As I proceed in my epic trek through all of the films from Hammer studios [that are legally able to view], it’s always a pleasure for me to report on any Hammer news. Horrormovies.ca informs us that a new documentary entitled Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years, covering the period near the end of Hammer’s life when the studio formed a distribution deal with the mighty Warners, is on its way via Kickstarter. It’s just been announced that actors John Carson [Taste the Blood of Dracula,. The Plague of the Zombies, Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter] and Madeline Smith [Taste The Blood Of Dracula, The Vampire Lovers, Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell] will be appearing. All this is interesting to me because, while some of the Hammer films which were released by other studios have come out on Blu-ray with numerous special features, the recent Region A Blu-ray box set containing five of the Warner Hammer films contained hardly any extras at all, something that will probably be repeated in successive releases of these films on the format. One of my favourite ever Hammer films Frankenstein Must De Destroyed is one of these films, and I’m dying to see some recollections and analysis of it.
From the Press Release:
The classic Hammer films from Warner Bros are now finally starting to appear on Blu-ray. However, they have never received an in-depth exploration in any special feature or documentary. Now, the fascinating story can finally be told in this unprecedented 90-minute documentary, HAMMER HORROR: THE WARNER BROS YEARS, written and directed by Marcus Hearn, Hammer Films’ official historian. The documentary will feature exclusive interviews with many of the key players from that period, as well as authors and film historians like Jonathan Rigby and Constantine Nasr. Also included will be rare production stills, film footage, Hammer’s original shooting locations, and access to previously unseen archive documents. The documentary will be available via streaming and in a limited blu-ray release, exclusive to our Kickstarter campaign.
In addition to the main feature, the blu-ray will also contain extended interviews with some of the key participants. Other extras will be announced as they become confirmed.
Hammer fans, we need your support to make this happen. Contribute at Kickstarter!
History of Hammer:
In the 1950s Hammer, England’s world-renowned production company, initiated a new style of horror filmmaking that transformed the genre. At the end of the 1960s, the world that Hammer had helped to create was changing fast – the once-reliable business model was unraveling and audiences wanted something new from their films.
Amid this uncertainty, Hammer’s short-term survival was secured by an alliance with American distributor Warner Bros. The films the two companies made together are among the most renowned in Hammer’s history. Classics such as Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1970) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) were produced alongside the Oscar-nominated epic When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970), the disturbing thriller Crescendo (1970) and the bizarre sci-fi western Moon Zero Two (1969).
The films became increasingly experimental in the 1970s, challenging the perception of traditional Gothic horror with Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974).
The campaign, set up by Diabolique Magazine, is hoping to reach $22,000 before 18th November 2015 with over half already been pledged.