Hammer House of Horror (TV Series 1980) Poster

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Cinematic jewels for the small screen...
boom-1025 March 2003
Could you believe that after so long, the Hammer Company could come back and release a show that had as much quality content as the original Twilight Zone? For those who have not seen this, the closest that I can come to describing this gems is to compare to the 1 hour episodes that Rod Serling put out. Even that doesn't do them justice.

There are thirteen episodes in all. The cover lists Peter Cushing, Denholm Eliot, and Pierce Brosnan, but there are stand-out performances by many more in each episode. Jon Finch (Hitchcock's Frenzy) starts off as director editing his film at home when a fierce storm draws near... From the first minute of the first episode, it is apparent that this series was something special. Good direction, tight casting, and fast paced stories are the norm. This is not to say that all will interest, and some have common themes to other episodes, but all are enjoyable. Picture a standard film, and cut out a half an hour of the excess, and you've got these.

Certainly worth the investment, these episodes can be collected in one box set, which is quite well done by A+E. Werewolves, demons, witches, voodoo dolls, and for good measure a demented Nazi can all be found within. Horror fans, and those who miss good television, should take a look at Hammer. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
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Very unusual TV series that deserves a second look (SPOILERS!)
world_of_weird10 December 2004
Hammer House Of Horror, with its Spinal Tap's 'Stonehenge' soundalike theme tune, casts of soon-to-be-famous actors and commendably nasty flair for nihilism and genuine nastiness slithered onto British television (on Saturday nights, too!) in 1980 and carved indelible scars in the collective subconscious of an entire generation. Sure, not all the episodes were up to the same standard, but the ones that worked - well, they were classics.

THE HOUSE THAT BLED TO DEATH is one of the most memorable episodes, and rightly so. I think this would have made a decent feature-length film. An apparently unsuspecting family moves into a house with a grim recent past and quickly realize that all is not as it should be. A series of horrible incidents (animal lovers should not even consider watching this episode) culminate in the notorious blood-soaked birthday party and the family moves away, but even that isn't the end of their problems. This episode has one of the most shocking and disturbing final scenes of the whole series and would make a nice companion piece to Romano Scavolini's NIGHTMARE (1981), released the following year. SILENT SCREAM is another excellent series entry, with Peter Cushing at his creepy best as a seemingly innocuous pet shop owner who turns out to be a former concentration camp guard with a penchant for unpleasant experiments involving "prisons without walls". The finale is extremely creepy and haunted my dreams for a long time when I was a child. THE TWO FACES OF EVIL goes all out to disturb, with creepy electronic music, claustrophobic camera angles, dopplegangers, nausea-inducing shocks and another troubling ending. It's the closest the series comes to straight horror for its own sake, and should NOT be watched alone!

After the excellent opening salvo of three brilliant episodes, the rest of the series can seem like a disappointment, but CHARLIE BOY, WITCHING HOUR, GROWING PAINS, THE MARK OF Satan and VISITOR FROM THE GRAVE are all fine stories (the latter boasting a completely wacko final scene that will have you muttering "what the hell was THAT?!"), RUDE AWAKENING is as bizarre as anything the late Dennis Potter ever came up with, THE CARPATHIAN EAGLE boasts the gorgeous Suzanne Danielle, THE THIRTEENTH REUNION is well-acted and macabre if a little predictable, and the remaining few episodes don't quite come off. Nonetheless, it's a pleasingly varied series that's consistently entertaining, and a reminder of a time when television treated adults like adults and had yet to dumb down to the levels of dreck like Freddy's Nightmares.
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Very interesting series
rundbauchdodo2 September 2001
This TV-series contains 13 episodes of 52 minutes, and all of them are worth to watch. Of course, not all stories are even, there are tops and flops. But all in all, there is no episode that is really bad.

First, the three weakest stories. The fourth episode, "Growing Pains", tells an interesting story about the ghost of a dead boy coming back from the grave to haunt his parents who haven't had enough time to look after him. But too slow paced and a tame ending make this episode rather a letdown. The ninth episode "Carpathian Eagle" boosts a very interesting serial killer story with a twist (and Pierce Brosnan in a small role as a victim), but it's also too slow paced and predictable towards the end. The weakest of all episodes is number ten, "Guardian of the Abyss". It's a not very original story about a Satan's cult, only the final twist is nice to watch.

But there are some exquisite horror stories in the series. For example, episode two, "The Thirteenth Reunion". It's a creepy story about a cannibalistic secret society, highly recommended. As is the sixth episode, "Charlie Boy", the goriest episode with the highest body count about an African voodoo fetish with deadly powers. Or the seventh, "The Silent Scream" starring Peter Cushing as an ex-concentration camp guard who makes a grueling experiment with an ex-convict. Psychologically very unnerving. "Visitor from the Grave", the eleventh episode, has also some creepy moments that are perfectly timed. But the most haunting story is the twelfth, "The Two Faces of Evil", which will make You shiver for quite a while. Atmospheric horror at its best.

The first episode, "Witching Time", starring Ian "Zombi 2" McCullogh, is mainly remarkable for being the only one with a happy-end. "Rude Awakening", the third, is the most (dark) humorous one with Denholm Elliott playing the lead role gleefully funny. The fifth episode "The House That Bled to Death" makes a seven year old girl suffer some really bad shocks, while episode eight, "Children of the Full Moon", tells a nice variation of the classic wolf man story. The final episode, "The Mark of Satan", is an interesting study of a man's paranoia and its unpleasant consequences.

For being a TV-series, the episodes boost surprisingly subversive and violent moments. They are mostly highly entertaining and creepy. Recommended to all who like to shiver while they're watching movies.
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A psychologically disturbed thirtysomething writes...
nick_oke26 July 2002
For those of us of a certain age, this was the must-see Saturday night TV event. And out of the 13 (very apt number...) individual episodes, there are several that chill my blood and haunt my nightmares to this day.

The luridly titled 'House That Bled To Death' was an excellent take on the Amityville theme - new owners of a house discover its murderous past, 'Thirteenth Reunion' takes the cannibal-aircrash-survivors story to a scary extreme, and 'Charlie Boy' gives us the cursed voodoo effigy from hell.

But undoubted winner of the 'Scare A Thirteen Year Old So He Pees The Bed' Award - 'Two Faces of Evil'. For any thirtysomething who has passing hazy recollections of this series, think rotten teeth and one sharp, black fingernail...

I'm off - I need the loo.
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7/10
When Hammer Rose From The Grave
ShadeGrenade17 September 2006
The last official 'Hammer horror' film - 'To The Devil A Daughter - was released in 1975. That seemed to be it. Five years later, this I.T.V. series appeared. Despite the title it was actually made by I.T.C. Entertainment ( 'Lew Grade's House Of Horror' didn't have the same ring, I suppose ). The thirteen episodes were a mixed bag, many relying on gore and nudity for their shock value, rather than well written stories. Easily the best was 'The Silent Scream' starring the late, great Peter Cushing. Great final shot! 'Witching Time' was pretty memorable too ( because Patricia Quinn and Prunella Gee both got their kit off ). But there was little of the essence of the movie series that had scared audiences for two decades. The strongest influence came from 'Thriller', an anthology made by A.T.V. in the early '70's. 'Guardian Of The Abyss' was the most Hammer-like episode, bearing a resemblance to 'The Devil Rides Out' ( 1968 ) based on the famous Dennis Wheatley novel.
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HAMMER HOUSE OF HORRORS - episode 7 the silent scream
harican26 February 2006
Hammer House Of Horrors DVD collection is the ultimate collectible when it comes to horror DVD's. I have almost 200 horror films in my collection, and I must say Hammer House Of Horrors is amongst the top 5 in the horror category.

Anyway, Hammer House Of Horrors is one series of films that one can't grow tired of. The episodes are well thought out and executed. The best of all is episode VII – "the silent scream." The episode is everything horror should be, surprise, fright, and regret. I strongly suggest seeing this series of DVD's with an emphasis on episode VII – "the silent scream.

Enjoy!
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10/10
A truly classic series from the masters of horror
sgodrich11 July 2006
1000 words are not enough to review this entire series but I'll try my best. These are 13 one-hour stories with the usual horrific ending. Standard fare? No. Quality actors, great direction and superb scripts make a great series of stories that are long gone but definitely not forgotten. 25 years have passed since the original airing and upon review, they're still great! Madness, revenge, greed, jealousy and the occult are just some of the subjects covered by these stories. The effects are dated, the actors look unfashionable and the locations look dated but that isn't unexpected. This is the third decade since then and life moves on. You may recognise familiar faces from Peter Cushing (Famous Hammer Actor: From Beyond the Grave, Asylum, Top Secret) to Lucy Gutteridge (Top Secret, Secret Garden) and Denholm Elliott (Trading Places).

If you love British horror, made during the 'golden era' of British television, get the DVD and start watching!
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7/10
Hammer House Of Horror: Children Of The Full Moon (Tom Clegg, 1980) (TV) ***
Bunuel197627 October 2007
Curiously enough, this is only Hammer's second foray into Wolf Man lore after THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961); intriguingly, it's mixed here with a VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)-like brood of evil children – while the sinister procreation plot is a clear nod to ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968). An unsettling mood pervades this particular episode (helped by its central location, an English country-house situated deep into the woods) – even if, when finally glimpsed, the werewolf make-up is kind of goofy! The bewildered hero is played by Christopher Cazenove, his business partner by Hammer veteran Robert Urquhart, while Diana Dors is the deceptively genial housekeeper of the eerie mansion – who, apart from looking after the children by day, has the task of initiating the werewolf's female victims (the latest being Cazenove's wife) into their new 'role'. The final twist – concerning a woodsman Cazenove meets when he goes looking for his missing wife – is predictable, but nicely handled all the same. As has been the case with some other episodes in the series – which, I have to admit, has taken me by surprise overall – this presents a far more chilling, and subversive, concept (bestiality) than is usually associated with Hammer Films!
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10/10
13 Reasons why Hammer were the best. Warning: Spoilers
This Hammer box-set from the 1980 TV series provides a fitting homage and legacy to arguably the greatest contributors of horror on the big and small screen.

The 13 stories cover everything from evil doppelgangers to Satanists; witches; ghosts; 'voodoo dolls'; werewolves; cannibals and more besides (no vampires though, something of a departure for Hammer!) They are imaginatively written and well acted with great performances from fine actors such as Peter Cushing and Diana Dors.

It is from a time when horror was about more than hi-tech gory special effects and torture sequences thrown together to make a 'body' of work and although this Hammer box-set is of its time it is a brilliant collection that has also stood the test of time. I like a lot of modern day horror as well as the old Universal horrors, horrors from the 70's etc but you will never purchase a more diverse and enjoyable collection of horror shorts in one collection as this one.

Well done Hammer, I truly salute you, you are sorely missed.
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Good Horror Short Stories
claudio_carvalho9 October 2005
Last week, the Brazilian distributor London Films released a DVD with three episodes of "Hammer House of Horror".

1) "Witching Time":

This movie is independently listed in IMDb:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090328/usercomments-3

2) "The Thirteenth Reunion"

Ruth, the reporter of the women page of a magazine, is assigned by her editor to participate of a ten weeks course of a new weight organization called "Think Thin". In accordance with the letter of a reader, the system would be very masochist and depressive, destructing the self-esteem of the patient. Ruth makes a friend in the course, and he dies in a car crash. In the funeral, an employee of the funeral house discloses weird events that are happening in his job. In her investigation, Ruth finds dark and macabre secrets.

Although being predictable in a certain moment, I liked very much this short story of "Hammer House of Horror". This film is very well played and directed, has many outdoors scenes, very unusual in Hammer's movies, and is very dark. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A 13a Reunião"("The Thirteenth Reunion")

3) "Rude Awakening"

The real state agent Norman hates his old wife and wants to divorce her to marry his secretary Lolly. When a new client wants to sell an old and isolated mansion, Norman begins to have odd nightmares, and he becomes confused between reality and dream. When Norman awakes, a surprise waits for him.

This intriguing episode has a deceptive conclusion, but anyway I liked it. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Despertar Repentino" ("Sudden Awakening")

My vote for the DVD is seven.

Title of DVD (Brazil): "A Casa do Terror" ("The House of the Terror")
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good anthology series
movieman_kev27 December 2004
The first disk contains 'Witching Hour'. This tale of a witch who teloports to the 20th century while simply OK, is still the best on disk 1 of the set. the second episode ' the Thirteenth Reunion' is as slow paced as molasses, but nice performances and the ending doesn't make it a total loss. Next we have 'Rude Awakining' I find that tale of a man suffering perpetual nightmares to be the weakest of the episodes on Disk one. Certainly the weakest opening. On to Disk 2 begins with the atrocious possession show 'Growing Pain' (the worst of the series), the much better 'the House that Screamed Blood', and the best of the trio, the voodoo-themed 'Charlie Boy'. Disk 3 begins with the best show of the series 'Silent Scream' then a sharp drop in quality with the extremely lackluster 'Children of the Full Moon', and the underrated 'Carpathian Eagle' Finally disk 4 holds 'two lackluster efforts ( Guardian of the Abyss', 'Visitor from the grave') the best of disk 4,'Two faces of Evil', and the simply alright 'The mark of Satan' (woulda been better as episode 9 though). All in all a much much better swansong to Hammer, than their last released theatrical movie.

My Grade: B

DVD Extas: Disk 1) History of Hammer text; Hammer Filmography; and stills gallery.

Eye Candy: Patricia Quinn (most known as Magenta from Rocky Horror) gets topless briefly in 'Witching Hour'; Lucy Gutteridge of "Top Secret!" fame, shows very brief left nipple in 'Rude Awakining'; Rachel Davis gets topless in 'the House that Screamed Blood'; blink and you'll miss nipple's from Angela Bruce in 'Charlie Boy'
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Very mixed
preppy-33 August 2003
These 13 episodes are very much a mixed bag. I'll just list the ones that are bad, the ones that are OK and the ones that are excellent.

Bad: Rude Awakening, Children of the Full Moon, Carpathian Eagle, Visitor from the Grave.

OK: Witching Time, 13th Reunion, Growing Pains, House That Bled to Death

Excellent: Charlie Boy, Silent Scream, Guardian of the Abyss, Two Faces of Evil and Mask of Satan.

All in all, I wasn't too impressed by these short 1 hour episodes. Even the best ones had some bad acting and long, drawn-out scenes. Also, none were really scary or bloody like the Hammer films of the 1960s and 70s. Still, they're worth seeing--especially for horror fans. At least try to see "Silent Scream"--it stars the late, great Peter Cushing and has a very spooky ending.
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5/10
Some TV shows deserve to remain obscure
jayhawk-1825 October 2006
My boyfriend was happy to see these available to rent through Amazon. He remembered many a late night as a boy under the blanket in front of the telly watching these. Some childhood memories don't deserve to be revisited though and he said the original thrill of watching these was long gone.

We sat through about six episodes in all, cringing at the cheap effects, crap acting and lame pacing. Most episodes had no suspense or intrigue to them whatsoever (some were downright boring) and every twist makes itself known well in advance. Some episodes are nonsensical, even in the 'anything can happen' genres of horror and sci-fi. Doppelgangers in East Anglia? Must be 'normal for Norfolk.' Hospital porters being groomed by Satanists to eat babies? Again, normal for Norfolk, I guess.

The acting was hammy to the extreme, like the time travelling witch who does nothing but bare her breasts and cackle (as witches do). The actress who played the American woman suffering from a nervous breakdown deserves a BAFTA, honest. 'I...will be...AVENGED!!!' If you're a unsophisticated teenager or some ironic uni students wanting some cheap entertainment, here's your series. Anyone with a serious interest in creepy thrillers should stay well away.
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what a series !!!
searchanddestroy-110 August 2019
The main thing that makes this TV show so terrific is that there was always downbeat endings, never happy endings, the main characters near always die. Plus, these topics are never boring at all.
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6/10
Glad they made these but rather a mixed bag.
andrewjones8881 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It was a good idea to make these one hour episodes brought to us from the famous Hammer house film company,but it would of been even better had they kept up a high standard and not got predictable.

The small budget doesn't make a difference if the writing and script are top notch but in some episodes we are left feeling quite bored and "yeah didn't see that coming" The episode "CARPATHIAN EAGLE" is a fine example of what i have just mentioned,its totally predictable has no shocks or twists in it and feels down right padded at times,but look out for 007 himself Pierce Brosnan sporting quite big hair.

From a bad episode to a classic "THE SILENT SCREAM" is one of the best,in part because the story is original but also because of Hammer veteran Peter Cushing who effortlessly injects depth and a sinister feel to his Character. That will teach thieving Brian Cox to go near his safe!

My personal favourite is "RUDE AWAKENING". Denholm Elliot turns in a fine performance as a seedy estate agent who goes to look at a disused country house and finds himself caught up in a endless surreal dream...or does he?

There seems to be a story amongst the batch of 13 that will appeal to most peoples tastes and on the whole the acting is to a good standard. If nothing else, these are good to watch to spot future big names before the money rolled in.
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hammer time.
keel_teek-14 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
i recall watching this as a kid and when it came out on DVD, i was amazed at how much of this i remember. not really as good as the hammer films of the old days, but worth a watch if ur a fan of the hammer genre. my fav stories where 'the silent scream' with peter cushing & brian cox, 'charlie boy' and 'children of the full moon' with diana dors. the funniest story was 'the carpathian eagle' where suzanne danielle played the killer. the scene where she's in the singles cocktail bar, sitting at the bar exposing her leg and drinking her cocktail, while wearing a blonde wig, white dress. was hysterical..all that was missing was a big sign saying 'MURDERER' above her head, it was so obvious. this episode also had a young pierce brosnan as 'final victim'
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3/10
A true horror, though not for the right reasons.
illegal_alien5121 December 2010
I can sympathize with those who saw this when they were young and were quite thrilled by it. But this has no value past the unintentionally funny campness or nostalgia.

The true horror of this series sadly lies with the scripts, the acting, the dialogues, the stories themselves. There is not one episode that doesn't make you cringe. The logic and story mechanics are rather hair raising, in a way that makes the Friday the 13th series look like a masterpiece.

I watched this with very high hopes, since, of about 70 Hammer Productions full length movies I've seen, only about three were truly bad, the remainders, even though also camp to some degree, were full of heart and meaning, even unexpected depth. This series however is the absolute opposite and a very big let down if you expect typical Hammer Horror quality.

If you haven't seen this when you were little, I'd only recommend you see it for its historic value, but not really with the hopes of getting entertained.
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6/10
Uneven With The Selling Point Being The Studio Name
Theo Robertson9 September 2013
Anthology series featuring stand alone episodes centered around supernatural and horror themes weren't all that common in television in the 60s 70s and 80s and the longest running one was the often dire TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED sarcastically referred to by some people as Tales Of The Bloody Obvious . They do however stick in the mind of a people of a certain age often down to the fact we remember good ones and quickly forget he bad ones . they're often very variable and my personal opinion is that the best anthology show was JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN a syndicated British show produced by Hammer films . Hammer were the world kings of horror film making in the 60s and 70s and mindful of their output they produced this well remembered show which was broadcast in 1980

What struck me about watching this series after a gap of many years is how parochial everything is . Unlike JTTU which due to finance constraints had to shoe in a American lead in to each and every episode , and to a lesser degree Brian Clemens THRILLER from the mid 1970s there's no real attempt to make characters identifiable to an audience outside Britain and the cast are almost exclusively those actors and actresses who you instantly recognise even though their names don't come readily to mind . Possibly the best known actor - and with a nice touch to the studio's past - is Peter Cushing in THE SILENT SCREAM where he appears with a totally unknown Scottish actor called Brian Cox . . This parochial thinking shouldn't be taken as a criticism however and the stories do have a strong though slightly quaint feeling of Britishness rather than trans Atlantic gloss

The episodes themselves are some what variable the outstanding episode being The House That Bled and the clear wooden prize winners jointly being held by the very predictable Visitor From Beyond The Grave and demonic child Growing Pains according to opinion here but my own opinion is Children Of The Full Moon being the worst down to it's rather silly storyline . Interesting too that episodes seen divided between macabre mystery and out and out horror tale . Watching the show you're struck by how limited the horror genre is . We thankfully don't get any horny teenagers in peril type stories but much of the themes here have been done before and probably better . This seems to have split opinions on this page quite markedly judging by the comments and I suppose to enjoy this series in the spirit it was meant you'd have to be home every Autumn Saturday in 1980 . A second series was planned for broadcast in 1982 but a behind the scenes production deal led the series to mutating in to HAMMER HOUSE OF MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE which was financed by 20th Century Fox which meant we had shoe horned American characters and very hap hazard scheduling in Britain which meant that show became very obscure
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4/10
Vastly overrated
ebeckstr-113 October 2019
Like its American counterparts from the same era, Tales from the Crypt & Tales From The Darkside, Hammer House of Horror is overrated. Story ideas are unimaginative, the writing is predictable, and the acting overwrought. These characteristics seem like intentional features of this exact style of pulpy television anthology (very different from the far superior The Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond), is a kind of sub-genre. I don't understand the appeal.
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