Dracula [AKA Horror of Dracula] (1958, dir. Terence Fisher)

Vampire hunters tackle an ancient evil. Innovative, brisk and for-its-time revolutionary version of the gothic horror classic, here telescoped admirably into a pacy visual thriller. Played straight, fluidly directed and still influential. Recommended. Eight sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957, dir. Terence Fisher)

A condemned nobleman scientist confesses his experiments in human reanimation. Sensational in its time, this first Hammer gothic literature adaptation not only offers a template for two decades of productions, but still works in dramatic and genre terms, with direction, lead performance, and art direction all standouts.

Hammer (2019, dir. Christian Sparkes)

An estranged father and son are forced to work together when a drug deal goes wrong. Smart, lean all-in-one-day indie thriller with as keen a focus on character and relationships as on the narrative’s spiralling complications. Lots to appreciate and enjoy; recommended. Great to see Will Patton in a leading role too.

The Devil Rides Out (a.k.a The Devil’s Bride 1968, Dir. Terence Fisher)

Superior Devil Worshipers vs Good Guys Hammer Horror from stalwart director Fisher. Some fantastic scenes, interwoven with truly odd but brilliant dialogue and an unforgettable appearance from Old Nick. Easily one of the best Hammer films!

Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974, dir. Terence Fisher)

Frankenstein, hiding out in a lunatic asylum, takes on a young disciple. The last of the Hammer series is an okay entry, hampered by over-familiarity and a poorly-designed creature, but with some nifty moments and Cushing’s typically meticulous performance.

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973, dir. Alan Gibson)

In modern-day London, Dracula is behind an establishment conspiracy to unleash a plague epidemic. Modish late series entry, with loads of ideas, and an approach drawing on SF and a Bond villain plot. Fun, within its limitations, and impeccably played.