"Hammer" classics!

by alexanderdavies-99382 | created - 13 Feb 2019 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

A new kind of horror film. The "Hammer" horror films were quite ground-breaking when they first appeared in late 50s Britain. The combination of sex and violence went a long way toward giving the horror film genre a new look, after it had been dominated by "Universal" studios during the 30s and 40s. A whole gallery of highly respected actors contributed much in attracting the slightly older cinemagoers. Amongst them were as follows: Peter Cushing (my number 1 favourite), Christopher Lee, Andre Morell, Clifford Evans, Bette Davis, Rupert Davies, Michael Ripper, Patrick Troughton, Hazel Court amongst others. The ones made from 1957 till about 1969 represent the very best in my opinion. In addition, the company produced films from other genres. Amongst them - sci fi, comedies, thrillers, war films and action/adventure films.

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1. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Victor Frankenstein builds a creature and brings it to life, but it behaves not as he intended.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee

Votes: 8,799 | Gross: $17.44M

The one responsible for the whole craze! This is the best horror film from "Hammer." Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee appear together properly for the first time.

2. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling

Votes: 19,728

A film that's nearly as good as the above. Peter Cushing is still THE Van Helsing.

3. The Mummy (1959)

Unrated | 88 min | Adventure, Horror

In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne

Votes: 7,519

Slightly slow in places but the film is both imaginative and atmospheric.

4. The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Not Rated | 78 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Professor Bernard Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth, but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

Director: Val Guest | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, Thora Hird

Votes: 5,152

A highly memorable film, putting "Hammer" on the map.

5. Quatermass 2 (1957)

Approved | 85 min | Sci-Fi, Horror

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director: Val Guest | Stars: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James, Bryan Forbes

Votes: 3,217

Excellent sequel.

6. Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Approved | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover

Votes: 8,899

Far too artificial-looking and this weakens the film considerably. Andrew Keir is outstanding as Professor Quatermass, the best one of the lot.

7. The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

Unrated | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Baron Frankenstein escapes from the guillotine and goes to Germany. There, he names himself Dr. Stein and plans to restart his experiments by using parts of dead bodies.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Eunice Gayson, Michael Gwynn

Votes: 4,370

I enjoyed this follow-up, well paced and a great performance from Peter Cushing.

8. The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Unrated | 84 min | Horror

Upon returning to his home village to continue his experimental research, the destitute Dr. Frankenstein revives his old creature, but a hypnotist wants the monster to control for himself.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamont, Sandor Elès

Votes: 3,382

Very disappointing in all departments.

9. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Approved | 93 min | Horror

In 18th Century Spain, an adopted boy becomes a werewolf and terrorizes the inhabitants of his town.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller

Votes: 4,938

The uncensored version is a slight improvement but the plot is weak until about 20 minutes before the end.

10. Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)

PG | 94 min | Horror

An archaeological expedition brings back to London the coffin of an Egyptian queen known for her magical powers. Her spirit returns in the form of a young girl and strange things start to happen.

Directors: Seth Holt, Michael Carreras | Stars: Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, James Villiers, Hugh Burden

Votes: 2,719

Quite original and made at a time when the British film industry in general was in sharp decline. A rather troubled production throughout.

11. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

Unrated | 90 min | Horror

Dracula is resurrected, preying on four unsuspecting visitors to his castle.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews

Votes: 8,445 | Gross: $0.80M

Pretty good but not enough Christopher Lee in the film. The supporting cast are superb.

12. The Reptile (1966)

Unrated | 90 min | Horror

In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation.

Director: John Gilling | Stars: Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett, Jacqueline Pearce

Votes: 2,998

Some good bits but inferior to "Plague of the Zombies."

13. The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A centenarian artist and scientist in 1890 Paris maintains his youth and health by periodically replacing a gland with that of a living person.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee, Arnold Marlé

Votes: 1,484

An interesting experiment.

14. The Gorgon (1964)

Not Rated | 83 min | Horror

In the early twentieth century, a Gorgon takes human form and terrorizes a small European village by turning its citizens to stone.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Richard Pasco, Barbara Shelley

Votes: 4,904

Cushing and Lee carry this one between them but Richard Pasco is also good.

15. The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)

88 min | Horror

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee, David Kossoff

Votes: 2,326

Largely poor, some miscasting and with a leaden pace.

16. The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Approved | 90 min | Horror

Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his ... See full summary »

Director: John Gilling | Stars: André Morell, Diane Clare, Brook Williams, Jacqueline Pearce

Votes: 4,262

Highly thrilling!!

17. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

Not Rated | 87 min | Horror, Mystery

When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi

Votes: 8,678

On my top 10 "Hammer" horrors. Peter Cushing is brilliant as the Baker Street sleuth.

18. The Phantom of the Opera (1962)

Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Music

Terror strikes the London Opera House as a new opera is disrupted by the actions of a deformed specter of the show's past who has an obsession with one of the production's chorus girl.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Edward de Souza, Thorley Walters

Votes: 2,721

A pale imitation of the 1925 masterpiece.

19. The Vampire Lovers (1970)

R | 91 min | Horror

Seductive vampire Carmilla Karnstein and her family target the beautiful and the rich in a remote area of late eighteenth-century Gemany.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steel, Madeline Smith, Peter Cushing

Votes: 5,003

Some effective scenes.

20. Lust for a Vampire (1971)

R | 91 min | Horror

In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful Mircalla - or as she was in 1710, Carmilla.

Director: Jimmy Sangster | Stars: Barbara Jefford, Ralph Bates, Suzanna Leigh, Yutte Stensgaard

Votes: 2,154

Simply pitiful! A good thing Peter Cushing didn't bother with this one.

21. Countess Dracula (1971)

PG | 93 min | Horror

In 17th-century Hungary, elderly widow Countess Elisabeth Nádasdy maintains her misleading youthful appearance by bathing in the blood of virgins regularly supplied to her by faithful servant Captain Dobi.

Director: Peter Sasdy | Stars: Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Elès, Maurice Denham

Votes: 3,421

Could have been good but fails for the most part.

22. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

PG-13 | 101 min | Horror, Drama, Sci-Fi

Baron Frankenstein, with the aid of a young doctor and his fiancée, kidnaps the mentally sick Dr. Brandt in order to perform the first brain transplant operation.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward

Votes: 3,985 | Gross: $0.10M

A big return to the former glory days!

23. Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)

Unrated | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

After being reanimated, Baron Frankenstein transfers the soul of an executed young man into the body of his lover, prompting her to kill the men who wronged them.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris

Votes: 4,072

Ok but nothing special.

24. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

R | 93 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Baron Frankenstein works with a mental patient to reanimate the dead.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith, David Prowse

Votes: 2,995

A poor final film from Terence Fisher.

25. Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

R | 91 min | Adventure, Horror, Mystery

A master swordsman and former soldier and his hunchbacked assistant hunt vampires.

Director: Brian Clemens | Stars: Horst Janson, John Carson, Shane Briant, Caroline Munro

Votes: 3,950

26. Scars of Dracula (1970)

R | 95 min | Horror

A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at Count Dracula's castle. He is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, Christopher Matthews

Votes: 4,706

This goes beyond the scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Appalling!

27. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

G | 92 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing

Votes: 6,111

Rupert Davies takes the acting honours.

28. Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.

Director: Peter Sasdy | Stars: Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Gwen Watford, Linda Hayden

Votes: 5,003

Better than I remembered.

29. The Mummy's Shroud (1967)

Approved | 90 min | Horror

In 1920 an archaeological expedition discovers the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning home with their discovery, the expedition members soon find themselves being killed ... See full summary »

Director: John Gilling | Stars: André Morell, John Phillips, David Buck, Elizabeth Sellars

Votes: 1,659

Very routine.

30. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964)

Not Rated | 81 min | Horror

British archaeologists and their American investor ship an Egyptian mummy's sarcophagus to London but someone has the amulet to revive the mummy that will then kill all those who disturbed its tomb.

Director: Michael Carreras | Stars: Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark, Jeanne Roland

Votes: 2,216

Bland, uneventful and poorly directed.

31. To the Devil a Daughter (1976)

R | 95 min | Horror

An American occult novelist battles to save the soul of a young girl from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest, who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on Earth.

Director: Peter Sykes | Stars: Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Honor Blackman, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 3,354

The success of this film might have led to further co-productions. A case of what might have been.

32. The Devil Rides Out (1968)

G | 95 min | Horror

Devil worshipers plan to convert two new victims.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi, Leon Greene

Votes: 7,422

A marvellous film. The script is well above average and the casting is ideal.

33. Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971)

PG | 94 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A Victorian scientist tests a serum that transforms him into a sensuous murderess.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Ralph Bates, Martine Beswick, Gerald Sim, Lewis Fiander

Votes: 2,272 | Gross: $0.20M

34. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

R | 89 min | Action, Horror

While lecturing in China, Van Helsing agrees to help seven kung fu trained siblings reclaim their ancestral mountain village, now the domain of seven powerful vampires and their army of undead slaves.

Directors: Roy Ward Baker, Cheh Chang | Stars: Peter Cushing, David Chiang, Julie Ege, Han Chen Wang

Votes: 3,587

The combination of vampires and Kung Fu is a surprisingly effective one.

35. The Witches (1966)

Not Rated | 90 min | Horror

Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher moves to a small English village, only to discover that black magic resides there as well.

Director: Cyril Frankel | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen, Ann Bell

Votes: 2,375

36. Paranoiac (1963)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A man long believed dead returns to the family estate to claim his inheritance.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Janette Scott, Oliver Reed, Sheila Burrell, Maurice Denham

Votes: 2,281

Not too bad, has a certain level of intrigue but the plot can be difficult to follow.

37. Cash on Demand (1961)

Not Rated | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A charming but ruthless criminal holds the family of a bank manager hostage as part of a cold-blooded plan to steal 97,000 pounds.

Director: Quentin Lawrence | Stars: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Richard Vernon, Norman Bird

Votes: 1,517

A basic story is sometimes better. Cushing and Morell are excellent.

38. These Are the Damned (1962)

Approved | 87 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

72 Metascore

An American tourist, a youth gang leader, and his troubled sister find themselves trapped in a top secret government facility experimenting on children.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Macdonald Carey, Shirley Anne Field, Viveca Lindfors, Alexander Knox

Votes: 2,833

39. Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960)

Approved | 80 min | Adventure, Drama, History

While King Richard is away at the Crusades, some Nottingham nobles and their Sheriff plot to confiscate estates of fallen Crusaders but Robin Hood and Maid Marian foil their plan.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Richard Greene, Peter Cushing, Niall MacGinnis, Richard Pasco

Votes: 1,056

Too talky and not enough action. Peter Cushing is the best cast member.

40. The Camp on Blood Island (1958)

Approved | 81 min | Action, Drama, History

Deep in Malaya, as World War II is rapidly coming to an end, men, women and children, trapped by the Japanese invasion, are held captive in the Blood Island prison camp. Knowing that ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest | Stars: André Morell, Carl Möhner, Walter Fitzgerald, Edward Underdown

Votes: 392

41. Hell Is a City (1960)

93 min | Crime, Thriller

In Britain, a Manchester police inspector becomes obsessed with capturing a criminal who escapes from prison.

Director: Val Guest | Stars: Stanley Baker, John Crawford, Donald Pleasence, Maxine Audley

Votes: 893

Tough, gritty, thrilling.

42. Yesterday's Enemy (1959)

Approved | 95 min | Drama, War

In World War II, during the Japanese invasion of Burma, the lost remnant of a British Army Brigade HQ, led by the ruthless Captain Alan Langford, escapes through the jungle toward the British lines.

Director: Val Guest | Stars: Stanley Baker, Guy Rolfe, Leo McKern, Gordon Jackson

Votes: 662

43. Scream of Fear (1961)

Approved | 81 min | Horror, Thriller

A wheelchair-bound young woman returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.

Director: Seth Holt | Stars: Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd, Ronald Lewis, Christopher Lee

Votes: 3,604

44. Moon Zero Two (1969)

G | 100 min | Crime, Sci-Fi

A space salvage expert and his partner become involved with a group of criminals intent on hijacking a small asteroid made of sapphire and crashing it into the moon for later recovery. The ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: James Olson, Catherine Schell, Warren Mitchell, Adrienne Corri

Votes: 1,248

45. On the Buses (1971)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

Stan gets a little annoyed when his Mum and Sister keep buying expensive items on hire purchase, but the money he earns for overtime working as a bus driver means that he can afford it... ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Booth | Stars: Reg Varney, Doris Hare, Michael Robbins, Anna Karen

Votes: 1,529