Hammer Films, now in revival with plans to launch a 20 episode version of Beyond the Rave on its MySpace site, became synnonymous with horror. Yet the company produced a wide range of films including comedies, period costume adventures, psychological thrillers and war pictures. These were frequently frowned upon by critics who viewed the company as the purveyor of inconsequential exploitation pictures-an unfair representation of a brand that was one of the biggest success stories of the British film industry.
Many of Britain’s most celebrated actors and technicians worked for Hammer – Joseph Losey, Freddie Francis, Val Guest, Robert Aldrich, Terrence Fisher all directed Hammer films.
Now, a selection of stills from the national collection are described by Wayne Kinsey and on display daily on the Mezzanine Level of the BFI on the South Bank, London from 11.00am until 10.30pm daily until 6 January 2008. Admission is free. (Nearest tube Waterloo. London SE1 8XT). For more news check out www.hammerfilms.com.
Beyond the Rave (pictured above), Hammer’s first new production, will be broadcast in episodes on MySpace next spring before being released on DVD. Featuring Sadie Frost, the film is a UK co-production with the social networking website. The Guardian reports that Hammer says said Beyond the Rave would contain “all the ingredients of a Hammer classic made for a 21st Century audience: vampires, blood, death and suspense throughout”.
Website bloody disgusting reported back in October that the film is a vampire story set in England’s underground party scene, and a combination of traditional horror themes and contemporary setting and characters. The movie follows the last hours of freedom of local soldier Ed, who is flying out to Iraq the following morning. With the help of his best friend Necro, he spends his last night in the UK tracking down his missing girlfriend Jen, last seen partying with a bizarre group of hardcore night-time ravers led by the mysterious Melech.
But as he catches up with Jen at a party in a remote forest, Ed discovers that Melech’s crowd, who are hosting the event, are looking for more than a night of fun, and that not everyone will make it through to dawn…