Saturday, 9 July 2011

Monster Shock

After ten years of incredible success, things began to slow down for Hammer in the late sixties. By 1970, the studio realised it would have to tweak its formula to suit the changing times and to try and win back its dwindling audience.

'Scars Of Dracula' didn't reinvent the original Hammer 'Dracula' so much as simply revisit it with a noticeably younger cast, a lot more blood and bosoms and some interesting and slightly daft variations on the original mythos. It's pretty entertaining, although Dennis Waterman is a rather uncomfortable juvenile lead, especially as he struggles to maintain a posh accent.

Despite the added teeth, torture and tits, the film was not a success, and, ever more desperate, Hammer decided to update the Count completely with the next film in the series, the incredible, terrible 'Dracula AD 1972'. 

'The Horror Of Frankenstein' was basically a remake / piss take of 'Curse of Frankenstein', the film that first put Hammer on the horror map back in 1957. Tongue firmly in cheek, the film has the temerity to ignore the previous five films and start from scratch, replacing the resolutely middle aged Peter Cushing with big haired Ralph Bates, a young Frankenstein who likes a shag and a joke as well as messing about with brains in pickle jars.

A fun film rather than a good one, Cushing was back for the last in the series 'Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell', a last ditch attempt to combine the best of the old with the new, but this was to prove the end of the line for the long running franchise. 

1 comment:

  1. Just saw Dracula 1972 AD, pretty bad film. Only good part was White Noise during the black mass. Saw House of the Devil last night, alright film for a 2009 horror flick. You ever catch Drag Me To Hell? F'n brilliant!