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Hammer Horror and science fiction

By David Simmons

Abstract

Though the last five years have witnessed a growth in critical discussion of the Horror output of the British Hammer film studio, there is little analysis of the role that science fiction has played in its output. Perhaps as a result of both the studio’s predominance of overtly melodramatic horror productions and the need for dominant critical hegemonies to create convenient taxonomies, critics have ignored the science fiction content of many of the films released by the studio. This chapter addresses this failing, arguing; through an analysis of Hammer’s changing depictions of the Quatermass and Frankenstein figures, that the studio maintained a belief in the commercial viability of science fiction, with much of its most respected work drawing upon the genre’s tropes and iconography. Indeed, Hammer’s commitment to the genre only faltered entirely with the general decline of the studio during the 1970s, up to this point, the studio frequently infused its most successful films with science fiction content

Topics: PN3433.5, PN1993
Publisher: McFarland
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:nectar.northampton.ac.uk:4411
Provided by: NECTAR
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