on 26 September 2004
This well written book tells the history of one of Britains most prolific film studios,from their humble beginnings as a small distribution company to the studio that won the queens award for industry.
From The Quatermass Xperiment in 1955 and then Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula through to their later "campier" films such as Vampire Lovers and Captain Kronos this is an informative read.
Lavishly illustrated with colour stills and film posters from each production with information on Peter Cushing,Christopher Lee,Hammer Glamour,Bray studios and some of the non gothic films they produced.
Even if you are like me and have read a great deal on Hammer this is still worth a read.Recommended.
on 10 October 1999
Alan Barnes and Marcus Hearn have presented a first rate look at the well remembered Hammer Films. A film by film study with absolutely splendid lesser known photographs. Brilliant for the beginner who just wants an overview of Hammer Film Studios output, but with much to interest the know alls as well. Worth adding to any Hammer collection. This is the same team of authors who produced the absolutely brilliant Bond study - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, also highly recommended. Get both of these books.
on 29 January 2012
I enjoyed this book immensly. A very detailed story of Hammers films from about 1955 right through to the television series in the eighties. The detail about each film is fantastic. The book includes familiar films such as DRACULA and THE MUMMY, as well as including unkowns like THE UGLY DUCKLING and THE KISS OF THE VAMPIRE.An excellent read, I extremely recommend it.
on 9 March 2014
Wow, I just cannot utter enough superlatives to describe how much I love the two Hammer books from Marcus Hearn: THE HAMMER VAULT and THE HAMMER STORY. Have now bought the two as a Birthday treat to myself and am absolutely blown away by the sheer beauty of these two colourful, encyclopedic tomes. Everything that a Hammer horror fan could possibly desire is in these books, and I especially love the rare photos of things like actual letters written by people connected with the Hammer studios. I will treasure these books forever. Absolutely brilliant.
on 26 December 2014
Excellent book brought together by Hammer experts Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes. You will know Hearn if you have a decent Hammer DVD collection, he's the guy interviewing Christopher Lee on a few different movies. Though the book, is of course mostly horror themed, check out the cover, this book covers ALL Hammer projects. So we go back to the 1930s, the comedy years, the suspense years etc. The authors even talk about the Hammer Horror TV shows, Journey to the Unknown (Still unavailable), Hammer House of Horror and Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense. Most films are given 2 full pages in this coffee table wide size book. The book is stacked with colour photos and original poster prints of the movies and bits and bobs of interest. It really is a great book. The only snag I have is that the authors at the end of talking about a movie add their thoughts about the movie itself. And on the majority of the occasion actually dismiss the films quality. The non horror Hammer seems to get better fairing from the authors. Just a little jarring especially when you come up against a movie that is universally recognised as a Hammer classic only to have so called experts tell you otherwise. Maybe they should have kept their opinions to their selves. That aside a great book with tons of information and well presented.
on 11 March 1999
Buy this book. The authors have done a phenominal job with this fascinating film studio and it's legacy. The layout and artwork are remarkable. Highly recommended to any horror film fanatic and British film fan. In the words of my fellow Chicagoians, Siskel & Ebert, "two thumbs up, way up".
on 21 April 2013
Absolutely wonderful coffee table book for anyone interested in the world of Hammer Horror and British Horror film history.
There are great pages detailing each film and how it was made, plus biography's of actors who worked with the company regularly like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
I appreciate this book is for quite a niche audience, but this is a wonderful authorized guide particularly for that niche.
(One thing for any readers that expect this book to detail the recent resurgence of Hammer, with films like The Woman in Black, you should be aware it doesn't).