HAMMER VOLUME FOUR: FACES OF FEAR INDICATOR BLU RAY REVIEW

We have waited for this. I know we have. You have told us and even I have been clawing at my sofa to get my hands on this set. HAMMER VOLUME FOUR: FACES OF FEAR set is here and bulked up like a Blu Ray on Steroids. We have four genuine classics from the pairing of Hammer and Columbia studios to indulge our vices in. From another addition to those classic series THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, to a psychological thriller TASTE OF FEAR and the frankly menacing THE DAMNED. In some ways, I was as or even more excited about the extras which would people these discs then the actually films that live on them. Will you find yourselves thinking the same? I think again I was right to do so.

THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN

Begins the set and our odyssey. The film is the sequel to the blockbuster FRANKENSTEIN. It keeps apace with its predecessor, lacking only by having a ludicrous plotting at its beginning but holding its own with a story arch about the doctor of death, going into hiding. He is followed by former student, who blackmails him into letting him see his new work. Cushing is back, as is Terence Fisher in the seat to direct. An admirable entry, with a taste for the more excess. Handled however with richness and flair.

The Disc

The 4K restoration does a few things right. I had the Australian release and that had a few colour saturation issues. Here the palette sung from the screen. No loss of tone, body or warmth. Commendable indeed.

The extras

It boils down to frankly superb and just brilliant. The best by a slight margin is Back from the Dead: Inside ‘The Revenge of Frankenstein’. Newly exploring the film for the modern viewer with insights from some of the real experts of the industry and the Hammer historian school. The one that sat just behind was Audio commentary with horror and fantasy authors Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. Fun, fearless in its analysis and just a little insightful. Well you had to expect it didn’t you!

THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL

I once read that this film was a difficult beast for new Hammer fans to swallow. I disagree in whole with that statement. A clear as day man monster film, that deals with the two sides of Man. Dr Jekyll is a man cheated on by his wife and best friend (who he loans money often to). Finding Hyde as his alter ego, he is able to extract revenge. Well until he cant fight the menace within.

The Disc

I have to ask if this transfer is that same one which floats around the US on a double with THE GORGON? it felt similar.It felt as flat on the screen as this did.

The Extras

Make up for the lack of edge in the print. The disc is packed with goodness. I loved the The Many Faces of Dr. Jekyll. An insightful and clear censorship history. Not bogged down in the rational of the irrational agents of censorship. Hammer’s Women: Dawn Addams sees expert Laura Mayne dig into the Hammer women (a feature of the series) but do so for the every person. Even the older Now and Then: Wolf Mankowitz piece, that starts in Israel, gets a nod for probing an artist, ignored to history and finally found again.

TASTE OF FEAR

I ordered this from Australia in order to screen it for my family. Known there as SCREAM OF FEAR it is A creaking tale of scheming and suicide. A wheelchair bound woman is left at her estranged fathers South of France villa and cant be sure if she is mad or if the dead are coming back to haunt her.

The Disc

This again feels to be the same as the Aussie disc. Thats a good thing however. Deep, penetrating blacks. Hard fluorescent whites. Can’t complain about the textures and projected it has as much body and allowed me to gift that disc away. 

The Extras

New audio commentary with Kevin Lyon is the standout extra. Informative but not academic, Lyons allows you to catch up with him and the film through it all.

THE DAMNED

Or as I like to call it, My brother loves me so much, he just cant let me go. THE DAMNED is Hammer at its stone cold exceptional. Oliver Reed, Shirley Anne Field and Macdonald Carey are caught in a love triangle. Within which we have shops, rocks, caves, children and a science experiment that has gone horribly unbalanced.

The Disc

Best version yet of the film, in three words. 2K hasn’t over developed the image or added delirium. Instead the film looks good but feels a little dirty. That is what we needed and we got it. Yummy.

The Extras

50 words do not do the 2 disc wonderment justice. The best things on both discs are Audio commentary with film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan. Great takes on the film from two film explorers. They get down to the nightmare space of the coastal town and never relinquish the prize.  On the Brink: Inside ‘The Damned’ (2019, 27 mins): new and exclusive documentary, featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons, Nick Riddle and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production is exceptionally pointed but is also fresh and never tangled up in its baggage of cult and cultdom….

INDICATOR LIMITED BLU-RAY EDITION BOX SET SPECIAL FEATURES:

THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN

  • New 4K restoration
  • Original mono audio
  • Audio commentary with film historians Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby (2019)
  • Audio commentary with horror and fantasy authors Stephen Jones and Kim Newman (2019)
  • Back from the Dead: Inside ‘The Revenge of Frankenstein’ (2019, 22 mins): new and exclusive documentary, featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production
  • Hammer’s Women: Eunice Gayson (2019, 8 mins): profile of the Hammer star by film historian Pamela Hutchinson
  • A Frankenstein for the 20th Century (2019, 27 mins): video essay by film historian Kat Ellinger and Dima Ballin
  • Arpeggios of Melancholy (2019, 13 mins): appreciation of composer Leonard Salzedo’s score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde
  • Outtakes reel (1958, 12 mins, mute): rare, unseen on-set footage
  • Super 8 version (8 mins, b&w, mute): cut-down home cinema presentation
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Joe Dante trailer commentary (2013, 2 mins): short critical appreciation
  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Marcus Hearn, Kieran Foster on Hammer’s unrealised Tales of Frankenstein television series, Jimmy Sangster on The Revenge of Frankenstein, a selection of promotional materials, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray

 

THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL

  • High Definition remaster
  • Original mono audio
  • Audio commentary with film historians Josephine Botting and Jonathan Rigby (2019)
  • Identity Crisis: Inside ‘The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll’ (2019, 19 mins): new and exclusive documentary, featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production
  • Hammer’s Women: Dawn Addams (2019, 11 mins): profile of the Hammer star by British cinema expert Laura Mayne
  • Interview with Paul Massie (1967, 10 mins): archival audio recording of the film’s star
  • Now and Then: Wolf Mankowitz (1968, 28 mins): archival interview featuring the screenwriter in conversation with broadcaster Bernard Braden
  • Mauve Decadence (2019, 11 mins): appreciation of composer Monty Norman’s score by David Huckvale, the author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde
  • The Many Faces of Dr. Jekyll (2019, 7 mins): an overview of the censorship history of The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Sam Hamm trailer commentary (2013, 3 mins): short critical appreciation
  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Kat Ellinger, a selection of promotional materials, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray

 

TASTE OF FEAR

  • High Definition remaster
  • Original mono audio
  • Two presentations of the film: Taste of Fear, with the rarely seen original UK title sequence, and Scream of Fear, with the alternative US titles
  • New audio commentary with Kevin Lyons, editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television
  • Body Horror: Inside ‘Taste of Fear’ (2019, 23 mins): new and exclusive documentary, featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production
  • Hammer’s Women: Ann Todd (2019, 12 mins): profile of the Taste of Fear actor by Melanie Williams, author of Female Stars of British Cinema: The Women in Question
  • The BFI Southbank Interview with Jimmy Sangster (2008, 68 mins): archival audio recording of the celebrated filmmaker and screenwriter in conversation with Marcus Hearn at London’s BFI Southbank
  • The BEHP Video Interview with Jimmy Sangster (2008, 117 mins): archival video recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring Sangster in conversation with Jonathan Rigby
  • The BEHP Interview with Douglas Slocombe, Part Two: From Hammer to Spielberg (1988, 82 mins): archival audio recording featuring the renowned cinematographer in conversation with Sidney Cole
  • Fear Makers (2019, 9 mins): camera operator Desmond Davis and assistant sound editor John Crome recall the making of the film
  • Anxiety and Terror (2019, 25 mins): appreciation of Clifton Parker’s score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Films’ Psychological Thrillers, 1950–1972
  • Super 8 version of Scream of Fear (20 mins): original cut-down home cinema presentation
  • Original US Scream of Fear theatrical trailer
  • Sam Hamm trailer commentary (2013, 2 mins): short critical appreciation
  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with an essay by Marcus Hearn, Jimmy Sangster on Taste of Fear, an archival on-set report, a selection of promotional materials, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray

 

THE DAMNED (2x Blu-ray)

  • 2K restoration
  • Original mono audio
  • Alternative presentations of the complete 96-minute version, playable as either The Damned or These Are the Damned
  • Box-set exclusive presentation of the rarely seen original 87-minute UK theatrical cut of The Damned on Disc 2.
  • Audio commentary with film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan
  • On the Brink: Inside ‘The Damned’ (2019, 27 mins): new and exclusive documentary, featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons, Nick Riddle and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production
  • Hammer’s Women: Viveca Lindfors (2019, 15 mins): profile of the renowned actor by film historian Lindsay Hallam
  • Looking in the Right Place (2019, 10 mins): actor Shirley Anne Field recalls working with Oliver Reed and Joseph Losey
  • Children of ‘The Damned’ (2019, 24 mins): former child actors David Palmer, Kit Williams and Christopher Witty discuss their experiences of making The Damned
  • Something Out of Nothing (2019, 7 mins): screenwriter Evan Jones reflects on his first feature-film credit
  • Smoke Screen (2019, 12 mins): interview with camera operator Anthony Heller
  • Beneath the Surface (2019, 26 mins): interview with filmmaker Gavrik Losey, son of director Joseph Losey
  • Beyond Black Leather (2019, 15 mins): academic I Q Hunter discusses The Damned
  • No Future (2019, 26 mins): appreciation by author and film historian Neil Sinyard
  • The Lonely Shore (2019, 21 mins): appreciation of James Bernard’s score by David Huckvale, author of James Bernard, Composer to Count Dracula: A Critical Biography
  • Isolated music & effects track
  • Original US theatrical trailer
  • Joe Dante trailer commentary (2013, 4 mins): short critical appreciation
  • Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Richard Combs, Joseph Losey on The Damned, a look at the US pressbook, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits
  • UK premiere on Blu-ray

 

Limited edition box set of 6,000 numbered units.

Includes an exclusive double-sided poster only available with direct orders from this website (poster features the original UK Quad designs for THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, see pictures to the left).

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