Tag Archives: hammer

Hammer 01 – The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Hammer Movies

Hammer 01: The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Mark and Sam begin their chronologically-ordered, occasional trips into the world of Hammer Horror, starting with the movie that gave Hammer the success and confidence it needed to launch the Hammer brand of Horror.

Mark additionally has an connected book out in the Amazon Kindle store, covering the movies and TV shows of Quatermass! To see it, click on the link: Quatermass In Television and Movies

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Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter 4/5

Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter

Made at the tail-end of the Hammer era of horror movies, this is a rip-roaring, swashbuckling horror movie, with Captain Kronos killing vampires with a Katana many years before Blade got to it, this is just a lot of fun. There’s whole new vampire mythology being made up in this one, with vampires coming in a lot of varieties and with distinct ways to kill them, and whilst the lead is a little uncharismatic (he looks like Bjorn Borg), it really cracks along at a fair pace, and is thoroughly entertaining. I think this guy was Hammer’s attempt to provide a hunk for the ladies maybe. Hammer were always good at providing attractive young ladies for guys to look at, and whilst Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are fantastic, they aren’t exactly hunk material for the ladies.

The central friendship between Kronos and Grost is also pretty good, with a few lines giving a decent feel for how much they mean to each other. I also liked the scenes involving the inn bullies, which I suspect was padding to fill out the time as it really didn’t connect with anything else, but were actually pretty good at illustrating what a badass Kronos was. The whole working out how to kill this species of vampire was cool too, and there were other nice imaginative touches to this (the time-freezing during the vampire attack; Kronos making the vampire self-hypnotise and freeze; the entire sword-fight).

Also, Kronos gets a little roughsex with Caroline Munro.

Deserves a remake.

Oh, and the gorgeous Caroline Munro is in it.

Oh, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s mum is in it too.

Plague of the Zombies 3/5

Plague of the Zombies

Pretty solid Hammer movie exploring Haitian zombie lore, with some tense scenes. The scene were huntsmen cut cards over a trapped woman is tense as was the scene where they hunt her down in the woods beforehand), and the old mine full of white-faced, white-eyed zombies was fine, as was the priest costume. Recommended.

Hound of the Baskervilles 1959 3.5/5

Hound of the Baskervilles

Fine Hammer take on Sherlock Holmes from Peter Cushing. Christopher Lee is also present and rather good as Sir Henry Baskerville, and I liked that the Watson in this was rather capable and less of a bumbling audience-substitute who only serves to listen and admire Holmes. This is Hammer of course, so we get the bombastic school and more blood and violence than more conventional versions, but it’s good fun. Cushing was a great Holmes, it’s a shame he didn’t play Holmes again for Hammer.

The Quatermass Xperiment 4/5

The Quatermass Xperiment

Damn fine British scifi, made by Hammer before they went full-horror, with Brian Donlevy doing a great scientist-as-sociopath in his portrayal of Bernard Quatermass, and Richard Worsworth doing a great turn as Victor Caroon, a man slowly being overtaken by an alien intelligence in a performance often (rightly) compared to Karloff’s performance in the original Frankenstein. Some great touches, including rising tension in a zoo where the off-camera monster lurks, followed by the sight of dead, desiccated animals throughout the zoo the next morning, fine music, a documentary style that really serves to make you uneasy. One of the great scifi movies of the 50s.

Mark discussing Quatermass on the Talk Without Rhythm Podcast

X The Unknown 3.5/5

X The Unknown

Rather fine 50s scifi that is very Quatermassy (it was intended to be a sequel to the original Quatermass movie, but Hammer couldn’t get the rights), and rather good. It has a creature reminiscent of The Blob, and the effects in this film are better than The Blob, actually. Dean Jagger does a really good job as the American scientist in Scotland – good character actor. Very enjoyable scifi from Hammer before they concentrated so much on horror.

Mark discussing Quatermass on the Talk Without Rhythm Podcast