The Hammer Vault by Marcus Hearn will be hitting store shelves soon, and if you’re a Hammer fan, then you will definitely want to add this to your library. This book is a treasure trove of Hammer’s history, and details what was involved in producing the company’s films from their inception in 1954 all the way up to their latest release, Let Me In.
The book is designed like a scrapbook, displaying production stills, behind the scenes photos, and handwritten notes, alongside posters and lobby cards that were used to promote the movies. Each photo has its own caption, which gives the story behind the image. The scrapbook layout lends itself well to presenting this sort of material–you almost feel like you’re sifting through the archives yourself, with each page revealing more treasures and nuggets of information.
There are plenty of handwritten notes and letters throughout the book. There are also scripts that have annotations written by the actors in the margins.
Being a movie poster buff, I particularly enjoyed seeing the artwork of all the posters and lobby cards, including many unpublished concepts. Hammer built a reputation on pushing the limits of sex and violence, and some of their later posters would never appear in U.S. theaters, but they are well-represented in this book. The squeamish and prudish might want to look away — since this is a family-friendly blog, I chose not to include some of the more salacious images, but don’t worry, they’re in there. (It really wouldn’t be a very good Hammer archive if they weren’t!)
I loved this page with Christopher Lee in a lighter mood, alongside some promotional vampire fangs that were handed out in the theaters.
If you are a Hammer fan, The Hammer Vault will definitely satisfy your blood lust for information on the legendary house of horror.
christopher tupa says
The past couple years I’ve been really getting into the Hammer films. My favorite so far wuld have to be The Lost Continent, its got a neat concept and some fun action, this one could actually do with a remake with more budget and better effects buts its still fun.
Paxton Holley says
What a great book, Brian. I’ve also been eye-ballin’ the Hammer Scream Queens book. it looks awesome.
I’ve been delving into Hammer Films for the last 2 years for my yearly Halloween celebration on the blog. I love Hammer’s style and presentation. Their movies just look so cool. And you can’t beat Peter Cushing vs Christopher Lee. So far, I think the first Horror of Dracula is my favorite Hammer. Cushing makes a fantastic Van Helsing. I can’t wait to continue the series.
Hammer movies I still look forward to watching: Curse of the Werewolf, The Mummy, and Rasputin, The Mad Monk.
I totally want in on getting that book.
I agreee with Paxton Holley about Cushing and Lee in HORROR OF DRACULA (or DRACULA as it was called in Europe I believe). The scene at the end with VanHelsing, the candlesticks, and the curtain is classic. Peter Cushing is my favorite actor of all-time and THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES from Hammer is one of his best.
Grew up on the Hammer and Universal films and this just might be one i will need to get.
Darrin The Retro Dad says
Thanks for the heads up! I had no clue this was coming out!!
I don;t have any memories for Hammer Films, really. But this looks like an interesting read. So, I would like to be entered in this contest. Is that okay? 🙂
You are entered, Jason. Thanks!
I watched most of my Hammer films on Philadelphia’s channel 3 late night show, SATURDAY MIGHT DEAD. It was hosted by Stella, the horror host dubbed the Mistress from Manayunk (one time dumpy area in town, now gentrified and expensive).