Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Book Review: THE HAMMER STORY by Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes
THE HAMMER STORY
by Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes
Published by Titan Books
Most all readers of this blog are probably familiar with Hammer Films. Hammer is the British production company that made many genre films starting with THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1957, although the studio had actually been around since the 1930's. THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN as well as 1958's HORROR OF DRACULA, gave the studio their first big commercial success and paved the way for them to focus mainly on Gothic horror films.
THE HAMMER STORY is a beautiful hardcover 11 1/2” x 9 1/2” coffee table size book. It is over 190 pages and is full of everything you could ever want or need to know about Hammer Studios. Here is the basic synopsis of the book from the Titan Books website:
Fifty years ago, Hammer Films released their first ‘gothic’ horror movie, The Curse of Frankenstein. The now-legendary British company went on to make such classics as Dracula (and its many sequels), making international stars out of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, changing the face of horror cinema, and inspiring a generation of Hollywood filmmakers, including the likes of George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton.
Now, for the first time, Hammer have given their active backing to an authorised history of the company, and have provided unlimited access to their archives.
The Hammer Story provides a film-by-film dissection, dripping with rare promotional material and previously unpublished photographs.
The book gives you a lot of history on the start up of Hammer films as well and info on the early works from 1934-1954. The bulk of the book focus' on Hammer's most popular years between the years of 1955 through the 1970's. The book discusses every major film from this period and gives you a behind the scenes look at each film, from things that inspired the film to tons of fun trivia and facts.
Throughout the book, there are small spotlights on certain actors and actresses that played roles in Hammer Films, as well as info on the directors of those films. The book is also chock full of great photos, including both publicity stills and behind the scenes photos, as well as lobby cards, rare sketches and story board prints.
The book ends with a Hammer Filmography, listing every Hammer film, along with a brief synopsis of the film. This is by far one of the nicest movie books I have ever seen released. This is a must have for Hammer fans and really for any horror fan in general.
This is just one of series of books that Titan Books have released about Hammer Films. Stay tuned to 4H blog as I review the other book in the upcoming weeks.
CLICK HERE to purchase THE HAMMER STORY