From the early 1930s by the mid-1950s, Common Shots solidified its status as Hollywood’s major manufacturing unit for horror with a collection of a lot-lauded, black-and-white monster videos, including “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi and “Frankenstein” with Boris Karloff.
Then, toward the tail end of Universal’s heyday, a new child on the horror block emerged — one with a distinctively British accent.
In 1957, London-primarily based Hammer Movies Productions started churning out its possess sequence of horror films. Several showcased the identical established of famous people as the previously Common movies, but Hammer’s technique was bold, bloody and brash — and boasted opulent color photography to boot.
Horror aficionados have prolonged debated which studios’ releases are much more hair-raising.
“I do not assume you have to pick out,” stated Chris Hamel, president of the Gateway Film Centre, which, starting up Sunday, will current a monthlong, 12-film series celebrating Hammer Movies.
“They kind of described the horror style in several means, at minimum for various decades,” Hamel claimed.
Brandon Thomas, a member of the movie center’s programming committee who co-curated the series with Hamel and regional film critic Hope Madden, concurs.
“I assume they surely coexist,” claimed Thomas, who works at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. “Maybe for some horror supporters, it’s noticed as a little edgier, a tiny cooler, to choose Hammer over the Universal titles.”
But, he additional, “I really do not imagine I’ve at any time found it turn into a horror model of ‘West Side Story.’”
In simple fact, even the most steadfast partisans of Universal’s classics are guaranteed to gain a contemporary appreciation of Hammer’s output with this month’s screenings.
“They’re likely to look extraordinary on the major display,” claimed Madden, also on the film center’s programming committee. “The costumes and the time period depth are so lush and attractive.”
The series will open with screenings Sunday through Tuesday of 1958’s “Horror of Dracula,” starring Christopher Lee as the title rely and Peter Cushing as his pursuer, Doctor Van Helsing.
“The collection kicks off with ‘Horror of Dracula’ on intent: If you appear to the movie center and you observe ‘Horror of Dracula’ in these 1st several times, I believe there is a substantial likelihood you are likely to check out the other 11,” Hamel claimed.
The on-monitor contrast concerning Lee and Cushing — the two mainstays of Hammer’s horror roster — contributes to the film’s long lasting electrical power.
“Cushing (is) a more compact man,” Madden explained. “He’s form of schoolmarm-y. And, of course, Christopher Lee was so tall and glorious with that deep, tender baritone. They have been these types of a fantastic counterpoint to every single other.”
Lee was all over again front and middle as the blood-sucking rely in 1970’s “Taste the Blood of Dracula,” to be shown Aug. 4-6 and he was once more pitted in opposition to Cushing in “The Mummy,” screening Aug. 20-22.
Meanwhile, the character of Frankenstein’s Monster will be represented in “The Revenge of Frankenstein” (Aug. 10-12), “The Curse of Frankenstein” (Aug. 14-16), and “Frankenstein Should Be Destroyed” (Aug. 17-19), the past of which is just one of numerous movies in the collection to be revealed making use of a 35mm print.
In addition to the common films generated by the studio, the collection is studded with significantly less well-known films, together with 1974’s “Captain Kronos — Vampire Hunter,” which, as Thomas describes it, hopscotches amongst genres. The movie screens Aug. 7-9.
“It’s considerably less of your straight-forward horror,” said Thomas, who describes the film as a “swashbuckling vampire adventure, which is definitely a little something unique from Hammer at that time.”
Also most likely to be new to audiences are “The Vampire Lovers” (Aug. 26-28) and “Twins of Evil” (Aug. 29-31), both of those of which Madden describes as negative videos that are nonetheless enormously entertaining.
Irrespective of its questionable top quality, “Twins of Evil” — a 1971 film in which Cushing shares the monitor with twins (and just one-time Playboy products) Mary and Madeleine Collinson — is a unique favorite of Madden’s.
“(Hammer) had presently remade all the Universal motion pictures, and then their components was really sort of exhibiting,” Madden explained. “So they just received a lot more lurid.”
But, she said, “I have a twin sister, so twin motion pictures I normally adore.”
To be shown Aug. 13 — a Friday — are two modern day movies produced by the nevertheless-in-small business Hammer Films, “Let Me In” (2010) and “The Lodge” (2019).
“There are men and women who could have observed these films and not recognized they have been component of this Hammer legacy,” Hamel reported.
Also on faucet is an additional classic Hammer generation, “The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll” from 1960, on Aug. 23-25.
In the stop, the curators assembled a consultant sampling of the studio’s vivid and imaginative contributions to the horror style.
“Some Hammer movies, I feel, probably will not maintain up really perfectly,” Hamel said. “The terrific matter about curation is we have still left individuals out.”
At a look
The Gateway Film Centre, 1550 N. Large St., will present the series “Horrors of Hammer” through August. For showtimes, tickets and far more details, visit www.gatewayfilmcenter.org.