Hammer horror titles coming to Britbox UK, October 2022

A slew of Hammer film will arrive on the UK streaming service Britbox in time for Halloween.

Look out for the following horror titles, streaming in HD this October:

The Curse of Frankenstein (dir. Terence Fisher, 1957) – Peter Cushing plays the title character, and a then-unknown Christopher Lee his creation, in a colourful, full-blooded Gothic that revolutionised the genre and began Hammer Films’ permanent association with horror

The Nanny (dir. Seth Holt, 1965) – Bette Davis gives an effective performance in a brilliantly suspenseful domestic thriller, supported by a strong ensemble cast that includes Jill Bennett, Wendy Craig, James Villiers, Maurice Denham and young William Dix

The Witches (dir. Cyril Frankel, 1966) – Proto-folk-horror scripted by Nigel Kneale from a novel by Peter Curtis, aka Norah Lofts, and with a merely okay performance from Joan Fontaine upstaged by a sublime turn by Kay Walsh

Dracula, Prince of Darkness (dir. Terence Fisher, 1966) – Christopher Lee, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley and Francis Matthews star in the studio’s first direct sequel to Dracula (1958)

Rasputin, the Mad Monk (dir. Don Sharp, 1966) – A pseudohistorical spin on the real-life Russian mystic, with added horror elements and two strong performances from Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelley

The Plague of the Zombies (dir. John Gilling, 1966) – André Morell, John Carson and Jacqueline Pearce star in Hammer’s only movie in the zombie subgenre

The Reptile (dir. John Gilling, 1966) – A spate of mysterious deaths plague a Cornish village in an original and atmospheric Gothic horror starring Ray Barrett, Jennifer Daniel, Noel Willman, Jacqueline Pearce and prolific Hammer character actor Michael Ripper, in one of his best roles

Frankenstein Created Woman (dir. Terence Fisher, 1967) – The fourth film in Hammer’s Frankenstein series has Peter Cushing’s Baron team up with Thorley Walters for a metaphysical experiment in transferring souls

The Devil Rides Out (dir. Terence Fisher, 1968) – Christopher Lee and Charles Gray are adversaries in a very stylishly executed occult thriller, based on the novel by Dennis Wheatley

Scars of Dracula (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1970) – Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman and Jenny Hanley star in an abysmal sequel that falls well beyond the company’s usual standard

Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1971) – Ralph Bates and Martine Beswick star in a smartly produced variation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale, scripted by Brian Clemens (The Avengers, Thriller)

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (dir. Terence Fisher, 1974) – The Baron’s descent into utter madness is complete in this engrossingly claustrophobic denouement to Hammer’s Frankenstein series, starring Peter Cushing for the final time, alongside Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and Dave Prowse

To the Devil a Daughter (dir. Peter Sykes, 1976) – Christopher Lee, Richard Widmark and Nastassja Kinski star in a Dennis Wheatley adaptation that would turn out to be Hammer’s final horror film for almost 35 years

Other non-Hammer horror titles to look out for include the Amicus anthology Dr Terror’s House of Horrors and British Lion’s The Wicker Man and Don’t Look Now, originally released on a double bill in 1973. And don’t forget you can watch the 1980 anthology series Hammer House of Horror on Britbox, too. Register here for £5.99 a month.

Dracula (1958)

For the 30th anniversary edition of Eric McNaughton’s excellent We Belong Dead magazine, contributors were asked to write about their favourite horror films. Mine was an easy choice: Dracula, the 1958 Hammer production starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

The studio was to make several outstanding films over the ensuing couple of decades, but rarely did all the elements combine in such perfect balance as they did here, arguably the pinnacle of Hammer’s achievement in the realm of the Gothic. As a child, I succumbed easily to the film’s charms; Hammer had me in its grasp, and neither it nor Dracula has let me go since.

If you want to read the c2,000 words before it, or any of dozens of lavishly illustrated articles on horror films ranging from Häxan, Halloween and Psycho to The Wolf Man, The Wicker Man and The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, buy a copy directly from the We Belong Dead website.

Look out for my article on the 1956 film of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the upcoming ‘Euro Horror’ edition, too.

Event: In the Grip of Hammer 2: Beyond Hammer Glamour

Mark Sunday 27 February on your calendars, Hammer fans! My friend and colleague Robert JE Simpson and I will once again be in conversation, this time with a special guest.

Dr Penny Goodman is an academic, lecturing in Roman History, but it’s her love of Hammer horror that brings her to In the Grip of Hammer 2: Beyond Hammer Glamour. On Twitter I’ve dubbed her ‘Queen of Hammer Subtext’ on account of her ever-fascinating and insightful observations, and so we’re delighted she’s joining us as we dig a little deeper into Hammer’s early vampire films. On Twitter Penny is @pjgoodman.

Robert JE Simpson is a historian, critic and cultural commentator – not to mention one-time official archivist for Hammer Films – with a particular interest in Hammer’s sister company, Exclusive. On Twitter he is @exclusivephd.

And I’m David L Rattigan, a writer and editor who’s utterly obsessed with Hammer horror films and has been tweeting on the subject – in preparation for some upcoming related projects, fingers crossed! – as @hammergothic on Twitter since 2020.

As with the last event, the conversation will be fairly informal, and we encourage interaction, so do come along to comment, ask questions and chip in with your own observations.

The livestream is an official Cinepunked event and is free to watch. Tune in to In the Grip of Hammer 2: Beyond Hammer Glamour at 8pm on Sunday 27 February on the Cinepunked YouTube channel.

If you missed the first In the Grip of Hammer, catch up below: