Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing on a few dozen Hammer Horror Stills

I get a bit jealous at the very thought of it. My Dad is just the right age to have seen the earliest and most iconic Hammer Horror titles over and over in the movie theater back at their original release and they've remained his favorites ever since. This makes Christmas shopping for Dad very easy, Hammer on VHS in the old days, upgraded to DVD in recent years with one or two of what's now a seemingly myriad selection of books about Hammer Horror supplementing the films themselves in recent years.

1957 The Curse of Frankenstein

As I post this the Hammer Horror Stills shown on this page and in the gallery below at auction on eBay this week - bidding starts between $5.99-$8.99 on all of them!

We were a few years from owning our first VCR back when I was about the same age that Dad had been when he'd first seen The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Horror of Dracula (1959) on the big screen. This was pre-Hammer renaissance and thus the titles weren't on television very much, if at all, especially during those dark times before Mom and Dad signed up for Cable in 1982. And so I was raised on weekend a.m. TV showings of the 1930's and 40's Universal horror classics on WOR-9 and those remain my own standard for creature features.

That said, I am a horror fan, and when I'm not settling in for the black and white Golden Age classics I typically talk about here, it's usually for a gory break involving some 1960's-80's slasher or monster film, often horribly dubbed and as unintentionally funny as it is scary. Mixed in among these often lesser lights I do enjoy the occasional Hammer Film and can now call up images of Lee as the monsters and Cushing as their creator/hunter as easily as I ever did Karloff or Lugosi in all their early 30's splendor. This is despite the fact that I often wind up thinking a Hammer film fails to live up to its poster art--before you jump on me, Hammer had some awesome artwork, doesn't mean I didn't like, or even love, the movie in question!

1972 Dracula AD 1972

At the risk of making any of the Hammer horror fans out there giggle I will admit that my favorite of the bunch, one of only a few Hammer Horror flicks that I actually own on DVD, is Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972). There I said it. It's got both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, in fact it's got them doing battle in the 19th Century before the opening credits which are ushered in by an airplane taking off and returning us to then present day. It's got the lovely Stephanie Beacham as Cushing's granddaughter and a very sexy Caroline Munro as one of Beacham's less responsible hippie pals--yes, hippies, it's got those too, tons of 'em, including some band called Stoneground rocking a wild party with the tune "Alligator Man." Then there's Christopher Neame as as hipster-hippie leader-of-the-pack Johnny Alucard, who judging by his in your face too obvious name is bound to be trouble! Dracula A.D. 1972 boasts more blood and bosom than any of the earlier Lee and Cushing titles that I've come across and recalling Dad's stories from way back before home video that's what I grew up hearing that Hammer was all about.

Dracula A.D. 1972 is just one of the films featured in the stack of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing stills that I recently acquired, as are earlier classics such as The Curse of Frankenstein and several of Lee and Cushing's earlier Dracula outings. The following gallery boasts 49 stills, most featuring either Lee or Cushing, most focusing on Hammer titles with a few from A.I.P. mixed in. At any rate the gallery seems to fit together pretty well, even if it does include one from Dr. Who and the Daleks, which despite Cushings presence as the Doctor seems to be the oddest fit of the bunch. Enjoy:

Gallery of Hammer Horror Stills and Press Photos

Just click on any image to open to full size and from there you can scroll through 25 images at a time. See the page numbering just below the gallery to move to the second page of 25 images, etc.

As I post this the Hammer Horror Stills shown on this page and in the gallery below at auction on eBay this week - bidding starts between $5.99-$8.99 on all of them!

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