HAMMER FILMS: ICONS OF HORROR...
Reviewed by: Donny Broussard
What's it about
A compilation of classic rare Hammer films, Icons of Horror is an awesome DVD set that would make an awesome addition to any horror fan's collection.
Is it good movie?
First in the collection was THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, which is a pretty awesome take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale. In this incarnation Dr. Jekyll (Paul Massie) is a rather drab older looking guy with a beard, but his alter ego Hyde is a clean cut stud muffin that oozes cool. Most of the film follows the same path that fans of the classic story are familiar with, but where this version succeeds over other incarnations is that it is pretty damn hot. That's right, THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL is full of sexual tension that pushes all the right buttons. The beautiful Dawn Addams plays the wife of Dr. Henry Jekyll, but is also the mistress to Paul Allen (Christopher Lee), who is loving her up behind his buddy Jekyll's back. This was by far my favorite of the set and while I knew the story well, was still surprised by some of the chances director Terence Fisher (The Devil Rides Out) took. Overall this is a classic gothic tale deserving of its own release (Blu-Ray please).
The second flick in this awesome set is SCREAM OF FEAR (also known as TASTE OF FEAR) and it is a solid psychological thriller. After surviving an accident Penny Appleby decides to go home to her dead fathers awesome estate for some much needed rest. Penny who is stuck in a wheelchair starts seeing her dead father around the estate, and slowly her sanity starts slipping away from her. This is an amazing and beautifully shot thriller that doesn't really fit in with the rest of the films in this set. It's not that it's a bad film, far from it, but it isn't a gothic monster movie either. Classy and atmospheric, this is a great movie that proves Hammer was good for more than monster movies.
Next up is another Terence Fisher directed gem, THE GORGON. In this telling of the classic mythical monster Medusa, a small European village is living in fear because under the full moon a hideous creature with snakes for hair leaves the confines of her castle and turns anyone that looks at her into stone. This is an amazing movie! It plays out more like a werewolf movie than I expected, and the cast which included Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Barbara Shelley was stellar. A beautifully realized vision of a classic monster, this was my second favorite flick on the set.
Finally comes THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB! I have a weakness for mummy movies. I love them. I even watch the bad ones, so this was a special treat for me. In this killer mummy movie, three Egyptologists find the lost tomb of Ra, and then team up with an American business man that ships the findings to England to be placed on display. Only not long after arriving in England the mummy rises from his tomb in search of the people that disturbed his sleep. This is a wonderful mummy movie. The Mummy played by Dickie Owen looks great and the atmosphere the film creates is amazing. While this isn't the best mummy movie I've ever seen it's still a fun movie and totally worth checking out.
Video / Audio
Audio: Came in loud and clear.
Video: Was pristine, the colors on THE GORGON are exceptionally rich.
Nothing but a few trailers on this disc, but it's still worth picking up.
This is an amazing collection of classic Hammer films that should be in every horror fan's collection. All of the movies in this set are solid films, but the entire set is worth it for the Terence Fisher films alone. Classic horror!