Legendary British production company Hammer has announced that it is remastering its film library with the help of a raft of big-name entertainment partners.
STUDIOCANAL, Anolis Entertainment, Pinewood, Illuminate Hollywood and others are coming together to undertake a major restoration of Hammer’s iconic output, which will bring over 30 movies into HD format for Blu-ray or new media exploitation in the years to come.
Dracula Prince of Darkness, which starred horror icon Christopher Lee as the titular vampire, is the first title scheduled for remastering, and will be re-released in the UK in March with some recently discovered “lost” footage restored to the film’s print.
Hammer classics The Reptile, The Plague of the Zombies, The Devil Rides Out, Rasputin, the Mad Monk and The Mummy’s Shroud will follow Dracula in being reissued throughout the course of the year.
And after finding and restoring more “lost” footage to The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy, Hammer is also appealing to film collectors in possession of further rare material to get in touch to aid the restoration process.
Simon Oakes, president and CEO of Hammer, commented: “Our decision to restore some of Hammer’s most famous titles not only allows existing fans to experience the films again in high definition, but also encourages a new global audience to discover Hammer for the first time.
“We have a busy year ahead but are confident that our Blu-ray plans will ensure that Hammer’s legacy will live on for generations to come.”
Hammer was founded in 1934 and hit a rich commercial vein in the 1950s, 60s and 70s with a string of gothic horror movies starring genre icons like Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price, before slowing down and ceasing production in the 1980s. However, the company was revived in 2010 with the release of the critically acclaimed horror movie Let Me In.