Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hammer House of Horror




"Hammer House of Horror" (1980) was a British TV anthology series from the famous horror production house of Hammer that aired during 1980.



There were 13 episodes that aired in the U.K. and later in the U.S.  These stories are 50 minutes each and have production values of mini movies.  They carry on the Hammer horror traditions of creating an eerie atmosphere, spine tingling situations, sense of dread and a touch of gore.  

I never saw this series until I found the DVD set which includes all episodes including the 13th episode "Mark of Satan" which didn't air in the U.S. because it was deemed too disturbing for American audiences.  Each episode creates a sense of atmospheric horror that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and make you yearn for the days when they made movies and programs like this.  I thoroghly enjoyed discovering this great horror series!

  • "Witching Time" (original British TV air date 9/13/80) 
    • At the isolated Woodstock Farm in rural England, workaholic composer David Winter is depressed because he feels that his wife, actress Mary, is unfaithful. In a dark and stormy night, Lucinda Jessup, the ghost of a witch from the 17th Century and former dweller of the farm, arrives in the barn and possesses David. Mary fights against Lucinda trying to recover David.
    • Starring: Jon Finch, Patricia Quinn, Prunella Gee
  • "The Thirteenth Reunion" (9/20/80) 
    • Ruth, the reporter for the women's section of a magazine, is assigned by her editor to participate in the ten-weeks course of a new weight-loss organization called "Think Thin". According to a letter from a reader, the course is very masochistic and depressing, destroying the self-esteem of the patient. Ruth makes a friend in the course, who dies in a car crash. During the funeral, an employee of the funeral house discloses weird events that are happening in his job. In her investigation, Ruth finds dark and macabre secrets.
    • Starring: Julia Foster, Dinah Sheridan, Richard Pearson
  • "Rude Awakening" (9/27/80) 
    • A real estate broker finds himself having dreams that seem to be incredibly real. They are so real, in fact, that he begins to wonder which is the dream and which is reality.
    • Starring: Denholm Elliott, James Laurenson, Pat Heywood
  • "Growing Pains" (10/4/80) 
    • After the death of their son William Morton, the diplomat Laurie Morton and her husband, the scientist Terence Morton adopt a boy, James. From the moment James moves to Morton's house in the country on, weird things happen with the family.
    • Starring: Barbara Kellerman, Gary Bond, Norman Beaton
  • "The House that Bled to Death" (10/11/80) 
    • William and Emma Peters buy an old house where a brutal murder happened years ago in very bad condition with the intention of restoring it. They move with their daughter Sophie, and become friends of their neighbors Jean and George Evans. However, eerie events happen in the house, inclusive the death of Sophie's cat. In Sophie's birthday party, a pipe leaks blood and they leave the place, disclosing a secret later.
    • Starring: Nicholas Ball, Rachel Davies, Brian Croucher
  • "Charlie Boy" (10/18/80) 
  • "The Silent Scream" (10/25/80) 
    • When Chuck Spillers is released from prison, he tells his wife Annie that he had been visited by an old man, Martin Blueck, along his sentence for robbing a safe, and Blueck had given some money for him to help a fresh start in life. On the next morning, Chuck pays a visit to Blueck in his pet shop to thank the support and is invited to work for him feeding his animals in his private zoo while he is traveling. Blueck explains that he trains animals, conditioning then to obey some signals.
    • Starring: Peter Cushing, Brian Cox, Elaine Donnelly
  • "Children of the Full Moon" (11/1/80)
    • A married couple, lost in the woods, stumble across a creepy mansion and its inhabitants - an overly-kind old women and deadly wolf children that scour the country-side looking for victims.
    • Starring: Christopher Cazenove, Celia Gregory, Diana Dors
  • "Carpathian Eagle" (11/8/80) 
  • "Guardian of the Abyss" (11/15/80) 
    • A scrying glass puts an antiques exporter in the path of a woman fleeing from devil worshipers and the evil hypnotist who leads them.
    • Starring: Ray Lonnen, Rosalyn Landor, John Carson
  • "Visitor from the Grave" (11/22/80)
  • "The Two Faces of Evil" (11/29/80) 
  • "The Mark of Satan" (12/6/80)






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