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Hammer and Amicus Films


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Anyone here old enough to remember the days of seeing Hammer and Amicus films at your local drive-ins, is probably enjoying the panoply of them showing this month on TCM. I applaud them for picking a nice and diverse schedule of gems directed by folks like Terence Fisher and of course starring Cushing and Lee, with great character parts fleshed out by the super fantastic Michael Ripper. Last night's viewing was great with the added allure of Oliver Reed as the Werewolf. There are more gems to follow but just wondered how many others here saw these films on their first run in the US? For some reason I only remember taking dates to the drive-in for these movies and never at an indoor theater. I guess they played them but many like later things like Tales From the Crypt just seem to be made for drive-in fare I guess. We enjoy and own many of the films scripted by Jimmy Sangster and dig all the things from Elstree.

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Never went to a drive-in, but have seen plenty of Hammer and Amicus movies. I have mixed feelings about Hammer -- some very good films; many stodgy films. Amicus did some good work. We should be particularly grateful to Amicus for giving us Balthazar the worst can in movies, in Torture Garden.

 

But I think the best British horror film studio was Tigon, because they gave us what I consider to be the two best British horrors: Witchfinder General and The Blood on Satan's Claw.

 

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The Hammer films were generally the best made. I like quite a few of them:

 

Curse of Frankenstein

Horror of Dracula

The Mummy

Curse of the Werewolf

The Devil Rides Out

Kiss of the Vampire

Brides of Dracula

Captain Clegg aka Night Creatures

Plague of the Zombies

The Reptile

Five Million Years to Earth

The Vampire Lovers

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter

To the Devil a Daughter

 

As well as various Dracula, Frankenstein and Mummy sequels.

 

Amicus has less that I liked, although their anthologies are good:

 

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

The Skull

Torture Garden

The House That Dripped Blood

Asylum

Tales from the Crypt

Vault of Horror

The Beast Must Die

 

Tigon were the cheapest of the three, but they had a few I liked, as well:

 

The Blood Beast Terror

Witchfinder General

The Creeping Flesh

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The Hammer films were generally the best made. I like quite a few of them:

 

Five Million Years to Earth

 

Horror Hotel is sort of considered an Amicus film. It's a fine, literate, scary film, one of the best of British.

 

 "Milton Subotsky was credited as the film's executive producer. The film was produced by Vulcan Productions, although because it was made by Subotsky and producing partner Max Rosenberg it has been considered the first of their Amicus Productions."

 

Hammer's Five Million Years to Earth is I think Hammer's finest movie.

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Never went to a drive-in, but have seen plenty of Hammer and Amicus movies. I have mixed feelings about Hammer -- some very good films; many stodgy films. Amicus did some good work. We should be particularly grateful to Amicus for giving us Balthazar the worst can in movies, in Torture Garden.

 

Hammer felt like the glamorous Amer. Int'l Vincent Price Poe films they competed with, while Amicus felt more like, appropriately, Tales From the Crypt.

I was too young to go see the luridly-advertised Amicus anthologies even if they did play drive-ins, or Crypt even played at a school fundraiser screening in connection with the local theater.

 

Hammer was classy, Amicus was goofy, they get confused for both putting Peter Cushing in their movies, but they complement each other perfectly.

 

LawrenceA

Captain Clegg aka Night Creatures

 

Finally managed to track that one down on DVD--

Captain Clegg might probably be better known to Disney fans as Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow, but because it was competing directly in 1962 against Disney who still held too many book rights to the character, they couldn't use the names or the alter ego.  (Although they drop a gentle hint, when our hero hides inside a scarecrow to avoid his enemies.)

 

Still, for Disney fans, it's a great what-if to see Peter Cushing play, for all purposes, Syn and the Scarecrow (the soldiers of the king knew his na-aaame)....

And yes, I got the Disney Treasures disk set when it first came out, and didn't have to pay $300 for it on eBay--It remains my one prosecution-rests argument for DVD over Digital.  And for those who missed it, neener.   :P

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