When Hammer Productions was formed in the 1920s, no one foresaw the impact this small, independent studio would have on the international film market. Christopher Lee's mesmerizing, animalistic, yet gentlemanly performance as Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Mummy were celebrated worldwide, and the Byronic qualities of Peter Cushing's Dr. Frankenstein, among his many other Hammer characters, proved impossible to forget. Hammer maintained consistent period settings, creating a timeless and enchanting aesthetic.
Studying Hammer Horror treats Hammer as a quintessentially British product and through a study of its work investigates larger conceptions of national horror cinemas. The book examines genre, auteur theory, stardom, and representation within case studies of Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Twins of Evil (1971), and Hammer's latest film, Beyond the Rave (2008). Walden weighs Hammer's impact on the British film industry, past and present. Intended for students, fans, and general readers, this book transcends superficial preconceptions of Hammer horror in order to reach the essence of Hammer.