Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes - The Hammer Story (Titan, 1997)
Foreword The Exclusive Years 1934 - 1954 Reanimation 1955 - 1964 From The Quatermass Xperiment to The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb Peter Cushing Hammer Goes to War Tales of Frankenstein Christopher Lee Behind the Scenes Also Starring... Suspense Thrillers Drama Swashbucklers Fresh Blood 1965 - 1969 From She to Taste the Blood of Dracula Bray Studios Prehistoric Adventure Hammer Glamour Journey to the Unknown Setting Son 1970 - 1975 From The Vampire Lovers to To the Devil a Daughter Hammer Glamour Comedies Life After Death 1975 Onwards Hammer House of Horror Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Filmography
Loaned this from Plaistow library shortly after publication, hadn't seen a copy since until i snagged one from friend Mark Defoes ever-enticing stall in Spitalfield Market on Sunday. The Hammer Years rose from the ashes of the much loved (if short lived) Hammer Horror magazine, and the authors wisely retained it's format for the book. The beauty is in its simplicity. Informative entries on each of the horror films, well crafted essays and, of course, judiciously selected illustrative material. It's a gorgeous book to look at, utilizing stills, poster art, lobby cards and press clippings to brilliant effect. Highlights - for this reader - would have to include the entries on Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Plague Of The Zombies, The Vampire Lovers, The Devil Rides Out, Quatermass & The Pit, Taste The Blood Of Dracula, Horror Of Frankenstein and (don't ask my why) The Mummy's Shroud, simply because they're among my all-time favourite films. Then there's the reproduction of Dennis Wheatley's splenetic letter to Michael Carreras castigating the To The Devil - A Daughter script (" ... In fact, it has no relation to my novel and is a hopeless mess ..."), the ones that got away (Nessie, Vampirella), the astoundingly tasteful Savage Jackboot poster, Marie Devereux, a thank you to KillerCrab in the credits ....
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty. - Christine Campbell Thomson
Yeah I lent the guys a full run of House Of Hammer , various stills and posters to do scans from when they were doing Hammer Horror magazine ( plus chauffered them to Pinewood!). I think my Vampire Circus , To The Devil A Daughter and Creatures The World Forgot posters are represented in the book. ;D
Got a superb condition copy of this from a local car-boot sale. Cost? £1. A really beautiful work. Highly recommended, as is it's follow-up, 'Hammer Glamour' [had to pay full whack for this], but it's worth it, if you're of a certain age, for the cover shot of the lovely Madeleine Smith, looking, well, for want of a better word, Yummy.
''...You'll like Mr Barlow... And he'll like you...''