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Hammer Horror


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#1 Chris D Walker

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:40 AM

The BBC had a great three part series called 'A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss' several months ago which led me to watch and buy a number of Hammer Horror films, the most recent of which I've seen was 'The Witchfinder General' with Vincent Price. I wasn't interested in Hammer before because of their reputation of being campy and derivative and stuck with non-British horror movies of that period, but have since watched a dozen or so and find many of them to be great for their age. They're not all good, though; for every 'Dracula: Prince of Darkness' there's a 'Dracula A.D. 1972'. The second episode of 'History of Horror' mentioned 'The Mummy', 'Frankenstein' and it's many sequels, 'Plague of the Zombies', 'Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde', 'Blood on Satan's Claw' and a few more that I've forgotten for the minute. I plan on watching the good ones.

Now Hammer is back from the dead. Last year they produced the American remake of 'Let the Right One In', an original called 'The Resident' with Hilary Swank and Christopher Lee, and this year there's an adaptation of 'The Woman in Black' starring Daniel Radcliffe.

About 'The Witchfinder General', I was watching the film on BBC4 a couple of weeks ago and it was clear that the version I saw was assembled from two sources. The main bulk of the film looked good but violent moments like the the witch burnings were obviously from an old video dupe with fuzzy quality and tracking lines. Does anyone know whether there is an intact copy of 'Witchfinder' on DVD? Or was it the BBC having an edited copy which they filled in as best as they could?
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:33 PM

" Witchfinder General" and "Blood on Satans Claw " were made by Tigon Films not Hammer .
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#3 Chris D Walker

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 02:24 PM

You're right. That was mentioned in the show and I forgot about it. They put 'Witchfinder General', 'Blood on Satan's Claw' and 'The Wicker Man' into a 'folk-horror' genre. It's good to get the facts straight. I haven't seen 'Blood on Satan's Claw' yet, but I have seen 'The Wicker Man' at least half a dozen times. Edward Woodward and, once again, Christopher Lee. I've even got a Summerisle t-shirt in my drawer.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 06:31 PM

About 'The Witchfinder General', I was watching the film on BBC4 a couple of weeks ago and it was clear that the version I saw was assembled from two sources. The main bulk of the film looked good but violent moments like the the witch burnings were obviously from an old video dupe with fuzzy quality and tracking lines. Does anyone know whether there is an intact copy of 'Witchfinder' on DVD? Or was it the BBC having an edited copy which they filled in as best as they could?


Those are the sections cut by the UK censor and have been reinserted in the later uncut video versions. I assume they're from an old original pre-release print that someone has copied and edited into the released version master, which is of higher quality.

There seems to be a Blu Ray version that could be of higher quality during the cut scenes coming out.

http://en.wikipedia...._General_(film)
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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 12:15 AM

I enjoy a wide variety of genres, including horror. And although I always watch a Hammer production when one airs on TV, I don't consider them to be particularly great films. Though Countess Dracula was quite good. In my opinion, the best Hammer film is Ten Million BC starring Raquel Welch which of course belongs in a different genre, not being a horror film at all.
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#6 Daniel Jackson

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:55 AM

I used to love watching those old Hammer House of Horrors movies. They were so camp. Like a Carry On Movie with blood.
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