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Studying Hammer Horror$
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Victoria Walden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733322

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733322.001.0001

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Hammer After the ‘X’

Hammer After the ‘X’

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter 5: Hammer After the ‘X’
Source:
Studying Hammer Horror
Author(s):

Victoria Grace Walden

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906733322.003.0006

This chapter assesses how the success of The Quatermass Xperiment (1953), despite, or because of its X rating, enabled Hammer Films to test the British Board of Film Censors' (BBFC) boundaries of taste. Correspondence between the censor and Hammer illustrate the studio's desire to shock audiences, while still ensuring films received a certificate. Their move into colour enhanced the shock appeal and distinguished Hammer's works from earlier cinematic reincarnations of gothic characters. The chapter presents readings of X the Unknown (1956) and The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), considering the impact of the X certificate and colour on production. It examines how these two films represent a transitional period in the studio's history, establishing many of the tropes that would appear in the studio's classic films.

Keywords:   The Quatermass Xperiment, X rating, Hammer Films, film censorship, film censorship, X the Unknown, The Curse of Frankenstein, X certificate, colour films

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