alucard is not a descendent, but teams up with the girl) The movie is a bit dry, but it has some awesome moments with Christopher Lee once again playing the role of Dracula and making it hard not to cheer for him.
There you have it, 5 of my favorites from Hammer Horror, what are your favorites? Drop me a line.
Remember to leave a comment, to be entered to win Total Recall on Blu Ray. Winners will be announced at the end of the month.