Magazine article The Spectator

Bookends - Flesh and Blood

Magazine article The Spectator

Bookends - Flesh and Blood

Article excerpt

Flesh. Lots of flesh. That was the simple promise of a Hammer horror film. In this collection of classic Hammer poster s (The Art of Hammer by Marcus Hearn, Titan, £24.99) we have cleavages, writhing torsos and shining thighs aplenty.

But it's not just that kind of flesh.

Over most of our female subjects leers a monster (usually played by the magisterial Christopher Lee), threatening to butcher their curves and leave behind a carcass. Little wonder that the blood-red acrylic is applied so liberally.

More interesting, although generally less striking, are the posters that don't follow the formula. The horribly sensationalist advert for The Camp on Blood Island (1958) carries the tagline, 'Jap war crimes exposed!' A playful poster for Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) has a black-and-white shot of a woman's neck adorned only by two pink plasters. …

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