Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros. Years (2018)

Dr Kelp
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Joined: November 27th, 2016, 2:34 am

May 11th, 2018, 2:41 am #1

Anybody seen this documentary
Hammer Horror The Warner Bros Years (2018).jpg
Hammer Horror The Warner Bros Years (2018).jpg
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Rapfred
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Joined: December 9th, 2004, 10:18 am

May 13th, 2018, 6:53 am #2

Yes, I own a copy.  Very entertaining and occasionally enlightening, especially the interviews with John Carson, Peter Sasdy and Veronica Carlson.  The doc also boasts incisive observations by Jonathan Rigby and the always-welcome Christopher Frayling, plus tasty clips from a live stage reading of Anthony Hinds' unproduced THE UNQUENCHABLE THIRST OF DRACULA script.
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taraco
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taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

August 9th, 2018, 4:36 pm #3

Here from Bloody Disgusting is more on the Hammer /WB documentary, available on Blu-Ray Aug. 26. Great people involved -- Marcus Hearn, Christopher Frayling, Jonathan Rigby, Constantine Nasr and backed by Diabolique..

Ted Newsom's DVDs, Christopher Lee's commentaries, and Midnight Marquee's interview sets have delved into similar territory, at  least for some of the films mentioned, so wonder about the 'unprecedented' line. But these are some of the more unheralded films. Here is the Bloody Disgusting piece:


Learn the History of “Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros. Years” On Blu-ray

By Brad Miska

Learn the untold story of Hammer at Warner Bros, and the relationship that produced some of the British company’s finest films!

“The classic Hammer films from Warner Bros are now appearing on Blu-ray. However, they have never received an in-depth exploration in any special feature or documentary. Now, the fascinating story is finally told in this unprecedented 101-minute documentary feature, Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros. Years, written and directed by Marcus Hearn, Hammer Films’ official historian.

“The documentary features exclusive interviews with some of the key players from that period, as well as authors and historians like Sir Christopher Frayling and Jonathan Rigby. Also included are rare production stills, previously unseen film footage, Hammer’s original shooting locations, and access to previously unpublished archive documents.”



There are only a few hundred copies available.  It releases on August 26th.

History

In the 1950s Hammer, England’s world-renowned production company, initiated a new style of horror filmmaking that transformed the genre. At the end of the 1960s, the world that Hammer had helped to create was changing fast – the once-reliable business model was unraveling and audiences wanted something new from their films.

Amid this uncertainty, Hammer’s short-term survival was secured by an alliance with American distributor Warner Bros. The films the two companies made together are among the most renowned in Hammer’s history. Classics such as Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1970) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) were produced alongside the Oscar-nominated epic When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970), the disturbing thriller Crescendo (1970) and the bizarre sci-fi western Moon Zero Two (1969).

The films became increasingly experimental in the 1970s, challenging the perception of traditional Gothic horror with Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974).
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taraco
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taraco
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 5:37 am

August 9th, 2018, 4:53 pm #4

Here from the DIABOLIQUE website are the credits and how to order:

Credits

Featuring: Veronica Carlson, John Carson, Steve Chibnall, Chris Cooke, Joe Dante, Sir Christopher Frayling, Renee Glynne, IQ Hunter, Wayne Kinsey, Denis Meikle, Caroline Munro, Nadja Regin, Jonathan Rigby, Peter Sasdy, Madeline Smith, Gordon Thomson

Written and Directed by Marcus Hearn

Edited by Dima Ballin, Jamie Green, Sarah Appleton
Additional Editing by Constantine Nasr
Produced by Dima Ballin
Consulting Producer: Constantine Nasr

Production Coordinator: Michelle Jaha
Camera: Sarah Appleton, Marcus Hearn
Veronica Carlson & Joe Dante Interviews Conducted, Shot & Produced by Constantine Nasr (Rivendell Films)

Colourist Jamie Green
Sound Mix: Dima Ballin
Original Music by Paul Taylor
Title Sequence by Chris Gavin

Additional Graphics by Peri Godbold
Publicity Art by Mark Spears
Archival Footage Courtesy of Wayne Kinsey

Archive Scanning by Deluxe
Duration: 01:41:27
Color, 1080p HD Widescreen (1.77:1)
DTS HD Master Audio

Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years © 2017 Diabolique Films. All rights reserved.
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Ted Newsom
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Joined: March 31st, 2005, 11:05 am

August 9th, 2018, 5:35 pm #5

Unprecedented. Meaning... there has never been anything like it before. Mmm.

Yeah, well... I guess it's fair to say there's never been a documentary specifically  on the films made by Hammer for Warners. True 'nuff.

Incidentally, I'm working on an unprecedented documentary about the Hammer films directed by Reginald Le Borg. Okay, yeah, there's only one, but I have an exclusive interview with screenwriter/ film historian Courtney Joyner, who actually met Le Borg and talked to him about Lon Chaney.

I couldn't find a trailer to use as an illustrative film clip, but there's a Black Sleep coming attraction, and a couple of dynamic Inner Sanctum trailers.

I figure it will run about three hours.
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thehorrorboy
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Joined: November 23rd, 2005, 5:12 am

August 9th, 2018, 9:03 pm #6

Comment on the trailer:  I don't think they were consciously trying to revolutionize horror filmmaking as much as they were trying to make a quick buck!
Last edited by thehorrorboy on August 10th, 2018, 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Robert Summit
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 12:21 am

August 10th, 2018, 4:52 am #7

I thought HORROR OF DRACULA was released by Universal?
"Mom! Don't bother me now! I'm posting on the Classic Horror Film Board!"
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Ted Newsom
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Joined: March 31st, 2005, 11:05 am

August 10th, 2018, 6:26 am #8

Indeed it was. The version of the HOD trailer we usually see nowadays dates from the Warners DVD release of the movie, with an interesting twist (which I guess was unknown to whomever made the trailer.)  WB found a pristine copy of the textless version, but could not find the text overlay. They recreated the fonts, styles, wipes and movements with CGI as best they could, but some wag (or young fool) substituted A WARNER BROS. RELEASE for the original A UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL RELEASE.

HOD had no Warner connection at all until Eliot & Ken Hyman bought the studio and added their company name, Seven Arts. The elder had been a shadow producer for Hammer since Curse of Frankenstein. He may well have had money in Dracula and The Mummy. Seven Arts bought the rights to CoF and HOD in the mid 1960s, sending them out on a revival double bill (hence the Warren Publications fumetti). When Hyman and Son bought and merged into WB/Seven Arts, the rights to their movies came with them.

Maybe this complex switcheroo is dealt with in the documentary.
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Ted Newsom
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Joined: March 31st, 2005, 11:05 am

August 10th, 2018, 6:58 am #9

thehorrorboy wrote: Comment on the trailer:  I don't think they were consciously trying to revolutionize horror filmmaking as they were trying to make a quick buck!
Quite unfair, I think. That was certainly true of Jimmy Carreras, head of the company. That was fine, and necessary. If a company wanted a good picture of a certain type, he was game. He famously said to the head of Universal , "If you want Strauss waltzes, we'll make 'em."

But as Michael Carreras said in my documentary, "I'm not giving you buullshhit, they were made by people who cared. Those films will last forever."
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John Bernhard
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Joined: May 30th, 2005, 2:12 am

August 10th, 2018, 2:31 pm #10

FLESH & BLOOD is simply so much better in content and execution.

This new doc was immensely disappointing for me.  
Lots of stuff we have heard before and I did not care  for the way it was structured.  
Several films are barley mentioned, lots of key info is left out of the mix.
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thehorrorboy
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Joined: November 23rd, 2005, 5:12 am

August 10th, 2018, 2:45 pm #11

Maybe they did try to make the films as good as possible on the budgets and schedules they had, but I'm not sure they thought that they were revolutionizing anything.  Or, maybe I'm just becoming cynical with age.  Who knows?
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lsohgirl
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Joined: January 16th, 2005, 8:16 am

August 10th, 2018, 9:27 pm #12

This is a decent documentary. But the problem of anything new is they
are "preaching to the choir" - pretty much anyone interested in watching a
new Hammer doc has seen all, or most of, the previous ones and is pretty well
versed in Hammer history. So the "nothing new/seen it all before" is kind
of true for the fans. Recent extras, mainly from the UK releases, are talking
heads (very entertaining and informed talking heads I might add) and a few
photos and film clips. Well, I guess I'm describing any documentary, but they
tend to be short and simple. I will give credit, too, for the very good commentary
tracks on some UK Hammer releases. Jonathan Rigby, Marcus Hearn and others do
their homework and provide a good background on the films from inception to
critical review. 
Costs to produce a documentary are another thing (I believe this WBHammer one
was a CrowdFund or some such). As Ted Newsom can attest - documentaries - full length
ones - aint cheap. And We are only talking DRACULA  HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE,
WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH, FRANKENSTEIN  MUST BE DESTROYED,
MOON ZERO TWO, CRESCENDO, TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, DRACULA
A.D. 1972, THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA and LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN
VAMPIRES. 9 films among the many that Hammer produced over the years. There
were a number of people that could have been interviewed for this doc that weren't.
But would have been more time and money - and in many cases, would have required
paying a fee to conduct the interview. 
So, under all those circumstances, this is still fun. But to have done it in a style that
would have been comprehensive in the sense of licensing clips and paying to hear from
other performers and behind the scenes people (and contacting Ted Newsom to license
some of his never to be repeated interview clips) we would have been talking 6 figures.
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vampirelover
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Joined: September 27th, 2011, 6:53 pm

August 11th, 2018, 12:07 am #13

Does anyone know if 20th Century Fox still has the rights to the 60's Hammer double features (Dracula Prince of Darkness & Plague of the Zombies), etc., that they distributed back then? Or were they picked up by another company?
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Ted Newsom
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Joined: March 31st, 2005, 11:05 am

August 11th, 2018, 4:36 pm #14

The 20th Century Fox distribution rights seem to have expired and reverted to Hammer. When I was working with Paul Maslansky to remake The Devil Rides Out, he spent a year with Fox trying to get them to sign off. From get-go, both sides knew there were no rights to negotiate. It's still took a year for Fox to say okay go ahead.
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John Bernhard
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Joined: May 30th, 2005, 2:12 am

August 11th, 2018, 6:42 pm #15

The issue with preaching to the choir comes from amateurs producing and assembling the documentary.
They bring nothing new to the material and often get simple facts wrong.  If you are vaguely informed these fluffy things are pretty useless.

The film is also curiously structured, to the point of nearly omitting several of the 9 films almost completely.  
There is no context given to the other films made during this period and that is a huge lost opportunity 
( and way too much time was spent on the early pre Horror Hammer years, so time not well allocated here ).

There is no overall picture of what was going on with Hammer at the time, 
interdependently producing a Dracula & Frankenstein that failed to get US distribution.

Lots of re hash and lots of boring talking heads ( no matter how well intended).
Way too many long film clips.



I could go on, but will wait for now and see what extras appear on the German TASTE THE BLOOD Blu.

This was indeed crowd sourced.
But what we were not told was that Diabolique wanted to get into the film extra business, and planned on using the documentary as their entree card.
And it seems to have worked, at the funders expense.

We got an endlessly delayed sub par product, pathetic excuses and lots of long silences...... Diabolique now sells extras to Blu companies.

If the German Blu does indeed have extensive unique material that was filmed by the crowd funded effort, 
but kept back and sold for profit to another group?  

Well, lets just say I hope that does not turn out to be the case.
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Ted Newsom
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Joined: March 31st, 2005, 11:05 am

August 11th, 2018, 9:02 pm #16

In the interest of full disclosure, Dima and Greg of Diabolique were instrumental in setting up my website, through which I sell not only my Hammer documentary, but The Naked Monster as well. I've never had any problem with those guys, and they went out of their way to create the website
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