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1. The Irish R.M. - Series 1
$31.96 $23.85 list($39.95)
2. The Flame Trees of Thika
$35.96 $28.74 list($39.95)
3. A Night to Remember - Criterion
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4. The Scars of Dracula
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5. Quatermass and the Pit
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6. Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde
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7. Don't Bother to Knock
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8. The Monster Club
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9. Asylum
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10. And Now the Screaming Starts
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11. Asylum
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12. Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
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13. The Asylum

1. The Irish R.M. - Series 1
Director: Robert Chetwyn, Roy Ward Baker
list price: $49.99
our price: $39.99
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Asin: B0001WTUI0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6962
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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"Things are different in Ireland." So learns Major Sinclair Yeates, "a fine gentleman from England," who resigns from the military to take a post in rural 1897 Ireland as the Resident Magistrate. Peter Bowles, one of PBS's most valuable players (Rumpole of the Bailey, To the Manor Born) stars in the first series of The Irish R.M., six of Masterpiece Theatre's finest hours. Based on the book by Somerville and Ross, The Irish R.M. is a fish-out-of-water comedy. Think Green Acres and Northern Exposure, only, you know, much more classy.Bowles is pitch-perfect as the well-meaning, but initially confounded Yeates, who finds himself presiding over "improbable" cases. Together with his incredibly tolerant wife, Philippa (Doran Godwin), Yeates finds himself at home among (and frequently at the mercy of) a gallery of eccentric characters, including his formidable housekeeper, Mrs. Cadogan (Beryl Reid), his Puckish landlord, Flurry (Bryan Murray), and Flurry's indomitable grandmother, Lady Knox (Faith Brook). As one character remarks, "It's all devilishly funny, no doubt." --Donald Liebenson ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Charming & Delightful British Comedy-Drama
Those who enjoy Peter Bowles' roles in the ever-popular Rumpole of the Bailey and To the Manor Born will surely enjoy his role in this lovely series set in Ireland of the late 19th century. Bowles stars as Major Sinclair Yates, a retired English army officer who accepts a position in Ireland as a Resident Magistrate. His role here is reminiscent of Guthrie Featherstone in the Rumpole series, although Yates is a more multi-dimensional character, and his ineptness is due largely to an unfamiliarity with the customs and ways of life of the Irish.

Major Yates is joined by his fiancee/wife, Philippa, who is extremely tolerant both of life in a foreign country and of the comical predicaments in which the Major finds himself. Then there are the servants at Shrilane, the Yateses' less-than-pristine country home: Mrs. Cadogan is the no-nonsense (albeit highly humourous) housekeeper, whose every sentence is laden with the most elaborate of metaphors; Peter, Mrs. Cadogan's simple-minded nephew, is the stable lad; and finally Julia and the inept Bridgit are the two maids.

The real show-stealer in this series is the Major's new landlord, Flurry Knox (Bryan Murray), a clever, quick-witted and jovial young man who constantly rides the finest line between legality and illegality. Flurry is joined by his able albeit permanently inebriated cohort Slipper, played superbly by Niall Toibin (Ballykissangel's Father Macanally). The cast is rounded out by Mrs. Knox, Flurry's strong-willed and eccentric grandmother; Lady Knox, Flurry's pompous aunt; and Sally, Lady Knox's beautiful daughter.

This boxed set contains six 50-minute episodes. The series (at least thus far) is certainly more comedy than drama, and the episodes more often than not involve the Major ending up in an embarrassing and/or compromising situation (usually thanks to Flurry) from which he must somehow extricate himself--with his honour intact, if possible.

In conclusion, this is a warm and thoroughly charming series set in an Ireland that has long since disappeared. Like Ballykissangel, the humour is gentle and suitable for the enjoyment of the entire family. The only thing that takes a little getting used to are the Irish accents, for they are (unlike Ballykissangel) as thick as treacle. But it is well worth the effort, as this really is a most enjoyable series. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys good British comedy-drama.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Irish R.M. series 1
The Irish R.M. is I think one of the Best done series I have ever seen! In the first episode you see Major Sinclair Yates leaving for Ireland as Resident Magistrate with hopes his fiancee will come and join him. The first episode shows the major getting settled in his new home (Shrilane)! The second episode is the funniest in the whole series, it involves Flurry's abnoxious grandmother and horse stealing (by none other than the Major)! All the following episodes are of great enjoyment to any audience and I highly recomend a buy! If you like this one there is a follow-up series called the Irish RM II. BUY IT !

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and high jinks in late-Nineteenth Century Ireland.
Major Sinclair Yeates (Peter Bowles) leaves the army and becomes a Resident Magistrate in late-Nineteenth Century Ireland. There he encounters a people so foreign to his way of thinking that he often finds himself befuddled and hopelessly confused. Surrounding him are such people as the formidable Mrs. Cadogan (pronounced "Cayder-gorn"), the forceful and self-confident Mrs. Knox, and the leprechaun-like Flurry Knox. Major Yeates, though outmaneuvered and outthought by Flurry at almost every point, comes to appreciate the people he now lives amongst, and their charming culture.

The stories in this series (there are 5, one-hour tapes with one show per tape) are expertly done, and the cast is masterful at their parts. Indeed, Bryan Murray (who plays Flurry) steals the show as if he were born to the part. This show is great for family viewing containing nothing objectionable. Indeed, my two small children have developed a dance that they perform whenever the opening music begins!

This show is great if you like British humor, period drama, family entertainment, et cetera, ad infinitum!

5-0 out of 5 stars IRISH R.M. is ADDICTIVE!
THE IRISH R.M. has hit the top of my personal charts, and I can't stop re- and re-rewatching each show. With an hysterical story line, a brilliant script, fine directing, and best of all an INCREDIBLE cast, it is a treasure. The stand-out, of course, is Bryan Murray as the irrepressible Flurry Knox. And the question is: where has the film industry been hiding this glorious, brilliant and immesurably talented actor? He is a wonderful foil for veteran Peter Bowles; incredibly funny; and blessed with a never-ending collection of facial expressions that speak as elloquently as a Shakespearean sonnet. An Adonis-leprecaun, he lightly plucks scene after scene from his formidable fellow-actors as easily as if he were blowing dandelion seeds across a summer lawn. The acompanying music score transforms these exchanges into a celebration dance, saluting the wonderful complexities that have made Ireland a country that is the twinkle in the eye of Europe.

5-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and dramatic comedy
After watching this on PBS Masterpiece theatre, it was a most enjoyable comedy that my whole family enjoyed, and I recommended this series to my friends.Hilarious! ... Read more


2. The Flame Trees of Thika
Director: Roy Ward Baker
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Asin: B0007GP83G
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2471
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Based on the beloved autobiographical novel by Elspeth Huxley, BBC miniseries The Flame Trees of Thika brings an eventful childhood in Eastern Africa to vivid life. In 1913, 11-year-old Elspeth Grant (Holly Aird) traveled with her mother, Tilly (Hayley Mills), from England to Kenya to help build a coffee plantation. (Born in 1907, Huxley was actually six at the time.) Her father, Robin (David Robb), who had preceded them, was waiting to greet his family in the arid town of Thika. Also waiting for them were lions, elephants, giraffes, and countless other creatures (the 18-week production was filmed on location in Kenya).

Directed by Roy Ward Baker (A Night To Remember) and written by John Hawkesworth (Upstairs, Downstairs), The Flame Trees of Thika isn't just about one girl, or one family, adrift in an occasionally hostile foreign land, but also about the dangers of colonialism. The Grants, their neighbors, the Palmers (Nicholas Jones and Sharon Maughan), and most of the other Europeans in Thika feel certain they're bringing culture to the uncivilized, without realizing what they're destroying in the process. Ian Crawford (Ben Cross from Chariots of Fire), is one possible exception to the rule, but he brings another kind of danger in his pursuit of Mrs. Palmer.

Since their actions are seen through the eyes of a child, The Flame Trees of Thika is never preachy, but the meddling of these adults--however well intentioned--in the affairs of the Masai, the Kikuyu, and other locals frequently creates tension. As Tilly notes, "It's like two whole separate circles revolving around each other--their world and ours--and only just touching occasionally." What began as Elspeth's coming-of-age story, becomes one for her parents, as well, in this sensitive and engaging series. --Kathleen C. Fennessy ... Read more


3. A Night to Remember - Criterion Collection
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $39.95
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Asin: 1559408685
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10210
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Two years after Twentieth Century Fox released its melodramatic disaster film Titanic in 1953, Walter Lord's meticulously researched book A Night to Remember surprised its publishers by becoming a phenomenal bestseller. Lord had an intuition that readers craved the reality of the Titanic disaster, and not the romantically mythologized translations that relied on fictional characters to enhance the world's worst maritime disaster. Lord's book proved that truth is far more compelling than fiction. Three years after it appeared, the book was brought to the screen with the kind of riveting authenticity he had insisted upon in his own research. The 1958 British production of A Night to Remember remains a definitive dramatization of the disaster, adhering to the known facts of the time and achieving a documentary-like immediacy that matches (and in some ways surpasses) the James Cameron epic released 39 years later. The film erroneously perpetuates the once-common belief that Titanic sunk in one piece (instead of breaking in half as its bow began to plunge), but many other misconceptions are accurately corrected, and the intelligent screenplay by thrill-master Eric Ambler is a model of factual suspense. By making Titanic the star of the film, director Roy Baker emphasizes the excessive confidence of the booming industrial age and creates an intense realism that pays tribute to Walter Lord's tenacious quest for truth. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (64)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Titanic movie yet.
Cameron's film has its moments, but in truth I only liked it for the chance it gave me to see a great old ocean liner brought to life again on screen. In "A Night To Remember", the effects are not nearly so impressive, but the story is far better. It's very much in the style of a docudrama, but its a docudrama about one of the most fascinating and enduring stories in all of history. I don't quite know why Cameron felt it necessary to tell a soap opera melodrama about two fictional lovers and use one of the most dramatic stories in all human history as nothing more than a backdrop. "A Night To Remember", based on Walter Lord's outstanding book of the same name, tells the story of the disaster itself. Kenneth More plays a heroic Second Officer Lightoller, and the film actually makes him out to look a little better than he did in reality - he lowered several of the lifeboats less than half loaded, and permitted no men at all to get in, even when the boats were ready to lower and no more women were nearby to board. Still, this bit of dramatic license doesn't hurt the film.

The account of Titanic's loss has something in it to appeal to everybody. For the lovers of a great story it has incredible drama and suspense. For lovers of nostalgia it is far the best documented voyage of any ship from the golden age of the great ocean liners. For those interested in tragic irony there is the story of a great ship, regarded as unsinkable going down after ominous warnings were ignored. For those interested in stories with a moral, there is the cautionary tale of placing blind faith in any work of human hands, or thinking that the things of men are impervious to the forces of nature. For students of human nature, Titanic was a microcosm of society, with the full range of human strength and weakness on display, from acts of inspiring heroism to those of despicable cowardice. For those interested in social history, there is the huge gulf between the first class passengers with their vast wealth, and those in steerage with little more than the clothes they stood up in.

Few stories have proven so enduring and so fascinating as that of the Titanic. This movie remains the best, and most faithful film version of it to this day.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most moving and comprehensive Titanic movies
I've been obsessed with the Titanic since Robert Ballard found the wreck when I was only five years old. Both this film and James Cameron's Titanic are chock full of historical facts and fictions. That said, I have to say that I do enjoy A Night to Remember a bit more. I think the technical accuracies were helped by having an actual crewmember as a technical advisor. The interiors were almost spot on, with just a few minor variations. It's also nice that most, if not all, of the main characters were actual crew members and passengers. I thought it was eerie how the ship in the movie groaned and popped as she settled into the water, much like the actual Titanic. And I might be the only one who noticed, but it seems like all movies since this one have a shot of a cart in the First Class Dining Saloon rolling down the tilting floor. I also liked that the ship's orchestra played the tune Horbury to the words of Nearer, My God to Thee, my favorite setting of the hymn. The featurette was such a wonderful behind-the-scenes additon, something James Cameron might think of including on his DVD someday. All in all, A Night To Remember is a moving and touching addition to any Titanic fan's collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Puts Cameron's Big Deal to Shame
James Cameron's over-hyped special effects spectacle can't hold a candle to this taut, gripping, underplayed production.

Comparing what the directors do with their leads gives one an idea of their priorities. A Night to Remember's Roy Ward Baker, in juxtaposing the unflappable lead player Kenneth More with the overwhelming event, has the effect of making what we know to be inevitable that much more wrenching. On the other hand, Cameron takes Leo DeCaprio, who does a great job with what he's given, and wastes him on a cliché starcrossed-lovers subplot.

The stark black and white photography of A Night to Remember - a North Atlantic night filled with icebergs IS black and white - makes the Technicolor of Titanic seem like a waste of emulsion. And, believe it or not, there are some special effects in A Night to Remember that give Titanic a run for its mega-bucks.

A Night to Remember lets the inherent drama of the Titanic catastrophe deliver the impact, demonstrating that "They don't make them like they used to" is more than just nostalgia.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for it's time.
Wonderful production for it's time, but I must dispute the first two listed reviews that call it "more accurate" and "the best and most faithful version". These reviews make you expect more than you get. Cameron was absolute in his quest for accuracy with Titanic and his production made me feel the drama, while I only watched the drama in "Night". With that said, I rate this 5 stars and recommend it highly for every Titanic buff's video archive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most historically accurate film about the Titanic disaster !
This is a review for the Criterion Collection release of the film.
Now you might not think of it as accurate with this film not showing the Titanic split in two before sinking, but it still is far more accurate than any film to date Feb 2004.

This film is based ot the book of the same name by Walter Lord. Unlike every other film about the Titanic which have seen. This one is based almost solely on acutal events characters and interviews with people involved in the disaster.

An interesting nt it that the band plays the British music to the hymn "Nearer my god to thee" instead of the American version which has been played in two other Titanic films which have seen.

Many of the actors were virtaully unknown at the time of release and one Actress in the film, Honor Blackman later became famous in the 007 film Goldfinger.

The supplementary features are also very good and the Audio commentary give reference to James Cameron's film. This was a film that was quite impressive for it's time and remains popular to this day. ... Read more


4. The Scars of Dracula
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $24.98
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Asin: B00005KHJP
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 13393
Average Customer Review: 3.59 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Underrated and Truly Chilling!
The first time I saw this movie was many years ago and I still remember being in complete awe over the fact that it was so much different than what I had expected. It was so incredibly dark and sadistic (which was very uncharacteristic for Hammer Studios, let alone any other film of this period) and it actually left a lasting impression on me for days. The entire look and feel of the movie was somehow EXACTLY the way I had always pictured old horror movies to be. I feel this is one of Hammer Studios best films and one of the best Dracula movies ever made. (which unfortunately isn't saying much.)

For once, Dracula gets to deliver some good dialouge and do some pretty cool things like scaling his castle walls, torturing his nim-witted servant, and might I also mention the inclusion of the most dramatic "Dracula demise" in the entire series. Christopher Lee will always be the irreplaceable crown prince of terror and the one and only Dracula! However, one has to wonder why Peter Cushing wasn't cast as the village priest. His great acting skills and shiny charisma always added a lot of needed credibility to these so called "B grade" imported horror films.

Anyway, if you like castles, costumes, and old fashioned gothic horror films you need to give this one a try! Just don't get yourself too upset over the fake looking bats!

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT ATMOSPHERIC HORROR!
This entry in the series is perhaps the best, though it can be surpassed by HORROR OF DRACULA in some respects. A young couple runs afoul of the revived Count Dracula and his servant Klove, while in search of the man's missing brother. This film benefits greatly by an original and more elaborate screenplay, and Lee's phenomonal performance. Dracula is once again a more central character, giving him more to do and better lines. Lee gives his GREATEST performance yet, even though he personally disliked doing alot of Dracula films. Hammer also borrowed Universal's classic "firey mob" sequence for this film's opening, which also adds some early excitment as the mob of villagers attempts to end Dracula's reign by burning his castle. More is borrowed from Stoker's novel, such as Dracula scaling the castle walls and his vampire bats, whom he commands. This film is a bit gorier and has more sex than its predecessors, but don't let that stop you from buying this film(the gross scenes are few and brief). The night scenes filmed in daylight didn't bother me. Who cares? When you see Dracula awake, its night, so it doesn't matter. It helps the mood. The scenes outside the castle are dark, others are more light. This entry is very eerie, and well acted. Dracula's demise, while unorthodox, is the most original and is pretty cool!! Don't waste time, get SCARS OF DRACULA. It's the best example of Lee as Dracula, and is perhaps the darkest of the series!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but the most horiffic of the entire series!
Great movie although I still say "Horror Of Dracula" was the best of them all. This film is the best of the sequels. Only one confusing part of it though. In "Taste The Blood Of Dracula", he is destroyed and rots away into dust at that ruined church. "Scars" begins, presumably, right after that film, yet we see Dracula's remains lying on a stone slab at a castle. How did this happen? Did someone pick up his dust at the church and then sprinkle it in the castle? Maybe it was the bat who comes in to drip blood on the remains? Who knows?

In any case, this was a rather good film. Unlike the previous one, Dracula is present for nearly the entire film this time. And, a great demise at the end this time.

If you buy any of the Hammer "Dracula" films, stick with this and the previous ones. Stay away from the ones that take place in the 20th century. Not the same.

1-0 out of 5 stars A wasted effort...
This is one bad film. I'm a huge Hammer fan but my, what a waste of time and money. Sure Christopher Lee has more lines but they're awful lines and the film has absolutely zero artistry whereas the direction is concerned. The camerawork and photography have none of the excitement of the earlier Dracula films. The continuity is very bad indeed--night, now day, now...night again, all in the same sequence! The best set in the film is the bedroom with its black and deep red--a great looking set. Even on a low budget much can be done with lighting and camera angles, not to mention camera speeds and editing but apparently no one thought of those things when this film was made. This film is only slightly better than Dracula AD 1972, and not as good as Satanic Rites of Dracula which was awful. The only reason to own this DVD is if you're a Hammer completist. Then again, the commentary is mildly interesting because of Christopher Lee--also the bonus disc in interesting. In Dracula Prince of Darkness, Lee may have had no lines but it was an infinitely better looking film with more interesting characters and better direction by Terence Fisher. Sometimes not saying much speaks volumes.

4-0 out of 5 stars No bonus DVD as the cover claims!!
The movie itself is very good if your a Dracula fan like me,however, I bought this movie for the bonus DVD thats suppose to come with it, however, there is no bonus DVD! I was sent a replacement movie hoping It would come with the bonus DVD as the front cover claims, but it did not. One reviewer out there says he got the bonus DVD but I don't understand why twice I did not get it. If anyone out there bought this movie and got the bonus DVD I sure would like to hear about it. You can email me at; mrfun100@hotmail.com and I thank you! ... Read more


5. Quatermass and the Pit
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.98
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Asin: 6305095477
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21627
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't say enough about this exciting sci-fi flick.
This was the first of 7 films that Roy Ward Baker directed for Hammer. I also feel that it was possibly Hammer's finest moment. I have seen this movie at least 5 times and I still love it. This is a remake of a British television series entitled Quatermass and the Pit. The same writer was used on the film and much of the same dialogue is used. And maybe Hammer has some other moments as equally fine as this, but this is such a good movie.

While digging a new subway tunnel underneath London, a large, metallic object is discovered. Different experts are brought in and the official story from the military is that it is an experimental type of bomb from from the Germans from WW II that didn't work. Others aren't so sure, including Professor Quatermass (Andrew Keir).

A little bit of detective work by Professor Quatermass and his assistant Barbara Judd (Barbara Shelley) turns up that the area of London that the object was discovered at, Hobbs Lane, has had a history of strange phenomena going back centuries. In fact the name Hobbs as it turns out, is actually a medieval name for the Devil.

Quatermass proposes that the object is an alien craft that has been buried for centuries, if not millennia, despite the military's insistence that it is a German dud. And soon after the discovery of the object, workers start dying or start having psychotic episodes with visions of seeing aliens that look like insects (kind of like a cross between a praying mantis and a grasshopper actually). The military is trying every tool they can to drill into the object, but to no effect. A cover finally opens up and all hell starts breaking loose around Hobbs Lane. Winds are blowing and people are being driven mad by the visions they are seeing. There is also a giant apparition of an alien that appears in the sky above Hobbs Lane. The Professor figures out a way to bring the power in the spaceship to a halt by running a giant electrified crane into the apparition and save London.

If you have ever seen Lifeforce (1985), you'll notice the endings are somewhat similar. There are winds swirling around London with debris flying everywhere and sirens going off and some terrific noise all around. People are running through the streets either out of their minds or trying to get away from the madness. And one lone figure knows how to put a stop to all of it.

I hope my description of the movie doesn't turn you off, because despite the goofy sounding story it really is a well done movie. All of the principle actors do an outstanding job, especially Barbara Shelley and Andrew Kier. The first time I saw this movie on TV in the late 70's it was under the title 5 Million Years to Earth. It was probably 10 years before I saw the movie again on TV, and I was so excited to be seeing it again. Fortunately for all of us, Anchor Bay has released this movie on dvd in 1998. What is included on the disk is a commentary by director Roy Ward Baker and a World of Hammer episode entitled "Sci-Fi". I have only ever seen one copy in dvd stores and of course I bought it. So I know it is not a very common title to have in stock at most outlets. I highly recommend buying this for your permanent movie collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brother, can you spare a Quatermass?
Quatermass and the Pit (1968) is the third in the Quatermass series, beginning with The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), and followed by Quatermass 2 (1957), all written by Nigel Kneale, and is certainly one of the better Hammer Studios releases. (That's a whole lot of Quatermass...)

The film starts out with an interesting find during the renovation of an underground subway station in the English town of Hobb's End. Seems the workers found some ancient skeletal remains, early primate man it appears, prompting the work to stop, allowing for Dr. Mathew Roney (James Donald), his assistant Barbara Judd (Barbara Shelley, yowsa, yowsa) and a group of anthropologists to catalogue this remarkable discovery. The situation soon turns from fantastic to frightening, as part of a large, metal object is uncovered, leading some to believe it may be an unexploded German bomb from the last world war. Professor Bernard Quatermass (Andrew Kier), a physicist and rocket scientist, along with Colonel Breen (Julian Glover, who later appeared in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and the military soon arrive to deal with the situation, but further digging reveals the large object not to be a remnant of a past war. Turns out, it's not even an object of this Earth, as various attempts to penetrate the hull prove fruitless, as the object is of a material not recognizable to anyone. Not only that, but a secret compartment reveals child-sized inhabitants of a bug-like nature. As the scientists, the military, and the government grapple with this incredible find and all its' possible implications, the dissention amongst the parties involved begins, as not only of the origin of the object, and how best to disseminate information to the questioning public.

After Barbara, with the flaming red hair and beckoning green eyes (sorry...I got a little carried away) uncovers information about past odd happenings in the Hobb's End area, Professor Quatermass develops some interesting theories about the possibility of alien intervention in human development and reasons why. This opens a whole new can of worms, and to say Colonel Breen and various high-ranking government officials were less than receptive to these theories is putting it lightly. There position, akin to an ostrich putting its' head in the sand, is that the object and anything within was all a part of some German propaganda during the past war, designed to sow confusion and fear. This turns out not to be true, as everyone learns later. More scientific investigation reveals some truly interesting, and somewhat terrifying details. In the end, the terror becomes a reality, and the stuff really hits the fan as the object turns out to be much more than anyone had expected or could have conceived.

To me, this is an excellent example of a true science fiction film. The story is thick with rich, creamy flavor as elements are revealed, tying in not only with the present, but also the past. The conclusion to the story is satisfying, but one is left with any number of questions that may never be answered, due to the plot intricacies developed through the film. I really liked the portrayal of the powers that be in that they weren't trying to cover up some big secret, but just unwilling to face certain facts for fear that this information would have repercussions beyond the imagination, and most would probably not be able to even begin to wrap their minds around the possibilities presented with the alien object. There is a real depth to this movie, one that keeps drawing you deeper and deeper, heaping implications on top of implications, giving this viewer the sense that his mind was actually being blown. The whole affair was very intelligent and well put together, leading up to a very exciting climax. I would recommend this to any fan of true science fiction, as it exemplifies what can be achieved when all the pieces come together. This would certainly be the career highlight of capable director Roy Ward Baker, who also directed such films as Scars of Dracula (1970), Asylum (1972), And Now the Screaming Starts (1973), and The Monster Club (1980). James Donald (Dr. Mathew Roney) also appeared prominently the classic WWII film The Great Escape (1963). Andrew Kier (Prof. Quatermass) appeared in other Hammer films like Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), along with costar Barbara Shelley, and also the less than stellar The Viking Queen (1967).

The wide screen print on the disc looks very good, with only very minor signs of wear in a couple of places, and special features, which are on the flipside of the disc, include US and UK theatrical trailers, TV spots, a feature length commentary track by director Roy Ward Baker and writer Nigel Kneale, and a World of Hammer episode entitled 'Sci-Fi'. If you're in the mood for an intelligent and highly entertaining science fiction film, you won't be disappointed in Quatermass and the Pit.

Cookieman108

5-0 out of 5 stars This third movie is probably the best one to get
I saw this film as a child on television many times and I guess I should admit to some bias here as it had a lasting effect on me.

I bought the movie on the strength of that feeling and it didn't disappoint me to see it again as an adult.
Although I bought all three movies, this is my favourite Quatermass movie because the acting is so much better than the first two films.

Andrew Keir is the best and most sympathetic Quatermass in my opinion and the supporting cast, particularly James Donald (the real hero) and Barbara Shelley help raise the overall quality of the film.
Credit must also go to the author Nigel Kneale who has some terrific ideas and a real feel for science fiction. He also researches his subject well so his stories generally contain 'believable' science( the odd plant man not withstanding).

The way he weaves the old tales of goblins and devil folklore into the story is impressive and original, making the sudden discovery of these creatures less far-fetched and ultimately quite courageous for it's time, considering the heresy at the heart of the story, that we owe our existence and evolution to clever insectoid martians!

The special effects are good considering the lack of technology available at the time and the story kicks along at a cracking pace. Be warned though, you may well be repeating lines in the pub like ....they were leaping and jumping!!! for days afterwards with a bug-eyed expression on your face.

Or is that just me? (I'll get my coat.........)

I would say you if you like science fiction films you won't feel let down if you buy this movie. It's a movie worthy of the title 'classic'and I think stands up pretty well against today's efforts.

5-0 out of 5 stars WE ARE NOT ALONE
THIS ONE OF THE BEST HAMMER PICTURES,THE STORY IS FILLED WITH SUSPENSE AND GREAT SPECIAL EFFECTS FOR THAT TIME.THE ACTING IS FIRST RATE AND THE END OF MOVIE WILL GIVE UP YOU CHILLS.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT HAMMER SCI-FI THRILLER....
Workers in a London underground railway station unearth humanoid skeletons---setting off excitement among the scientific and anthropological experts. But then a stranger object is found and the military gets involved, believing it to be a bomb. It turns out to be a spacecraft. Col.Breen (Julian Glover) explains it all away as a German craft left over from WWII. Dr.Roney (James Donald) and his assistant Barbara Judd (Barbara Shelley) are skeptical due to the skeletons but the estimable physicist Prof.Quatermass (Andrew Keir) thinks there's a more otherworldly explanation. There are legends and superstitions around the railway station area of hauntings and "goblins" that are too well documented to be ignored. Then strange vibrations begin to eminate from the spacecraft and the remains of the hideous crew are discovered. Breen and his superiors go into complete denial of extraterrestrial visitation while Roney, Barbara and Quatermass bond together to explore things further. And the results are horrifying. Superior Martian lifeforms that resemble giant locusts came to earth in these ships and took back with them ape-like early human beings to mutate with in an attempt to cleanse their own race...then returned with them to earth to repopulate on our planet as Mars was no longer capable of supporting life. Thus, we are descended from this unspeakable union! What's more, this arthropodic race of Martians were evil---capable of creating such powerful telekinetic energy that could create havoc and destroy as well as control the minds of lesser beings. When the ship vibrates to life, sending telekinetic energy every which way, all hell breaks loose. This is an incredible, intelligent sci-fi/horror story with a matchless cast delivering expert performances. A truly superior Hammer film. Excellent color, claustrophobic atmosphere and modest but remarkable special effects with top-notch direction from Roy Ward Baker make this a collector's item for any sci-fi/horror/Hammer fan. Excellent DVD treatment from Anchor Bay as well. Highly recommended all around. ... Read more


6. Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005OSJV
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 27600
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Underated flick from Hammer Films
DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE is a very good movie. This is the bizaar tale of how one man-and one woman try to exist in the same body. RALPH BATES plays Dr. Jekyll, a man working on a potion that will change him forever. MARTINE BESWICK plays evil SISTER HYDE and goes on a killing rampage. The plot twists when she falls in love with another man, complicating Mr. Hyde's character. At times, this movie tries to be romantic, but in the end, it all ends up tragic! A very different horror movie from most Hammer films. I guess that's why I recommend it, because it is different. This version contains an additional 3 minutes of footage not seen in previous versions of the film! Order today!

4-0 out of 5 stars Hammer's Intriguing Twist On The Jekyll & Hyde Story
Considering their masterful adaptions of most of the great literary horror classics, it was surprising that England's Hammer Studios rarely tackled the famous story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in their film work. One attempt in the early 1960's "The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll", was their sole effort up till when they mounted this elaborate and handsome production of "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde". This film provided the story with not only a unique gender twist but managed to mesh it with elements of the horrific Jack the Ripper case which occured around the same period this story is set. In my belief one of the better Hammer efforts from this period credit must go not only to Hammer's superbly atmospheric production but also to Ralph Bates in the central role of Dr. Jekyll who experiments with the essence of life to his own great personal cost. Talented actor Bates was perfect for these period dramas and had just the right combination of personal charisma and good looks to be ideal as the lead character. At this time he was being groomed as Hammer Studio's new star with the gradual phasing out of stalwarts Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Making alterations to a great classic for film work is always a difficult task much open to criticism but here Hammer have successfully taken the great classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and transformed it into an intriguing horror story where the real villian of the piece is a female, the "Sister Hyde", of the title who gradually takes over the body and soul of Dr. Jekyll with terrifying results. As the story opens Dr. Jekyll a prosperous London doctor has been experimenting on finding cures for some of the rare diseases. Discovering that cures will take longer than the average life span he alters his research into finding an elixir of life that will prolong the lifespan of mankind. Experimenting first on insects he discovers that by injecting female hormones (obtained from fresh corpses from underground sources), he can extend their lifespan, however a disturbing element arises where it is noticed that the fly in question has also changed gender and taken on a female form. As the obssession to find the correct formula for extending life takes hold of him Dr. Jekyll begins to experiment on himself with tragic results as he transforms into a woman, the "Sister Hyde",( a stunning Martine Beswick), of the title who possesses a personality of pure evil and begins over time to fight with Dr. Jekyll for possession of not only his mind but also his body. To continue his research Dr. Jekyll continually needs fresh bodies and he begins a killing spree among the prostitutes of the White Chapel district of London. The brutal murders create panic among all the citizens as the bodies are all found to have been surgically dismembered which arouses the suspicions of Dr. Jekyll's collegue Prof. Robertson (Gerald Sim).He begins to suspect his collegue of these crimes as he knows of the dangerous life enhancing experiments the doctor is undertaking. Dr. Jekyll finds that the transformations only last a short while and he passes off "Sister Hyde", as his own sister. This causes him added complications in particular when he finds neighbour Susan (Susan Broderick) falling in love with him and the seductive Sister Hyde arousing the passion of both Susan's brother Howard and Professor Robertson. The police with the professor's help begin to close in on Dr Jekyll and continuing her murderous streak Sister Hyde then murders Professor Robertson and seeks out Susan as her next victim. In the thrilling climax as the police break into Dr. Jekyll's lab the doctor attempts to escape over the roofs of the neighbouring houses however he ends up falling and to the horror of onlookers his shattered body lying on the street transforms one final time into the murderous "Sister Hyde".

The work by Ralph Bates and Martine Beswick as Jekyll and female Hyde is exceptional and as has been noted by others the physical resemblance between the two makes this premise believable. Much controversy was raised at the time of the films release by the gender transformations and the "risque" element of a man turning into a woman. Those scenes are very well handled and it says much for the talents of Bates and Beswick that at no time are those scenes anything but the horrific episodes they were intended to be. Ralph Bates in particular gives one of his very best performances here. Totally at home as the affluent Victorian doctor he is superb in his scenes as the murderous man willing to go to any lengths to complete his research, even if it means sacrificing human life to do it. Hammer Studios which set so many of their features in Victorian times does a superb job here in recreating all the seedy elements of the White Chapel area of London in the late Nineteenth Century. The period clothing, mist shrouded streets, carriages and Gas Lamps are all authentically reproduced in this exciting and atmospheric production. Indeed I can see alot of the inspiration for the recent "From Hell" with Johnny Depp, in "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde", right down to Dr. Jekyll's sinister surgical instruments used in the murders.

Directed by Hammer regular Roy Ward Baker "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde", really represents the last flowering of the creative elements of Hammer Studios in the early 1970's. It manages to be not only a great horror tale with an original premise but also a rather tragic story with elements of romance included as well. Ralph Bates with Martine Bewick's assistance really carries the film and he was to appear in other interesting Hammer efforts around this time like the much maligned "Horror of Frankenstein", and "Fear in the Night", both really excellent vehicles for his talents. Enjoy a new slant on the old Robert Louis Stevenson classic in Hammer's exciting "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde".

4-0 out of 5 stars High-grade B movie
I enjoyed this movie. By modern standards, the gore is subdued, and the acting is first rate. It runs a tight one and a half hours, and the plot zips right along. As the movie extras reveal, the sets were borrowed from other, higher budget movies, so there is nothing cheap about the look of the film. I'm glad someone thought enough of this film to put it on DVD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Pass This One By!
If you're a horror fan over the age of 35, you probably remember some of the old horror flicks from Hammer Studios. Some of them were creepy, some of them silly, and some of them downright awful. But a few of them were really good. 'Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde' is one of the good ones that horror fans should rediscover.

Dr. Jekyll (Ralph Bates) sits in his laboratory, lamenting the fact that man will never live long enough to cure many of the diseases that afflict humanity. Jekyll discovers that by injecting female hormones into a male fly, he can greatly extend the life of the fly. He tries the experiment on himself. Then he notices that the fly is no longer male. Oops.

Jekyll's alter-ego, whom he explains away as his sister, Ms Hyde (Martine Beswick), quickly becomes responsible for all kinds of mayhem. The running dilemma in the movie becomes "Who will win the battle for control of Jekyll's body? Man or woman?"

I didn't really expect much from 'Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde,' but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, the film has plot holes everywhere, but director Roy Ward Baker focuses on the story and keeps it moving well with a few interesting (and humorous) romantic subplots. Yet the most remarkable element of the film is in its casting. Bates and Beswick bear an uncanny resemblance to one another, making the film's premise believable and enjoyable. So sit back, and enjoy a really fun horror film from the imaginative 70's. And tell yourself that those Hammer films weren't so bad after all.
97 minutes
Rated R for violence and brief nudity

2-0 out of 5 stars Cropped SEVERELY to 1.85:1 rather than shown properly.
This DVD was made using a "master" which was cropped in on the sides and then severely cropped down from the top and up from the bottom to yield the much sought-after concept of "letterboxing" at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which is altogether too narrow. Films made at this time in Britain were to be shown at 1.66:1 at the most, and as a result of the cropping-on-the-sides and cropping-top-and-bottom what you see on this DVD is missing QUITE a bit of visual information on All Four Sides. You might as well be watching the actual film through a mailslot in a door. This is not the first title Anchor Bay has cropped inaccurately, erring unfortunately on the side that says, "make it fit Academy ratio, even if we show less than we should". At one time AB argued it cropped to Academy ratio to conform to anamorphic standards, but that's bogus. A film can be shown anamorphically at 1.66:1. What IS a big shame is that this title will probably not be re-released in a more complete visual form. The audio commentary from paricipants Roy Ward Baker and Martine Beswick is most welcome, however, and a good enough reason to watch. Just know that visually, you're missing a lot of what you should be seeing -- this entertaining film isn't framed properly, and quite a bit of visual information available even in the Lumiere VHS version is missing from the DVD. Release to DVD is no insurance against bad handling, unfortunately, and even by AB, which is doubly shocking. ... Read more


7. Don't Bother to Knock
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: B000062XG3
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 27200
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8. The Monster Club
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: B00008K79C
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11734
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Description

A writer of horror stories (Carradine) is invited to a "monster club" by vampire Erasmus (Price). There, the mysterious old gentleman spins three chilling tales of monsters, ghouls, and vampires. This most unique horror entertainment combines a star-studded cast with horror, humor, and music ... Read more


9. Asylum
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005ICGV
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 31459
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well, Doctor, which inmate used to run the asylum?
We were pretty leery of horror films back in the early Seventies in those dark, dreary days before "Halloween" ushered in the era of the slasher film ad infinitim. But the more you heard about "Asylum" the more you had to be optimistic. First, you have Robert "Psycho" Bloch as the writer. Second, it is a British film, and while Amicus Productions did not have the cinematic cachet of Hammer Studios, it is still British, which was always better than being American back then. Third, you throw in director Roy Ward Baker, who directed one of my all-time favorite horror flicks known as "Quatermass and the Pit" over there and "Five Million Years to Earth" on this side of the pond. Fourth, as a corollary to the second point, you have British actors in general and Peter Cushing, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse, Herbert Lom and Robert Powell on the eve of the role of his lifetime in "Jesus of Nazareth." Then we have Britt Eklund, Charlotte Rampling, and Barbara Perkins. Sold yet?

Oh, you want to know the story Bloch came up with.

Well, Powell plays Dr. Martin, who has arrived at the friendly neighborhood mental institution to see if he can land a job. "Asylum" offers up four bloody little stories of madness and murder told by four inmates. Yes, it is an "anthology" film, but remember all those good points up above and try to think about all the bad anthology films you have seen in your life. But this is Bloch. There is a twist. Dr. Martin gets the post if he can figure out which of the four inmates telling the story is the former head of the asylum: There is Bonnie (Perkins), who was attacked by her lover's dead wife; Bruno (Morse), who makes a magical suit that brings back the dead son of one of his customers (Cushing); Barbara (Rampling/Ekland) a schizophrenic who is being made paranoid by her brother; and Byron (Lom) who puts his consciousness in a killer little doll. "Asylum" stops short of being great, but it is certainly very good. There are moments of silliness, but the horror elements still win out in the end. Plus, you know Bloch has something up his sleeve for the ending.

5-0 out of 5 stars THOUROUGHLY ENJOYABLE......
I've had this on DVD for some time now and enjoy watching it when I'm in the mood. It's an anthology film from the old British Amicus studios with a quartet of horror tales related by four inmates of an asylum to the new doctor on staff. It's also a beautiful print from Image. My favorite is the "Frozen Fear" piece with Barbara Parkins as the mistress of a married man who murders his occult obsessed wife, chops her up and stores her in the freezer wrapped in freezer paper. The wife's occult beliefs turn the tables and her body parts reanimate and kill the husband. When Parkins comes by (they were planning to run away together) she is attacked by all the parts shuffling and crawling around on the floor jumping on her as she tries to beat them off. This is very well done and really eerie. The other stories are good too. They include Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland and Patrick Mcghee in great performances. The direction by Roy Ward Baker is tight and Robert Bloch contributed the material. This may be OOP but there are still copies in stores. I recommend this for horror buffs and those who remember the horror anthologies from the 70's. Completely enjoyable.

3-0 out of 5 stars A GOOD ONE TO OWN
Perfect to own, you will find youself wanting to watch it again. The mood is eerie enough, the stories keep you interested and it's made well. It's all about the atmosphere, get this DVD.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent, creepy fun only occasionally marred by cheese
This horror movie has very British sensitibilities, and you couldn't ask for a better, more entertaining introduction to the type of horror movie that was popular in the 1970s, before the era of the slasher film. It's stylish and very proper, making the gore that much more shocking.

Basically, we've got a handful of "short stories" very loosely pulled together with the framing device of a psychologist visiting the asylum being asked to "figure out" which of the patients was actually the former director of the hospital. There's very little to this part of the plot, but the various stories the patients have to tell do create varying degrees of chills.

None of the stories are great, nor are they especially surprising, but they are told quite nicely and are better acted than such low-budget stuff has a right to be. Some outstanding actors such as Herbert Lom and Charlotte Rampling are featured, along with a brief but creepy turn by Peter Cushing (who, along with Christoper Lee, owned this genre of horror movie).

In many ways the film is a period piece, not so much about an era of history, but about an era of film history. It distills the style and sensibilities of the Hammer films (so called because they were made in England's Hammer Studio) into one neat, entertaining package. Will this be your favorite movie ever? Nope. But is it an amusing diversion and a wonderful slice of what was once the height of horror film making? You bet.

Check it out!

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolutely brilliant horror movie
As one who has often panned for gold in the stream of little-known horror delights, I have discovered much more fool's gold than gold dust, but Asylum is a magnificent gold nugget. Produced by Amicus, the British equivalent of Hammer Studios, this classic film features a remarkable cast bringing to life a compelling, delightfully shocking tale which comes straight from the pen of none other than Robert Bloch. I think the whole idea of the movie is brilliant, especially the way everything is put together, meshing four largely unrelated tales into one overall and amazingly successful story. We begin with Dr. Martin's arrival at the asylum in pursuit of a position. He is surprised to learn that Dr. Styles, the asylum director and the man he expected to speak with about the job, is now one of the incurably insane inmates housed upstairs. Dr. Rutherford is willing to hire Dr. Martin, but only if he passes a certain test. There are four inmates upstairs, and he must determine which one is actually Dr. Styles (who has assumed a brand new identity for himself). As Dr. Martin makes the rounds, accompanied by the doctor posted upstairs, we are presented with each individual's story as to how they came to be institutionalized.

The first story, that of Bonnie, is a wholly remarkable one. Her lover, having finally agreed to kill his divorce-denying wife and run off with her, chops his wife into several pieces and stows everything in the freezer, including her voodoo-ish protective bracelet He is quite shocked shortly thereafter to see the head, wrapped in butcher's paper, roll into view upstairs, and he is even more surprised by what happens next. When Bonnie arrives, she finds herself menaced and attacked by the separate body parts of the seemingly undead murdered woman. Next we have the story of Bruno the tailor. Facing economic ruin, he is offered two hundred pounds to make a suit for a rather strange gentleman named Mr. Smith (played magnificently by Peter Cushing). The suit must be created under the unusual conditions specified by the customer and must be made from the remarkable fabric Smith has provided Bruno. This metallic, strangely glittering coat is actually an instrument of magic, Bruno finds out upon delivering it. Supposedly it has the power to give or restore life to whoever wears it. Cushing's performance helps make this the strongest of the four stories, in my opinion. Next up is Barbara, who denies having committed the murders that resulted in her institutionalization. It was her friend Lucy, she says. The story plays pretty well until the end, when whatever mystery lingered concerning the truth about Lucy is rather unnecessarily done away with. Finally, we have Dr. Baron, maker of robotic men; actually, he says, the creatures are quite human on the inside, and he claims to have the power to will his own mind into one such creation and essentially make it come alive with his own consciousness. This tale has its weaknesses, but its effect on Dr. Martin is profound and sets in motion the thrilling conclusion of the movie. This conclusion, I must say, is remarkably good, treating me to a wonderful surprise and devilishly good twist.

The plot of Asylum does have a weakness or two in it, but the film's overall effect on the viewer is so gripping that minor questions cease to matter very much. Frankly, I have never seen an anthologized movie such as this succeed so well. Few movies can combine separate tales and succeed as a unified whole, but Asylum accomplishes this feat quite easily. This is an intelligent horror movie that fans of the genre can point to with great pride. ... Read more


10. And Now the Screaming Starts
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000639GO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 41589
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Description

A terrifying secret darkens the halls of the Fengriffen estate, wherebeautiful young bride Catherine (Stephanie Beacham) finds her romantic wedding nightturning to horror when she's ravaged by an eyeless ghost. Meanwhile, a disembodiedhand lurks in the darkest corners of the house, unbeknownst to Catherine's aristocratichusband, Charles (Ian Ogilvy). As the newlyweds soon discover, the Fengriffen bloodlinehas been tainted by a vicious curse passed down from generation to generation, and onlywith the help of Dr. Pope (Peter Cushing) can the latest victims hope to conquer asupernatural evil which has been lying in wait for centuries. A stellar cast, breathtakingperiod settings and chilling special effect highlight this stylish gothic shocker. Bolt yourdoors, secure your windows and turn down the lights--it's time to scream! ... Read more


11. Asylum
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305870896
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 42250
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

One of the patients in an institution for the incurably insane was once its director, and a young psychiatrist (Robert Powell) has to figure out which one as they all tell him their stories. What better setting for a horror anthology? It's an inspired framing device, making this one of the better examples of the genre, even if screenwriter Robert Bloch at times resorts to gimmicks rather than invention. The first two stories are less than brilliant (the first is highlighted by dismembered body parts neatly wrapped in butcher paper wriggling back to life for revenge), but Charlotte Rampling and Britt Eklund are marvelous in the third tale, about a mentally unbalanced young woman and her dangerous best friend. Herbert Lom is also excellent in the final story as a scientist who carves an army of dolls he claims he can bring to life by sheer will power.

Director Roy Ward Baker (Quatermas and the Pit) builds momentum with each story until the dark and deliciously bloody climax. This Amicus Studios production looks visually dull compared to Hammer's gothic gloss, but it features a great British cast (including Patrick Magee and Hammer stalwart Peter Cushing), and ultimately Baker makes that gloomy look work for his increasingly creepy production. Amicus produced a series of horror anthologies, including the original 1972 Tales from the Crypt and The Torture Garden (also scripted by Bloch). --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well, Doctor, which inmate used to run the asylum?
We were pretty leery of horror films back in the early Seventies in those dark, dreary days before "Halloween" ushered in the era of the slasher film ad infinitim. But the more you heard about "Asylum" the more you had to be optimistic. First, you have Robert "Psycho" Bloch as the writer. Second, it is a British film, and while Amicus Productions did not have the cinematic cachet of Hammer Studios, it is still British, which was always better than being American back then. Third, you throw in director Roy Ward Baker, who directed one of my all-time favorite horror flicks known as "Quatermass and the Pit" over there and "Five Million Years to Earth" on this side of the pond. Fourth, as a corollary to the second point, you have British actors in general and Peter Cushing, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse, Herbert Lom and Robert Powell on the eve of the role of his lifetime in "Jesus of Nazareth." Then we have Britt Eklund, Charlotte Rampling, and Barbara Perkins. Sold yet?

Oh, you want to know the story Bloch came up with.

Well, Powell plays Dr. Martin, who has arrived at the friendly neighborhood mental institution to see if he can land a job. "Asylum" offers up four bloody little stories of madness and murder told by four inmates. Yes, it is an "anthology" film, but remember all those good points up above and try to think about all the bad anthology films you have seen in your life. But this is Bloch. There is a twist. Dr. Martin gets the post if he can figure out which of the four inmates telling the story is the former head of the asylum: There is Bonnie (Perkins), who was attacked by her lover's dead wife; Bruno (Morse), who makes a magical suit that brings back the dead son of one of his customers (Cushing); Barbara (Rampling/Ekland) a schizophrenic who is being made paranoid by her brother; and Byron (Lom) who puts his consciousness in a killer little doll. "Asylum" stops short of being great, but it is certainly very good. There are moments of silliness, but the horror elements still win out in the end. Plus, you know Bloch has something up his sleeve for the ending.

5-0 out of 5 stars THOUROUGHLY ENJOYABLE......
I've had this on DVD for some time now and enjoy watching it when I'm in the mood. It's an anthology film from the old British Amicus studios with a quartet of horror tales related by four inmates of an asylum to the new doctor on staff. It's also a beautiful print from Image. My favorite is the "Frozen Fear" piece with Barbara Parkins as the mistress of a married man who murders his occult obsessed wife, chops her up and stores her in the freezer wrapped in freezer paper. The wife's occult beliefs turn the tables and her body parts reanimate and kill the husband. When Parkins comes by (they were planning to run away together) she is attacked by all the parts shuffling and crawling around on the floor jumping on her as she tries to beat them off. This is very well done and really eerie. The other stories are good too. They include Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland and Patrick Mcghee in great performances. The direction by Roy Ward Baker is tight and Robert Bloch contributed the material. This may be OOP but there are still copies in stores. I recommend this for horror buffs and those who remember the horror anthologies from the 70's. Completely enjoyable.

3-0 out of 5 stars A GOOD ONE TO OWN
Perfect to own, you will find youself wanting to watch it again. The mood is eerie enough, the stories keep you interested and it's made well. It's all about the atmosphere, get this DVD.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent, creepy fun only occasionally marred by cheese
This horror movie has very British sensitibilities, and you couldn't ask for a better, more entertaining introduction to the type of horror movie that was popular in the 1970s, before the era of the slasher film. It's stylish and very proper, making the gore that much more shocking.

Basically, we've got a handful of "short stories" very loosely pulled together with the framing device of a psychologist visiting the asylum being asked to "figure out" which of the patients was actually the former director of the hospital. There's very little to this part of the plot, but the various stories the patients have to tell do create varying degrees of chills.

None of the stories are great, nor are they especially surprising, but they are told quite nicely and are better acted than such low-budget stuff has a right to be. Some outstanding actors such as Herbert Lom and Charlotte Rampling are featured, along with a brief but creepy turn by Peter Cushing (who, along with Christoper Lee, owned this genre of horror movie).

In many ways the film is a period piece, not so much about an era of history, but about an era of film history. It distills the style and sensibilities of the Hammer films (so called because they were made in England's Hammer Studio) into one neat, entertaining package. Will this be your favorite movie ever? Nope. But is it an amusing diversion and a wonderful slice of what was once the height of horror film making? You bet.

Check it out!

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolutely brilliant horror movie
As one who has often panned for gold in the stream of little-known horror delights, I have discovered much more fool's gold than gold dust, but Asylum is a magnificent gold nugget. Produced by Amicus, the British equivalent of Hammer Studios, this classic film features a remarkable cast bringing to life a compelling, delightfully shocking tale which comes straight from the pen of none other than Robert Bloch. I think the whole idea of the movie is brilliant, especially the way everything is put together, meshing four largely unrelated tales into one overall and amazingly successful story. We begin with Dr. Martin's arrival at the asylum in pursuit of a position. He is surprised to learn that Dr. Styles, the asylum director and the man he expected to speak with about the job, is now one of the incurably insane inmates housed upstairs. Dr. Rutherford is willing to hire Dr. Martin, but only if he passes a certain test. There are four inmates upstairs, and he must determine which one is actually Dr. Styles (who has assumed a brand new identity for himself). As Dr. Martin makes the rounds, accompanied by the doctor posted upstairs, we are presented with each individual's story as to how they came to be institutionalized.

The first story, that of Bonnie, is a wholly remarkable one. Her lover, having finally agreed to kill his divorce-denying wife and run off with her, chops his wife into several pieces and stows everything in the freezer, including her voodoo-ish protective bracelet He is quite shocked shortly thereafter to see the head, wrapped in butcher's paper, roll into view upstairs, and he is even more surprised by what happens next. When Bonnie arrives, she finds herself menaced and attacked by the separate body parts of the seemingly undead murdered woman. Next we have the story of Bruno the tailor. Facing economic ruin, he is offered two hundred pounds to make a suit for a rather strange gentleman named Mr. Smith (played magnificently by Peter Cushing). The suit must be created under the unusual conditions specified by the customer and must be made from the remarkable fabric Smith has provided Bruno. This metallic, strangely glittering coat is actually an instrument of magic, Bruno finds out upon delivering it. Supposedly it has the power to give or restore life to whoever wears it. Cushing's performance helps make this the strongest of the four stories, in my opinion. Next up is Barbara, who denies having committed the murders that resulted in her institutionalization. It was her friend Lucy, she says. The story plays pretty well until the end, when whatever mystery lingered concerning the truth about Lucy is rather unnecessarily done away with. Finally, we have Dr. Baron, maker of robotic men; actually, he says, the creatures are quite human on the inside, and he claims to have the power to will his own mind into one such creation and essentially make it come alive with his own consciousness. This tale has its weaknesses, but its effect on Dr. Martin is profound and sets in motion the thrilling conclusion of the movie. This conclusion, I must say, is remarkably good, treating me to a wonderful surprise and devilishly good twist.

The plot of Asylum does have a weakness or two in it, but the film's overall effect on the viewer is so gripping that minor questions cease to matter very much. Frankly, I have never seen an anthologized movie such as this succeed so well. Few movies can combine separate tales and succeed as a unified whole, but Asylum accomplishes this feat quite easily. This is an intelligent horror movie that fans of the genre can point to with great pride. ... Read more


12. Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
Director: Cheh Chang, Roy Ward Baker
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305183392
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21135
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13. The Asylum
Director: Roy Ward Baker
list price: $24.99
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Asin: B0000AZVD5
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 36301
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amicus horror gem!!
During Hammer's Hay-day, they had competition with from Amicus. Amicus' productions tended to be lush productions with an eye to detail and costumes, with solid directing, scripting and acting. This one is no exception.

You have the marvellously talented Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth) coming to an old Gothic mansion that has been converted for a home for the criminally insane. He is applying for a job there as a doctor, and he soon find himself proving his worth in a test. He is presented with three different patients. He most go in, interview them and learn why they are there. One of them is a former doctor at the institute, but has flipped out and has been confined. Powell's task is to determine which one is the former doctor.

It's the frame works for some nifty horror tales, with fine directing by Roy Ward Baker and script by Robert Bloch.

A great fun evening with a super cast of Powell, Peter Cushing, Patrick Macnee, Herbert Lom, Barry Morse, Barbara Parkins, Charlotte Rampling, Richard Todd. ... Read more


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