Hammer Horror
Resurrected Box Set

Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price and Barbara Shelly
Warner Home Video
RRP: 59.99
Certificate: 18
Available now

Fans of the horror genre will be thrilled to hear that a box set of six of Hammer's most critically acclaimed movies are available to buy in a DVD box set. This collection includes: Rasputin the Mad Monk; Frankenstein Created Woman; The Vengeance of She; The Plague of Zombies; Quatermass and the Pit and To the Devil a Daughter.

Rasputin the Mad Monk sees Christopher Lee star as Rasputin. After his ejection from his monastery for drunken behaviour, Rasputin decides to try his luck in St Petersburg. His apparent healing powers soon allow him to gain influence at the court of the Tsar, but with his rise to power come many enemies who wish to see him dead...

Christopher Lee is perfect as the mad monk and this movie has aged fairly well. Entertaining, but nothing that special, this movie is worth a look. But I doubt you'll want to watch it more than once.

In Frankenstein Created Woman Baron Frankenstein captures the soul of a recently executed man and is finally able to give the spark of life to the body of a young woman he is keeping at his castle. With memories of his wrongful execution still intact, the woman embarks on a killing spree to gain revenge on those who falsely accused him...

Peter Cushing stars in this Frankenstein tale which has you routing for the mad professor. Although the premise is a little on the daft side - two lovers joined again in death setting out to avenge the murderer of the spirit of Frankenstein's new creation. It takes a while to get going, but the slow build up is necessary and certainly well executed... oops! No pun intended.

The Vengeance of She sees Carol, a beautiful young girl, possessed by the spirit of Ayesha, queen of the lost city of Kuma. An eccentric millionaire gives Carol refuge, unaware that she brings the dark shadow of death to everything she touches...

This is the sequel to the Ursula Andress movie She, and is easily the weakest movie in this collection. While some of the location filming is breathtaking, the movie is a little too dull to keep most people interested for long.

In The Plague of Zombies, a strange epidemic hits the workers of a small Cornish village much to the consternation of the local doctor who enlists the help of an eminent professor. Their worst fears are confirmed when the dead are seen to live again as zombies. But who is the master that these nightmares of the undead serve?...

This was Hammer's only attempt at the zombie genre, which is a shame as this movie is well produced. There are some truly scary moments, like when the funeral procession is interrupted and the coffin's contents are spilled. And is certainly a movie that will be revisited from time to time.

Quatermass and the Pit begins when digging on a new Underground line in London is interrupted when human remains are discovered by the construction crew. They also unearth what they take to be a World War II German bomb. Upon closer examination the 'bomb' contains a dead giant locust-like creature that appears to be from another planet...

This is by far the best movie in this collection. While the visual effects of the locust aliens on their home planet is laughable, for the most part this movie is chilling and gripping. The fact that the Jubilee Line Extension of the London Underground has recently been completed also makes this movie topical to today's audience - very much like it would have when it was first theatrically released.

To The Devil a Daughter sees Christopher Lee as a defrocked, devil-worshipping Catholic priest who convinces a man to sign over the soul of his daughter so that she will become the devil's representative on earth once she reaches her eighteenth birthday. As that day draws closer, two men become locked in a deadly battle over the possession of her soul...

Christopher Lee is truly chilling as the clearly mad priest and what's even spookier is that a lot of this movie is filmed around St Katherine's Docks in London which is one of my old haunts. Mildly pornographic in places this movie is pretty average and watch out for the little rubber devil that tries to crawl into a ladies rude area... scary... maybe not.

One thing worth mentioning is that all the movies in this collection seem to have been given a good clean before being transferred to DVD - something that can't be said for a lot of the collections put out recently by Warner in the UK. Let's hope this is something they will be continuing to do for future collections.

As it stands, this is a pretty impressive collection which at £10 a movie is pretty good value for money. It's just a shame that all the movies included have not aged as well as Quatermass and the Pitt.

Darren Rea

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