Mini reviews of Television seasons old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional bunnies.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hammer House of Horror: Volume 1 of 4 (1980)

The House That Bled to Death
A haunted house story set in a modest home on a typical suburban street. The studio uses the lower budget to its best advantage; the familiarity of the surroundings being more relatable to many folks than an ancient and gothic castle on a hill. It strives for a perpetual sinister aura but falls a little short of the mark most the time... until the blood! — 2½ leaky pipes out of 5 —

The Silent Scream
Hammer Films regular Peter Cushing brings his talents to the small screen alongside another fine actor, Brian Cox. Cushing is a pet store owner. Cox is an ex-con, fresh from the big house.
The camerawork is solid throughout and there's an occasional dramatic flair from the lighting department.
It's certainty a horrifying experience for the characters, but is more of a suspense story for the viewer, even providing some audible triggers that move us closer to the edge of our seats each time they ring out. — 4 natural instincts out of 5 —

The Two Faces of Evil
Director Alan Gibson had worked for Hammer more than once prior to The Two Faces, but the single episode is without a doubt his best work for the studio. It's really amazing. I'll even go so far as to say it's almost Nic Roeg quality at times.
The hospital setting was beautifully lit and shot; the blinding white existing alongside the gray and black was reflective of certain parts of the story. I found the daylight scenes there intensely creepy; a feeling brought on by more than just the canted camera angles.
Like the previous episode, it's not cut from the traditional gothic horror template. It's a psychological terror experienced by a woman in her role as wife and mother as the world she knows and trusts begins to change. — 4 upturns out of 5 —

3 episodes, approx 51 minutes each.