THE HAMMER VAULT celebrates the filmography of the House of Horror through rare pictures, publicity stills and production notes.
Christmas time is always a great time to be a horror fan. Tons of companies are looking to cash in on the genre with a smorgasbord of merchandise – some good, some total crap. I’d say that 90% of that merch is total crap, but then there’s stuff like The Hammer Vault, a new book celebrating the House of Horror by publisher Titan Books set to release on December 20th (just in time for those last minute shoppers). Last year Titan Books released The Art of Hammer, a giant-sized tome stuffed with over 100 pages of vintage Hammer film posters. The Hammer Vault sort of serves as an unofficial sequel to that book; itself a collection of rare and previously unpublished photos, concept art and movie posters. There’s even a section dedicated to the unmade Hammer movies like Vampirella (it’s true!), Kali… Devil Bride of Dracula and Nessie – without a doubt my favorite part of the book.
Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of Hammer Films (full disclosure, remember), they’ve always been a bit slow for my tastes, but there’s no doubt that the look and feel of the films have always been top notch. And while it’s not as heavy on visuals as its predecessor, this is where The Hammer Vault really shines. The book itself is divided into over 20 chapters, each representing a milestone in the company’s history all the way from it’s beginnings with The Quartermass Xperiment (1954) to its recent resurrection Let Me In (2009).
As mentioned above each film receives a brief annotation courtesy of Hammer Films historian Marcus Hearn accompanied by a plethora of publicity stills, concept sketches, letters, poster artwork, news clippings, scripts and more. This is without a doubt a book made with hardcore House of Horror fans in mind and a perfect gift for any strange kid who’s looking to discover even more about one of the genre’s most sacred production companies.