To commemorate 60 years of Hammer Horror, Studiocanal have released brand new restorations on DVD and Blu-ray of four classic from the archives. All newly-restored and including special new features; these are a must-have for your film library – and make the perfect Christmas stocking filler.
SCARS OF DRACULA (1970)
Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) is revived (for a fifth time) and once again spreads his evil around the Transylvanian countryside. When a reckless young man mysteriously disappears, his brother Simon (Dennis Waterman) and his girlfriend (Jenny Hanley) head towards Dracula’s mountaintop castle to investigate…
Hammer’s Dracula movies got more gory and sexy in the 1970s, and this bloodthirsty version, directed by Roy Ward Baker, is certainly a bite above most. A pre-Minder Waterman makes for a pretty bland hero, but Lee revels in having a lot more to do than usual. Despite the film’s tiny budget both the art direction and special effects are super (and look terrific in this restored version). Former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton is also particularly effective as Dracula’s manservant.
Extras include Blood Rites: Inside Scars of Dracula featurette and a trailer.
BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1971)
After locating the tomb of Tera, Queen of Darkness in the Egyptian desert, archaeologist Julian Fuchs (Andrew Keir) returns to England with her mummy and sarcophagus where he secretly recreates her tomb under his house. But when he give Tera’s ring to his daughter Margaret (Valerie Leon), the ancient queen’s evil power tempts the young woman into helping her father’s rival in restoring her to her human form…
Based on Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of the Seven Star, this supernatural shocker breathes new life into the old mummy’s revenge plot and is an enduring favourite amongst Hammer horror fans. The film was hit by the sudden death of director Seth Holt forcing Michael Carreras into completing the movie.
Extras include The Pharaoh’s Curse: Inside Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb.
DEMONS OF THE MIND (1972)
In 19th century Bavaria, Baron Zorn (Robert Hardy) keeps his children Emil (Shane Briant) and Elizabeth (Gillian Hills) locked up because he believes them to be possessed by a madness that affected their late mother. It’s up to discredited psychiatrist Professor Falkenberg (Patrick Magee) to unravel the dark family secrets involving incest, traumatic suicide and proxy fantasies…
Helmed by former TV director Peter Sykes, Demons of the Mind is one of the most ambitious and unusual films to come out of Hammer. A crazy mix of Gothic horror and psychological thriller, its packed with stylish flourishes (like the genuinely creepy Wykehurst Park House in Bolney, Sussex which stands in for the Zorn mansion) and an extraordinarily strong cast that allows room for ripe over-playing from Hardy, Magee, and Michael Hordern (as a manic fire and brimstone priest). Shane Briant would go on to appear in three further films for Hammer, while Beat Girl‘s Gillian Hills filled in for original choice, Marianne Faithful.
Extras include Blood Will Have Blood: Inside Demons of the Mind featurette
FEAR IN THE NIGHT (1976)
Newly wed and just recovered from a nervous breakdown, Peggy Heller (Judy Geeson), is about to go with husband Robert (Ralph Bates) on a honeymoon trip to the school where he has been posted when a one-armed assailant attacks her. But because of her recent mental illness, no one believes her. Installed in the school – which is eerily deserted save for its headmaster Michael (Peter Cushing) and his wife Molly (Joan Collins), the young wife experiences other strange happenings and begins to wonder if she is losing her sanity…
Fear in the Night was the last, and one of the best, of the suspense thrillers that Hammer produced alongside the better-known Gothic horrors. The film was also the Hammer swansong of director and co-writer Jimmy Sangster, who had joined the company in 1949 and helped create its groundbreaking style. Beleaguered heroines were his speciality and here, Sangster’s ingenious script gives Geeson plenty of chances to scream, while Bates, Collins and Cushing are among those lurking around looking very suspicious indeed.
Extras include End of Term: Inside Fear in the Night featurette and trailer.