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The rest of the Hammer Icons of Suspense collection follows traditional lines of thriller plot structure, though there are a few interesting variations. Never Take Candy from a Stranger is a fairly chilling drama about child molestation--a taboo topic today, much less in 1960, when the movie was released--handled with an equal mix of stark suspense and courtroom fireworks, and all beautifully lensed by Oscar-winner Freddie Francis. Maniac (1963), directed by Hammer producer and exec Michael Carreras, is one of the studio's more effective and unsettling nods to Psycho, with American artist Kerwin Mathews falling afoul of a psychologically troubled mother-daughter pair, while a blowtorch-wielding lunatic roams the French countryside. Hammer vet Jimmy Sangster's script is typically top-notch, and the grislier aspects of the story get plenty of airtime. Sangster also co-penned 1958's The Snorkel (with Italian genre jack-of-all-trades Antonio Margheriti, using his Anglicized pen name, Anthony Dawson), an agreeable B mystery with Peter van Eyck as a widower suspected by his stepdaughter of killing her mother with the title device. Oscar-winning cinematographer Guy Green directed the latter, while Val Guest, who helmed some of Hammer's best early science-fiction efforts (The Quatermass Xperiment), cowrote and directed Stop Me Before I Kill! (1960), a juicy pulp exercise about racecar driver Ronald Lewis, whose head injury compels him to try to kill his wife (Diane Cilento). Matters are made worse with the introduction of a sinister psychiatrist (Claude Dauphin) whose interest in the case exceeds professional standards. And while Hammer icon Sir Christopher Lee is nowhere to be found in this set, his frequent onscreen foil, Peter Cushing, is front and center for Cash on Demand (1961), a terrifically taut programmer about a by-the-books bank manager (Cushing) who is blackmailed into robbing his own bank by a cunning thief (Andre Morell, who played Watson to Cushing's Holmes in Hammer's Hound of the Baskervilles). For those who associate Hammer Films only with horror, the six pictures included in the set will be an eye opener; for longtime fans of the studio's output, or those looking for vintage thrills, the set is a must-have. However, extras are relegated to original trailers for each film, despite the fact that many of the key players are still alive. --Paul Gaita
It’s rare to purchase a set of any old movies where all have been entertaining so this is a definite departure from the norm. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Todd M.
If you are looking for the wonderfully rich Hammer horror films, look elsewhere. This is a collection of slow, but enjoyable tales of mystery, told in true Hammer form. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Angela Wilson
This time the horror doesn't come from Dracula, but from the six films in this collection. Sometimes the pacing is slow, but the story is still terrifying, especially in "Never... Read morePublished 14 months ago by barbara zimmer
Glad that these lesser known B&W Hammer gems are out. They aren't Hammer's bread and butter but these films do show that the old studio could do more than colour remakes of old... Read morePublished 15 months ago by doctor67
Six masterworks are released here in this DVD collection from the British film studio who gave us such gothic horror classics as “Horror of Dracula” (1958), “The Curse of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Manderly
i have not watched them all yet but appears to be a good set.i like to see peter cushing .he is a good actor.Published 17 months ago by edward g.