Review of "Hammer House: The Warner Bros Years"
by The Headless Critic
Hammer House: The Warner Bros Years – 2017
Production by: Diaboliquefilms
“In the 1950’s Hammer Film Productions reinvented classic horror with a stylish and highly transgressive brand of cinema. In the 1960’s Hammer’s dominance in the genre was strengthened by finance and distribution from the American studio Warner Brothers. This alliance produced classics such as Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed and Taste the Blood of Dracula alongside more experimental films such as Moon Zero Two, and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. This is the story of a partnership that promised to revolutionize horror filmmaking but came to represent the end of an era.” Hammer Horror: The Warner Brothers Years, 1968-1974.
British filmmaking company Hammer films had been in production since 1935 by the time they teamed with American distributor Warner Brothers in 1968. That pairing would see some of the company’s biggest financial successes. In 1972 a film called The Exorcist was released that would change the face of horror films as we know. That film just so happened to be distributed by Warner Brothers as well. The once innovative Hammer Films were getting left behind. By 1974 it’s pairing with Warner Brothers had ended. By the end of the decade, they had stop producing films altogether.
Director Marcus Hearn’s relives the glory days of Hammer Films during their distribution deal with Warner Brothers as told by those surviving who lived it. The Warner Brother era of Hammer includes reaching their highest peaks and plummeting into near dissolution.
Learn about the rape scene that was added into Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed six days prior to the end of shooting and was never seen by American audiences. Meet the virgin actress who was asked to film in a brothel. Hear actress Veronica Carlson’s desire to die on screen with her eyes open only to be rejected because that would never make it past the censors. See the scenes that were released in the U.K. but got butchered out for their American release. Relive the final performance of Christopher Lee as Dracula under the Hammer banner.
The beloved classics that have spawned a fan base that lives on to this day are revisited by a filmmaking fan who obviously loves it. The Warner Brother years of Hammer Films includes titles such as Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Crescendo, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Dracula A.D., Satanic Rites of Dracula and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. These are just a few of the titles beloved by fans enough to inspire a revival of Hammer Films in 2008.
“I enjoyed it for all it was worth but there is no more is there? Films like that aren’t made any more.” –Vanessa Carlson
Playing Now at Select Screenings
4 out of 5 Headless Critics