Thursday, October 18, 2012

Celebration count down day 3: Hammer Horror Films

In celebration of my upcoming birthday, I'm pretending I'm a hobbit and giving gifts to my friends. I'm sharing things I love with you. Go back a few days to hear a poem and consider time.

Today I'm going all out, revealing myself to the world as a lover of slow, methodical, overly dramatic horror movies from the 1950s and 60s. I love Hammer Horror films.

Hammer Horror was founded in the 1930s, but really hit their stride in the 50s and 60s when they produced dozens of gothic horror films with the likes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The women were always buxom, the villains evil with a touch of dark sexiness. As a child I would stay up late with my friend Carla, glued to the tv as we watched Dracula seduce beautiful women (I would hide my eyes when he bit, Carla would tell me to pretend it was a love story) or shuddered as plague overtook a village, turning everyone into monsters. It was wonderful, delicious, campy horror.

The pacing of these films could be called methodical. Rather than being driven by dialogue, the scripts relied on the actors' facial expressions and the melodramatic soundtracks. Some might call them ponderous. I love them. I love the way the story spools out to inexorable doom. I also love the costuming and set decoration. I don't know what life was really like in the Victorian era, but I'm certain it was full of red velvet and handlebar mustaches.

Hammer Horror now has a wonderful YouTube channel, where you can see full length movies., classics like Captain Chronos, Vampire Hunter and X the Unknown. I thought you might enjoy this trailer for The Devil's Bride. I especially like Christopher Lee's naughty little goatee.

(c)2012 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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