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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Is Not Your Father's Hammer Films

This has been out there for a while now, so some of you may already know that Britain's legendary Hammer horror studio has been revived and is releasing its first new movie in 30 years. I came across the new trailer earlier today, so I thought I'd share it.

The film is called Beyond the Rave, and unlike earlier Hammer releases which were traditionally period pieces, the movie takes place in the present day, placing blood-sucking vampires amidst Ecstasy-addled ravers.

It's certainly a break from such classics as Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein and Kiss of the Vampire, but Hammer CEO Simon Oakes, who bought the company last year, insists that the studio must change with the times if it expects to get back into the production business.

"We have an opportunity to recalibrate the DNA of Hammer Films for the MySpace generation," said Oakes in a press release. Because, as everyone knows, the 1950s and 60s was the Victorian era.

I'm willing to give the flick the benefit of the doubt, but really, how long can this pandering to an increasingly infantilized demographic continue? It's a vicious, self-sustaining cycle. I'm a member of Generation X, and I'm one of many who grew up loving Hammer movies. What's with all the spoon-feeding that goes on these days?

OK, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I really am interested to see what Hammer 2.0 is capable of. Beyond the Rave will air in five-minute installments on MySpace beginning April 17, and then will be released to DVD. Included in the cast is the once quintessential Hammer babe Ingrid Pitt, who, in a sad commentary on the inexorable march of time, plays the mother of one of the main characters.


Anonymous said...

The music in that trailer was like sandpaper on a record player that was skipping.

B-Sol said...

See, that's because it's meant for teenagers on mesk jumping up and down with glowsticks in their mouths. You're not supposed to actually listen to it.

pot head pixie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pot head pixie said...

I agree that there's absolutely nothing wrong period films, and maybe Hammer are making a mistake going all modern on us.

BTW, is The Wicker Man really a Hammer film? I love that movie but I never thought it was Hammer.... I thought To The Devil A Daughter was the last movie they made before moving into TV... Hammer House of Horror, by the way, is not all period either.

As an aside, didn't you think John McNaughton's episode in the first Masters of Horror was a complete homage to Hammer?

Mr. Karswell said...

The Wicker man is not Hammer, it was a British Lion Film.

B-Sol said...

You are correct, sirs. Consider it corrected. As for Masters of Horror, I confess I do not have Showtime and have been out of the loop on this admittedly fascinating series.

Anthony Hogg said...

Hmmm...the last time Hammer updated its product for the youth of the day, we had Dracula 1972 A.D. and The Satanic Rites of Dracula.

Followed shortly thereafter by the studio's demise. Hmmm.

Surely there was a point in resurrecting the brand name? Hammer was quite innovative back in the day, bringing colour, gore...but a touch of class, to horror movies.

What are they bringing now? More importantly, what have they got to bring to the table?

Sure it's nice that they're going for the valued rave scene/horror buff market, but surely they can come up with something a bit more substantial. Especially after all these years.

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