On the dark hot night of summer, it’s good to have a few vintage scares on the TV screen. Thankfully this summer you can indulge in the glory of Hammer Horror. The English studio became the leading edge of horror in the late ’50s with the arrival of The Curse of Frankenstein and The Horror of Dracula with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The studio kept the frights coming until the mid-70s. Now even more of their glorious past are coming out on Blu-ray from Scream Factory. Over the course of the next few months will be bliss for horror collectors. Among the upcoming titles will include a Christopher Lee vampire flick, a reboot of Frankenstein and a Mummy film with a female lead. Even more exciting are two of the Quartermass films that the studio produced that brought a touch of fear to science fiction. This should prove a major upgrade for fans who have previously released DVDs from different companies. Fright and Circus of Horrors weren’t produced by Hammer, they were British scares that easily were confused as being from Hammer by moviegoers. While there’s no bonus features announced yet, we’ll update the releases as more information arrive. Here’s the press release from Scream Factory with the release dates:
Lust For a Vampire (July 30)
Her embrace is the kiss of death!
“The production values [are] great … and visually, the film [is] as beautiful as the women who starred in it.” – The Telltale Mind
A mysterious man performs the rites of black magic … bringing the notorious female vampire Carmilla Karnstein back to life. Looking to quench her bloodlust for the fairer sex, she enrolls at an exclusive girl’s school as the young debutante Mircalla (Yutte Stensgaard), and begins to feast on her fellow students as well as indulging in her unholy desires for a teacher … With the death toll mounting at both the school and the nearby village, can anyone stop Carmilla’s evil ways?
Quatermass 2 (July 30)
Professor Quatermass returns in this sequel to The Quatermass Xperiment!
Quatermass 2 is the second and most talked about of the three science fiction stories written by Nigel Kneale and based on his critically acclaimed 1955 BBC series.
Professor Quatermass, played by Hollywood veteran Brian Donlevy reprising his role from The Quatermass Xperiment, is Britain’s most clever scientist. Investigating a series of bizarre incidents that have been reported from a deserted area, he finds a group of soldiers and government officials that appear to be controlled by aliens from another world. When a close friend is brutally murdered by these beings, Quatermass leads a mob of local workers to a showdown with the extraterrestrials. The film was retitled Enemy From Space for its U.S. theatrical release.
Quartermass and the Pit (July 30)
Hobbs End, Knightsbridge, London. While working on a new subway tunnel for the London Underground, a group of construction workers uncover a strangely shaped skull. Nearby, another discovery: a large, mysterious and impenetrable metal object. Initially mistaken for an unexploded bomb, the object and its strange power turn out to be far more horrific than anybody could have possibly imagined. Is it of this earth? Could it be the ancestral link to mankind’s evolution? Or could it be an ancient link to the unleashing of the ultimate evil? There’s only one man capable of unravelling the clues, and his name is Professor Bernard Quatermass (Andrew Keir), a man of science who thrives on the dark mysteries of the world …
Written by legendary screenwriter Nigel Kneale, Quatermass And The Pit is a seminal British sci-fi classic. For its U.S. release by 20th Century Fox, the film was retitled Five Million Years To Earth.
The Reptile (July 30)
What strange power made her half woman, half snake?
“Director John Gilling’s creepy tale about a small village in Cornwall suffering from an outbreak of mysterious deaths is one that should not be missed.” – Bloody Disgusting
A deadly epidemic is spreading through the remote Cornish village of Clagmoor Heath. As darkness falls, its victims are found foaming at the mouth with savage wounds on their necks. After his brother falls prey to the “black death,” Harry Spalding (Ray Barrett, Terror From Under The House) travels with his new wife (Jennifer Daniel, The Kiss Of The Vampire) to Clagmoor to investigate his sibling’s mysterious death. With little help from the unfriendly locals, Harry follows a trail of clues that leads him to the sinister Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman, The Vengeance Of She), the doctor’s strange, but beautiful daughter (Jacqueline Pearce, Doctor Who) … and a horrific family secret.
Horror of Frankenstein (August 20)
The dead shall rise again!
“Horror Of Frankenstein remains a solid, often surprising film that is perfect for horror fans who can appreciate a few sly laughs being mixed in with the usual chills.” – AllMovie.com
Young Victor Frankenstein returns from medical school with a depraved taste for beautiful women and fiendish experiments. When he runs out of fresh body parts for his research, he turns to murder to complete his gruesome creation. Now, his monster (David Prowse, the Star Wars films) has unleashed its own horrifying killing spree. The true horrors of Dr. Frankenstein have only just begun …
From Scream Factory: “If you’re a fan of Hammer Films (like we are) then save up for this Sept when we release three films from them on Blu-ray for the first time in North America!
Fear In the Night (August 27)
“Cushing and Bates [are] great in their roles, as [is] Collins … a solid, well-produced film that anyone, fans of the genre or not, will enjoy” – The Telltale Mind
Recovering from a recent nervous breakdown, a young woman (Judy Geeson, Hammerhead) moves with her new husband (Ralph Bates, Horror Of Frankenstein) to a rural boarding school where she meets the peculiar headmaster (horror film icon Peter Cushing) and his lusty wife (Joan Collins, Empire Of The Ants). When the fragile newlywed is repeatedly stalked and assaulted by a one-armed man, her terror escalates to a frenzy of madness and murder … or does it? If she can survive one night of fear, then the morning promises an even more shocking surprise!
Scars of Dracula (September 10)
The legendary Christopher Lee is back as Dracula, bringing unspeakable horrors upon a local village that defies his evil reign. But when a young man and his luscious girlfriend unwittingly visit the Count’s castle, they find themselves trapped in a face-to-face frenzy of bloodthirsty vixens, religious blasphemy and sadistic henchmen. The Prince of Darkness has returned like never before, but will his horrific mark remain forever? Patrick Troughton (Dr. Who, The Omen) co-stars in this 1970 shocker, directed with bloody bravado by Hammer veteran Roy Ward Baker (Quatermass And The Pit, Dr. Jekyll And Sister Hyde).
Extras to be announced on a later date. Pre-order now @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/scars-of-dracula?product_id=7156
Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb (September 10)
A British expedition team in Egypt discovers the ancient sealed tomb of the evil Queen Tera. But when one of the archaeologists steals a mysterious ring from the corpse’s severed hand, he unleashes a relentless curse upon his beautiful daughter. Is the voluptuous young woman now a reincarnation of the diabolical sorceress … or has the curse of the mummy returned to reveal its horrific revenge? Andrew Keir (Quatermass And The Pit) and the beautiful Valerie Leon (The Spy Who Loved Me) star in this supernatural shocker based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel The Jewel Of The Seven Stars.
Extras to be announced on a later date. Pre-order now @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/blood-from-the-mummy-s-tomb?product_id=7157
Straight On Till Morning (September 17)
An ugly duckling yearns to leave her drab Liverpool life and move to swinging London to find her Prince Charming. But the big city holds some nasty surprises for the naïve young woman when she becomes obsessed with a handsome gigolo who may be a depraved serial killer! Rita Tushingham (A Taste Of Honey) and Shane Briant (Demons Of The Mind) star in this 1972 psycho-sexual thriller directed by Peter Collinson (Fright, The Italian Job).
Expected Release Date: 9/17/19. Extras to be announced on a later date. Pre-order now https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/straight-on-till-morning?product_id=7152
Fright (1972) – Before When A Stranger Calls, there was Fright! Teenage babysitter Amanda (Susan George, Straw Dogs) arrives at the Lloyd home to watch their young son for the evening. But it seems that the strangely nervous Mrs. Lloyd is hiding a shocking secret … a secret that has just escaped from a nearby insane asylum and is now desperately trying to get inside the house. What must Amanda endure to survive the ultimate night of Fright? This creepy film, directed by Peter Collinson (Straight On Till Morning), also stars Honor Blackman (Goldfinger) and Ian Bannen (Doomwatch).
Extras to be announced on a later date. Pre-order now @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/fright?product_id=7153″
Circus of Horrors (September 10)
“Lurid … imaginative and unsettling” – Turner Classic Movies
A deranged plastic surgeon (Anton Diffring) takes over a traveling circus, then transforms horribly disfigured young women into ravishing beauties and coerces them to perform in his three-ring extravaganza. But when the re-sculpted lovelies try to escape the clutches of the obsessed doctor, they begin to meet with sudden and horrific “accidents.” Now the trapeze is swinging, the knives are flying, the wild animals are loose – and “The Grisliest Show on Earth” is about to begin.
Donald Pleasence (Halloween) and Yvonne Monlaur (The Brides Of Dracula) co-star in this notorious 1960 British cult classic from writer George Baxt (The City Of The Dead) and director Sidney Hayers (Burn, Witch, Burn!).
Tags: christopher lee, Hammer Horror, Peter Cushing, Scream Factory