“Charming. So unlike the home life of our Dear Queen.”
Story: The life and times of Hammer Studios, the famous British “fear factory”.
Scares: Only if you’re easily spooked by the sound of Lee’s voice. Not that I’d blame you.
Splat factor: Clips from Hammer films are shown, but there’s very little red stuff to be had.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Nope. Because documentary.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original. Though there are other Hammer documentaries out there that this one’s the most comprehensive.
Trick or Treat?: This 1994 documentary has so much info on Hammer even die-hard fans are sure to learn something. I know I did. Narrated by Peter Cushing (in one of his last “appearances”) and Christopher Lee, this was first a two part television doc before it got the DVD/streaming treatment.
Cushing and Lee do an excellent job of narrating the festivities, and Cushing gets in a few cheeky comments, which he delivers with obvious glee. And Lee delivers his lines in a glorious tone that’s perfect for any ASMR session. Smoooooth.
The doc starts with the founding of the studio, and even looks at a few of their modern day (well, up to the mid-90s at least) offerings. Hammer stars and creators come on to discuss their work via interviews; some done for the doc and others from outside sources, but all fun to listen to. I especially enjoyed when actors talked about how props or scenes would go wonky. How does a prop master fish fangs out of an actress’s cleavage?
Okay, so maybe I wanted to drift off in a few places. This doc is more than two and a half hours, and Lee’s voice is so soothing… But it’s definitely worth a watch for any horror fan. Not only will you get a behind the curtain look at how their classic films were made, but you’re sure to have a few new-to-you additions to your film queue. Enjoy.
Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.