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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > British > Hammer > The Abominable Snowman/Brides Of Dracula/Evil Of Frankenstein (Hammer Studios/Umbrella Entertainment DVD/Region Zero/0/PAL Format)

The Abominable Snowman/Brides Of Dracula/Evil Of Frankenstein (Hammer Studios/Umbrella Entertainment DVD/Region Zero/0/PAL Format)


Picture: C/C+/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C/C-/C-     Films: C+



PLEASE NOTE: These DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0/PAL format software, and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Peter Cushing was one of the kings of the Hammer Studios, one of the most underrated actors of his generation and like Vincent Price, he often gets the short shrift these days when it comes to how they are remembered.  It is one thing to argue in his favor as I often due, in part because I have seen and remember more of his great work than many seem to, especially in the U.S., but the proof is in his work and Umbrella Entertainment is issuing three of his Hammer Horror films on DVD.


The Abominable Snowman (1957) is one of the only films to treat the legend with any sense of seriousness, is somewhat ambitious in Director Val Guest’s hands and is from a book by Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale.  Though not always successful and sometimes problematic, it is one of the few black and white Horror outings from the studio that people still remember and talk about.  Forest Tucker and Robert Brown also star.


Brides Of Dracula (1960) has a beneficiary of the original count (David Peel) getting ready for a big female blood count.  Jimmy Sangster co-wrote this and had written the first color Dracula and Frankenstein films ever, both for this studio.  It is formulaic but not bad and at least consistent.  There are some good moments here and there, but you have to wait longer sometimes than you might want to.


Evil Of Frankenstein (1964) has the good doctor (Cushing) wanting to dispose of his creation, but it is never, ever that easy and it won’t be long before the return of the repressed ruins everybody’s day.  Freddie Francis does his usual stylized job with iconic cinematography and Sandor Eles, Duncan Lamont and Peter Woodthorpe make a great supporting cast.  Kiwi Kingston is interesting as the monster.



Though none are the best of their kind, they are solid Hammer entries that kept the studio going and once you watch them, you realize it is Cushing who makes these work far better than the scripts would and some of the writing is even relying (for better and worse) on his star power.  Well, he had it and that is why these films constantly go back in print along with so many other films he made.  If you have never seen any of them, they are all worth a look.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 HammerScope image on Snowman is in black and white, but is plagued with details and aliasing issues throughout.  Why this looks so poor is hard to tell, but a recycled older video master or new transfer gone wrong is likely the source.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 color images for the other films are better, looking decent and were three-strip dye-transfer Technicolor releases at the time.  All need serious HD upgrades, but the color films are not bad for DVD.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also pretty good and clean for their age, though Snowman can sound a little rougher because of its lower budget.   Extras on all include trailers and the color films add stills, while Snowman adds more Cushing trailers and an interview with Director Val Guest fans will enjoy.



As noted above, you can order these imports exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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