‘They don’t make them like this anymore’: Iconic Illustrations in The Art of Hammer

They sure don't.. — Creatures the World Forgot, 1971

Hello there. Do you love classic horror movies that are more tongue-in-cheek than torture porn? Heaving breasts and damsels in distress? Books that don’t let pesky words get in the way of pictures!? If you’re nodding along in enthusiasm (and hell, who wouldn’t be), then The Art of Hammer will be right up your dark alley.

The Art of Hammer cover

The Art of Hammer was published in October 2010, and is bursting with colourful pictures of Hammer horror film posters spanning from the ’50s to the ’70s, including classics such as Dracula and One Million Years B.C. to more obscure features like The Snorkel and The Shadow of the Cat.

The book begins with an introduction to the history of Hammer horror, from the initial critical response that scorned them to their now cult status as classics. Almost 300 poster images from Hammer’s archive are featured in this substantial book, and many are extremely rare. It’s got beautiful illustrations, brilliant taglines (‘Sledge-Hammer suspense to shock you from your seat!’ and ‘What strange power made her half woman — half snake?!’ being two such gems) and lets not forget plenty of boobs. This is the ultimate coffee table book for horror and hammer fans alike.

Here are some of my favourite posters from the book:

Awesome. Just Awesome. — The Curse of Frankenstein, 1957.

Death by deep-sea diving!! — The Snorkel, 1958.

The classic — Dracula, 1958.

Scream of Fear! 1961

Feck the film, I want my free Rasputin beard!! — Rasputin the Mad Monk, The Reptile 1966.

Freaky feline — The Shadow of the Cat, 1961.

'It's all in good fun, of corpse!' — The Old Dark House, 1966.

Hammer hot chicks — One Million Years B.C., SHE, 1966.

He sure has.. — Dracula has Risen from the Grave, 1968.

Those were the days.. — When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, 1970.

The horror world lost a legend this year, RIP Ingrid Pitt — Countess Dracula, 1971.

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2 Responses to “‘They don’t make them like this anymore’: Iconic Illustrations in The Art of Hammer”

  1. David M Says:

    At forty quid it’s not something I’d spend my cash on but I’ve flicked through this and you’re right, it’s a wonderful book with some stunning artwork. A lot of Hammer films are rightly seen as classics and some of the accompanying posters capture the mood of the film beautifully. Nice to see you included Scream of Fear, one of my favourite Hammer films and a great poster and the Dracula has Risen from the Grave poster is very nice! Also, Ingrid Pitt was fabulous and Countess Dracula (the studio cashing in on it’s most famous name, rather than calling the film the vastly more appropriate Countess Bathory) is one of Hammer’s finest.

  2. DJ DeepThroat Says:

    The captions you give the photos are always fl*cking hilarious!!

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