A detective investigates a missing film star, leading him to enquire into a house’s tragic history. Brisk Amicusanthology horror based on Robert Bloch short stories (with one standout yarn) – four twisty tales plus a wraparound story – delivering value for money and some genre-friendly faces.
In 1904 China, a visiting Van Helsing helps combat a Dracula-led vampiric uprising. The last pic of the Hammer cycle innovates through genre mash-up (and a deal with Shaw Brothers). It’s messy, but fun: martial arts showcasing, twists on undead lore, plus some location spectacle all helps.
Dracula seeks revenge on the modern-day Van Helsings. This series reboot revisits plot elements from Taste The Blood Of… and … Has Risen but sets them in then-contemporary Chelsea. The swinging London stuff was dated in ’72, but this is still a brisk romp with a time-capsule attraction and some grittier asides.
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.
Five strangers are presented with glimpses of their transgressions. Strong Amicus portmanteau horror film in the EC Comics tradition, with an early 70s cast of British character actors to die for. Straightforward morality tales with nasty ideas lurking, plus a loose The Monkey’s Paw adaptation for good measure.
A group of English archaeologists are targeted for revenge killings by an Egyptian priest. Dated, stage-bound, though still enjoyable minor Hammer horror movie, assembling its script from across the Universal flicks. Interestingly, the villain’s motives now appear perfectly reasonable, even if his methods are extreme.
A scientific expedition to the Himalayas becomes a hunt for the fabled Yeti. Marvellous fantasy-horror hybrid, expanded (and simplified somewhat) from Nigel Kneale’s BBC drama The Creature. Lots of ideas played with, great production values, and lovely widescreen – Regalscope AKA Hammerscope – cinematography and staging.
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.
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.
An orphaned farmhand finds he is the chosen one to lead an intergalactic rebellion. Splendid and modest SF/fairy story hybrid, unfairly weighed down by later expectations. In its own terms, a sprightly and successful adventure, nothing more.