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You can say what you like about the quality of Hammer’s horror output between 1957 and 1976 (and you could say quite a lot), but where they did excel was in the luridness of their promotional materials, and particularly their posters. Their series of Frankenstein-based movies are a great case in point, with their exaggerated declarations of terror, vivid colour schemes, damsels in partially-dressed distress, and arresting depictions of violence. Back in the late Fifties and on through to the early Seventies, Hammer mastered the art of the exploitation poster (and in time the art of the exploitation movie), but rarely as effectively as they did with their Frankenstein and Dracula movies. Here, in the first of a two-part Poster(s) of the Week, are the terribly sensational posters used to advertise a series of movies that got worse and worse the longer the series continued. What’s interesting is the way in which the posters mirrored the lacklustre content and declining success of the series, with the later entries being represented by posters that are nowhere near as eye-catching as their predecessors. Nowadays though, and despite Hammer’s recent resurgence, these movies are still the focus of much nostalgia and appreciation. And the same can be said for their posters.

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Next time: Hammer Studios Part 2: Dracula

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