Hammer Films: Icons of Horror Collection (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring (The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 1964) Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark, Jeanne Roland (The Scream of Fear 1961) Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd, Christopher Lee (The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll 1960) Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee, David Kossoff, (The Gorgon 1964) Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Richard Pasco, Barbara Shelley
Directed by (The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb 1964) Michael Carreras, (The Scream of Fear 1961) Seth Holt, (The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll 1960) Terence Fisher, (The Gorgon 1964) Terence Fisher
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Chances are if you're thirtysomething like myself, the name Hammer Films is very familiar to you. This was a studio that churned out classic horror with an edge. The folks at Hammer weren't afraid to show boobs, blood, or even engage in some very taboo for its time onscreen lesbianism. Good bless their black little hearts! In their day nobody did sex and death better than the boys from overseas. Sony Pictures now continues its stellar Icons of Horror Collection with four classic Hammer films that were released here in the States under their banner. Let's take a look at what's included, shall we?
Things kick off with 1964's The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb. When a group of Egyptologists unearth the tomb of the Egyptian prince Ra, an entrepreneur decides that the mummy and his riches should be sent to England immediately to be put on display and eventually toured around the world. Once there, someone wakes the sleeping dead prince from his slumber, and thus begins a murderous rampage of the slow, shambling, and bandaged kind. While not the best of the Mummy flicks out there, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb still proves to be lots of cheesy classic horror hilarity!
From there we get 1961's The Scream of Fear. This is a top notch tale of intrigue and suspense that will cause you more than your fair share of nighttime shivers. After barely surviving a horrid accident, a wheelchair bound girl goes to live with her mother on the French Riviera. Everything is just fine until this chica starts seeing the corpse of her father all around the home and the estate. Is she mad? Is someone trying to drive her mad? Or maybe ... just maybe ... she is being haunted. Surprisingly enough, this little known flick is the crown jewel of this whole affair and warrants the purchase price of this set even if it were the only film here.
But it's not! We still have two more to go!
Next up on the menu we get the ever so classic The Gorgon, 1964's mythical monster mash featuring a creature who wears the silliest looking nest of rubber snakes upon her head that you're likely to see in this lifetime! If you know what a Gorgon is and does, then there's no real reason to go into detail about the plot. Just know this ... Christopher Lee + Peter Cushing + silly looking monster who turns people into stone = the perfect recipe for horror fueled fun!
Finally we come to Hammer's take on yet another famous monster tale, which also happens to be the oldest film in this collection, 1960's The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll. This is a great adaptation of a very familiar story that stands as a bit of a forgotten gem from Hammer's glory days. As with The Gorgon you should know this story by now, and if not, dude, come out from under your rock already! This is worth a look if only to see the smokin' hot Dawn Addams dance around with a snake! Aw yeah, mama!
There are no special features to speak of other than the original theatrical trailers, but considering that you're getting four great flicks for one low price, is that really even a big deal? No. It isn't.
Sony's The Icons of Horror Collection marches on proudly, giving us plenty of boo for our buck. Be sure to get this and the other two volumes linked below. Once you have them in your grubby little clutches, pop some corn and get ready to experience some of the very best in classic horror Hammer style.
4 out of 5
Special Features Combined:
1 out of 5
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