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Terence Fisher (1904 - 1980)

Hammer - film - film director - British cinema


Terence Fisher (1904-1980) was a film director who worked for Hammer Films.

Fisher was arguably one of the most influential horror directors of the second-half of the 20th century. He was the first to bring gothic horror alive in full technicolor, and the gore and explicit horror in his films, while mild by today's standards, was unprecedented in his day. His first major gothic horror film was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), which launched the careers of British stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. He went on to film a number of adaptations of classic horror subjects, including Dracula (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) and The Mummy (1959).

It is only in recent years that Fisher has become recognized as an auteur in his own right. His films are characterized by a blend of fairy-tale, myth and sexuality. They draw heavily on Christian themes, and there is usually a hero who defeats the powers of darkness by a combination of faith in God and reason, in contrast to other characters, who are either blindly superstitious or bound by a cold, godless rationalism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Fisher [Jul 2005]

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) - Terence Fisher

Another innovation, and one which took advantage of the studio's investment in a more expensive colour production, was the amount of gore in the film. Previously, horror films had not shown blood in a graphic way, or when they did it was concealed by monochrome photography. In The Curse of Frankenstein, it was bright red, and the camera lingered upon it.

The film itself is directed excitingly by Terence Fisher, with a lavish look that belies its modest budget. Peter Cushing's performance as Baron Victor Frankenstein, and Lee's as the imposingly tall, brutish monster provide the film with a further veneer of polish.

The film was an enormous success, not only in Britain, but also in the USA, where it inspired numerous imitations from, amongst others, Roger Corman and his American International Pictures. It also found success on the European continent, where Italian directors and audiences were particularly receptive.

The Curse of Frankenstein provided the studio with a template which they stuck to for around the next ten years. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_Horror [Jul 2005]

see also: Hammer - 1957

The Stranglers of Bombay (1960) - Terence Fisher

Films with conceptually challenging ideas, such as The Stranglers of Bombay or Peeping Tom, can still be difficult to discuss outside of cult horror circles, even forty years after their release. --http://dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s363hichcock.html [Jul 2005]

The Stranglers of Bombay (1960) - Terence Fisher [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

One of Hammer and Terence Fisher's most notorious and Sadean horror movies, about the thuggee atrocities in India in the 1820s. Guy Rolfe battles against a fatal sect of Kali worshippers whose mascot is a sexy teenager called Karim (Devereux). As men have their tongues pulled out or are castrated, Karim drools and wriggles so much that the film became a cult sensation on the continent and was cut in England. Actually, it isn't at all bad, even on a straight adventure level, and the Karim figure remains one of the purest incarnations of evil in all of Fisher's work. Be prepared for a few laughs, though, as rural Bucks is substituted for the sweltering plains of India. --DP via Time Out Film Guide 13 via http://www.timeout.com/film/75469.html [Jul 2005]

see also: Hammer - 1960

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