ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hammer Horror: DVD Review

Updated on December 27, 2010

The Curse of Frankenstein, The Horror of Dracula, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Hammer Films dominated the Gothic horror genre from the late 1950s to the 1970s, producing such horror classics as The Mummy, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Plague of the Zombies and The Devil Rides Out. The British company made its name worldwide with lurid monster movies starring household names such as Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Oliver Reed, with occasional appearances from major Hollywood stars, such as Bette Davis and Tallulah Bankhead.

Released in 2010, the DVD TCM Greatest Films Collection: Hammer Horror puts together four of the studio's greatest films in a two-disc collection, making a perfect introductory package for the Hammer novice.

The set retails at a very reasonable recommended price of $27.98, but you can buy it through sites such as Amazon at discount price.

Christopher Lee as the Creature in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Christopher Lee as the Creature in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957): TCM Hammer Horror DVD

The Curse of Frankenstein was the first color adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, the first Hammer horror film -- although the studio had been making non-horror films since 1935 -- and the first to team up the fairly well-known Peter Cushing and little-known Christopher Lee, as Baron Frankenstein and the Creature, respectively. The gore and sex, though tame by today's standards, provoked uproar among censors and critics, but audiences loved it.

Peter Cushing as Dr Van Helsing in The Horror of Dracula (1958)
Peter Cushing as Dr Van Helsing in The Horror of Dracula (1958)

The Horror of Dracula (1958): TCM Hammer Horror DVD

Arguably Hammer Films' first true masterpiece, The Horror of Dracula  once again brought Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee together, this time as vampire hunter Van Helsing and the titular Count. The dark, cobwebbed ruins of Universal's 1931 film gave way to Hammer's almost exotic palace, and Lee played Dracula as a charming host who turns terrifyingly feral in an instant, rather than Lugosi's outright-ghoulish monster.

The opening titles of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) give some clue of the gore that is to follow.
The opening titles of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) give some clue of the gore that is to follow.

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968): TCM Hammer Horror DVD

Hammer had already resurrected Christopher Lee's Count Dracula once, in 1966's Dracula, Prince of Darkness, and had even managed a Dracula film without a Dracula -- the lavish 1960 The Brides of Dracula. This third film in the series looks fabulous, thanks to director Freddie Francis, best-known for his Oscar-winning cinematography. His use of coloured filters gives the movie a fantastically surreal atmosphere.

The Creature (Freddie Jones) awakes in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
The Creature (Freddie Jones) awakes in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969): TCM Hammer Horror DVD

Where the Universal Frankenstein series had the Monster as the recurring main character, Hammer Films made Peter Cushing's Baron Frankenstein its main villain. Here he returns for the fifth time in what may well be the best of the series. It has all the expected horror elements, but also boasts a supremely sharp and witty script and a monster, played by Freddie Jones, who evokes the pathos associated with Boris Karloff's portrayal. Starlet Veronica Carlson, who had also appeared in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, plays the Baron's reluctant assistant.

Hammer Links

Dictionary of Hammer Horror - An A-Z guide to the famous horror studio
Hammer Horror FAQ - Some more info about the studio that dripped blood
Top 10 Hammer Horror Films on DVD
Hammer Films: Icons of Suspense Collection: DVD Review
Vampire Circus: DVD & Blu-ray Combo Review
Hammer Films - The official site of Hammer Films today


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)