Picking a favourite Hammer Films poster is like being forced to pick a favourite child or choose between burgers or pizza – cruel and unfair. This list, then, is numbered purely for reading convenience rather than any real preference. More to follow, as Hammer is a studio near and dear to our Rare Horror hearts.
1. Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures
This poster is about as Halloweeny as it gets. Skeletal riders rove a darkling plain, crying for blood, bound by oath to terrorize. Awesome. The film is pretty great, too – it’s essentially a live action Scooby Doo episode, minus the hippy, the nerd, the talking dog, and the preppy couple. A gorgeously atmospheric tale of pirates, marsh phantoms, and town secrets.
2. The Mummy
Christopher Lee’s unholy mummy stalks the English moors, a police light shining through a shotgun blast hole that clearly did little to dissuade the monster’s inexorable advances, while the lovely Yvonne Furneux cowers. This poster screams unstoppable horrors in classic style. A classic poster for a classic film.
3. The Plague of the Zombies
Lurching grave-born hordes led by a masked voodoo conjurer. While the casting of voodoo in this kind of negative light is perhaps a bit of outdated western xenophobia, this poster, and this super cool slow-burn early zombie movie, will always be awesome.
4. The Devil Rides Out
The Goat of Mendes – the Devil himself! rides out on a black-winged demon horse, while our intrepid Duc de Richleau and his fine friends are seemingly trampled under hoof and whip. This poster would be just as awesome as a heavy metal album cover or a Monster Manual drawing. Devil horns up, this poster is a critical hit!
5. Quatermass and the Pit (aka Five Million Years to Earth)
It would be remiss to not include one of Hammer’s science fiction offerings, and this is one of their very best. Originally broadcast on television by the BBC, this creepy classic of sci-fi horror has influenced horror greats Stephen King and John Carpenter, and was included in the British Film Institute’s 100 Greatest British Television Programs. The Quatermass serials were also a large influence on the long-running institution Doctor Who. But never mind that: this poster for the retitled American release is absolutely stunning, rendering horror and chaos in style.