The Hammer Vault is a must own for Hammer Film fans. The book consists mostly of various publicity material for Hammer films from as far back as “The Quatermass Xperiment” (1954) to to as recently as “Let Me In.” (2009) Many of the Hammer’s films from this era get coverage with a page or two of photos, memos, and posters, along with a couple of paragraphs talking about the production and giving some fun to read trivia.
The pictures and writing are great — Marcus Hearn really knows what he is talking about and writes about Hammer in a way that makes it accessible even to those who are not deeply immersed the the mythology of the studio and its works. In other words he is concise and informational, while at the same time not “dry”.
The quality of the book (photos, paper and binding) is high like most Titan books I have picked up. With its brightly illustrated cover it is suitable for the bookcase or the coffee table.
After finishing this book, I can walk away saying I certainly learned a lot about Hammer. I am not sure I would or can label myself an expert on Hammer studios yet, but I am happy to report that “The Hammer Vault” has gotten me one step closer to that label. If you want to get that label yourself, pick up The Hammer Vault today.
“Horror Express” used to be on TV all the time in the early 80s, but around the mid-1980 they stopped showing it. I would say around 1986, was the last time I saw it, but I had positive memories. So I was looking forward to today’s movie. (drumroll) Boy did I remember right (whew). Peter Cushing, Christoper Lee AND Telly Savalas are all great. If I could go back in time and pull a duo from the past to make movies with, I am thinking I would pick Cushing and Lee. They play off each other so well and just chew through dialogue. I would just team them up and have them defeat modern horror villains. Cushing would play a prissy British Lord and Lee would play a former 1960s British Swing. They would defeat Jigsaw and Capture Hannibal Lechter with wit and aplomb. Oh, if only. OK, back to “Horror Express”. Just because Cushing and Lee are great doesn’t mean Savalas is a slouch, he in fact steals the movie when he is on screen, the only problem is that his role is limited.
The move has everything you could want in a horror film. A monster, zombies, compelling and flawed heroes, Russian Cossacks and it is all set on a train. The movie was done on a tight budget $300K, but with the claustrophobic train setting and great acting you won’t notice. Why don’t they re-make weird and interesting movies like this one? Why are you still reading this? Go watch “Horror Express”!