From the mid-'50s until the mid-'70s, the British Hammer Studios specialized with great success in producing gothic horrors, with great success. Showcased here are three of their early productions, all directed by stalwart Terence Fisher.
The seminal Curse of Frankenstein 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.
Horror of Dracula is generally regarded as Fisher's masterpiece. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are pitted against each other as vampire-hunter Van Helsing and the nefarious Transylvanian aristocrat respectively. Fisher brings style and depth to the Dracula myth, and is fortunate to have the brilliance of composer James Bernard and designer Bernard Robinson at hand. Here we are presented with some of the cinema's most memorable images of vampirism of all time.
The Mummy never quite reached the heights attained by Frankenstein and Dracula, but it remains an entertaining piece of vintage Hammer.