HAMMER DVD AND BLU-RAY NEWS
20th February 2011
I've spent some considerable time updating
the Hammer DVD Guide, to
adding several new DVD (and now Blu-ray) releases. I've also added a
couple of new music CDs featuring Hammer material.
I've decided not to include - at least, not
yet - movies from the production company that has assumed Hammer's
name, and is releasing new films in theatres (including the excellent
Let Me In (a creditable re-make of the excellent 2008 Swedish
vampire movie Let The Right One In).
16th June 2008
very quiet period, June has seen a couple of important releases, most
notably the Icons of Adventure set, which contains three films
never-before released on DVD (The Stranglers of Bombay, The
Pirates of Blood River and The Terror of the Tongs), and one
previously unavailable in the US (The Devil-Ship Pirates). It's a
lovely set, even if it does have some of the worst sleeve art I've ever
Next month will see the release of another
previously-unreleased Hammer film: The Man Who Could Cheat Death, from
US indie label Legend Films (one of a number of cult films they've
licensed from Paramount). Sadly, this is going to be sold exclusively by
US retailer Best Buy, which will make it difficult for UK fans to
News from the UK isn't so rosy. It now
looks like the deal between Sony Pictures and DD Home Entertainment has
fallen through, after financial problems for DD's parent company. The
rights to the films have now apparently reverted to Sony.
The next issue of the Hammer magazine
Little Shoppe of Horrors is imminent! Issue twenty features an
"uncensored history" of Hammer rival Amicus. More details
21st May 2007
American label VCI has formally announced
the titles that will be featured on volumes six and seven of their
Hammer Film Noir Double Feature collection. Both discs will be
released on June the 26th.
Vol 6 will feature Terence Fisher's
The Black Glove (aka Face The Music) and Daniel Birt's
The Deadly Game (aka Third Party Risk). The Deadly Game
will be presented in "widescreen" format.
Vol 7 will feature two Terence
Fisher films: The Unholy Four (aka The Stranger Came Home)
and A Race For Life (aka Mask of Dust).
Both discs will feature Bios, trailers,
trivia and photo's. Vol 7 will feature an interview with producer Richard
Gordon and genre expert Tom Weaver. Each disc has an SRP of $14.99.
April 30th 2007
Hammer Films website is reporting that DD Home Entertainment has
signed a deal with Sony Pictures that will allow them to release thirteen
of the studio's movies that were distributed by Columbia Pictures.
The films in question are The Camp On
Blood Island (1958, Val Guest), Cash on Demand (1961, Quentin
Lawrence), Creatures the World Forgot (1971, Don Chaffey), The
Damned (1963, Joseph Losey), Donít Panic Chaps! (1959, George
Pollack), The Gorgon (1964, Terence Fisher), Maniac (1963,
Michael Carreras), Never Take Sweets From a Stranger (1960, Cyril
Frankel), The Stranglers of Bombay (1960, Terence Fisher), Sword
of Sherwood Forest (1960, Terence Fisher), Taste of Fear (1961,
Seth Holt), The Terror of the Tongs (1961, Anthony Bushell) and
Watch It, Sailor! (1961, Wolf Rilla).
Hammer fans will be familiar with most of
these titles, if not the films themselves (I doubt that anybody has seen
Don't Panic Chaps! or Watch It, Sailor! in the last twenty
The deal is wonderful news for Hammer fans
because it plugs some significant gaps in their collections. Many fans
speculated that some of the less politically correct films that Hammer
made (The Stranglers of Bombay, The Terror of the Tongs and
The Camp on Blood Island, specifically) were unlikely to be
released by the studio that now owns them, Sony Pictures. This deal allows
their release without drawing attention to the company's involvement.
DD Home Entertainment has already released
numerous titles from the Hammer library (including Frankenstein And The
Monster From Hell and Captain Kronos). They've generally been
excellent releases, with solid bonus features, including very nice
collector's booklets. However, several of their releases have been plagued
by nagging technical problems (incorrect anamorphic flagging, and
non-anamorphic transfers), which betray their relative inexperience with
releasing widescreen movies.
October 12th 2006
VCI Entertainment has announced the release
of two more discs in their Hammer Film Noir Double Feature
The two discs, due on November the 28th,
are Vol 4 (featuring Terror Street (1953) and Wings of
Danger (1952)) and Vol 5 (featuring The Glass Tomb
(1955) and Paid To Kill (1954)).
Terror Street and Wings of Danger
are 4:3 transfers; The Glass Tomb and Paid To Kill are in
1.66:1 format. Both discs are Region 0, NTSC, DVD-9s.
Bonus features on Vol 4 include
Terror Street commentary; Dan Duryea commentary; and Steve Fisher
commentary (all by Alan K. Rode). Vol 5 includes The Glass Tomb
commentary (by Richard M. Roberts). Both discs have bios, an
advertising gallery and film noir theatrical trailers.
Provisional sleeve artwork...
September 27th 2006
Ultimate Hammer Box Set
will now not include The Devil-Ship
Pirates. Its place in the set has been taken by The Viking Queen.
September 25th 2006
Optimum's new versions of The Nanny
and One Millon Years B.C. both have new 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen
transfers. The Nanny has a commentary track by Jimmy Sangster!
can see a comparison between the old and new version of One Million Years
You can see a comparison between the old and
new version of The Nanny
September 18th 2006
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
in the UK on October the 23rd.
Network will release a Special Edition of
Hands of the Ripper
and a regular edition of
Twins of Evil
on October the 9th. Their Special Edition version of
is now available.
Click on the Incoming links, above, or
see the individual Guide pages for more details on these titles.
September 10th 2006
Optimum Releasing will release an
Ultimate Hammer Box Set
containing twenty-one Hammer titles, which Studio Canal own thanks to
their acquisition of the Thorn / EMI library. The set, due on October the
23rd, contains: Blood From The Mummy's Tomb, Demons of the Mind,
The Devil Rides Out, Devil-Ship Pirates, Dracula:
Prince of Darkness, Fear In The Night, Frankenstein Created
Women, The Horror of Frankenstein, The Nanny, One
Million Years BC, Plague of the Zombies, Quatermass And The
Pit, Rasputin: The Mad Monk, The Reptile, The Scars
of Dracula, She, Slave Girls, Straight On Till
Morning, To The Devil... A Daughter, The Vengeance of She
and The Witches.
Several discs will feature bonus materials
(previously available on Anchor Bay's Region 1 discs, but not previously
available in the UK):
One Million Years BC - Interviews
with Raquel Welch and Ray Harryhausen (as per existing UK DVD)
Scars of Dracula - Commentary with
Roy Ward Baker and Christopher Lee
The Horror of Frankenstein -
Commentary with Jimmy Sangster; Interview with Veronica Carlson
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb -
Interviews with Valerie Leon and Christopher Wicking
Demons of the Mind - Commentary with Peter Sykes, Christopher
Wicking and Virginia Wetherell
To the Devil... a Daughter - To
the DevilÖthe Death of Hammer feature
Some titles will also have trailers and
photo' galleries. It is not yet known if any of the titles will have new
transfers (some, like Dracula: Prince of Darkness and She
were previously available in non-anamorphic transfers).
The set has an RRP of £149.99. Some of the
titles are already scheduled for individual release, in October (The
Devil Rides Out, Horror of Frankenstein, Rasputin: The Mad
Monk and Dracula: Prince of Darkness) and November (One
Million Years BC, Quatermass and the Pit and She). The
others will presumably follow next year.
May 11th 2006
label VCI Entertainment has formally announced July the 25th as the date
they'll release their first six Exclusive / Hammer noir films (see the
news report for February the 18th, in the
Archived Hammer DVD News page).
There will be three Hammer Film Noir
Double Feature discs, each containing two films. These will also be
available in a three-disc Hammer Film Noir Double Feature Collector's Set.
The discs are: Volume One - Bad Blonde
and Man Bait; Volume Two - A Stolen Face and Blackout; and
Volume Three - Gambler and the Lady and Heat Wave.
Each pair of films will be on a DVD-9, with
bios, trailers, and a bonus called The World of Hammer Noir. All
six films will be presented in 4:3 format. The RRP for each disc is
$14.99. The box set has an RRP of $29.99. All the discs apparently have
the same sleeve design (the same as the box set, left).
April 10th 2006
Today I've added a new section to the Hammer DVD Guide: the
Hammer Top Ten Lists.
Here you'll find lists created by genre luminaries and noted Hammer
enthusiasts, who have chosen their top ten Hammer movies, and explain what
makes them special. My sincere thanks to all the contributors.
Naxos' recent re-recording of Benjamin
Frankel's score for The Curse of the Werewolf is scheduled for
release on May the 1st. Amazon are listing it
The track-listing and downloadable samples can be found
March 5th 2006
Anchor Bay announced at the Fangoria
Weekend of Horrors convention that they would be (re-)releasing a
collection of re-mastered Hammer films, with new special features, during
February 18th 2006
Bay's has announced the release date for their Region 1 edition of The
Anniversary. It will be released on April the 4th. The disc will have a
restored 16:9 transfer, and will feature a commentary track by director
Roy Ward Baker, producer Jimmy Sangster and DVD producer Perry Martin; a
theatrical trailer; a TV spot; talent bios; and a poster and stills gallery.
Anchor Bay website
is releasing a series of early Exclusive / Hammer films, licensed from the
Kit Parker library.
These were films that were distributed in the US by Lippert Pictures Inc.
These will be sold as Hammer Noir double-bills, at a
budget price. No date has been announced yet. The films are:
Bad Blonde (aka The Flanagan Boy)
/ The Glass Tomb (aka The Glass Cage)
The Black Glove (aka Face The Music)
/ The Big Deadly Game (aka Third Party Risk)
Heat Wave (aka The House Across The
Lake) / Paid To Kill (aka Five Days)
Man Bait (aka The Last Page) /
The Gambler and the Lady
A Stolen Face / Blackout
(aka Murder By Proxy)
Terror Street (aka 36 Hours)
/ Wings of Danger
They will also release a Hammer film as part
of a separate series of Forgotten Noir discs: Scotland Yard Inspector
(aka Lady in the Fog)
will be paired with Treasure of Monte Carlo.
In The Balcony
With thanks to JamesM and Chris Workman
These DVD releases have been added to the relevant section of the
February 2nd 2006
Fanatic, under its American title,
Die Die My Darling, will be released in the UK on DVD by Sony on March
the 20th. 1.78:1 transfer, no bonus features (probably identical to the US
December 2nd 2005
I've added a lot of information about foreign releases in the latest update.
None seem particularly attractive to UK or US collectors who simply want a
half-decent version of the movies, but as some titles are now out of print
on one side of the Atlantic or the other (or both!), these may become
increasingly viable as alternatives.
looks like all the UK Hammer titles from Studio Canal (marketed and
distributed by Warner Home Video) have been deleted. This may simply signal
a switch to another sales and distribution partner (and some re-packaging),
or they may disappear for indefinite period. I've heard rumours that the catalogue will
end up with Universal, but it's perhaps more likely that it will end up at 2 Entertain's Cinema Club
label (they've licensed a number of Studio Canal
titles recently). Now might be a good time to pick up any titles you're
missing. That's if you can find them - they're disappearing fast!
recently spoke to Gary Wilson, owner of record label GDI, which released a
string of Hammer soundtrack CDs. These were recently listed as "new
releases" by several online retailers. What's happened is that GDI have
switched distributors, so the e-tailers were simply updating their listings.
Although GDI has several new Hammer CDs in production - including one for
Captain Kronos - it's unlikely that any new titles will be released in
the foreseeable future.
With thanks to Richard Gregory.
HAMMER DVD GUIDE INDEX