Ho hum, the mummy again. That wouldn’t normally be my reaction, as I’m rather a fan of mummies and the havoc they wreak upon the living, but this entry into the Hammer compendium of vengeful Egyptian crypt guardians manages to do very little beyond eliciting a yawn. The Mummy’s Shroud’s problems are several, and not…
England’s Hammer Films had the misfortune of releasing their nicely decorated but somewhat tepid science fiction romp Moon Zero Two in the wake of 1968’s two big genre-changing films, and as a result, Hammer’s effort comes out looking decidedly small-scale and quaint. Perhaps even more crushing, Hammer released their breezy little moon adventure movie in 1969 and wound up competing directly with the actual Apollo moon landing.
As latter-day Hammer films go, The Vampire Lovers is an entertaining, sexy romp. It relies less on the hammy scare tactics of the later Dracula series and more on the audience’s assumptions.
Release: 1974 Director: Brian Clemens Screenplay: Brian Clemens Starring: Horst Janson, John Carson, Shane Briant, Caroline Munro, John Cater, Lois Daine, Ian Hendry Country: Great Britain At the end of the day, I have to shrug and surrender to my baser side and say that Michael Carreras probably needed to be kicked in the shin…
It’s really one of Hammer’s most impressive, quirkiest efforts. Regardless of how bad things were for Hammer in the 70s, the movies that came out of it were usually very good and very interesting.
The Pirates of Blood River is still a solid adventure tale, with plenty of action, a dependable cast, and a look that fools you into thinking this is a much higher budget film than it actually is. It’s nice to see these old Hammer swashbucklers getting some attention.
Even though it never really becomes a swashbuckling adventure (although Peter Cushing does get to swing from a chandelier) or a horror film, Hinds exploits the trappings of both genres to create a thrilling hybrid driven by strong characters and solid British acting.