Customer Review

38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half Right, 22 Feb 2009
This review is from: The Ultimate Hammer Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Let it be said, first of all, that I don't own a copy of this boxed set. In spite of that, I feel that I know the films well enough to review them.

The reason I don't own a copy of this boxed set is that, by the time it was issued, I already had on DVD thirteen of the twenty-one films. Ten of these movies duplicate the contents of the earlier boxed sets "Hammer Horror Selection" and "Hammer Horror Resurrected". I also owned (as one-off DVDs) those pieces of essential viewing - "Dracula Prince of Darkness", "She" and "One Million Years BC" - plus quite a lot of Hammer films omitted from this collection. Other Hammer fans who were buying DVDs before the release of this set will probably find themselves in a similar position. It is chagrining to find that, at the time of writing, it would cost me about twelve pounds more to buy individually the eight films I didn't already have than to buy this boxed set. But this is not the reason for me to award only three stars.

At least one potential star deserves to go for the set's sins of omission. Most startlingly, all three of Hammer's seminal colour monster films are missing. I refer to "The Curse of Frankenstein", "Dracula" (US title "The Horror of Dracula"), and "The Mummy". These three films, to my mind, should form the core of any Hammer collection, yet all three are missing. Also absent are all three of the "Karnstein Trilogy" of films. In all, about half of the twenty-one Hammer films I'd have selected are not present. That's half of the reason for titling this review "Half Right".

The other half of the reason for the title lies in the sins of commission. "One Million Years BC" certainly deserves to be included - but the less than half baked sequel "Prehistoric Women"? "She" is essential viewing - but "The Vengeance of She"? Above all, perhaps the crowning ingloriousness of the roster of shame included here is "Viking Queen". Why, oh why? Another reviewer wrote that the only reason to watch this turkey was to spot the Viking wearing a wrist watch. It's good to know that someone managed to find a reason to watch it!

But, if you don't already have a substantial proportion of these films on DVD, you should buy this immediately! Try to avoid the dross, and revel in such Hammer classics as "Dracula Prince of Darkness", "The Plague of the Zombies", "Quatermass and the Pit", "Rasputin the Mad Monk", "She", "One Million Years BC", and "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb". Admittedly, it is odd that the last named is the only mummy film to be included - as it is distinctly short on the hallmark of mummy films, bandaged monstrosity. That said, who could wish the lovely Valerie Leon obscured by bandaging?

With the inclusion of just another three or four unmissable Hammer classics, I would have given this boxed set five stars. But omitting Christopher Lee's first and finest outing as Dracula? Whoops! There goes at least one potential star!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2009 21:47:08 GMT
S. O'ROURKE says:
Unfortunately, as the rights to hammer films are owned by various distributors, this means we will never get a definitive collection of hammer films. Hammer as a company seldom, if ever, kept the rights to their films, and had various deals with various distributors over the years. It's not as simple as selection, the producers of this set simply don't have the rights to include the (absolute classic!) films you wish were on this set. It's a nice set too, buy it, and sell your other copies 2nd hand. You'll also free up shelf space to buy the region 1 sets you can't buy in this country, Grrr.

Posted on 22 Nov 2010 21:12:37 GMT
Sixty- two says:
Although this reviewer does not own this collection it gives a better idea of the contents? How did he find out what was in the box? Only a few of the films are mentioned on the package.

Posted on 9 Mar 2011 10:32:23 GMT
Ajmackenzie says:
You nsaid it all and why? oh! why? doesn't Amazon list the movies in the box???

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Sep 2011 21:15:18 BDT
I think I found a list of the films in one of the reviews.

Posted on 29 Dec 2011 11:44:15 GMT
Well said,excellent and valid comments by an expert,thanks Pet Jeffery,Chris B
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