I was saddened to hear of the death of Don Sharp, who directed many films for the Hammer Studios. I’ve always been partial to the Hammer films; yes, they are cheesy and formulaic in many ways, but they are also a great deal of fun to watch. The Hammer films never had any pretense to them, which I find so tiring amongst many films that are released. Hammer films were produced cheaply and quickly, yet still managed to have a certain style and panache to them. The Frankenstein and Dracula series are my favourite, since I’ve always been partial to cinematic renditions of these two characters. There is that inimitable Hammer visual style that you can so easily recognize in most of their films, and they always managed to stay just this side of campy without going overboard.
I have a mission to see the earlier Hammer films dating to 1934, when the studio was launched; these earlier films are rarely shown on television, unfortunately, but that makes watching them, when I find them, especially sweet.
If you’re interested in the Hammer films, visit their official website; it’s well worth it.