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The Woman in Black celebrates The Top 10 Hammer posters

The Woman In Black

Feature by Jack Foley

THE name Hammer is one that is still synonymous with British horror – a remarkable 80 years after the studio first began producing feature films.

It’s a rites-of-passage for almost every film fan in the UK to have at some point been scared behind the sofa by Christopher Lee’s Dracula or Oliver Reed’s Wolfman, and this is a tradition that has been kept alive and screaming by the huge success of Hammer’s most recent effort, spine-chilling ghost story The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe – released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 18, 2012.

One not insignificant reason for Hammer’s looming presence on the landscape of horror and fantasy cinema is the range of creepy, colourful and occasionally gleefully lurid posters that the company commissioned for its films.

Some of the very best and most imaginative of these were designed by the late Tom Chantrell – a crack poster artist who also worked on such classic titles as Brighton Rock and Star Wars.

Join us now as we take a peek at ten of the most moody, menacing and memorable of these dark artworks, and please… Don’t have nightmares!

The Reptile

10. The Reptile (1966)

First up we have an appropriately ghoulish and eye-popping design for this grisly tale of a reptilian creature wreaking havoc in a turn-of-the-century Cornish village.

The Hound of The Baskervilles

9. The Hound of the Baskervilles

A poster with bite for a gory adaptation of the famous Sherlock Holmes tale – note how the titular beast is about to sink its teeth into the logo.

8. The Gorgon/The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (both 1964)

The Gorgon

This poster for one of Hammer’s famous double-bills reckons that the films being screened are so scary they require a “Fear Warning”!

One Million Years BC

7. One Million Years B.C. (1966)

As well as proving that natural history can be just as scary as the supernatural, this prehistoric romp launched Raquel Welch as a world-famous sex symbol, and you can see her striking her most famous pose above.

The Woman In Black

6. The Woman in Black (2012)

A lovingly crafted homage to Hammer’s horror legacy with this atmospheric retro poster for the recent Woman in Black.

The Plague of the Zombies

5. The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Two years before George Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead, Hammer unleashed its own swarm of the undead with The Plague of the Zombies – the heaving-bosomed lassie they’re carrying off in the poster is rocking the archetypal look for Hammer leading ladies.

The Revenge of Frankenstein

4. The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

There’s almost a touch of proto-psychedelia to this poster for Baron Frankenstein’s second outing for Hammer, although I’m not really sure what a “Horrorama” is!

The Curse of the Werewolf

3. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Legendary wild-man Oliver Reed’s wildest role was as the Wolfman, and this poster brings his hairy-scary transformation to life.

The Mummy

2. The Mummy (1959)

A long time before Brendan Fraser came on to the scene, Hammer had a mummy of its own causing all kinds of mischief – the policeman’s torch shining through the bandages is a brilliant touch.


1. Dracula (1958)

Who else could be at number one but Dracula? This appropriately titillating and terrifying teaser poster announced the famous bloodsucker’s debut for Hammer in grand style.

The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, is released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 18, 2012.