Hammer films
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Hammer is pretty well-known for its horror films of the 1950s-70s, though I've seen hardly any of them. In 2007, I did get a DVD that included two old Hammer films, and I wrote reviews, but sometime later I deleted them. Now, in 2013, I decided to look for my old reviews using the Wayback Machine. And I found them, so... I'm restoring them here on a single page. ("Here" was originally my "meh" category, but I later moved this page to my B-movies category.) And if I ever see any other Hammer films, I may put them here, as well.

Caution: spoilers!


The Curse of Frankenstein
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I got this double feature DVD out of the 2 for $11 bin at walmart. (The other movie on the disc was "Taste the Blood of Dracula.") Saved it for months waiting for Halloween. Then didn't get a chance to watch Frankenstein til November 1, and Dracula November 2. Well... at the time, I hadn't read Mary Shelley's story, so I dunno how much this movie diverges from it, but it seems different from any other Frankenstein thing I've seen. Not that I remember them well. But... it's framed by Victor Frankenstein in prison, telling his story to a priest. It starts when as a teenager his parents had died, and he inherited their fortune. He took on a tutor named Paul Krempe, and years later the two of them work together to reanimate a dead dog or whatever, but Victor wants to take it further. He wants to create new life. Paul doesn't want any part of it, but... Victor's cousin Elizabeth shows up to live there, and she's engaged to Victor. Of course, he's having an affair with his maid, Justine, who he's promised to marry, but he doesn't actually intend to keep that promise. So anyway, Paul sticks around to make sure Elizabeth is safe, and try to convince Victor to give up on his experiments.

But of course eventually he brings to life the man he's put together from various dead parts of other people. And it had a damaged brain. And, you know, stuff happened. But no matter what, Victor never wants to give up on his creation, even though several people die (at least two of them as a direct result of Victor's actions). And in the end, we see him in jail again. He's been sentenced to die for murdering one person. No one believes the creature ever existed. Not that it really matters, I think. Victor was clearly guilty of murdering the person he was accused of murdering, even if he used the creature as his tool.

So anyway... I dunno what else to say. It was interesting to see Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein, as I'm not used to thinking of him as anyone other than Tarkin from Star Wars.... And Christopher Lee played the creature. There's really not much else to say, the picture wasn't bad, but I didn't think it was that great, either. Definitely not something I need to see again.


Taste the Blood of Dracula
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I got this double feature DVD out of the 2 for $11 bin at walmart. (The other movie on the disc was "The Curse of Frankenstein.") Saved it for months waiting for Halloween. Then didn't get a chance to watch Frankenstein til November 1, and Dracula November 2. Anyway, I preferred this movie over the other. I guess it's the fifth in a series of Dracula movies starring Christopher Lee, but this is the first one I've seen. It starts with a travelling businessman named Weller, who happens across Count Dracula as he's dying (having been staked, apparently, in the previous movie). Soon the body vanishes, leaving behind a cape, a signet ring, a clasp, and powdered blood.

The movie then flashes forward to another scene. There's a young woman named Alice Hargood. She's in love with a young man named Paul Paxton, but Alice's father, William, disapproves of him, for no apparent reason. Later we see Mr. Hargood going out, as he does once a month under false pretenses, with Paul's father, Samuel Paxton, and another man, Jonathan Secker. They appear to be regulars at a brothel, but they're growing bored with it, and want to find something even more exotic to do. That's when they meet a young man named Lord Courtley, whose father had disowned him for practicing a black mass. He takes them to meet Weller, from whom he hopes these three men will buy the relics of Dracula, and perform a ceremony to... I don't actually know what it was supposed to do.

But whatever, they bought the stuff, and Courtley took them somewhere to perform the ceremony, which involved mixing his blood with the powdered blood of Dracula in goblets each of the four of them would drink from. But they all decided not to do it at the last minute. So Courtley was the only one who drank the blood, and then he seemed to be in pain for no reason and asked for help, but instead they all beat him til he died. They left, and later Courtley's body transformed into Dracula, who sought revenge on the three men who had killed his servant, Courtley.

Meanwhile, Alice still wants to marry Paul. And Paul's sister, Lucy, gets engaged to Secker's son, Jeremy. And before long, Alice comes under Dracula's power, and she gets Lucy under his power, and she gets Jeremy under his power, and all three of their fathers end up getting killed. But Mr. Secker had left a note for Paul to try to save Lucy, if she hadn't already been turned into a vampire.

Well, there's not much else to say. There was a police inspector who seemed rather incompetent, but also amusing. I suppose I've given away too much of the plot. Um... but anyway, I enjoyed the movie. Not enough to want to see it again, but still it wasn't bad. So maybe I'll see more of the series someday, though I think what I liked best about this movie were the younger characters, who I suppose... well, I doubt anyone but Dracula would be in the other movies, and he was actually kind of lame here.


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