The molasses-slow role out of Hammer’s classic horror catalog in high definition inched forward today as Shout Factory, through its horror-centric sub-label Scream Factory, announced The Vampire Lovers for release next year on Blu Ray and DVD.
The Vampire Lovers (1970) is the first entry in Hammer’s ‘Karnstein Trilogy,’ based on the novella Carmilla, by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Carmilla is about a young (looking) female vampire who befriends and then preys on a sheltered girl who lives in the isolated forests of Styria with her father. Hammer, who in the ’70s was looking to sex-up their films, played up the lesbian subtext of their relationship.
The Woman in Black
Arthur Kipps is haunted, isolated and detached from the world. His emotional state is made manifest when he is sent on a last-chance job by his employer to a haunted house just off the shore of a sleepy coastal town; a house which is cut off from the mainland at high-tide.
Twins of Evil
Twins of Evil was the third and final film in Hammer’s ‘Karnstein trilogy,’ which was based, very loosely, on the 1872 novella Carmilla, by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. The source material, written 25 years prior to Stoker’s Dracula, is about a young woman who falls under the thrall of a female vampire. The exploitation film potential of such a set-up is endless. Continue reading
Synapse Films has FINALLY set a street date for their next Hammer Horror Blu Ray. Twins of Evil (the second film in the Karnstein Trilogy) will be released July 10th, 2012.
Synapse holds the rights to four Hammer titles, this, Hands of the Ripper, Vampire Circus, and Countess Dracula. So far, they’ only released Vampire Circus in December of 2010, so it’s nice to know they haven’t given up on them after all this time.
Indie label Synapse Films is prepping three more classic Hammer horror films for Blu Ray, joining their already released Vampire Circus.
This new cover art comes from Synapse’s 2012 catalog. Twins of Evil and Hands of the Ripper were announce at the same time as Vampire Circus, which was released in December of last year (so they’re sure taking their time with these). Countess Dracula was just announced a two months ago.
Vampire Circus was one of the final Gothic horror films produced by Hammer Film Productions. The 1970s saw audiences’ tastes moving towards gorier films, which made the atmospheric costume dramas offered by Hammer seem downright quaint in comparison. Still, this late effort was one of their more imaginative vampire films, even if its production values were a little messy.
Countess Dracula is a Hammer Horror film based somewhat loosely on the story of Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian Countess who, in the early 1600′s was accused of torturing and killing between 80 and 650 young girls. It was said, though not confirmed, that she bathed in the girls’ blood in the belief that it would restore her youth and beauty. Continue reading
Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde
The Hammer Collection
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of those stories, like Frankenstein or Dracula, that gets reinvented all the time. That’s because it’s a great metaphor for a basic human condition; the good and bad side that’s found in all of us. Continue reading