73 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Of varying quality,
This review is from: The Best Of Hammer Boxset [DVD] (DVD)
This box set comprises 5 films from Hammer Film Productions. First is "The Nanny," unusual among Hammer films for not being a horror. It's kindof a psychological thriller. Ironically, then, it's one of their scariest films, with Bette Davis giving an understated but very creepy performance as the titular nanny. It's also one of their most serious and intelligent films, and the tension is unrelenting
Then "Dracula- Prince of Darkness;" this is more standard Hammer fare, the second in their series with Christopher Lee as the Count. Moderately entertaining, but unremarkable.
Third is "Quatermass and the Pit," concerning a strange object found during excavations at a London tube station. The plot echoes somewhat H.P. Lovecraft's Chtulhu stories like "At the Mountains of Madness", and is even slightly similar to Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," (released the year after, I think) . A good film, half sci-fi, half horror, with an interesting plot, slightly more cerebral than most Hammer films (the attempt to incorporate elements of the Christian Devil into the nature of the alien seems somewhat muddled, though).
Then "Frankenstein Created Woman", the second in their Frankenstein series with Peter Cushing as Doctor F. Watchable enough, especially Susan Denberg as the beautiful subject of the Doc.'s experiments.
Last is "The Devil Rides Out" a story of Satanism with Christopher Lee as the good guy, a student of the occult drawn into a battle of wills with the nefarious Mocata (Charles Gray). A well-paced yarn, though difficult to take seriously, with some amusingly bad special effects in the climactic scene. I have often heard/read that this is one of the best Hammer films. It's ok, not that good, imo.
Extras are a commentary on "The Nanny," a documentary on Christopher Lee, and two trailers. The packaging is cheap-looking. All the films included are from the mid-60's, when some 50's inclusions, like the first Dracula and the first Frankenstein, would make more sense.
Of the films themselves, only "The Nanny" and, to a lesser extent, "Quatermass and the Pit" transcend the stereotype of cheap, mildly titillating, slightly camp Hammer films. The others seem to modern sensibilities (or at least my sensibilities) rather dated, but none are entirely without merit, all are worth watching. I paid only 15 euros for this, so it was well worth it.
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Initial post: 15 Jul 2010 21:05:39 BDT
Matthew Mercy says:
Frankenstein Created Woman was not the second film in the Frankenstein series, it was the fourth.
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