A collection of horror classics from Hammer Studios. Six films that feature horror stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing-- Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Frankenstein Must be Destroyed, Horror ... more »of Dracula, The Mummy, Taste the Blood of Dracula.« less
Dracula and Frankenstein: Following Hammer's monsters
A. C. Cronvich | Planet Zeist | 05/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a list that will help new fans of the Hammer hoorrors keep track of the series. First the Dracula series.
1) HORROR OF DRACULA (aka DRACULA) The first Dracula to feature Chris Lee as the count and Peter Cushing as Prof. Lawrence Van Helsing.
2) BRIDES OF DRACULA No Dracula here but Van Helsing returns to fight the Counts remaining deciples in this first sequel that is just as good as the first.
3) KISS OF DRACULA (aka KISS OF THE VAMPIRE) More stray vampires terrorize tourists. Good, but no Lee or Cushing. (aka KISS OF EVIL in Britain , KISS OF THE VAMPIRE in US theatres and was retitled KISS OF DRACULA for some US TV showings.)
4) DRACULA- PRINCE OF DARKNESS Lee returns to the role. This time the Count is revived by the devilish Mr. Klove. Dracula is silent in this film. Not one word is spoken by Lee.
5) DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE Starts with a prologue that takes place during DRACULA- PRINCE OF DARKNESS, then jumps to several months later when Priests accidentaly free Dracula from his watery grave during an exorcism. (We see Drac's reflection in the water. OOPS!!) One sequence is tinted in psychedelic colors.
6) TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA picks up right were the last left off. A group of wealthy thrill seekers, led by Ralph Bates, resurrects the count. There are two versions. The US cut on VHS was rated PG. The US DVD is the uncut R rated version which has nudity.
7) SCARS OF DRACULA Dracula returns to his carpathian castle, where, aided by his henchman Klove, he stalks busty girls in sheer nighties. With a phalic dagger no less, and with Bob Todd, Benny Hills tall balding sidekick, who dresses as if he's from the 1500s (?!?). (Has nudity)
8) DRACULA A.D. 1972 During a coach chase both Van Helsing and Dracula are killed. 100 years later Dracula is revived and stalks sexy mini skirted girls and other mod types in 1970s London. Lorimer Van Helsing (Cushing again) , grandson of the original, shows up with his beautiful granddaughter Jessica (Stephanie Beacham) to stop him. Some of the plot is lifted directly from TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA. (This was called DRACULA IS DEAD AND WELL AND LIVING IN LONDON in some US TV prints)
9) THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA (aka COUNT DRACULA AND HIS VAMPIRE BRIDE) Is a direct sequel to the last film. Dracula, back with no explanation, is now a wealthy London businessman who controls a wide spread satanic cult. They are attempting to wipe out the human race with a deadly viras. Lorimer and Jessica Van Helsing lead Scotland yards new team of vampire hunters. Joanna Lumley replaces Stephanie Beachum as Jessica. Dracula uses Hell's Angels to do his dirty work and some of the plot is, again, lifted from TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA. (The title was changed to THE RITES OF DRACULA for its US VHS release in the 80s. In North America this movie is considered in public domain, even though Hammer still holds the copyright.)
10) LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES (aka THE SEVEN BROTHERS MEET DRACULA) Back to basics. In the early 1800s Dracula's vampire plague spreds to China. 100 years later a chinese village seeks out Lawrence VanHelsing and his son Leland for help against the growing army of the dead, led by 7 golden vampires and a high priest who is possessed by Dracula himself. (There are two distinctly different edits of this film. The US DVD/VHS has both versions on it.)
The Frankenstein Saga..
1) THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (aka FRANKENSTEIN) Cushing is the selfish science student and Lee is his monster. Victor is portrayed as arrogant and villainous.
2) THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN is a direct sequel with Cushing returning to create a new creature. He is much nicer, yet, still corrupt. He creates himself a new , lookalike, body. But this is never refered to in the series again (!?!).
3) TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN (THE FACE IN THE TOMBSTONE MIRROR) is an unsold pilot for a Hammer/Screen Gems Frankenstein series. Anton Diffring replaces Cushing as a goodhearted, but still criminal, Victor and stock shots from Universal's horrors are used in the opening credits (In public domain in the US. Some of the plot was later reused in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED.)
4) THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN Cushing returns to his castle and discovers a previous creation (One we've never seen before) to still be alive. This time Victor is a good guy and some of the plot, and art direction, is lifted from Universal's Frankenstein Series. A US TV version had new scenes shot by Universal added to expand the running time. These scenes were not included in later TV showings and are not on any DVD/VHS.
5) FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN Victor survived the fire at the end of the last film, but it left his hands horribly scarred. His surgical techniques hindered, he attempts a new experiment. Transpant of the soul or mind from a man to a woman. Victor is arrogant but still, basically a generous good guy.
6) FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED Still crippled, the increasingly mad Victor blackmails a young couple into assisting him. Victor is depicted as completely evil and a cold blooded killer. A brief "semi-rape" scene (Victor beats a girl up, tears her dress and kisses her) was cut from US theatrical versions. (The movie works better without it.) The US VHS/DVD is uncut.
7) HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN is just a remake of CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN with Ralph Bates replacing Cushing as a blase' but evil Victor. David Prowse is the creature.
8) FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL Back to basics. Cushing is Frankenstein again and now he runs an asylum full of loonies and potential spare parts. This was Cushings last performance as Victor and it is a brilliant descent into total madness. He is a kindly old man at times but also ruthless. He is still blackmailing people to get what he needs.
The Mummy series...
THE MUMMY Cushing is the archyologist who unnearths a curse and Kharis the Mummy played by a very scary Christopher Lee. Its really a remake of Universal's THE MUMMY'S TOMB with bits of THE MUMMY'S HAND, THE MUMMY'S CURSE, THE MUMMY'S GHOST and the original THE MUMMY thrown in. Similar to today's "re-imagining" remakes. Lee is quite good as the heartbroken Kharis, despite it being another silent part.
THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB Is another mummy (not Kharis) on the loose. The US trailer and TV ads for this movie had a funny "beat-music" "jingle"!!!
THE MUMMY'S SHROUD a third egyptian is revived as a living mummy.
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB has a very busty & sexy brunette female mummy tempting men, and women as well, to their doom."
Get Your Overdose of Hammer Films with this Terrific Set!
The Magician | New York, NY | 04/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just got this set and it's great. The video transfers are all vivid and beautiful, the colors pop, especially those all important blood reds. The mono soundtracks are surprisingly robust and clear. If you love Hammmer Films like I do then this set will probably make you drool.
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957): Terence Fisher is a master director and this, the first of Hammer's reinvention of classic gothic horror, proves why. Story, performances and, oh, those colors are stunning.
Horror of Dracula (1958): Perhaps Hammer's finest hour, this is the best Dracula film ever. Great cast, direction, photography, costumes, etc. And the music by Hammer veteran James Bernard is terrific--it really gets your blood pumping. Oh, and Lee and Cushing truly strike sparks.
The Mummy (1959): The third in Hammer's fantastic Lee/Cushing Gothic re-imaginings. Chris Lee is the best mummy. Like his interpretation of Dracula, Lee is dynamic and forceful--and he does this with absolutely no dialogue!
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968): The third in the Lee Dracula cycle. This one's exciting and fast-moving with some interesting visuals--the use of color filters on Dracula, Dracula's suspenseful removal of a stake from his chest, and some wonderfully eerie rooftop sets make this a winner.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969): The fifth in the Cushing Frankenstein cycle and my personal favorite. The doctor is truly a complex character in this one. At turns, charming, cunning, witty, brilliant and evil. Cushing is amazing in the role and proves why he was such a great actor. Exciting and absorbing from start to finish.
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970): This DVD presents for the first time the full 95 minute cut in America. All previous releases were 91 minutes. This version is rated R and has bits of nudity and bloody violence reinstated. Chris Lee is as commanding as ever as Dracula but, to be truthful, he's not in this very much--in fact, it's barely more of an extended cameo. Still, the film has much to recommend it. The cast is one of the best in the entire Hammer catalogue, especially Geoffrey Keen as the hypocritical Hargood and Ralph Bates as the sinister Courtley and, in a small role, Russell Hunter as a flamboyant Bordello owner. The production is quite beautiful and it's the first and only Hammer Dracula that's set in Victorian London.
Extras are slim, just some cool trailers, but the movies are the thing and they're great."
Hammer addicts orgy!!
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 06/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long time fan of the works of Chris Lee and Peter Cushing these are some of the early and best works. Hammer did good! Hammer Horror Collection (The Curse of Frankenstein / Dracula Has Risen from the Grave / Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed / Horror of Dracula / The Mummy / Taste the Blood of Dracula). Hammer brought lush colour to the old B&W classic, in fast pace, visually beautiful films.You notice when amazon has used DVD and books listed, an item is good if the use price is 1/2 the original price. I notice on these, the used price is HIGHER. I think that says it all. Get these for your collection before they run out!"
A Must Have for American Hammer Fans
Eugene R. Graff | Vancouver, WA United States | 07/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an absolutely top-notch collection. The widescreen transfers are nearly flawless, with rich colors - far and away better than any previously video releases. My only beef (minor at that) are the lack of extra disk features. This is especially notable when you compare this set with the recent Universal Monster Legacy collection. That aside, viewing this collection makes it easy to see why Hammer was so popular in its day - high production values, great casts, great pictures. I am just hoping that Warners follows up this US set with a second one because on the Amazon UK site I noticed that there is another box set with lesser, but no less desirable, Hammer titles such as Scars of Dracula, Horror of Frankenstein, The Devil Rides Out, Lust for a Vampire and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb. It would be nice to have that one available in a Region 1 version..."
When horror films had stories.
Vito Skywalker | Hawaii United States | 05/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the last 25 years, we've been bombarded with horror films designed to shock rather than scare. We have Jason, a mindless murderer back from the grave, Freddie, a murderer who haunts our dreams, and Chucky, a little doll who likes to kill people. I'm not saying these newer films are bad. They're just not as good as the older ones.
Case in point, the horror films released by England's Hammer studios from the late 50s into the 70s. All of these films have villains, murderers and shock. But they also have interesting stories. They're not mindless.
This gem of a collection is a great starting point for somebody interested in owning Hammer horror films. There are other Hammer films out there besides these, but these are some of the best.
The Curse of Frankenstein. This is where it all started. Peter Cushing is excellent in his sinister portrayal as Victor Frankenstein, and Christopher Lee is an admirable monster.
The Horror of Dracula. Peter Cushing is back, and is great this time around as Van Helsing. Christopher Lee plays the infamous count for the first time.
The Mummy. This is the best remake of the Boris Karloff original. Lee stars again, this time as Kharis, a resurrected mummy out for revenge against those who desecrated his beloved Ananka's ancient tomb. Peter Cushing is one of the people he wants to get even with.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. Perhaps Cushing's most sinister stint as Dr. Frankenstein, this time stopping at nothing to make history in the science of brain transplants.
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave. Lee's third stint as the evil count, this time using a priest to exercise his agenda of death and destruction.
Taste the Blood of Dracula. Lee's fourth go-around as the blood-sucking monster, this time seeking revenge against the three men who murdered his disciple.
All of these films are beautifully presented in anamorphic widescreen. The colors, particularly the red, stand out."