Hammer Vault, The (Book)
Published by Titan Books
Marcus Hearn, Hammer, and Titan Books have done it again. After releasing The Art of Hammer (review here) late last year, they have once again given a Christmas gift to horror fans everywhere with The Hammer Vault.
As the title suggests, this is a representation of the contents of the vault at Hammer Films. This vault is home to countless priceless treasures from Hammer's long history of horror, and much of it is reproduced photographically here for us to peruse.
Reading like a museum of Hammer's past and present, each film in Hammer's history has its own two-page spread, in chronological order. The dimensions of this "coffee table" book (an amazingly huge 13"x10"!) give plenty of room for high resolution photos as well as some brief text descriptions of the items and their relevance to the production.
This is horror nerd porn. Pure and simple. Personal letters to and from stars. Excerpts from Peter Cushing's notebooks. Ephemera of all kinds are presented from each era of Hammer productions, including the new features produced since Hammer's return such as The Resident and Wake Wood.
Best of all, this compendium doesn't conflict with The Art of Hammer very much at all, as the focus is on props, documents, and personal photos rather than produced artwork. In fact, they would make excellent companion pieces.
By giving each film its own two-page section, it's easy to find a favorite flick and view the exhibits on that film. You can traipse through horror's history effortlessly and marvel at artifacts you probably wouldn't guess still exist.
Do you or someone you know like Hammer horror? Buy this book and display it proudly or put it under the Christmas tree. You absolutely will not regret it.
5 out of 5
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