The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb — When European Egyptologists Dubois, Giles and Bray discover the tomb of the Egyptian prince Ra, American entrepreneur and investor Alexander King insists on shipping the treasures and sarcoph... more »agus back to England for tour and display. Once there, someone with murderous intent has discovered the means of waking the centuries dead prince...
Scream of Fear
After narrowly surviving an accident in which she nearly drowned, the wheelchair bound Penny Appleby returns home to live with her widowed step-mother Jane on the French Riviera. She begins to question her sanity after several times seeing her father's corpse around the house and its grounds, and enlists the help of the friendly chauffeur Bob while attending Doctor Gerrard acts in a suitably sinister manner. No one is who they seem in this tale of intrigue and suspense.
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.
In early-twentieth-century middle-Europe, villagers are literally becoming petrified. Although the authorities try to hush the matter up it is apparent that at the full moon, Medusa leaves her castle lair and anyone looking on her face is turned to stone. When this fate befalls a visitor, experts from the University of Leipzig arrive to try and get to the bottom of it all.« less
Gabriele J. from NEWARK, CA Reviewed on 2/22/2010...
As Hammer Films go, this selection is not too bad:
The 2 Faces of Dr. Jekyll: Bad, makes you cringe sometimes.
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb: OK, but has also a lot of cringe-worthy scenes.
The Gorgon: Pretty good, and they actually throw in a red herring!
Scream of Fear: The best of them, with a nice twist at the end!
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Seldom-seen gems from Hammer Studios
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 07/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With so many acknowledged classics from Hammer Studios already available on DVD, I was beginning to wonder if lesser-known efforts like these would ever be released. In case you may have missed them, here's a bit about the films themselves:
TWO FACES OF DR. JECKYLL is the real gem of the set. Christopher Lee is perfectly cast as the hedonistic friend to Paul Massie's Dr. Jeckyll. Hammer favorite Terence Fisher directs this very adult (for its time) story.
CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB is neither the worst (The Mummy's Shroud) nor best (Blood From the Mummy's Tomb) of Hammer's follow-ups to the 1959 original Mummy. In the worst tradition of Mummy movies, however, it's a pretty dull offering.
THE GORGON is a fine pairing of icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and is among Hammer's most expensive-looking productions. The title creature reminds one of the work done by the great Ray Harryhausen.
SCREAM OF FEAR is another seldom-seen thriller, much in the vein of Psycho (Collector's Edition). It's certainly the most realistic of the films in this collection.
While no single film here (with the possible exception of TWO FACES...) really compares to Hammer's best films, there's still plenty of b-grade thrills for fans of films of this type. "
Who Is The Real Monster? (Superb Collection of Monster Movie
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 10/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, allow me to discuss the DVD presentation. The only extra features are: theatrical trailers and English subtitles for all four movies. We who are hearing impaired thank Sony for the subtitles. Commentaries would've been nice, especially for those who have a favorite film in this collection. The restoration is superb and the audio is strong and clear for all four features. "The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll" and "The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb" are presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1; "The Gorgon" and "Scream of Fear" are presented in 1.66:1. Except for "Scream of Fear," all features are in beautiful color. The black and white print is clear and sharp for "Scream of Fear." Too bad it wasn't in color. Overall, the DVD presentation is very good. Now for the review:
Hammer Film Productions was famous for their gothic horror films. This is a superb collection and introduction for anyone unfamiliar with Hammer. Horror icon Christopher Lee (most famous for his role as Dracula) is in three of the films. Other horror legends include Peter Cushing, Barbara Shelly, Susan Strasberg, and Oliver Reed. All four movies involve monsters, primarily humans who have become monsters, whether physically or intellectually. Also, in these films, the viewer doesn't know who the real monster is. (The films are rife with betrayal.) A monster can be anyone. Sometimes they are normal in appearance. I promise you no plot spoilers as I briefly describe the monster scenario in each of these highly rated classic gems.
"The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll" - Aging Dr. Jekyll drinks his potion and becomes a younger, more handsome man who wishes to be free of all responsibility for his amoral actions. (Don't we all wish we could live like that? Isn't there a monster in all of us?) Masquerading as Dr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll learns that his gorgeous wife and best friend (Lee) are traitorous monsters.
"The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb." - Ra, the Egyptian Prince, has been resurrected by an evil person who possesses an amulet. Who are they and why are they seeking to destroy everyone around them? The real monster is the one who is controlling the unfortunate mummy.
"The Gorgon." Both Lee and Cushing star as a doctor and a professor, respectively, who are seeking to destroy the monster who turns innocent villagers into stone with their gaze. Unfortunately, the monster may actually be a respected member of the community.
"Scream of Fear." This "Hitchcock"-like thriller stars Susan Strasberg as a crippled young woman; for the first time in ten years, she is visiting her wealthy father who lives on the French Riviera. Someone in the household is a monster who is trying to drive her insane. Quite a good mystery with many surprises.
In fact, all four films are mysterious, gloomy, creepy, and shocking. I'm surprised these haven't already been released on DVD in America. They are truly excellent horror classics. I can't tell you which one is my favorite. For having been made in the 1960s, these films contain violence that is surprisingly graphic and shocking. Also, certain scenes in "The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll" had language and sexual innuendoes that were hilarious.
This collection is a must have for fans of gothic horror from Hammer Film Productions. I'm very glad I bought it. Try to take it away from me and I'll turn into a monster. "
Good Set, Lousy Packaging
Brian J Hay | Sarnia, Ontario Canada | 10/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The packaging on this set is atrocious. The cover shot looks as if somebody ran wild with (Adobe) Illustrator and Photoshop. It looked like the work of one of those labels whose 'best available source material' was a badly worn VHS tape. There are no special features except for the original theatrical trailers. If it hadn't been for the "Columbia" and "Sony" logos on the rear jacket this one would have stayed on the shelf.
But, that's where the bad news ends. The films have been re-mastered in high definition. The images are pristine. The colour is vibrant. The audio tracks have been re-mastered to stereo. Even the trailers have been cleaned up. The menus are easy to navigate. The set features two gems and a pair of enjoyable films. The price works out to about six bucks per film.
This is a good set and a good value.
Scream of Fear ****
This film evokes images of Hitchcock's better work. Jimmy Sangster's story has plenty of twists and turns. The acting from the principle players is superb. Susan Strasberg delivers a riveting performance. Ann Todd's performance is wonderfully subtle. Christopher Lee shows the range that made him an icon of the genre. Ronald Lewis is both chilling and charming as the man sympathetic to Strasberg's plight.
The technical side of the picture is strong also. Director Seth Holt kept Sangster's narrative moving at a brisk pace. The cinematography and lighting are excellent. The black and white photography is stunning. The score, by Clifton Parker enhances the mood of the film extremely well.
This is an excellent piece of work.
The Gorgon ****
The Gorgon is a wonderfully crafted motion picture. Director Terrence Fisher regarded it as his finest or one of his finest works and he was probably right. It's true that the snakes on the Gorgon's makeup look bad but the blame (likely) lies with the amount of money the crew had to work with. The rubber snakes aside, this film breathtakingly beautiful to watch. The cinematography of Michael Reed is excellent. The design of the production by Bernard Robinson is gorgeous. The lighting (which is uncredited) casts one stunning highlight after another. The colour (by Technicolor) is glorious. J. Llewellyn Devine's story, and John Gilling's adaptation of it, gave the crew plenty to work with.
(Terrence) Fisher's directing knits this web together perfectly. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee both give fine performances. Barbara Shelley delivers an engaging turn as Cushing's assistant. Michael Goodliffe and Richard Pasco deliver strong characterizations. Even the Village Police Inspector played by Patrick Troughton avoids being a completely one-dimensional figure. There are a few backdrops that aren't convincing and the aforementioned snakes' heads look a little silly but those are small complaints.
This is an example of the genre at its most poetic. It's not to be missed.
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll **
The take that writer Wolf Mankowitz gave to (Robert Louis) Stevenson's classic is intriguing enough but the narrative never lives up to its original promise. The story bogs down periodically and the characters are often weak. Jekyll' is overwrought and self-righteous. Hyde is an intellectual version of pure evil who can be really stupid. Jekyll's wife is an unsympathetic character. Hyde's lover seems bent on her own destruction. They're all one-dimensional.
Terrence Fisher and the actors around him do what they can but that's limited. Paul Masse does well with the roles of Jekyll and Hyde but he couldn't do the impossible. 'Hyde' is intriguing enough but 'Jekyll' is flat. He spends most of his screen time acting as if he'd be a lot of fun at funerals. Dawn Addams never evokes any sympathy over being caught in a loveless marriage. Norma Marla does pretty well in the role of the women who falls in love with Hyde but she was limited by the script. The only character that's fleshed out thoroughly is the one played by Christopher Lee. He plays the part of an unprincipled leech brilliantly. It's a credit to his talent that he could do so much with limited material.
This isn't a bad film. The story-line is thought provoking and there are some good moments. But, it's inconsistent. And when it's dull, it's dull.
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb **
This film has plenty of faults. The makeup job on the Mummy is awful. Its head looks like it's made of soggy cardboard. The best parts of the script were borrowed from their first version of the story. The characters are all stock. There's an intrepid academic who bores his girlfriend. There's a bored girlfriend who falls for the charming intellectual. Of course there's a charming intellectual. There's the obligatory Egyptian who warns about the dangers of 'defiling the dead' (who in Egypt always have curse ready for people who do that). And, naturally, there's a huckster in there. How could there not be?
But this crew does a decent job with it. Ronald Howard is wonderfully dull as the academic who'd rather woo women with hieroglyphics than moonlight. Jeanne Roland is a perfect Doe-eyed ingénue. Her character isn't the brightest bulb on the screen but she bats her bonny browns deliciously. Terrence Morgan is slippery, suave, charming and happy to show her the poetry of life. And Fred Clark is delightfully dollar-happy as the promoter looking to put the Mummy under lights. Director and Writer Michael Carreras had the sense to throw in a few surprises. And he did it in ways that don't seem contrived.
When the cardboard-headed Mummy finally does run loose there are some chilling moments. The pace set by Carreras is brisk one. His story, though not particularly original, seldom drags. The cinematography and production design by Otto Heller and Bernard Robinson are good. The action scenes are convincing.
This isn't a great film (or even a particularly good one) but it has one thing going for it: it's fun."
Nice collection of Hammer Horror available in English captio
Senor Ninguno | 10/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is truly a nice gift for the Halloween season. Hammer films of England has been a great purveyor of gothic horror movies during the 1950s and 1960s. This collection is fairly representative of Hammer's work from 1959 through 1964. The presentation of the films in this DVD package was very clear and crisp. The colors were simply sumptuous! I first saw the Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll in a VHS tape. The colors and the look were very faded and muddy. In this DVD, we saw the film as if we were at the movie theater back in 1959. The other three films also look great. Kudos goes to Sony Pictures for the great work done in making these four films available for our viewing pleasure! Finally, it should be noted that all four films are available with closed captions and also have English subtitles for those who are hearing impaired. I only wished the folks at Universal who produced that horrendous DVD package of The Hammer Horror Series (Brides of Dracula, Curse of the Werewolf, etc.), with its flawed and mostly unviewable disks, used the same care which Sony did with this DVD collection. The only problem with this Sony collection is that only trailers are available as special features. But, hey, it is great to have these Hammer films finally in DVD. I look forward to seeing more Hammer classics coming out in the future."
A big surprise on this set of Hammer Horrors. Keep 'em comin
george664 | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Amazed to discover not only have the "hells" and "whores" on the dialogue track been restored in this version of The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll, but at least three scenes that had been trimmed by the censor have also been restored. The uncut ending of Maria's snake dance is pretty bold stuff for the early 60's and it's hard to imagine that Hammer thought they could slip this by the British or American censors. The two other restored moments are also scenes with the snake dancer, Maria.
I've always found The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll a compelling reworking of the Stevenson novella, and as others have noted, Christopher Lee gives one of his best performances in an unusual bit of casting. Unfortunately the picture never really knows what to do with its unique premise of a dull bearded Dr Jekyll and a young handsome Mr Hyde. The original script was for a two hour movie and before shooting began was cut down to a more typical Hammer running time of under 90 minutes. Cutting that much material out of the script may be the reason this version never really comes together dramatically.
But it's difficult to know without reading, if the longer script would have made a better picture. The original screenplay ended with the execution of Dr Jekyll. His neck in the hangman's noose, Jekyll is dropped through the gallows' door and as the dead man's body swings into view, we see the face of Mr Hyde. It's a stronger ending, but doesn't magically pull the picture together.
The Two Faces isn't a horror film and it's not written or directed as a horror film. Maybe the problem is that we expect a horror film and the movie isn't powerful enough to convince us it isn't a horror film.
Even with the script problems, The Two Faces is one of Hammer's most elaborate productions with a number of very compelling scenes and strong performances. Terence Fisher's direction is bold and assured, although for some reason Fisher has been blamed for the picture's short comings. But it seems apparent the problem is with the script, not the direction. For all it's flaws, it's one of Hammer's most unusual pictures and I can't help but like it a lot.
Scream of Fear is the first and best of Hammer's psychological thrillers, with a few tense scenes that still hold up 47 years later. Although you might find one of the most "shocking" moments is a quiet but sexually charged scene between Ann Todd and Ronald Lewis near the end of the movie.
The Gorgon tries hard to be the kind of horror film its title suggests, but fortunately fails miserably. More a tragic romance, in some strange way the picture rises above it's limited premise. Probably because Terence Fisher's direction emphasis the romantic and plays down as much of the conventional horror shtick as possible. But it's an uphill battle since the script is filled with cliches.
As for Columbia's restoration of these pictures, for some reason The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is way over saturated. Maybe it's my set, but nothing else looks over saturated except these recent Hammer releases from Columbia and that includes the two pirate pictures on the Icons of Adventure disc. Jack Asher's photography was always bold, but it didn't look cartoon-ish which is what I'm seeing on my set. Turning color down on my set helps a lot. But can't do much about the red leaning color correction . . . skin tones are way too ruddy and this might be the limits of what can be restored with a faded print. Neither Warner's nor Universal's Hammer releases have over saturated color, though Warner's The Mummy, in particular, leans too much to red in the skin tones. "