From 1957 to 1964 Hammer Film productions totally dominated UK horror. This was their reward for having the guts and determination to go ahead with such trailblazing efforts as "The Curse of Frankenstein" and "Dracula." In those seven years Hammer had also effectively shook off any competition (for a year it looked as though Anglo-Amalgamated might offer competition, until "Peeping Tom" halted their sojourn into horror.). However in 1964 writer Milton Subotsky and producer Max J. Rosenberg released an anthology film called "Dr. Terror's House of Horror's" and for the next decade, under the banner of Amicus Productions, would provide strong competition for Hammer.

Amicus are best known for their anthology films and would achieve notable international success with films such as "Tales from the Crypt", "The House that Dripped Blood" and "Asylum." Amicus' attempts to make single narrative feature films were less successful, but occasionally they got it right. The complex and elliptical "Scream and Scream Again" was the only film the company released that engaged directly with anxieties and issues of the day. Whilst the undeservedly obscure "The Skull" is a terrifying tour de force. Compared to Hammer there is very little written on the company.

This valuable book is edited by Allan Bryce, a genre specialist whose bi monthly magazine "The Dark Side" has thrilled fans of horror since 1990. The light and conversational tone of this book is in keeping with "The Dark Side" which is not concerned with the academic treatment of films. This is very much a book by fans for fans. It is a pleasurable read due to the witty humor, which although at times is caustic and dismissive of certain films still retains a love for the horror genre. Where the book really excels is in its visual presentation, it is full color throughout with some wonderful stills, posters and lobby cards which gives the reader some indication of how these films were marketed. This is a beautifully presented book and a key addition to any reading list of British horror cinema.

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  • Manufacturer: Dark Side
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