The Horror of Hammer

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

This disc is not the usual release by any means, as it has no film as the basis, instead it has a treasure trove of theatrical trailers. We often see trailers included as bonus materials, but in this case, the previews serve as the main attraction. The trailers belong to Hammer pictures, which of course, are British horror films that have amassed a large following over the years. I enjoy Hammer movies and own quite a few, so this disc was a welcome release, to be sure. I was able to see some old favorites previewed, as well as long forgotten titles and even some new ones, which of course, was a real treat. It makes you pine to have some of these movies on DVD to be sure, since the trailer whets your appetite for more. This disc contains fifty-three theatrical trailers, which means two hours of previews can be scanned, very impressive indeed. The Hammer films of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, as well as the more obscure pictures are cycled through with this disc, which makes for a terrific experience. I recommend this disc to fans of Hammer films of course, but anyone who loves a good horror movie, if just to see what movies are out there.

Video: How does it look?

As these trailers come from various sources (at one time or another), the video quality varies from one to the next, though on the whole, I think fans will be pleased. I’ve seen better copies of some of the trailers, but most look good and in some cases, I’d never even been able to see them before, so I won’t complain too much. You’ll see grain, marks, debris, and other errors, but that is to be expected with this kind of release, at least to an extent. The visual presentation might be imperfect, but Hammer fans won’t even blink at the flaws, I assure you.

Audio: How does it sound?

A basic, but good enough mono mix is used, which is acceptable, save a few problematic trailers. These are trailers and not feature films, so don’t expect much from these tracks however, even by the usual mono standards. The promises, hype, and various other tools used in the trailers are all well presented though, so no need for concern here. No, you won’t be overly impressed with the audio here, but as far as the material goes, the bases are covered.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc even comes stocked with some extras, including audio commentary on the trailers, which is too cool, I think. You’ll hear from Hammer historians Gary H. Smith, Stuart Galbraith IV, and Ted Newsome, who breeze through the trailers with information of all kinds. The threesome argues at times and agrees at others, but in any event, their comments are most welcome and unexpected to be sure, given the nature of this release. I commend All Day Entertainment for including the commentary sessions, as I am sure other Hammer fans do also. This disc also has two behind the scenes featurettes (Dracula AD 1972 & When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth), as well as four alternate theatrical trailers, very cool indeed.

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