Hammer Film Productions is a British film production company based in London. Founded on November 5, 1934, the company is best known for a series of Gothic "Hammer Horror" films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers, film noir and comedies — and, in later years, television series. During its most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was due, in part, to distribution partnerships with major United States studios, such as Warner Bros.
During the late 1960s and 1970s the saturation of the horror film market by competitors and the loss of American funding forced changes to the previously lucrative Hammer formula, with varying degrees of success. The company eventually ceased production in the mid-1980s.
Find out more at hammerfilms.com.
During the late 60s/early 70s, Hammer also produced a series of 'cave girl'-themed films, trading heavily on the appeal of scantily clad cave girls. These films were parodied in Carry On Up the Jungle (1970).
One Million Years BC (1966) Edit
"Travel back through time and space to the edge of man's beginnings... discover a savage world whose only law was lust!"
One Million Years B.C. is a British adventure/fantasy film starring Raquel Welch and John Richardson, set in a fictional age of cavemen and dinosaurs. The film was made by Hammer Film Productions and Seven Arts, and is a remake of the Hollywood film One Million B.C. (1940). Released on December 30 1966 (UK) and February 21, 1967 (US), it recreates many of the scenes of the earlier film, such as an Allosaurus attacking a child in a tree. Location scenes were filmed on the Canary Islands in the middle of winter, in late 1965. The British release prints of this film were printed in dye transfer Technicolor. The US version was cut by 9 minutes, and printed in DeLuxe Color.
Like the original film, this remake is largely ahistorical. It portrays dinosaurs and humans living at the same point in time; according to the geologic time scale, the last non-avian dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago, and modern humans, Homo sapiens, did not exist until about 300,000 years BC. Ray Harryhausen, who animated all of the dinosaur attacks using stop motion techniques, commented on the US King Kong DVD that he did not make One Million Years B.C. for "professors... who probably don't go to see these kinds of movies anyway."
Tumak (Richardson), a member of the Rock Tribe, is expelled from their cave after running afoul of their leader Akhoba (Robert Brown), who also happens to be his father. After several days of wandering, he stumbles upon several female members of the Shell Tribe, a group that lives on the coast. Loana (Welch), the daughter of the chief, sees that he is in terrible shape from his ordeal and nurses him back to health. This causes her betrothed, Payto (William Lyon Brown), to become jealous and eventually the two of them get into a major fight and Tumak is expelled as a result. However, Loana decides to join him and follows him back to the caves of his people. While there Loana teaches the Rock people civility and this causes Tumak to become the new leader (Akhoba was severely injured while Tumak was away). This doesn't sit well with Tumak's brother Sakana (Percy Herbert) who begins to plot to have Tumak overthrown.
Slave Girls (1967) Edit
"Behold a savage world where men are slaves to desire...and women are their demanding masters!"
Slave Girls, released as Prehistoric Women in the US, is a British Fantasy Adventure film in DeLuxe Color and CinemaScope. Released in cinemas on January 25, 1967 (US) and July 7, 1967 (UK), the film stars Martine Beswick as the main antagonist and stage actor Michael Latimer. Steven Berkoff features in a small role at the end.
Jungle guide David Marchand (Latimer) is kidnapped by a tribe of natives who want to sacrifice him to their white rhino god. Just as he's about to be killed, however, he is thrown backwards in time to a kingdom of brunette women and their blonde slaves. David rejects the advances of Queen Kari (Beswick) and sides with the blondes, which leads to him being imprisoned in the dungeon. Can David find some way of returning to his own time? And if he does, what will be awaiting him when he returns?
Also starring were Sydney Bromley, Robert Raglan, Mary Hignett, and founder of the Special Olympics, Frank Hayden.
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970) Edit
"Enter an age of unknown terrors, pagan worship and virgin sacrifice..."
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth is a British prehistoric monster film from Hammer Film Productions, which first appeared in UK cinemas on October 25, 1970 and, in the US on March 17, 1971. The film, which was produced by Aida Young, was written and directed by Val Guest. It starred Playboy Playmate Victoria Vetri.
Set in the ancient past when humans and dinosaurs lived together, a small tribe is struggling to survive by giving a sacrifice of a blond woman to their god, the sun, in return for protection from the giant lizards and other creatures that preys on them. Sanna (Vetri), one of the sacrificial offerings, finds herself on her own when a freak storm interrupts the ceremony. As she searches for a safe haven she encounters hostility from rival tribes and lots of huge and deadly dinosaurs. [IMDb.com]
The movie also starred Patrick Allen as Kingsor and narrator, Drewe Henley, and Carole Hawkins.
Exteriors were shot on Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. Locations included Maspalomas beach, Ansite Mountain, Amurga, and Caldera de Tejeda.
The special effects are considered a benchmark in realistic stop-motion animation, and the film is referenced in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park. The film was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 44th Academy Awards in 1971. It lost to the Disney film, Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Creatures the World Forgot (1971) Edit
"THEY DON'T MAKE THEM LIKE THIS ANYMORE...not in a million years!"
Creatures the World Forgot is an adventure film directed by Don Chaffey and produced and written for Hammer Films by Michael Carreras. The film, released April 18, 1971 (UK) and September 1, 1971 (US), concentrates on the daily struggle to survive of a tribe of Stone Age men. Very little dialogue is spoken throughout the film, apart from a few grunts and gestures.
An earthquake swallows up many members of the 'Dark Tribe'. The tribal leader is killed and two survivors, Mak (Brian O'Shaughnessy) and Zen (Frank Hayden) fight for leadership. Mak is victorious and leads the surviving tribe members in search of a new home and meet a tribe of fair-haired people. The leader of the fair-haired people presents Mak with a girl, Noo (Sue Wilson), as a wife. The Dark tribe move on and settle in a fertile valley where they flourish. Noo gives birth to twin boys on the same day another woman gives birth to a mute girl. The tribe demand that the girl be sacrificed, but a lightning strike convinces the tribes’ old witch to adopt her as her apprentice.
Years later, the twins, (dark haired Rool and fair haired Toomak) fight for their father’s attention. Rool (Robert John) tries to rape the mute girl. She escapes but falls into the grasp of a marauding tribe. Toomak (Tony Bonner) leads Mak and the other tribesmen to the marauders’ cave. A battle ensues and and Toomak kills the marauders’ chief. Toomak rescues the mute girl and takes the defeated chief’s daughter, Nala (Julie Ege), as his wife. Mak names Toomak as his successor as tribal chief and then dies of wounds sustained in the battle. Rool disputes the decision and fights Toomak who spares his brother’s life. Toomak decides to leave, taking Nala and half the tribe with him. Consumed with hatred for his brother, Rool decides to track Toomak down. Rool and his men are attacked by a forest tribe, but are rescued by Toomak. Rool, still hating his brother, abducts Nala. Toomak chases after Rool. At the top of a cliff, Rool stakes Nala to a pyre. Toomak and Rool fight whilst Nala frees herself (only to be caught in the grasp of a python). Toomak saves Nala whilst the mute girl stabs an effigy of Rool, sending him falling to his death.