Author Topic: Houses Of Horror R4 Thurs 30 Jan 11.30am. doc on Amicus & Hammer rivalry  (Read 2550 times)

Offline Wayne Mook

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Houses Of Horror

Horror aficionado and film buff Matthew Sweet explores the creative rivalry between the two great British horror studios of the Sixties and Seventies - Amicus taking on the might of Hammer.

It's almost a given that the story of British horror movies belongs to Hammer films. The studio, with its lurid combination of sex and death, lashings of blood and gore, has given it a special stake in British hearts. It made over 200 films, such as Dracula and Curse Of Frankenstein with a recurring, legendary cast, including Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and its 2007 revival drew heavily on past mystique.
Hammer was the most successful British film company of all time but, throughout its heyday in the 60s and 70s, it did battle with a much smaller, poorer, creative, upstart rival - Amicus films. Amicus was a small British horror studio that pioneered the much loved 'portmanteau' picture, such as Tales Of The Crypt and Vault Of Horror each movie a composite of four or five short stories, whose connection is revealed at the end.

Matthew explores the productive rivalry between the two contenders for the heart and soul of British horror, in a blood-curdling tale of low-budget, gore-spattered one-upmanship that's full of chilling atmosphere and fun.

Presenter/ Matthew Sweet, Producer/ Simon Hollis for A Brook Lapping production

Ep 1/1
Thursday 30 January

11.30am-12 noon

BBC RADIO 4


Offline CarolineC

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Re: Houses Of Horror R4 Thurs 30 Jan 11.30am. doc on Amicus & Hammer rivalry
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 08:44:36 PM »
Thanks for the heads-up, Wayne. As a fan of both studios this sounds like a must for me!  :)
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Offline Ramsey Campbell

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Re: Houses Of Horror R4 Thurs 30 Jan 11.30am. doc on Amicus & Hammer rivalry
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 08:07:54 AM »
Amicus was a small British horror studio that pioneered the much loved 'portmanteau' picture, such as Tales Of The Crypt and Vault Of Horror each movie a composite of four or five short stories, whose connection is revealed at the end.

I thought Ealing did that. Not blaming you, Wayne!

Offline Wayne Mook

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Re: Houses Of Horror R4 Thurs 30 Jan 11.30am. doc on Amicus & Hammer rivalry
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 01:09:05 AM »
That's Ok Ramsey, it was the blurb from the Beeb.

As far as I know Ealing only did 1 portmanteau, Dead of Night. An excellent thing for sure. Then there were a number of then based on the work of  W. Somerset Maugham. Quartet being one, Gainsborough did this one, but the anthology only really took root in the 60's in horror with Amicus, so I can see where they are coming from.

Still I agree with you, Dead of Night is such a great film and still casts such a shadow over the anthology films it must take the credit.


Wayne.

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Houses Of Horror R4 Thurs 30 Jan 11.30am. doc on Amicus & Hammer rivalry
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 12:37:40 PM »
As far as I know Ealing only did 1 portmanteau, Dead of Night.

They did another one too - Halfway House. Rarely shown on TV. Not sure if it's on DVD/blu-ray. It isn't as good as Dead of Night, but it's a fascinating film for sure.

I wonder how much Amicus was influenced, if at all, by Dead of Night? It really does seem to be the genre film which went where no others had been before.
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Offline Wayne Mook

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Re: Houses Of Horror R4 Thurs 30 Jan 11.30am. doc on Amicus & Hammer rivalry
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 10:18:09 PM »
Crikey I forgot about that one, been some years since I've seen it. Thanks for the reminder Caroline.


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