By Denis Meikle
No corporation within the historical past of cinema did extra to legitimize the horror movie than Hammer Films_the small British self sustaining, which operated out of its tiny Bray Studios at the banks of the River Thames. From the Gothic splendor of The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula to the violent sexploitation of The Vampire fans and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, the Hammer identify stood for something to a new release of flicks enthusiasts because the time period 'Hammer Horror' turned part of the language. This revised and up-to-date variation of A background of Horrors lines the existence and 'spirit' of Hammer, from its fledgling days within the overdue Forties via its successes of the Fifties and '60s to its decline and eventual liquidation within the past due Seventies. With the unique participation of all the group of workers who have been key to Hammer's good fortune, Denis Meikle paints a bright and engaging photograph of the increase and fall of a movie empire, delivering new and revealing insights into 'the fact at the back of the legend.' a lot has been written approximately Hammer's movies, yet this is often the one e-book to inform the tale of the corporate itself from the viewpoint of these who ran it in its heyday and who helped to show it right into a common byword for terror at the monitor. This definitive historical past additionally comprises forged and credit listings for the 'Hammer Horrors' and an entire filmography of all of Hammer's function productions.
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Additional resources for A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer
It is characteristic of Mr. C. T. Brock that he who origin¬ ated the idea was the first to try the descent. The weight of the cable was very considerable and the strain very heavy in order to keep it sufficiently taut, and doubts were expressed as to the advisability of putting such a stress on the structure, which led to the abandonment of the performance. It would be tedious to attempt to give anything like a description of the many and varied moving and stationary devices used in the Crystal Palace displays.
The use of gas on this structure must be one of the earliest occasions of its being employed for out¬ door illuminations of this nature. Neither can the result be considered altogether successful, as the building caught fire towards the end of the firework display, and a lamplighter, who appears to have been caught by the flames in an attempt to throw himself into the water, was killed. Other men similarly employed were also severely burned. These men, evidently through ignorance, had started lighting the lower lamps first, working upwards on the structure, until they found them¬ selves in a position of intolerable heat with no means of descending.
While the firework terrace, with its magnificent back¬ ground of park and shrubberies, is unrivalled as a firing ground, it is at the same time the most exacting. The huge building, its imposing position and setting, the wonderful fountains, all demand pyrotechnic effects on a corresponding scale. The pictorial set pieces, originally introduced by C. T. Brock in 1875, increased in size until a plant was arrived at capable of exhibiting a picture ninety feet high and two hundred feet long on the main girder, which length could be extended to even six hundred feet of frontage, as on the occasion of the exhibition of a battle piece or similar subject.
A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer by Denis Meikle