The three films contained in this Warner's release demonstrate the iconoclastic effect Hammer Studios had on the horror genre in the 1950s and 1960s. With "The Curse Of Frankenstein" (celebrating it's fiftieth anniversary this year) the little studio from the UK breathed fresh life (literally) into both the horror film and British film in general. Shot in Eastmancolour, director Fisher goes to town with vivid visual palettes that added a more contemporary dimension to the gothic. Christopher Lee has a more realistic make up as The Creature, his car crash victim look being attributed mainly to the fact that Universal were very protective of the classic "Karloff" image make-up, and as a result turns in a highly believable performance.
But Hammer take on the story moved the main emphasis from the creature (which had formed the major element of all previous incarnations on film) and shifted towards the single minded mania of the creator, The Baron himself played wonderfully by Peter Cushing; a theme expanded in all of the following Hammer "Frankenstein" films, of which one of the most truly horrific "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" is also featured here.
Lee also features as another classic monster, alongside Cushing, in the third film included, "The Mummy" this time filmed with the begrudged blessings of Universal and so bears testament to Karl Freund's earlier version. Again given the typical lush full colour Hammer treatment, a version that sits quite well with those that came before and after.
Though nothing on this set will be unfamiliar to Hammer fans, the collection is a great introduction to the studio's gothic horror output and a fitting selection of director Terence Fisher's visual artistry.