One of the greatest things I can be proud of being British for is, the wonderful production company Hammer Films. Most of my childhood is filled with memories of such greats as Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Barbara Shelley. The moody and atmospheric imagery on hand was second-to-none, and it opened my eyes to such beasties as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and even the Mummy.
While this was the early eighties and I missed the initial release, my parents VHS collection was filled to the brim with Hammer classics, and every Sunday afternoon would be a Hammer filled day, what a time, eh?
So going back to the atmosphere and the stunning scenery, I often wondered where these places were. My initial thought was somewhere in Europe, but to my surprise, many of the locations were shot on my backyard and this brings me to Wayne Kinsey and Gordon Thomson’s absolutely stunning piece of work Hammer Films on Location from Peveril Publishing.
We get a detailed look exploring Hammer’s favorite locations, including Bray haunts, Elstree haunts and Black Park.
The book is basically the freakin’ bible of all things Hammer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been watching Hammer Films for years, or if this is simply your first foray into the British company. The book gives you an extensive and truly detailed look into the films of Hammer Films’ past. I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of hours, days, months, years it took to put this book together, it is simply enthralling.
We get taken back to the original filming locations of such films as The Quartermass Xperiment, Dracula Prince of Darkness and The Curse of the Werewolf to name just a small fraction. The detail is outstanding, so much so, that we even get detailed maps provided that even document something as simple as a tree. Yep, its that detailed.
So as I was saying, not only do we get to see the locations as they were, but we’re also provided with photos of the locations today, and we can get to see just how much or how little these spectacular locations have changed throughout the years.
be prepared for a big read, as this book is enormous. The book contains 1800 photos throughout its sixty-one chapters. So even if you’re new to Hammer Films, after reading this book you will feel like you’ve relived every film throughout these stunning photos and descriptions.
A lovely little surprise I found at the end of the book was the author chronicling his experience while travelling through Transylvania. Now, as a horror fan I have meany questions regarding Dracula’s birthplace, and I was surprised to find that many of those questions I had have been answered. It’s a fun little read which closes the book perfectly.
So if you’re after some more Hammer goodness or are simply looking to start your love of Hammer films? Hell, you’re a fan of horror, right? You NEED to check out Hammer Films on Location, it may just be the best book purchase you ever made.
Its quite possibly the most ambitious Hammer book I have ever read, and kudos to the guys and girls that put this one together as it is simply stunning and a compelling read. Now, where’s my suitcase? I’ve got some locations to scout out.
The book is only currently available through Peveril Publishing, so hit up the link and grab your copy today for £25+P&P. Also there is a 2-disc DVD set available for just £5, so get em’ while they’re hot!