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Sign the Petition to ask Warner Bros to release their Classic Hammer Horror Titles on Blu-Ray!

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We the Undersigned ask Warner Bros to please Release their Classic Hammer Horror Titles on Blu-Ray!

01Hammer Horror Films are a vital part of, not only the horror entertainment genre, but of Britain’s cinematic legacy. The 7 Hammer titles that Warner Bros holds represent the best and most important titles in Hammer’s significant output and should be urgently released in the new high definition medium, fully restored for optimum quality! The titles are:

Titles that have already been released on blu-ray in the UK by Lionsgate:

Help spread the word!
Our goal is to reach 10,000 signatures by April 30, 2014!

This petition is sponsored by Diabolique Magazine and DVD Drive-In

Why THESE Hammer Titles are Important

poster4In 1957, a tiny film studio on the banks of the Thames River in England changed the horror genre forever. Hammer Film Productions did not invent the Gothic horror film, but their technicians, artisans and actors certainly perfected it. The Curse of Frankenstein, Hammer’s first Gothic horror film featuring their classic team—stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, director Terence Fisher, composer James Bernard and art director Bernard Robinson—was released in the United States by Warner Bros to spectacular box office results. It was the first Frankenstein film in color, and the first to feature Hammer’s signature style: lavish period detail, a bold sexual element and far more gore than audiences were accustomed to at the time.

poster3Hammer quickly became a household name around the world and the company still thrives today; their 2012 theatrical release The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, became the most successful British horror film in more than twenty years. In the United Kingdom, three classic Hammer titles have been released on blu-ray during the past year: The Curse of Frankenstein; Dracula (1958), known in the US as Horror of Dracula; and The Mummy (1959), all of which have been filled with extras and have been extremely well-received. None of them have been announced for release in the US by Warner Bros, who own the American rights.

There are four other classic Hammer horror films to which Warner Bros own the American distribution rights that have not been released on blu-ray anywhere. They are: Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Dracula A.D. 1972. In my recent books The Hammer Vampire and The Hammer Frankenstein, I have pointed out why these films are important, not just to the horror genre but to the history of cinema itself.

poster2Directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Freddie Francis (The Elephant Man, 1980), Dracula Has Risen From the Grave was the most financially successful of the seven Hammer classics in which Christopher Lee starred as Count Dracula. Warner Bros’ advertising campaign in the U.S. capitalized on the sexual angle of the film (in France it was called Dracula and the Women) to huge box office success. Visually, it is one of the most stylish of all Hammer horrors and, in Francis’ skilled hands, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave becomes a religious allegory in which the title character ends up impaled on a huge golden cross.

poster7Terence Fisher’s Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is the most nihilistic film in the entire Hammer Frankenstein saga. The fifth film in the series, it reflects the pessimism of the times and the changing morals of that era. The film has no heroes and the character of Baron Frankenstein himself (Peter Cushing) has never been more ruthless or psychopathic. This dark classic has been rightly called by more than one critic “Hammer’s finest Frankenstein film!”

poster5Peter Sasdy’s Taste the Blood of Dracula is another film very much of its era in which Count Dracula’s revenge becomes a metaphor for teenage rebellion against an older generation whose hypocritical moral values no longer have any relevance. Perhaps the most “adult” of Lee’s Dracula films, it features excellent performances by Lee, Linda Hayden, Ralph Bates, Geoffrey Keen, John Carson and others.

poster1Dracula A.D. 1972 carries the teenage rebellion theme even further; Lee’s Dracula is now reborn in contemporary times thanks to a black mass performed by some thrill-seeking London youths. But who is the most dangerous to society, Count Dracula or the pot-smoking “heroes?” Co-starring Bond girl Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977) and Stephanie Beacham (star of TV’s The Colbys and Dynasty), Dracula A.D. 1972 is a bona fide cult classic.

All seven of the above-mentioned films cry out to be restored on blu-ray so that a new generation of fans (as well as the older generation!) can appreciate the thrills, color and style of Hammer horror at its best. They are not only a huge part of the history of Hammer Film Productions, they are an important part of the history of Warner Bros as well.

~ By Bruce G. Hallenbeck

Bruce G. Hallenbeck is a Rondo Award-winning author of such books as Comedy-Horror Films, The Hammer Vampire, Hammer Fantasy and Sci-Fi, and The Hammer Frankenstein, and has been writing cover stories for Little Shoppe of Horrors since 1981.
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16 comments

  1. Best of British don’t let it be forgotton. Childhood memories watching these Peter Cushing – legend.

  2. 3713 signatures x $20 – $25 a blu-ray collector’s edition = a LOT of money Warner Bros. has chosen to say no to. I’m very disappointed in Warner Bros. I thought they liked making money. I suppose they would rather see that money go to quaint hobbies like collecting stamps, rocks, and feathers.

  3. And include the HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES TOO

  4. Yes, all these great Hammer films MUST be transferred (and done well!) to Blu Ray. I already have “Dracula Has Risen From The Grave” in Blu Ray (Region 1), and it is a very good transfer.

  5. Word is Warners will be issuing a lot of their Hammer titles in 2015!!!

  6. There has been a strong resurgence of interest recently (especially from the younger generation discovering these classics for the first time), but no Blu-Ray release for the majority, is a travesty. Second hand DVD’s are exchanging hands rapidly, because sadly, there is nothing upgraded to buy. Rerelease them now, preferably with extras while a lot of the former stars are still alive to contribute – especially Christopher Lee!

  7. Release all the titles available on blu ray!!

  8. Melissa taylor

    please release

  9. HERMAN SENERCHIA

    Ok WARNER is releasing 4 Hammer Horror films collection VOLUME ONE I repeat: VOLUME ONE classics include THE MUMMY,DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE,TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED on blu ray in october . NOW is VOLUME TWO I repeat VOLUME TWO are going to include CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN ? HORROR OF DRACULA ? [uncut / restored] DRACULA AD 1972 and TROG ? or WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH [UNCUT] ? guys PLEASE look into this .YOU know how warner is, they will let the rest of the Hammer titles fall threw the cracks.

    • I have DIRECTV and last nite I was scimin threw demand movies and they had DRACULA A.D.1972 in 1080 HD for 1.99 three day rental . I had to see the look of it. it’s a new remastered print . clear AMAZING just amazing. sound and picture. 50X BETTER THEN THE DVD. ready for blu ray . they also had HORROR OF DRACULA and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1080 hd. they are all the next batch to come out on blu ray. on the old AD 72 dvd the music title theme song is warp and the color shiffs on caroline bitten scene [ NOT on this new fixed perfect print ] WARNER IF YOU WERE SMART release the last 3 quickly on blu ray while the sales of vol. 0ne is hot .

  10. HERMAN SENERCHIA

    Ok WARNER is releasing 4 Hammer Horror films collection VOLUME ONE I repeat: VOLUME ONE classics include THE MUMMY,DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE,TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED on blu ray in october . NOW is VOLUME TWO I repeat VOLUME TWO are going to include CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN ? HORROR OF DRACULA ? [uncut / restored] DRACULA AD 1972 and TROG ? or WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH [UNCUT] ? guys PLEASE look into this .YOU know how warner is, they will let the rest of the Hammer titles fall threw the cracks.

    • I have DIRECTV and last nite I was scimin threw demand movies and they had DRACULA A.D.1972 in 1080 HD for 1.99 three day rental . I had to see the look of it. it’s a new remastered print . clear AMAZING just amazing. sound and picture. 50X BETTER THEN THE DVD. ready for blu ray . they also had HORROR OF DRACULA and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1080 hd. they are all the next batch to come out on blu ray. on the old AD 72 dvd the music title theme song is warp and the color shiffs on caroline bitten scene [ NOT on this new fixed perfect print ] WARNER IF YOU WERE SMART release the last 3 quickly on blu ray while the sales of vol. 0ne is hot .

  11. Please put ” all ” of the ” Hammer ” film on Blu-ray .

  12. Please Release all the Hammer Films on Blu Ray I’ve already build up a Collection.
    Paul Allen

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