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1. Frankenstein Created Woman/The
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2. Four Sided Triangle/X The Unknown
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3. Horror of Dracula
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5. Frankenstein Created Woman
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1. Frankenstein Created Woman/The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Director: Terence Fisher
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Asin: B0000W5H7Y
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 20057
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2. Four Sided Triangle/X The Unknown
Director: Terence Fisher
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Asin: B0000W5H7O
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 14261
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Let's Make a Woman and The Insatiable Goo
Anchor Bay Entertainment has begun releasing the lesser-known Hammer films in an economical 'two-fer' format, following behind MGM and their 'Midnight Movies' format. That's great news for those of us who haven't gotten around to purchasing these films individually, as they were originally offered, but bad news from those who have already bought the films when they were originally released to DVD in the single movie format at full price. The discs and special features offered though this set are the same as when they were offered in a single disc format, but now they are two for the price of one. I can't help but wonder if the original releases weren't selling very well, so Anchor Bay recovered them and re-released them in this more economical 'limited edition' sets. Who knows?

Anyway, the first film, The Four Sided Triangle (1953) is a decent melodramatic science fiction thriller dealing with, what I figure was a relatively new concept at the time, of human cloning. The story involves mainly three individuals, Bill, Robin, and Lena. Bill, coming from a solid background and a wealthy family, is the practical one, while Robin is the flipside of the coin, coming from a poor family, exhibits the dreamer-like qualities of a true visionary, but also suffers the highs and lows of what could be considered a manic-depressive personality. Lena is sort of in the middle, obviously desired by both men, although she can only choose one.

The men, fresh back from college, develop a machine that can perfectly reproduce anything, and this opens up a wealth of possible opportunities, and also allows Bill to profess his love to Lena, prompting their marriage, much to Robin's dismay. Robin, bored with the practical applications of the machine already, looks towards new frontiers of duplicating organic matter, and decides one the process is perfected, he should like to duplicate Lena. It works, but not without complications. All in all, not a bad movie, and it seems pretty original for the time, even though it does borrow from the Frankenstein mythos a little bit. The film is slow moving, so patience is required. The surprise ending seemed a bit contrived and fantastical, but the production values were pretty good, making for an interesting, if drawn out, experience.

X - The Unknown (1957) is the much better of the two films here, presenting a very intelligent and wonderful science fiction story that presents the notion of an ancient life form that lives within the Earth and rises through a fissure, seeking out sustenance in the form of radioactive materials. Dean Jagger stars and presents a thoroughly likable character surrounded by a strong supporting cast. Some of the horror elements were quite a bit more visceral that I would have expected, but made for fun and interesting viewing leading up to a suitably climatic finish.

I really liked the notion that the creature, a giant blob of inky, gooey material, wasn't from outer space, but something that has been on this terrestrial plane for a long time, much longer than man. I also appreciated the complications that developed as the characters discerned information about the creature, providing real depth to the story, and elevating this film above the average 'creature feature'.

Both films look and sound great, with minimal deterioration present in the prints provided, and contain the special features related to their original, independent releases, with The Four Sided Triangle disc containing a Hammer World of Horror episode titled The Curse of Frankenstein and X- The Unknown disc the World of Horror episode titled Sci-Fi and an original trailer for the film. Also included in the case are two reproduction cards for promotional material on each film. A great value if you are coming in late in the game, and it does say limited edition on the front of the case, so supplies may be limited.

Cookieman108

5-0 out of 5 stars Great bargain! A "Quatermass" clone, and an original classic
"X - The Unknown" rests squarely in the "Quatermass" camp of an intelligent scientist facing off with the British military against a bizarre threat to humanity. The movie was specifically made to follow-up on the commercial success (and critical acclaim) of the very first "Quatermass" movie ("The Quatermass Xperiment) made just the year before. American actor Dean Jagger (probably best known for his role as "General Waverly" in "White Christmas") plays the "Quatermass" character (here named Dr. Adam Royston), called in to investigate when an Army unit doing geiger-counter training exercises witnesses an earthquake and the opening of an apparently bottomless fissure. (Another tidbit - his investigative partner, police inspector McGill, is played by the most well-known of "The Prisoner"'s Number Twos, Leo McKern!) Soon afterwards (as is always the case) there's death and destruction, and Royston has to come up with something to neutralize the menace of a creeping, radioactive blob. (The American "The Blob" wouldn't show up for two more years.) Gruesome (for their time) special effects of melting and smoking flesh raise this apart from more timid US efforts of the day, and the soundtrack is by "Quatermass" composer James Bernard. Extraordinarliy atmospheric, filmed almost entirely at night with authentic-feeling Scottish locations, a terrific and over-looked classic from Hammer.

But wait! There's more! Watching the opening of "The Four-Sided Triangle", and you will be forgiven if you think immediately of "How Green Was My Valley". We're treated to a nostalgic look at a small English village, with a winsome voice-over by the town "Doc" (played by James Hayter, seen in "Oliver!" as well as a few "Avengers" shows). Doc tells us the story of three children, two boys and the girl they both loved. The girl (Lena) grows up to be Barbara Payton ("Bride of the Gorilla"), and the two boys Robin and Bill (John Van Eyssen and Stephen Murray) are inventors both still under her spell. She (finally!) decides on.....Robin, but Bill isn't willing to leave it at that. With the help of a "replicator", he creates a perfect duplicate of Lena. Too perfect, it seems, because even the duplicate prefers Robin! VERY good acting, much better than we usually see in this kind of movie. And the music is by classical composer Malcolm Arnold!

These two discs show British science fiction at its best (well, except for "Quatermass" ;-) and are a bargain at this price. I recommend them most highly! ... Read more


3. Horror of Dracula
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $19.97
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Asin: B00006G8K0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10065
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Description

Jonathan Harker, a student of vampires, ventures to Dracula's castle and attacks him. The revengeful vampire leaves his dark abode to prey on the family of his attacker's fiancee. The only man able to protect Harker and his fiancee is Dr. Van Helsing, a friend of Harker's. As a fellow-student of vampires, he's determined to destroy Dracula. ... Read more

Reviews (92)

5-0 out of 5 stars The epic Hammer version of Van Helsing versus Dracula
"The Horror of Dracula" is perhaps the finest film produced by the Hammer Studio. At the very least, it epitomized the Hammer style at its best. Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing gets a welcome respite from playing Victor Frankenstein while Christopher Lee quickly enter screen immortality as Count Dracula in one of the few Hammer films that allowed the vampire to have recognizable dialogue instead of inarticulate animalistic howls and the like. Jimmy Sangster's script streamlines Bram Stoker's novel, eliminating the Renfield character and subplot, and taking a more direct approach by having Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) come to Castle Dracula for the purpose of staking the Count. After Harker's initial attempt fails, Van Helsing has to save his friend's soul and then protect Jonathan's fiancée, Lucy Holmwood (Carol Marsh), her brother Arthur (Michael Gough) and his wife Mina (Melissa Stribling), as Dracula's hit list grows. The names of the characters are the same as Stoker's novel, but the relationships have certainly changed. The strength of this film is Cushing's Van Helsing, a character as dynamic as the vampire he pursues. When Dracula is dispatched it is because the good doctor's brains are backup by some compelling physical action. Bernard Robinson's set designs for Castle Dracula belie the fact this film was produced for under $200,000 and the script's overt violence and subtle eroticism certainly plays to the strengths of director Terence Fisher. Of the eight Dracula films produced by Hammer, "The Horror of Dracula" is definitely the first and the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars "An all time classic with the best bloodsucker to date"
Terence Fisher's Dracula is without doubt the most superior version of Stokers Gothic chiller ever to grace the screen. After the success of "The Curse Of Frankenstein" in 1957 Hammer decided to remake Dracula and although it is debatable whether the Hammer Frankenstein is better than the 1931 version Hammers Dracula is most certainly superior to the Lugosi in almost every way. Christopher Lee makes his debut as the King vampire oozing eroticism and fear and although his scenes are brief every time is rivetting. Peter Cushing is also excellent as the enegetic Van Helsing hell bent on destroying the Count at any cost. Wonderful sets by Bernard Robinson and an the excellent three-note score by James Bernard is now a classic piece of horror music. This is romantic horror, which is not as scary as later adaptions but it still remains the closest to Bram Stokers novelbringing out the underlying sexual overtones in the story that were never touched before. The final scenes of Lee and Cushing physically duelling in the castle are also classic horror scenes up there with "the Exorcist" and others. This is British horror at its peak and very best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best in the entire Hammer series!
Definitely the best of all the Christopher Lee Dracula films. The sequels do not live up to this film, mainly because they do not contain all of the original characters such as Lucy, Jonathan Harker, and of course, Van Helsing. This film sticks with the original Bram Stoker novel with these characters. The only person missing is Renfield, plus nothing is ever mentioned about Dracula being able to turn into a bat, a werewolf, or mist. Yes, this was 1958 before visual effects were what they are now. But, in the Bela Lugosi film, at least mention is made of these things.

Lee is smooth as the Count, and Peter Cushing is a delight at Professor Van Helsing. These two were great together in other films, and it is too bad Cushing did not continue into the sequels (with the exception of the present day setting films). He would have made those films better and much more entertaining to watch.

A must have for any horror film fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic film of dark, ominous foreboding
This excellent horror film is by far the best of all other Dracula screen adaptations. No other film of this type approaches this Hammer production for drama, color, storyline, atmosphere, music score and acting. The movie is a straightforward narrative of the attempt to destroy the dark prince of the undead that becomes a struggle for survival between the resourceful, erudite Dr. Van Helsing and the frightening, evil Count Dracula. There are graphic bloodletting scenes, tense, scary moments and buxom ladies who become Dracula's victims. The film moves at a brisk pace towards its conclusion as Van Helsing races against time and Dracula to reach his castle before dawn or lose him and Mina Holmwood forever in the vast catacombs and underground passages. James Bernard's eerie, haunting music expertly suggests the tension and horror of the proceedings

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blood Is RED and The Fangs are Bared!
This picture is seminal in that it is the first partnership between Christopher Lee and the wonderful Peter Cushing in the Hammer Dracula series. Arguably the best of the series. This film still holds the power to shock today--despite the lack of heads being ripped from their torsos. From the first moment, one is transfixed by the Scarlet Blood dripping over the tomb with "Dracula" engraved upon the crypt lid. This was very alluring in the 1950's. Vampirism and colour were a very new thing indeed. Peter Cushing while maintaining some semblance of humanity is every bit as ruthless to destroy Dracula as Dracula is to destroy those who dared to violate his sanctum. Though not completely faithful to the book, one will find this movie an enjoyable and frightening venture into the Hammer world of Horror. I am only waiting for the equally terrible: Brides of Dracula to be released on DVD. The immediate sequel to Horror of Dracula, though missing Lee as Dracula, this film is even more inspired in its images of horror. And it is a master stroke to have one of Dracula's disciples: David Peel, actually appear with blond hair. The perfect angel, which makes him the perfect devil when he suddenly transforms. Peter Cushing is also in Brides of Dracula. Hurry and release this terrifying film (one of the top five best vampire films ever done!).

IN CHRIST JESUS: THE LIVING GOD,

W Braithwaite
*Gospel John Ch. 1; John 3:16-18*

Email: wbraithwaite@tampabay.rr.com ... Read more


4. The Hound of the Baskervilles
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $14.95
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Asin: B000062XEY
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21521
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Sherlock Holmes gets the Gothic treatment in this mix of mystery and supernatural horror from Britain’s Hammer Films. Peter Cushing is perfectly cast as the great detective, the very embodiment of science and reason (which also made him a great Van Helsing in the Dracula series) in a case wound around a legacy of aristocratic cruelty and a devilish dog wandering the swampy moors. Christopher Lee is a less satisfying fit as the last of the Baskervilles, as he waffles between fear and apathetic disregard, but Andre Morell is a fine Dr. Watson and a far cry from Nigel Bruce’s sweet bumbler from the Hollywood incarnation of the 1940s. Director Terence Fisher was Hammer’s top stylist and the film drips with the mood of the moors, mist hanging in the air, the dying vegetation itself threatening to come to life and trap the next unwary traveler.--Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Sherlock Holmes classic from Hammer studios!
This is a fine, fun telling of perhaps the best of the Holmes'adventures. Peter Cushing is excellent (and superbly arrogant) as the world's greatest consulting detective. Andre Morell holds his own as Holmes' partner, Dr. Watson. That is, he is not cast in the role of obsequious buffoon as was often the impression given in the Basil Rathbone classics. Christopher Lee is also excellent as Sir Henry, heir apparent to the Baskerville curse. If your're a Hammer fan you will notice that much of Sir Henry's estate bears a striking resemblance to the vistas used in Horror of Dracula. And of course there are the lush colors and atmospherics...including scoring...that made several Hammer efforts genuine Halloween horror classics. This is an exciting movie; a family thriller for all but the very young, that won't gross you out or make you ashamed you watched it. Elementary? Yes...So what. Most movies are.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank You MGM
At last this wonderful film gets the treatment it deserves. This is the DVD for Hammer fans. Peter Cushing, Andre Morell, Christopher Lee, all three bundled into a creepy Sherlock Holmes mystery. The picture quality of this film is simply beautiful. I don't know what kind of film element they used, but it was perfect. Peter Cushing does a wonderful job as the quirky, energetic detective. Morell is a more than fine actor, who steps into the role of Watson with a superb, gentle manner. Christopher Lee gets a chance to be the romantic lead, and proves he has no problems stepping into those shoes.

This movie was produced and released close to the same time as the ground breaking favorites, The Horror of Dracula, Curse of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. And like the other films has an excellent script and top-notch film stars. This was the beginning of Cushing's and Lee's international stardom, which has ballooned into a huge cult following over the years.

If you've got a DVD player, and are still holding onto your VHS copy, you might consider trading up. It's well worth it.

1-0 out of 5 stars What a waste of talent!
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing - sounds like a recipe for success!

NOT!

If you are not familiar with the original story, you will have a moderately hard time following along with this version. It seems very choppy at times and the plot is somewhat difficult to follow.

If you are familiar with the original story, you won't like this one, which may as well be a different story altogether!

Peter Cushing is a great actor, but was ill-suited for this script (since the story mostly revolves around Watson and Sir Henry, of course) - he would have been better off playing Watson.

Christopher Lee is a great actor, but seeing him as a "good guy" makes me realise how poorly cast he was into this role. Also his acting appeared wooden, likely due to the poor scripting of Sir Henry's part. (Maybe he was familiar with the original story and was in shock the whole time regarding what was done with the plot...)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must for any Hammer fan...
It's only right that Hammer Films - home of the "Hammer Horrors" - should do an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles; the story skirts the line between mystery and horror. It is just right for the Hammer touch of macabre. Terrence Fisher evokes the lonely forbidding isolation of the moors as described in the novel. It has the look of a Hammer film. Of course, the Hammer films never had large budgets and most of the day-for-night shots look like day-for-day, but you have to meet these films on their own terms.

The strength of the Hammer films has always been the quality of its two principal actors - Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Peter Cushing gives another fine performance as Holmes. Christopher Lee has a change of pace from his usual role of playing a monster to playing the romantic lead. Of course, the filmmakers take some liberties with the story but, on the whole, I was surprised just how closely it follows the book.

One of the most valuable additions to this DVD is a new interview with Christopher Lee. Lee is always fond of reminiscing about the old days. He talks about what it was like filming the Hammer Horrors and he gives a moving tribute to the late Peter Cushing.

4-0 out of 5 stars A gripping version of this tale.
Tampering with a story isn't always a good idea, but here the new twists are inspired, work well and will probably be refreshing to anyone who has seen umpteen re-makes of what is arguably Doyle's best Holmes tale (I especially liked the anti-foxhunting message at the beginning). Cushing is a first-class Holmes, his subtle shifts in moods giving great depth to the character. The supporting cast are generally strong, the moors are atmospheric and the soundtrack is appropriately creepy. The film does have a few problems - Stapleton's voice is often very badly dubbed, and his daughter Cecile has a very strange-sounding accent for no apparent reason. And there is a moment in which Holmes knocks away a furry thing which looks nothing like the tarantula it's supposed to be. But the film is so well-made and gripping that these minor faults can be overlooked. ... Read more


5. Frankenstein Created Woman
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.98
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Asin: 630584190X
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 30128
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Hammer. Babes, severed heads AND Peter Cushing!
The fist time I saw this movie, at the tender age of 10, it left a lasting impression that has no doubt skewed my view of the world. Here was a former Playboy Bunny trying desperately to contain herself in a typical Hammeresque period costume, running around the Village exacting revenge in a series of bloody murders. The grisly climax contains a scene where she talks to the severed head of her (former) boyfriend. She was, of course, Frankenstein's newest creation. I recently watched this again, curious as to how I would react 30 years later. Aside from a terrible ending (this movie doesn't end so much as it stops), the movie still holds up pretty well. Fans of the Hammer genre, and fans of Peter Cushing will no doubt enjoy this one. Good wacky laboratory sequences, a fun cast of characters (some of which you are glad to see die) and Denberg as the best looking creature yet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will the real Soul please stand up
At the beginning of the movie a murderer is guillotine and witnessed by his young son Hans. Years later Hans is working with Dr. Hertz and Dr. Bon Frankenstein (played by Peter Cushing). Frankenstein has himself frozen for exactly one hour, down to the second, where he is trying to prove that the soul does not leave the body. He is revived and to celebrate his success sends Hans out to get some champagne at one of the local pubs. Hans is in love with the owner's daughter (Christina played by Susan Denberg) and spends the night with her but when the owner is killed Hans is accused and refuses to tell where he was when the murder took place. Hans is found guilty and himself guillotined like his father. Christina sees this and jumps off a bridge and drowns.

Dr. Frankenstein retrieves Hans's body, captures his soul, and places it in Christina body. Among Frankenstein accomplishments he is a brilliant cosmetic surgeon and turns Christina into a beautiful blond with the aid of Dr. Hertz. Now with a new body and Hans's soul revenge is sought for Hans and Christina's father's deaths.

This is another excellent Hammer film and with Peter Cushing heading the cast. The quality of the DVD is excellent.

1-0 out of 5 stars WARNING
this Anchor Bay DVD appears to have serious flaws as almost all of the originally pressed discs no longer play correctly.....those of you who have these discs, Please check them in your dvd players as 9 out of 10 of them have suffered a form of corruption that doesnt allow them to work anylonger...........the worst news of all is that ANCHOR BAY dont apparently have the license to release this title again at the moment, so those of us who have dumped our Elite Laserdiscs are rather stuck with a dud dvd. Anchor Bay who are normally so excellent about handling themselves ought really to start something about refunding those of us who are stuck with a dud disc - clearly something they MUST have had some idea about.

5-0 out of 5 stars stylish, erotic, smart- all my favorites!!!
I saw this many, many years ago in the theatre... still a great movie, but the tape didn't exactly capture the lush backgrounds, the erotism of the first time. Well, I'm also not 6 (or whatever) years old.
Still, I experienced again: a delirious crush on Hans, the romantic, too-good-to-be-true, hero- who was able to love AND LUST after Christine, the flawed and mistreated servant girl (haven't we all been her at one time?)His ability to see past the scars she felt such shame from made him a big numero uno for me even way back then.
Second: yowza! I prayed that my pre-adolescent self would develop into ANY SEMBLANCE WHAT-SO-EVER of the oozing sexuality of the transformed/re-created (isn't that another wish of ours, ladies?) Christina (Susan Denberg)...
And, oh yeah... Peter Cushing is in it, too.
HA! Just kidding...the blend of old school, classic horror and repressed sexuality made for a memorable movie that I had to buy and watch again and again.
If you dig the mix... and you know who you are out there... get this movie

3-0 out of 5 stars Will the real Hammer Frankenstein please stand up?
Hammer's Victor Frankenstein owes little to the Universal series (where the character was named Henry and in fact the sequels featured the monster and not the Doctor) or even the original novel (whose Victor was a young college student and not a Baron).
When one follows the Baron in the Hammer series, one finds a lot of inconsistency. The insensitive, murderous Baron of CURSE is toned down a bit in REVENGE, misunderstood in EVIL, is the "hero" of CREATED WOMAN, is a killer and more evil than ever (and just transplants a brain) in MUST BE DESTROYED, and is back more or less like the Baron in REVENGE in AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL. Cushing is a wonderful actor and makes the character interesting, in spite of the scripting.
One wonders how the Baron came upon the idea to transplant souls since he seems to be an atheist or how he is able to acquire the machinery to be able to accomplish it without arousing suspicion. FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN is a pretty good film overall, but the ending does seem weak. One gets the feeling they couldn't think up a more satisfying ending and just had her drown herself again. Hammer fans will probably enjoy it anyway. Others should look for a more traditional Frankenstein movie. ... Read more


6. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $14.99
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0000AUHOO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 22319
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hammer Studios' last gothic masterpiece
Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell was not famed Hammer Studios' final film, but it in many ways represents the swan song of the premiere maker of vintage gothic films. Not only does the film play well even today, it has an incredible number of fascinating facts surrounding its production that makes it particularly notable. Consummate actor Peter Cushing and director Terence Fisher can be viewed as founding fathers of Hammer Studios, and this film marks a return to the spirit of the early days. It stands as the final entry in the famed Frankenstein series starring Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein, and David Prowse makes an unprecedented second appearance as a Hammer monster. Some wonderful actors appear in even the smallest of roles, the overall look and feel of the film is wonderfully dark and serious, and the story is allowed to tell itself, foregoing sex appeal for violence and intellectual passion. Despite its almost ridiculously paltry budget, Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell truly shines as Hammer's last truly gothic motion picture.

Baron Frankenstein is dead; there's a death certificate to prove it, and he's buried in the yard of the insane asylum where he spent his last days. One young researcher sets out to fill his shoes, however, eventually being arrested for "sorcery" and consigned to the same mental institution as his idol. Simon Helder (Shane Briant) inquires about Dr. Frankenstein as soon as he arrives. The story of the Baron's death notwithstanding, he quickly recognizes the asylum's Dr. Victor as none other than Frankenstein himself. Assisted by the mute and ever so lovely Sarah (Madeline Smith), known as Angel among the inmates, the doctor has continued his work. He explains to young Dr. Helder how he managed to "kill" Frankenstein and get himself appointed the medical doctor in the asylum, and soon the ever-curious Helder is an active participant in the doctor's ongoing unconventional medical experiments. Rather than resurrect the dead, Frankenstein is now working on making a new man piece by piece based on an existing flawed creation. With the help of Helder's surgical skills, the men have soon given an animalistic misanthrope the hands of a craftsman and the mind of a genius, but of course the newly created monster seems less than overjoyed with his new life.

I am an unabashed fan of Peter Cushing; he was the ultimate gothic actor, a meticulous perfectionist who demanded the serious commitment of everyone surrounding him on whatever project he was working on. In Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell, he makes one of his most memorable entrances and delivers a sterling performance. At this particular time, Cushing was in deep mourning over the recent loss of his wife, and he is as grim and emaciated as you will ever see him. This makes his obviously whole-hearted commitment to this role all the more amazing. This sixth and final Hammer-produced Frankenstein film offers yet more proof that Peter Cushing is the greatest horror actor to ever live. Madeline Smith is just beautiful and delivers an amazing performance almost wholly devoid of spoken lines, and Shane Briant, looking quite James Spader-like, makes young Helder an admirable and deserving new underling of Dr. Frankenstein's. The monster is played wonderfully by David Prowse, the man who would later serve as the man behind the mask of Darth Vader; his costume isn't that impressive, but it works well given the budgetary constraints this movie operated under. Doctor Who fans will no doubt note the presence of Patrick Troughton as Helder's bodysnatching accomplice at the beginning of the film; Troughton would of course go on to become the second man to play Doctor Who on the famed BBC television series.

Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell is vintage Hammer horror, a really quite extraordinary achievement given the monetary and personal constraints the production faced. Terrence Fisher and Peter Cushing make an unbeatable combination, even when both men are laboring under heavy burdens of their own. The DVD comes with a commentary by actress Madeline Smith, actor David Prowse, and horror historian Jonathan Sothcott, and this commentary ranks among the best and most interesting I have ever heard. The trio expound upon all types of things, oftentimes going beyond the subject of the film itself to relate fascinating stories about their fellow performers and about the very history of Hammer Studios as well. All of this adds up to a film that all Hammer fans simply must own.

5-0 out of 5 stars A return to familiar gothic traditions...
Though their reign as the Empire of British horror had surely diminished by the time of its release in 1974, Hammer Film's FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL marked a return to their familiar gothic traditions. Not only did it mark the last performance of the gaunt and fancy-wigged Peter Cushing in his most famous role of Baron Frankenstein, it was also the last film directed by Terence Fisher, the man who pretty much made the series his own. Also back were Anthony Hinds doing the writing choirs (under his "John Elder" pen name), composer James Bernard, and a bevy of familiar Hammer supporting players (Patrick Troughton, Charles Lloyd Pack, Peter Madden, Sydney Bromley, etc.).

The plot has Simon Helder (Shane Briant), a young doctor inspired by the work of Victor Frankenstein, being sent to an asylum for practicing "sorcery." There he meets Dr. Carl Victor (Cushing), who apparently harbors secret information on the underhanded director Klauss (John Stratton), and is able to run the place his own way. Young Helder quickly realizes that Dr. Victor is actually Baron Frankenstein, who wants the outside world to believe he is dead. Helder knows that Frankenstein could never give up his experiments, so after doing some snooping, he discovers his secret laboratory and his latest project.

The Baron's new experiment is the hulking, ape-like Herr Schneider (David Prowse), a homicidal inmate whom Frankenstein has kept alive after a violent suicide attempt and has grafted on the hands of a recently deceased sculptor (Bernard Lee). Since Frankenstein's hands were badly burnt in the name of science, the shabby stitch-work was done by Sarah (Madeline Smith), a beautiful mute girl who is nicknamed "Angel" who assists him. When Simon tells the Baron that he is a surgeon, the problem is solved. Soon new eyes and a new brain are given to the creature (allowing this to be a gorefest as far as Hammer is concerned), but he ultimately runs amuck in the asylum.

Filmed in late 1972, Hammer's final Frankenstein entry is one of those films that has divided appreciation among fans, some who think it's masterful and others who deem it a low point. The ultra low budget does show in Scott MacGregor's claustrophobic sets, unconvincing miniatures, and the monster's get-up is obviously a pull-over mask designed by Eddie Knight (though the monster is unique in the annals of Frankenstein cinema). But Fisher's direction and Cushing's consummate performance (adding complete madness this time to the character) display a true dedication to this kind of cinema, and the confinement of the asylum only adds to the doomed, somber mood. Prowse, who essayed the role of the monster in HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, is able to give the part some empathy--more so than any other Frankenstein monster in the Hammer camp. FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL may be nothing groundbreaking, but it's certainly entertaining and a worthy end to an important chapter in British horror.

It's great to see that Paramount is the latest studio to unleash Hammer films on to the DVD market, but they have released the R-rated U.S. theatrical version which is missing some scenes only found thus far on an atrocious-looking Japanese laserdisc release from the early 90s. The footage not found on this DVD is as follows (those who haven't seen the film may want to view it first before reading this, as I'll reveal some plot points): a few seconds of a sequence where the Baron damns his useless hands and grasps an artery from the monster's wrist with his teeth, followed by his rinsing his mouth out with water; when Briant inserts the monster's eyeball, and Cushing says, "Pop it in," a brief side view of this procedure is replaced in the American version with a reaction shot of Madeline Smith; a second split-second shot of Bernard Lee's character's handless arms in his open coffin (looks to be the same exact brief shot as the first, so perhaps the Japanese just wanted to repeat the bloody sight); after the asylum director has his throat mutilated by the monster, the gushing of blood that comes from his neck is a split-second longer on the Japanese version, and; a few seconds more of the inmates tearing apart the monster during the climax, most notably missing in action is a shot where his guts are being squashed by someone's feet.

Quite simply, Paramount went back to the original negative for this transfer, and these scenes were never meant (or were demanded to be censored) for the U.S. version. Getting past that, Paramount's DVD of FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL looks terrific, and far better than ever before. The film is nicely presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic enhancement. As usual, the studio has done an excellent transfer. Sharpness and detail are very solid, and dark scenes that were once hard to make out are now clear as day. The print source is free of any major blemishes, and the somewhat subdued (for Hammer) colors appear greatly corrected, as do the various fleshtones. The audio is the original mono--there is some audible hiss present, but dialogue is generally clear and James Bernard's score is adequately robust. Optional English subtitles are also included.

The DVD has one extra feature (no trailer), and it's big one. A running audio commentary with actress Madeline Smith (Sarah) and actor David Prowse (the monster) moderated by genre historian Jonathan Sothcott. The commentary is rather energetic and quite funny, as both actors are never at a loss for words or a story to tell. They have plenty to say about the film, Cushing, Fisher, and the other players--which eventually leads to anecdotes about some of the other films of the period that they were involved in. This is very fun stuff, remaining interesting until the end, and you'll hear a lot of scoops you've probably never heard before in written interviews.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Hammer Fare
Good, solid sequel(but not as good) to Frankenstein Must be Destroyed has the good doctor in charge of insane asylum, carrying on experiment that involves a simean-looking monster played by David(Darth Vader) Prowse. Terence Fisher scores high marks with this gothic production and erie atmosphere. This one is somewhat reminiscent of "Revenge" as again, he is working in a hospital while carrying out experiment in secret. Plot also involves Frankenstein disciple sent to asylum for his work with Frankensteinesque experiments, and a beautiful assistant who must perform the actual "surgery" due to Frankenstein's burn-damaged hands. This one also has the best(if not campiest) title!

3-0 out of 5 stars Cushing shines but the monster's just not up to it.
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is an aptly titled film. It is truly full of mood and drama, but it lacks a real sense of forboding and eeriness that previous turns provided. Further, Cushing, while always excellent, is just not his usual self. The DVD extras tell us he was still reeling from the death of his wife.
Though Fisher really approaches the subject matter rather scholastically rather than as one might hope, from a sense of foreboding, it isn't really the film as a whole that I have a problem with. It's the creature.
David Prowse (of Darth Vadar fame) plays the creature as best as can be expected given the costuming provided. The costume consists of a wetsuit all but completely covered in hair. Only the pectorals don't have long coarse hair on them. And the pectorals look extremely fake - papier macher fake. The monster looks less like a creature cobbled together from body parts than a gorilla suit or something left over from Murders in the Rue Morgue. Although it is explained that the body and head are from a man who was something of a "neolithic" nature, it makes little sense to choose him since Frankenstein never wanted a brutish creature before and even here he wants a refined brain and hands for his creature - so why have, what especially in the period's times, what would have been considered crude and low class bodily - a hairy brute with thick lips and heavy eyes?
I know the reasoning was for horror's sake, but I find a gorilla-like man far less horrific than a man stitched together looking gentile and refined underneath his stitches.

The acting is superb, as usual and the sets are really top notch. The script is a bit thin, and the monster costume is really laughable, but it is a worthwhile film.

The DVD extras are another matter. I enjoyed them all but for the narrative. And those I might have enjoyed, but for the kind lady who had the female "engenue" role in the film. A mute in the film, in the DVD extras she just couldn't keep her mouth shut. She prattled on and on and on about any and every thing. She and David Prowse are the narrators of the audio and though they really don't have large enough roles to warrant this (it seems that Shane Briant should have been narrating it), they seem to want to talk incessantly about things that have nothing to do with the film at hand and the things they do discuss are not relavant to what is happening on screen. So many opportunities for interesting information transfer are lost as they pass them by. For instance, toward the beginning of the film, Shane Briant's character actually appears to be taking the full force of a real fire hose. His skin actually raises up red welts to the force of the hose as we watch the film, yet it is never divulged to us whether this was really the case. Rather the young lady goes on and on about how she really thinks the dress she was wearing was terribly dowdy. Well, you get the gist of it.

Watch the film - enjoy it - skip the audio commentary on the DVD extras.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brain from a genius, body from a killer, soul from hell...
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) marks the final installment of the Hammer Studios Frankenstein films and also the last film by perennial Hammer director Terrance Fisher.

The film stars Peter Cushing as Baron Von Frankenstein, aka Dr. Carl Victor. Confined to an asylum for the charge of sorcery due to his last foray into the creation of man, Frankenstein, along with the director of the asylum, orchestrated the death of Dr. Frankenstein and his new identity to allow for the Baron to assume the duties of staff doctor within the asylum. Frankenstein, now Dr. Victor, has a fairly free hand to do as he pleases due an intimate knowledge of some of the asylum director's peccadilloes and past indiscretions, and has once again begun his quest to create life where there was none before, from body parts culled from recently deceased inmates.

Dr. Simon Helder (Shane Briant) has just recently been committed to the asylum for trying to follow in Frankenstein's footsteps, and learns that Frankenstein is alive and well, working under his current pseudonym. I remember Briant from other Hammer films like Demons of the Mind (1972) and Kronos (1973). Dr. Carl allows for the younger doctor to assume his routine duties within the asylum, caring for patients, freeing up the elder to pursue his experimentations. The good doctor seems to have created quite the hairy behemoth, using various bits and pieces of some of the recently deceased, more interesting inmates. The monster, played by David Prowse (Darth Vader in the early Star Wars films), has the best features of these poor, departed souls, but lacks an adequate brain. Did I mention he is also very hairy? I probably did, but it's worth mentioning again as the dude is almost ape-like. But what's this? We are soon introduced to an inmate whose intellect far surpasses even his keepers? I am sure that will come into play later...

Also starring is the comely Madeline Smith as Sarah, a mute resident, also known to the inmates as Angel. She acquired the moniker while being in the service of Dr. Karl as his assistant, and having the ability to deal with the crazy people with a quiet, gentle bedside manor.

With the aid of his young assistants, Sarah and Dr. Helder, Dr. Karl completes the hideous creature, and all seems a success. But is it? What happens when you play mix and match with body parts from various individuals, not to mention various mentally disturbed individuals? The success is soon overshadowed by problems as the creature begins to understand his own being, from whence he came.

I thought this was a great 'last hurrah' for Hammer and Fisher, despite some of the concessions made due to a smaller budget, i.e. the obvious use of miniatures when showing exteriors of the asylum and the stiff and unresponsive suit worn by Prowse. Most of the film takes place in the confined quarters of the asylum, giving the viewer a sense of being trapped in a nightmarish world within. I really enjoyed the camaraderie between Dr. Helder and Dr. Karl, and I can't help but wonder if the characterization was carried over into real life between the Briant and Cushing. There were also a few neat surprises that help to flesh out the story, adding depth to the characters, allowing for a real interest to develop for the viewer. The gore is present, but another reviewer has stated that some of the more gory aspects have not been included in the film. I couldn't help laughing at the scene when Dr. Karl and Dr. Helder are removing the 'old' brain from the creature and Dr. Karl unceremoniously drops it into a dish on the floor (just throw that anywhere) and then proceeds to trip on the dish, spilling the contents over the floor, his reaction being that of someone who just knocked over a bowl of milk for kitty. A nice, little touch.

The print here looks really good and sharp, and special features include a commentary by actress Madeline Smith, actor David Prowse, and horror historian Jonathan Sothcott, one which I haven't had an opportunity to listen to, but sounds to be interesting.

Cookieman108 ... Read more


7. The Revenge of Frankenstein
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $19.94
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Asin: B00000F62P
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 26226
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior Hammer Frank film
Right up there with Horror of Dracula(my fave Hammer) and The Hound of the Baskervilles, this Hammer gem has all of the lovely technicolor Victorian atmosphere and macabre tendencies exhibited by title character. Cushing, as always, plays the Doctor wonderfully. Ol Peter could always be counted on to make even the worst Hammer film tolerable.
Film is right on cue with regard to continuity. We are taken to the guillitione(its as if Terence just kept filiming right after "Curse") and the good doctor cheats death only to continue brain experiments while working as a doctor for the filthy rabble by day. SEQUEL:THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN

4-0 out of 5 stars "One of Hammer's best, and most exciting productions."
With the success of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Hammer, not wasting anytime, went into production, with this witty and thoughtful sequel, and which would set the pace for the following entries to come. The three main stars of this film, are, Peter Cushing, of course. Who reprises his role as Baron Victor Frankenstein. Cushing retains the warpish charm and sublime arrogance of Victor's first outing, but here he's allowed to deepen the character, bringing intresting new angles to light. The second star is the masterful, yet somewhat stately direction of Horror meserto' Terence Fisher, who returns to the director's chair , yet to bring another exellent Frankenstein film. Fisher imbues the film with his usual flair, and in a way trys to remake his classic orginal (but in a way lacks the pure poetry that it's predecesor achieved soo well.) Yet the film makes up for it, all too well. With what is the film's third, and main attraction: Jimmy Sangster's script, which is his most thoughtfuly written--and his best. Sangster's script for ROF is better in every way than his previous effort, with nice touches of black humor and some wry social commentary on the self-satisfied burghers of Carlsbruck. Sangster also manages to weave some neat ironies into his tale, not least that Victor literally becomes his own monster( note: also that his own transplant is the sole truly sucessful experiment in the entire Frankenstein series) Most satisfying of all is the thoughtful way, in which the film explores the real-world implications of Frankenstein's activites. Most previous Frankenstein movies treated the brain as if it were merely another organ, like a pancreas, without exploring the idea that these spare parts might have their own memories and agendas. The Revenge of Frankenstein meets this imminently logical concept head on, using it to develop a fresh, orginal approach to a myth cycle that badly needed it. With all the good to aside, I have to express on how sickly I have become on how Overrated this film is (most notably , the critics). Too many times have people and critics alike have stated this being the best of the Hammer Frankenstein series, not giving an ounce of respect to any of the other "Better entries" (yes, you heard me, better entries.) In my own estimation, critics have either bashed, or ignored the other entries , in calling them decidely weak and (oh, this is my favorite, "Uneven." And only paying homage, to "that almighty Revenge of Frankenstein." Clearly, this is not the best of Fisher, nor is it one of his personal works. I would place "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) ", at the top, followed by The Curse of Frankenstein in second, and Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1973), being equal, if not slightly better than "Revenge", puting Revenge in 4th place, and finnally Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), in 5th, being "slighlty" inferior to "Revenge"(marred down by the fact of the budgetary problems Hammer was having at the time(tacky looking sets). Though one could surely understand people Bashing the Non-Fisher entries, (The evil of Frankenstein & Horror of frankenstein) Lastly, these past comments concerning this film being overated does not mean I dislike the film. The film is "Exellent" indeed! But Im just soo discusted on how the other entries in the series are treated by critics, and people who don't show a fondness for Hammer, or merely the Horror film for that matter. (All in all, I highly recommend "The Revenge of Frankenstein, and without question, Hammer at it's best.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Grade: A- 93%

4-0 out of 5 stars More Good Stuff From Hammer
Halloween is a good time to dip into the classic horror library, and there are few classics better than the Hammer horror films. Revenge of Frankenstein is the sequel to Hammer's successful Curse of Frankenstein. Peter Cushing returns as the good doctor. Having escaped the gallows 3 years prior, Dr. Frankenstein is living and practicing medicine in Germany under the name Dr. Stein. He splits his time between a successful practice and treating the poor. Of course he has not abandoned his research in creating life. His work with the poor serves as a good source of "materials". In this film he transports the brain of a disfigured assistant into a new body. Unfortunately, all does not go smoothly and Dr. Frankenstein once again becomes a wanted man.

I like the course Hammer took with the Frankenstein films. They focused on the "real monster" instead of resurrecting the same creature over and over. Cushing is always a pleasure to watch and he plays the role perfectly. The picture quality on the DVD is very good and is presented in widescreen format. There are some very minor scratches, etc. visible here and there, but they are minor and I doubt the film has ever looked this good. Colors are fairly sharp and clear, though not quite as good as the Warner release of "Curse". The sound is crisp and audible with virtually no hissing. There are virtually no extras on the disc save for a couple of stills and a trailer.

If you are looking to start a Hammer library, this disc should be high on your list just behind the aforementioned "Curse of Frankenstein" and "Horror of Dracula".

3-0 out of 5 stars The revenge of Hammer productions
In this addition to the series Dr. Victor Fankenstein (Peter Cushing) escapes hanging and is soon back to his old tricks. While walking through a graveyard the supposedly deceased Frankenstein comes across a grave robber and greets him "Good evening, I am Frankenstein" resulting in the robber having a heart attack and falling into the open grave!
Frankenstein soon gets back to practising medicine under the alias Dr. Stein; but a medical student soon discovers his true identity and threatens to expose Frankenstein unless he takes him on as his protege. Frankenstein reluctantly agrees and the pair soon embark on their first experiment- transplanting the brain of a partially paralysed man into a healthy new corpse (that doesn't sound right). Peter Cushing is good, the production atmospheric and the script above average. Not a classic, but recommended to horror fans nevertheless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Stein
We pick up at the end of The Curse of Frankenstein where Dr. Frankenstein had been sentenced to death and is being led to the guillotine. He escapes with the aid of a cripple, Carl, which he has promise a new body for helping him escape. Later a Dr. Stein has opened a clinic where he treats the poor. He continues his experiments in a secret lab where he has assembled a body for Carl.

As Dr. Stein practice flourishes, the local medical council is offended that he will not join their "group." The council visits Dr. Stein and tries to persuade him to join but he refuses. One of the council members Hans recognizes him at Dr. Frankenstein and decides to assist him. Dr. Stein and Hans give Carl a new body but when his brain becomes damage in a brawl, he turns into a cannibalistic monster.

We have another wonderful performance by Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein/Stein.

The transfer to DVD is excellent. ... Read more


8. Dracula - Prince of Darkness
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.99
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Asin: 6305095469
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 18075
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

For many years after becoming one of the definitive movie Draculas in the 1958 Hammer Films classic Horror of Dracula (in which he was pitted against Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing), Christopher Lee refused to reprise his role as filmdom's most infamous vampire. He finally returned to the role in this belated 1965 sequel, once again directed by Hammer studios veteran Terence Fisher. It's not as effective or as intelligently written as the earlier film, but it has become a minor classic in its own right for horror connoisseurs, notably due to the combination of eerie atmosphere (a Terence Fisher specialty) and violence that was, by mid-'60s standards, quite bloody and graphic. Indeed, the story begins when Count Dracula's servant revives his master by hanging an unsuspecting victim over the tomb containing Dracula's ashes and draining the blood from the unlucky fellow so it can trickle into the tomb and restore life to the remains of the undead vampire! It's this kind of unholy communion that was a trademark of Hammer horror, and Dracula: Prince of Darkness continues with all the requisite ingredients--including a group of tourists who arrive at the count's secluded castle just in time to feed his insatiable bloodlust! True horror fans will appreciate the performance by Hammer regular Barbara Shelley, widely considered to be one of her best. So, file your fangs and enjoy Lee in his most famous and immortal role! --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (58)

3-0 out of 5 stars An okay repersantation worth mentioning
dracula Prince of Darkness, the second hammer horror dracula in the series. starring christopher Lee in an unspeeking role(why?), and the worst actress, Barbra Shelly(I don't know about you but shelly reminds me of my seventh grade teacher). One of the few wide screen hammer films that I could find, its a must have for any hammer collecter. The story isn't bad, four travelers from england are taking a vacation in, of all places, the Carpathian, supposedly to broden there minds. They are abandoned by there coach driver so when a misterios cart comes rolling down the road they decide to take it. But the horses went in the wrong direrction, towards castle Dracula. The servent of the castle, kills one of the travlers and pours blood on the ashes of the count(he ran into the sun in Horror of Dracula). then Dracula stocks helen (the sventh grade teacher(Barbra Shelly). Two travelers get out alive after being confronted by Dracula. They seek the help of a preist who knows how to destroy vampires(a real Van Helsing). They Destroy the count with a bit of the old stake through the heart. a few bad points, no dialog from the Lee, the cute chick doesnt get naked, and Barbra Shelly. It's too bad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dracula-Prince of Darkness: A must see for all horror fans!!
This film was first released in 1965 and is certainly worth the 90 minates of running time. Filmed in Techniscope, Dracula-Prince of Darkness is about 4 tourists who stray off their destination of Carlsbad and end up within the walls of Castle Dracula. Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelley provide plenty of scares and keep you on the edge of your seats. Plenty of gore and a very tense scene involving B. Shelley towards the end of the film, make this (in my opinion) one of the scariest Dracula films ever. Although Christopher Lee was disappointed that he didn't have a speaking role, I think (in my opinion) it made him more frightning to watch. The only 2 faults I have with this film is the dialog a little weak at beginning and an extra scene or two could have been used at the end. Never the less, an enjoyable film to watch for all horror fans. Cast: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Andrew Keir, Susan Farmer, Charles Tingwell and Thorley Walters. Director: Terence Fisher

4-0 out of 5 stars A Hammer classic
Dracula, Prince of Darkness tends to get short shrift from the critics, but it is hard to see why. Director Terence Fisher is on top form, delivering some of Hammer studios' most memorable and fascinating images: Klove's pseudo-Eucharistic ritual to bring Dracula back to life; the staking of a female vampire; the Count's destruction at the film's icy climax. Cast are second to none: Christopher Lee reprising his role as the Count; Barbara Shelley as a repressed Englishwoman-cum-vampire; Andrew Keir as Father Sandor, a rough-and-ready Van Helsing-type. Rest of the crew are top-notch: The atmospheric photography is by Michael Reed; the score is one of studio regular James Bernard's best; and Bernard Robinson's set designs are among his most memorable (the castle exterior was shared with the less impressive but still entertaining Rasputin the Mad Monk in the same year).

I found this film riveting as a child, and it still captivates me today. It certainly belongs in the essential Hammer canon, and is perhaps the finest of the Dracula sequels.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK, but does not add up to the original
This one is OK for Halloween perhaps, but not the best of them all. Dracula does not even say anything in this film although the evil is quite effective. Only buy this one if you are a die hard fan of the Hammer "Dracula" films. Other than that, renting it at your local video store might be better.

This film may have also been better with the presence of Professor Van Helsing, and that's what also made the first film even better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dracula Returns
In 1895 two english couples on a trip in the Carpathians find themselves stranded at an eerie castle. They do not know it but they are at Castle Dracula. Count Dracula's manservent Klove has been waiting for this, it seems his master has been dead for 10 years. One of the guests becomes a victim and reconstitutes Dracula. The next day the other couple go in search of Alan & Helen Kent, Helen has become a vampire and Charles is no where to be found.

They seek the help of Father Sandor and he helps them combat the Count. The final is a thrill when Sandor shoots the ice around Dracula. The Count is consigned to the moat, destroyed by running water. Father Sandor replaces Dr. Van Helsing in this one.
Barbara Shelly gives the performance of a lifetime as Helen Kent. ... Read more


9. The Curse of Frankenstein
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $19.97
our price: $17.97
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Asin: B00006G8JZ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29915
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Description

In this re-telling of the classic horror tale, Baron Victor Frankenstein becomes friends with one of his teachers, Paul Krempe. At first, both men are fascinated by the potential of their re-animating experiments. Eventually, though, Krempe refuses to help with Frankenstien's human experiments. However, he is drawn back into the plot when Frankenstein's creature kills a member of the house staff. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars Hammer's Beginnings
The classic Hammer Studio's first major foray into the horror genre remains one of its best. Long unavailable, 'The Curse of Frankenstein' features two great performances from Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Cushing creates a sinister but understandable Doctor and Lee gives new dimension to (what had become) a tired role in the Universal canon. Lee today still has a tremendous mind and memory, and has been doing some of his best work (in the recent 'Lord of the Rings'). 'Curse' was followed soon after by 'Horror of Dracula' (now released simultaneously on DVD). For an introduction to Hammer's stylistics and genre makeover, you can't start much better than these two films. (Though do check out Anchor Bay's recent years' releases)

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Hammer
I will watch any movie with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. It is even better when that movie happens to be a horror classic. The Curse of Frankenstein happens to fall into that category. This is the movie that launched Hammer films association with the classic Universal monsters. Though at this time, they were not allowed to copy the monster look from the Universal film. They re-scripted the Frankenstein story so that more closely resembles the Mary Shelley novel. Cushing plays Dr. Victor Frankenstein with Lee cast as the monster. The movie has the trademark Hammer gothic look and was directed by Terrence Fisher.

The picture quality of the DVD is superb. The picture is presented in widescreen format. The colors are bright with no signs of scratches or dirt as far as I could tell. You would never know this movie is over 45 years old. The sound is presented in its original mono track. Voices come through loud and clear. There are very few extras. There is a film trailer and a still gallery with film facts called "The Making of a Monster". It would be nice to have Lee record a commentary at some point. Hammer went on to produce 6 more Frankenstein films, with Peter Cushing in the title role of 5 of them. The Curse of Frankenstein should be the cornerstone of any good classic horror or Hammer DVD library.

4-0 out of 5 stars Introducing the Hammer Gothic horror formula
"The Curse of Frankenstein" launched the Hammer Frankenstein series, which was helped by the fact these films ignored both Mary Shelley's original novel and all of the Universal movies about the mad doctor and his monster (the latter because Universal was always threatening to sue). The hallmark of Hammer's Frankenstein films is that Dr. Frankenstein, usually played by Peter Cushing in his role of a lifetime, is more interesting than the monster, which is always aware of what has been done to it. This is not the innocent child-monster of James Whale's classic films.

In 19th-Century Switzerland Baron Victor Frankenstein is awaiting execution and tells his life story to a priest in flashback. As a boy Victor drowned a puppy and brought it back to life, dreaming even them of creating life from stitched-together pieces of bodies. Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart), Victor's tutor, is revolted by the prospect but ends up helping the mad doctor. Romantic complications abound as Victor ignores his fiancee Elizabeth (Hazel Court), who falls for Paul, while Victor's jealous maid Justine (Valerie Gaunt) gets really jealous. Needing a brain for his creation, Victor causes the death of kindly Professor Bernstein, but the brain is damaged when Paul finds Victor robbing the grave. Victor finally succeeds in bringing his creation (Chrisopher Lee) to life, and using it to settle all of his little problems, beginning with the increasingly troublesome Justine.

"The Curse of Frankenstein" suffers from the one-dimensionality of the two main characters. Both Victor and his creation are basically just psychopaths in this initial effort. Terence Fisher's direction is the best part of the Hammer ensemble at this point, followed by Bernard Robinson's set design for the laboratory, with Phil Leakey's last minute make-up for the creature the low point (although you have to admit it is closer to Shelley's original description of the creature than Karloff's famous look). Although it is technically a sequel, "The Revenge of Frankenstein," the next Hammer film, is much better and there is not reason not to start the series there.

4-0 out of 5 stars Frankenstein in glorious technicolour for the first time!
The Curse of Frankenstein was the first of the many gothic horrors for which the Hammer Studios became renowned, and it remains one of the best.

Fisher's seminal film contains all the sophistication, irony and terror that made the Hammer Frankenstein series so successful and memorable. Peter Cushing plays the villianous Baron magnificently, and Christopher Lee presents us with an original and sympathetic portrayal of the creature. Production design is stunning, especially some of the lush matte paintings, and veteran James Bernard supplies one of his best scores.

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential DVD for Horror Fans.
Shot in colour and released in 1957, "The Curse of Frankenstein" is, of course, the film that made Hammer Films a household name for horror/thriller movie fans all over the world. To fully appreciate the importance and impact of "Curse", you have to look at it in the context of the time when it was made. By the mid-fifties, horror films had long passed their peak in Hollywood--certainly in terms of quality. Black and white "quickies", with almost no budget, were being churned out for teenagers to watch at the drive-in ( at least, those who were watching the screen ! ) Shlock-masters like Roger Corman and Bert Gordon were turning out "masterpieces" like "The Wasp Woman" and "The Amazing Colossal Man".

Suddenly, we have a small studio in England, making a horror film with excellent production values, gorgeously creepy sets, fine costumes, professional actors and a talented director, Terence Fisher. At the same time, along with a classy look, you add liberal amounts of gore ( certainly by 1950s standards ), and a couple of voluptuous "damsels in distress" who can scream lustily when they encounter the monster. It was a winning formula that Hammer would raise to an art form.

Peter Cushing plays Baron Von Frankenstein, and his terrific performance dominates the film. His character goes through quite a transformation from curious scientist to an obsessive fiend, determined to "create life" at, literally, any cost. His mentor/friend Paul Krempe ( Robert Urquhart )is an enthusiastic assistant at first, but soon becomes alienated by the Baron's frantic and ultimately murderous behaviour. Sometimes body parts are easily available--sometimes you have to be "creative" in obtaining them !

Of course, this flesh and blood "jigsaw puzzle" comes to life in the form of a hideous, pathetic creature played by Christopher Lee, who soon breaks loose, displaying no appreciation whatsoever for being "born" ! As I mentioned earlier, two beautiful women "round out" the cast. Gorgeous Hazel Court is Elizabeth, the Baron's betrothed, and Valerie Gaunt is Justine the maid. Justine is, as they say in England, the Baron's "bit on the side"--when she threatens to spill all the Baron's secrets unless he marries her, you just know that her future is "cloudy".

"Curse" may not be Hammer's best film, but it put the studio on the map and started an enduring partnership of two very fine actors--Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

The DVD exhibits good colour, with occasional haziness and mono sound. The extras are sparse--a few notes on other Hammer films, and a trailer. I would have loved some comments from Mr. Lee--sadly Peter Cushing passed away some time ago.

Still, if you like classic horror films, "Curse" has to be in your collection--its importance cannot be over-estimated. Recommended. ... Read more


10. The Mummy
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $19.97
our price: $17.97
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Asin: B00005NSXY
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 26344
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Hammer's Version Produces Good Chills, but is a Little Slow
As I wrote in my previos review for the original "Mummy," my favorite film is the 1999 version of "The Mummy." After I saw it, I quested after the original, which was great! I loved it's moody atmohsphere and fantastic performances. I loved the latest version of the story for it's humor, action, beautiful score, excellent performances, first rate visual effects and lightning pace. And it was around the time "The Mummy" was about to be released on video (September 28, 1999) that I rented the 1953 Hammer version. And I enjoyed this version quite a lot as well! One of the things that impressed me most about this film, was the musical score. It's quite epic for a somewhat clostrafobic film like this, but it still works with the shots and the story. The performance given by Peter Cushing on this movie was in my opinion one of his best. He was much more layed back, and even tough in this movie! The sets for the flash back and excavation scenes are like something out of a "Gilligan's Island," episode however - but it doesn't really effect the film overall. The plot developes a little slowly, but Christopher Lee as the mummy is truly terrifying. I mean scary! With his huge strides and quick swipes at his targets, he is a menace to be reconed with. And, he's the only mummy BEFORE Arnold Vosloo (in the 1999 version) that breaks into a sprint, adding to the terror. The only thing I really had a problem with was the films climax, which replecates the ending of "Revenge of the Creature" (the sequel to Universal's 1954 smash "The Creature from the Black Lagoon") right down to a few camera angles. Plus, at it's end Lee is killed with incredible ease. But none the less, I still liked this film very, very much. I recomend it highly to anyone who loved the original or the '99 version.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Hammer's most stylish and effective horror films
After Hammer Studio had such success with their versions of Dracula and Frankenstein, it was inevitable they would tackle another one of the classic monsters of Universal's horror pantheon. By granting Universal the American distribution rights, Hammer was allowed to create their own screen versions of the Mummy movies from the 1930s and '40s (never mind Universal ripped off an Arthur Conan Doyle short story "The ring of Thoth" in the first place). Hammer's 1959 (yes, that's the CORRECT date) film "The Mummy," directed by Terence Fisher, actually ends up being one of the studio's best horror films. Set in 1895, English archaeologists uncover the tomb of the Egyptian princess Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux). When Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) enters the tomb, ignoring the warnings of the Egyptian Mehemet (George Pastell), he is driven mad. Of course, he has encounter Kharis (Christopher Lee), the living mummy. Three years later, Stephen warns his son John (Peter Cushing) that the mummy is after them, but the warning is ignored. Mehemet arrives near the asylum and sends the mummy to slay the half-mad Stephen in his padded cell. Following his father's murder, John learns the legend of Kharis and Ananka, the high priest who loved the princess so much he tried to bring him back from death with the Scroll of Life and was entombed as a living mummy for his sacrilege. When Kharis strikes again, John learns the legends are true. But then Mehemet orders the mummy to kill John's wife Isobel, who is the living image of Kharis' beloved Ananka (because she is also played by Furneaux. At this point, the Mummy refuses to obey and we are well on our way to the requisite tragic ending.

"The Mummy" is one of the better looking Hammer films, thanks to Bernard Robinson's production designs and Jack Asher's cinematography, the high point of which is the lengthy Egyptian flashback sequence. Peter Cushing plays John Banning the hero with a sense of melancholy attributable to not only his crippled leg but sadness over the tragic consequences of their treasure expedition. George Pastell's Mehemet is one of the most thoughtful and pious villains you will ever find in a horror film. As Kharis, Christopher Lee has another silent role that forces him to communication his longing for Ananka through his eyes and gestures. Lee's mummy is much more muscular and athletic than Karloff's original. No slow shuffling monster here, the scene where Kharis smashes through the sanitarium window to attack Stephen Banning is one of the best action sequences in Hammer's history. It is not surprising Lee suffering physically because of this film. "The Mummy" stands out from other Hammer films not only because the monster is different this time around, but more because it does present the black and white division between Good and Evil we come to expect in Fisher's films. After all, Kharis has suffered for ages in unspeakable torment and kills only to protect Isobel thinking she is Ananka, so there is a degree of pity involved, while we have some feelings of disgust towards the archeologists who are so dismissive of native beliefs. Clearly there is more depth here to the characters than we find in the contemporary block busters where the appeal is pure special effects.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mummy's Day
This is probably the best Hammer movie ever made. The original Karloff version was too derivative of Dracula. Starting with the first, and the later versions, the mummy could hardly move. Christopher Lee, a mediocre actor, was truely an athletic one, and it was put to good use in this movie. Jack Asher's color cinematography bordered on the expressionistic. But it wasn't the black and white expressionism of German silent movies, or the classic Universal studios. This was the expressionism of German painters. However, I prefer the ending in the original version, where the heroine had to rescue herself, while the heroes looked on helplessly.

4-0 out of 5 stars reviewers who think they know something about aspect ratios
fact number 1:in order to be "enhanced for 16:9" the picture "has" to be 16:9-that works out to 1:78 aspect ratio.

fact number 2:fisher was working with 35mm film stock wich was then matted at 1:66 , the most popular format all over europe.

fact number 3:the north american standard for non-scope films was 1:85 witch is the full 35mm aspect ratio.

fact number 4:warner is not in the habit of taking inferior euro-transfers (4% too fast as a half-assed way of synchronising
celluloid with video)ex:the mummy on pal video is 85 mins insted of 88(correct running time for both celluloid & NTSC).

fact number 5:there is always a little more picture on the film stock then will ever be seen in theaters or video.otherwise the number of goofs reported would astronomical.

so in conclusion don't be alarmed by naysaywers bitching about aspect ratios , 9 times out of 10 they know less than you.

4-0 out of 5 stars OK Hammer take on the mummy....
OK color production by Hammer of the mummy motif. Good acting and rather elegant period sets give the film a spooky feel but when Christopher Lee enters as the title creature things really liven up. He's an interesting mummy--jerky and spasmodically stomping around like a wind-up robot gone berserk. Peter Cushing seems right at home in his role. The beautiful Yvonne Furneaux (as Cushing's wife and a dead ringer for the mummy's lost love) comes in near the end of the film to get carried off into the swamp. Why her character has to enter so late is a mystery. She would have at least brought something more into the movie. For discerning adults it's rather juvenile but for kids it's fine. It's a good way to introduce younger audiences to classy horror films. ... Read more


11. The Devil Rides Out
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $29.98
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Asin: 6305808163
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 28639
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12. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $19.97
our price: $17.97
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Asin: B0001FVE5O
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 18742
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Description

Another take on the classic tale. This one's a British version from 1969 with a more heartless version of the mad scientist. Instead of having a lab assistant to do his dirty work, this Dr. Frankenstien pushes a young doctor and his betrothed to kidnap the next victim. They must capture the mentally ill Dr. Brandt so that hi sbrain may be used in Dr. Frankenstein's experiments. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the finest Hammer horror film of them all.
FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED is the fith entry in the Hammer series, which began with 1957's revolutionary CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Much of the impact of the series can be attributed to the input of director Terence Fisher and star Peter Cushing, and here they are united with stunning results. The story pulls no punches in telling the tale of the Baron, embittered by a string of failed experiemens, who is bent on taking his hatred for humanity out on all those who come into contact with him. Unlike many Fisher-Hammer films, which opt for fairy tale optimism, this film is informed by the nihilistic climate of the late 1960s. Typical for Fisher, the characters and relationships have more depth and complexity than is the norm for a low budget horror film. In fact, the film is more of a drama than anything else, so schlock fans need not apply. A stunning exercise in pathos and suspense, with a brilliant performance by Cushing, and a moving one by Freddie Jones as the pathetic "monster." Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Baron is in the building...
The character and quality of Frankenstein varied a bit from film to film in the series. Luckily, Peter Cushing always brought his usual vitality to the role. Here the Baron is up to his old habits. He creates life yet again using the brain of a well respected, brilliant scientist (played with power and pathos by Freddie Jones)to make his creature intelligent. The sequence where the scientist tries to make contact with his widow touches on the sadness and power that made James Whale's "Bride of Frankenstein" so great. "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" stands as among the best of Hammer's series (along with my personal fav the more atmospheric "Revenge of Frankenstein").

The extras amount to the original theatrical trailer. What makes this DVD worthwhile is the sharp, crystal clear and stunning transfer to DVD. The vivid, rich colors from the original film remain, for the most part, in tact. Although there's a bit of fading evident, the rich colors and nicely detailed sets look quite nice. There's few if any analog or digital artifacts in evidence.

It's a pity that there's no commentary track from a Hammer film or horror historian. Although most of the cast is dead, Simon Ward (in his debut as a Dr. that Frankenstein blackmails in to helping him make his latest creature)could have provided much needed information about the shooting of the film. It's a pity as "Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell" benefited from the commentary track featuring actor David Prowse.

A good choice to add to your Hammer film collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who is the real monster
This is Hammer's fifth Frankenstein movie in the series and again Peter Cushing plays the Baron. He transplants the brain of a brilliant but insane Dr. Brandt into the body of Dr. Richter. The Baron appears to be the monster and the creature is just an unhappy victim, which is apparent in the opening scene where the Baron is wearing a hideous mask. At the end, the creature, whose mental agonies have turned into a hatred for the Baron, carries the Baron back into a blazing house.

The next in the series is The Horror Of Frankenstein (1970).

4-0 out of 5 stars Hammer's finest hour?
FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (UK - 1969): Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) blackmails a young medical student (Simon Ward) and his fiancee (Veronica Carlson) into helping him with a brain transplant which goes horribly wrong.

Following a long period of cheap-looking productions designed to play as double-features on their home turf, Hammer returned to premium quality horror with FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED, arguably the company's finest hour, and certainly Peter Cushing's definitive portrayal of the monstrous Baron. Instead of the misguided adventurer depicted in previous films, screenwriter Bert Batt emphasizes the Baron's ruthless pursuit of knowledge and power, culminating in an unexpected sequence in which Cushing's domination of Carlson segues from mere tyranny to rape, a scene which Cushing reportedly found distasteful. Overall, however, Batt's script allows the characters to evolve via a skilfully constructed plot which employs levels of drama and emotion largely absent from much of Hammer's output at the time, alongside the usual elements of horror and suspense. Director Terence Fisher rises to the occasion with remarkable dexterity, orchestrating set-pieces which have been compared to Hitchcock in some quarters, especially the opening sequence in which a petty thief (Harold Goodwin) breaks into the wrong house and has a truly hair-raising confrontation with its volatile owner (leading to a truly great 'reveal'); and the traumatic moment in the back garden of Carlson's boarding house, when she's forced to deal with a corpse (one of Frankenstein's cast-offs) ejected from its makeshift grave by a burst water pipe. Freddie Jones adds pathos to the proceedings as the helpless victim of Frankenstein's latest experiment, his brain transplanted into another man's body against his will, traumatizing his incredulous wife (Maxine Audley) who refuses to accept his new identity (a scenario echoed by a similar plotline in John Woo's FACE/OFF in 1997). The period decor may look a little cramped and cut-price in places, but this is Hammer/Fisher/Cushing at the very height of their creative powers, and the film is a small masterpiece of British Gothic.

Warner's DVD offers a sterling reproduction of the film, letterboxed to its original screen ratio, anamorphically enhanced, with a strong soundtrack marred only by background hiss (clearly audible during quieter sequences) and a brief muffled section toward the end of the movie, during a short sequence without music or dialogue. The only extra is a trailer which sells the film as an outright exploitation flick, though the production is slightly classier than this tell-all promotion suggests! The running time quoted below doesn't include the Time Warner logo at the end of the DVD print, which wasn't part of the original film.

100m 33s
1.75:1 / Anamorphically enhanced
DVD soundtrack: Mono 1.0
Theatrical soundtrack: Optical mono
Optional English subtitles and closed captions
Region 1

5-0 out of 5 stars Peter Cushing's Finest Performance and One of Hammer's Best
This is one of Hammer's very best productions as well as their best Frankenstein film. Peter Cushing is wonderful as the Baron, more ruthless and sadistic this time out--he stops at nothing to get his way. The supporting cast of Veronica Carlson, Simon Ward and Freddie Jones are excellent. And the fiery cat and mouse finale is a total knockout--the best finale in the Hammer canon.

Warner's DVD is excellent. Picture and sound are sharp and robust. The 1.85:1 framing seems perfectly accurate. Theatrical trailer included. ... Read more


13. Dracula Prince of Darkness/The Satanic Rites of Dracula
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.48
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Asin: B0000W5H7E
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 22803
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fangtastic Double Feature
This is an awesome movie collection
Prince Of Darkness is typical of a Hammer Film
Satanic Rites is somewhat hokey, but then again it was released in the 70's. In Prince Of Darkness Christopher Lee has no lines whatsoever, and I personally believe that only enhances his performance as Lord of the Undead.
In Satanic Rites, Lee once again dons the fangs and cape
to reprise the role of the Dark Lord for the final time
his lines are minimal, as they are in other Hammer vampire films, but then again most vampires are not interested in making conversation; They're more interested in draining the blood from a victim.
Again I state that Lee reprises the role of the Dark Lord for the final time and in this movie his demise is brought on by the Hawthorn plant, which supposedly was the same type of plant that was used for Christs crown of thorns and therefore is considered a holy relic.

As always, Lee's performance as the Lord of the Undead makes the viewer fall in love with the Vampire and makes you want to be able to find a way to step in and intervene when Van Helsing (played by Peter Cushing) is preparing to destroy him.

Note: Satanic Rites Of Dracula was given more than one title one of the other ones is Dracula And His Vampire Brides

4-0 out of 5 stars Great deal with some little flaws...
The 4 star rating is for the quality and presentation of the DVDs, not the movies themselves. I am a huge Hammer fan and I am building up a collection. These seemed like a deal I couldn't pass up, so I will pour out the facts about this new set so you can make an informed opinion. For reviews of their plotlines, actors and the rest, it would be best to look up these movies by their seperate titles or at the links given below by this website.

The good news about the DVDs:
*Two movies at a good price!
*Chris Lee (and others) commentary on Prince of Darkness!
*Large nice quality poster postcards inside of both films! They have the chapter stops on the other side of them.
*5 minutes of Behind The Scenes footage on Prince of Darkness with commentary by Chris Lee (and others!)
*House of Hammer short called "Dracula and the Undead," mainly clips from Hammer films with vampires in them but very cool, never seen a scene from Vampire Circus, so now I want to check that out!

*Both movies are gloriously uncut!

The Bad News:
*Widescreen ratio is smaller than average, which is disappointing. More so on Prince of Darkness...I think Satanic Rites was bigger, more the standard letterbox form.
*Films tend to jump a little. I have no idea if this is the original print of the film, the DVD or my player...or a bit of all three. It doesn't happen often enough for me to really complain about it since I have VHS versions of these which are much worse as far as film quality. Scenes "skip" a 1/3 second or so, such as in Prince when the woman gets out of the carriage. Happens about 5-6 times in the whole set.
*Hammer extra on Satanic Rites is the same "Dracula and the Undead" on the other DVD. So you get the same show twice. I guess that is ok if you are lending one of the DVDs out...but I would think they could have put on another House of Hammer.
*Holders for the DVDs tend to smack into each other and since they are both double sided DVDs (not one sided,) I worry about them getting scratched. They do come off the center without much effort, compared to the Midnite Movie ones you basically have to pry off, almost breaking the DVD in the process!

Overall, a good effort. 4 Stars. Could have been 5 if there had been commentary on both films, no jumping of the frames and two different Hammer specials. But for the price, you really can't beat it. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to get a taste (heh) of what Christopher Lee's Dracula character is like and wonderful insights into the world of Hammer Films. ... Read more


14. Sherlock Holmes And The Deadly Necklace
Director: Frank Winterstein, Terence Fisher
list price: $19.95
our price: $17.96
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Asin: B00006G8I4
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 42631
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Than I Expected!
Over the years I've always read what a bad film this was, so I was pleasantly surprised when I bought this DVD and found the film to be quite good. I think Christopher Lee is a perfect Sherlock Holmes! Granted, it is a disappointment that he was POORLY dubbed in the American version, but this is something I can overlook because the film is a compelling mystery. Besides, Lee is often dubbed in these European films he made in the 60's, like Mario Bava's "THE WHIP AND THE BODY" and "HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD"; the lame Italian comedy "UNCLE WAS A VAMPIRE"; "THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM", etc. So, if you can get past that, you'll find an intriguing and well-paced thriller well worth a look for fans of Lee and/or Holmes. The picture is ok, the print is a bit scratched here and there, and is presented full-frame (my big complaint). I'd rather have a widescreen picture myself. Lee is so tall, often the top of his head is cut-off here. Still, I enjoyed it and do recommend it quite highly. ... Read more


15. Spaceways
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $14.99
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00004Z4VX
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 37291
Average Customer Review: 2.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A strange mix of space-age rocketry and old-fashioned murdermystery, the 1953 Spaceways is notable as the first British sciencefiction film since the legendary Things to Come. Howard Duff starsas the strapping American physicist working on a top-secret British base; EvaBartok is the European mathematician who pines for the marriedDuff. She gets to prove her love when he's accused of murdering hisphilandering wife and her lover, a fellow scientist, after they suddenlydisappear from the high-security compound. Where did they go? A coldly logicaldetective (Alan Wheatley) suggests their bodies have been stuffed onan experimental satellite and shot into space, so Duff suits up for a spaceflight to prove his innocence. This early Hammer thriller is a cut-rateproduction with functional special effects and a talky, often ludicrousscript. Duff is an amiable hunk who would look more at home on a footballfield than a laboratory and Bartok is all goo-goo eyes, but Wheatley isexcellent as the cunning investigator driven by pure reason and deduction,a role Peter Cushing would make his specialty in the coming decade. It'spure B-movie hokum, but director Terence Fisher does it up in smart style,creating a thick atmosphere of tension on the tiny sets and keeping thestory moving with interesting camera work. The Image DVD is beautifully mastered from a gorgeous, sharp print. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars MISLEADING TITLE
This is a quality Image DVD. The image is sharp and crisp. There are a few trailers and a chapter index.

This movie is not science fiction. This movie was marketed wrong and still is. The Amazon reviewer writes, "it's a strange mix..." There really is no mix. There's no space station and very little of the rocket. This is a murder-mystery plain and simple and I think a pretty good one. The acting is good and the story good.

3-0 out of 5 stars It`s a triller, not a sci fi movie.
In general it`s a little bit bouring, it`s not a scifi movie like others in his time. It`s more like a police suspence and triller.

Just if you do`n`t have any more to do......

3-0 out of 5 stars Hammer's first venture into sci-fi!
This tidy little murder mystery with a sci-fi setting features tough,
gruff Howard Duff and beautiful, exotic Eva Bartok as star crossed
lovers working together on the first attempt to put a satellite into
orbit above the Earth. Duff and Bartok becomes the first man and
woman into space when they have to rocket off to the satellite to
prove his innocence in the murder of his wife and her lover, whose
bodies are thought to be hidden on the satellite.

The story is from a radio play by novelist Charles Eric Maine, who
had two of his other works turned into movies--The Isotope Man
became The Atomic Man and Escapement became The
Electronic Monster. He had a penchant for writing Alfred
Hitchcock-like murder mysteries with a science fiction flavor.
And like Hitchcock's movies, Spaceways is rather slow paced and
tedious at times, before the payoff comes, such as it is.

Director Terence Fisher, in his pre-Frankenstein and Dracula
efforts for Hammer Films, does a good job with what little he has--
a low budget and stock footage of German V-2 rocket launches,
plastic spacesuits, and sparsely designed control room sets. It all
works pretty well, though, because of the fine cast.

This DVD features excellent image quality and sound, a chapter
index, and the theatrical trailer, and that's it. Recommended
mostly for fans of Eva Bartok and early British sci-fi.

2-0 out of 5 stars Mainly for "Hammer" completists
Inspired by the success of the American science fiction movie "Rocketship X-R", Hammer Films decided to produce the first British science fiction film since "Things to Come" (1936). "Spaceways" is in no way comparable to those two films. After a heavy-handed exposition the film unravels to be only a modest little crime story with a space sequence as special twist. It seems that the budget was very small. The film-makers opted to combine real footage with F/X-shots, which is quite problematic. During the climactic spaceflight the camera stays within the interior of the capsule all the time. Fisher did not even attempt to solve the problem of showing zero gravity. You even get to see more in "Nude on the Moon" (Hey, I mean special effects!). The script is quite slow and far too talkative. It was based on a radio play and it clearly shows. Director Fisher displays a fairly good craftsmanship, but this film is not in the least as effective as his later gothic horror movies that became the trademark of Hammer. Nevertheless, I think he made the film as effective as the screenplay and the budget allowed. Moreover, the supporting cast is quite well. Combined with Fishers skills they prevent this film from being campy. ... Read more


16. The Four Sided Triangle
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.98
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Asin: 6305807906
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 27644
Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars You make me feel like a natur...er...replicated woman...
From Terrance Fisher, director of such Hammer Studios classics as The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), and The Mummy (1959) comes the less than stellar, but still enjoyable, film, The Four Sided Triangle (1953).

This British production stars American actress Barbara Payton as Lena, James Hayter as Dr. Harvey, Stephen Murray as Bill and John Van Essyen as Robin. Payton, a once promising actress with a bright future, passed at the early age of 40 due to a series of volatile relationships and alcohol abuse.

The movie starts off by showing Lena, Robin, and Bill as youngsters, living in a small English town. The three are the best of friends, with Bill coming from a well to do family and being the practical one, Robin in a much less desirable existence with an abusive father who, along with his mother, pass early in Robin's childhood, leaving him in the care of Dr. Harvey, or 'Doc', as most call him, and Lena sort of in the middle of the two boys.

Time passes, and the boys go off to college, and Lena is taken to America. The boys return from college, and begin working on a fabulous invention, with Robin being the true inspiration behind the project. Lena also arrives, not being unable to find her place or purpose in life and returning to her childhood village. The three begin to work together, with Robin and Bill working on their invention, and Lena acting in the fashion of caretaker for the absorbed young men. Finally, Robin and Bill unveil their invention, the reproducer, a machine that has the ability to perfectly copy anything. The machine is a success, and the practical applications are astounding, but Robin, of the purely scientific mind, has become bored and decides to take the notion to the next step by 'reproducing' a living organism, despite Bill's moral objections. This is when Robin's 'mad scientist' persona really comes into its' own.

After the success of the machine, Bill and Lena announce their engagement, much to the heartbreak of Robin, who secretly harbored love for Lena, but, while able to conjure up fantastical ideas and devices, always had difficultly relating to people and dealing with interpersonal contact. After finally perfecting the process of duplicating living organisms and keeping them alive, Robin decides if he can't have Lena, then he would try to create a duplicate of her. Does it work? Well, yes and no...

Obviously a take on the Frankenstein story, this film plays out pretty well, despite its' slow build up. I really enjoyed all the spinning, whirling, popping gadgets and the tense moments at certain points within the film. There seemed to be more melodrama in the film than I would have expected, but it did serve to add to the development of the characters. At certain points, Dr. Harvey, despite meek objections, is enlisted by Robin to assist in his experiments with duplicating living creatures. This seemed a bit out of character, as I thought he would want nothing to do with this kind of thing, but instead he goes along, helping Robin down this uncertain and dangerous path. I suppose he knew Robin would proceed with or without his help, so he gave in, but I didn't see the internal struggle within the doctor I thought I would have.

Not a bad movie, and I enjoyed the marrying of the Frankenstein concept with the cloning aspect, providing some really far out ideas for people to ponder back in the time it was released. The picture quality is very good, and special features include a Hammer featurette called 'The Curse of Frankenstein', which talks about the Frankenstein genre within the world of Hammer films. Also included inside the case is a nice reproduction card of some original promotion material for the Four Sided Triangle.

Cookieman108

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth a viewing for sci-fi fans...
This is not really a horror picture, as you might naturally expect from the Hammer logo, and the synopsis on the back of the case. Any horror here is not visceral, and not even psychological. If anything, the horror (such as it is), is posed philosophically.

Actually a sci-fi effort, "The Four Sided Triangle" is a very good British black and white film from 1953. The production values are really pretty good, although the film was obviously made inexpensively. I liked the cast, location shooting, cinematography, and the basic overall story, which is in the best tradition of sci-fi short stories.

Two scientists create a new process to "reproduce" matter from energy (think of a cross between a photocopier and the replicators on "Star Trek"). Both scientists are in love with the same girl, and one is bound to lose when she finally chooses between them. However, the loser hits upon the idea of replicating the girl, so everyone can be happy and get what they want... at least on paper.

The gadget at the center of the tale, the "reproducer", is important but incidental. The device serves to facilitate the "what if?" quality of the story, making the normally impossible suddenly somehow possible. Scientific explanations of the device are not necessary, because the story is about how the characters react to the new problems their invention creates. In other words, the real story is between the characters, and unlike today's cineplex-infesting tripe, the focus is not on the special effects.

The film asks big questions that it never answers, and even then, it only asks them indirectly. Regardless, while the film is not completely successful, it does manage satisfy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Early (unsuccessful) Terence Fisher flick.
This film was made before Fisher found his stride in the later 50s with his classic versions of Frankenstein and Dracula. Hardcore Fisher fans might want to check it out; few others will be interested.

1-0 out of 5 stars Early Hammer disaster.
Unfortunately, the script is irreconcilably one dimensional. Whilst some may claim this to be an interesting pre-curser of Fisher's later Hammer Frankensteins, it simply isn't - interesting that is. The notion of cloning may have been relatively unheard of then, but now it just seems ages old, and the approach in this film is certainly hackneyed. The script takes too long to build up to anything approaching unsettling, the actual reproducing machine (inspired title that one) sequences are incredibly long and boring, and the characterisation dangerously inept. Take, for instance, James Hayter's father figure doctor. Although expressing his strong abhorrence of Stephen Murray's ideas, he decides to help him out with an insouciant passivity that borders on the ludicrous. James Hayter's character is funny it has to be said... but only because he was written as the prehistoric stereotypical British stiff upper lip consummate professional, a person I'm not sure ever did exist. It's not Fisher's fault that the material's so bad - it would have taken a miracle worker to save this one.

As for the DVD, well the picture quality is as good as can be expected for a film of such age. In the area of extras however, one senses Anchor Bay were bored with the film themselves. No trailers or tv spots, no production notes, just the bog standard casually narrated hotch potch of clips that make up the feeble "world of Hammer" compilation show. The clips of Peter Cushing in the Frankenstein films are worth seeing though.

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Concept - Stale Plot
Not necessarily Hammer's finest production, Four-Sided Triangle is interesting for its central concept, but a stale plot makes for a mostly dated and anemic film. The writer couldn't seem to make up his mind whether he wanted to emphasize the Frankenstein elements or be cloying and sympathetic to the plight of the scientist. The indecision costs the film dearly, as we end up mostly being bored stiff. Still, it wins a few stars for being novel for the era. Hammer fans will find little here that connects to the classics, as this film was produced in 1953, well before even the earliest hit, The Quatermass Experiment in 1955. There was one other upshot though, it was directed by Terence Fisher. ... Read more


17. Dracula - Prince of Darkness
Director: Terence Fisher
list price: $29.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000064MX
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 53826
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (58)

3-0 out of 5 stars An okay repersantation worth mentioning
dracula Prince of Darkness, the second hammer horror dracula in the series. starring christopher Lee in an unspeeking role(why?), and the worst actress, Barbra Shelly(I don't know about you but shelly reminds me of my seventh grade teacher). One of the few wide screen hammer films that I could find, its a must have for any hammer collecter. The story isn't bad, four travelers from england are taking a vacation in, of all places, the Carpathian, supposedly to broden there minds. They are abandoned by there coach driver so when a misterios cart comes rolling down the road they decide to take it. But the horses went in the wrong direrction, towards castle Dracula. The servent of the castle, kills one of the travlers and pours blood on the ashes of the count(he ran into the sun in Horror of Dracula). then Dracula stocks helen (the sventh grade teacher(Barbra Shelly). Two travelers get out alive after being confronted by Dracula. They seek the help of a preist who knows how to destroy vampires(a real Van Helsing). They Destroy the count with a bit of the old stake through the heart. a few bad points, no dialog from the Lee, the cute chick doesnt get naked, and Barbra Shelly. It's too bad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dracula-Prince of Darkness: A must see for all horror fans!!
This film was first released in 1965 and is certainly worth the 90 minates of running time. Filmed in Techniscope, Dracula-Prince of Darkness is about 4 tourists who stray off their destination of Carlsbad and end up within the walls of Castle Dracula. Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelley provide plenty of scares and keep you on the edge of your seats. Plenty of gore and a very tense scene involving B. Shelley towards the end of the film, make this (in my opinion) one of the scariest Dracula films ever. Although Christopher Lee was disappointed that he didn't have a speaking role, I think (in my opinion) it made him more frightning to watch. The only 2 faults I have with this film is the dialog a little weak at beginning and an extra scene or two could have been used at the end. Never the less, an enjoyable film to watch for all horror fans. Cast: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Andrew Keir, Susan Farmer, Charles Tingwell and Thorley Walters. Director: Terence Fisher

4-0 out of 5 stars A Hammer classic
Dracula, Prince of Darkness tends to get short shrift from the critics, but it is hard to see why. Director Terence Fisher is on top form, delivering some of Hammer studios' most memorable and fascinating images: Klove's pseudo-Eucharistic ritual to bring Dracula back to life; the staking of a female vampire; the Count's destruction at the film's icy climax. Cast are second to none: Christopher Lee reprising his role as the Count; Barbara Shelley as a repressed Englishwoman-cum-vampire; Andrew Keir as Father Sandor, a rough-and-ready Van Helsing-type. Rest of the crew are top-notch: The atmospheric photography is by Michael Reed; the score is one of studio regular James Bernard's best; and Bernard Robinson's set designs are among his most memorable (the castle exterior was shared with the less impressive but still entertaining Rasputin the Mad Monk in the same year).

I found this film riveting as a child, and it still captivates me today. It certainly belongs in the essential Hammer canon, and is perhaps the finest of the Dracula sequels.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK, but does not add up to the original
This one is OK for Halloween perhaps, but not the best of them all. Dracula does not even say anything in this film although the evil is quite effective. Only buy this one if you are a die hard fan of the Hammer "Dracula" films. Other than that, renting it at your local video store might be better.

This film may have also been better with the presence of Professor Van Helsing, and that's what also made the first film even better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dracula Returns
In 1895 two english couples on a trip in the Carpathians find themselves stranded at an eerie castle. They do not know it but they are at Castle Dracula. Count Dracula's manservent Klove has been waiting for this, it seems his master has been dead for 10 years. One of the guests becomes a victim and reconstitutes Dracula. The next day the other couple go in search of Alan & Helen Kent, Helen has become a vampire and Charles is no where to be found.

They seek the help of Father Sandor and he helps them combat the Count. The final is a thrill when Sandor shoots the ice around Dracula. The Count is consigned to the moat, destroyed by running water. Father Sandor replaces Dr. Van Helsing in this one.
Barbara Shelly gives the performance of a lifetime as Helen Kent. ... Read more


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