Beyond Hammer: British Horror Cinema since 1970 (paperback) – James Rose

224pp   £16.99  ISBN: 9781903663974   2009


“It’s all well-written and enlightening, managing to tread the line between academic depth and easy readability.” Filmstar magazine

Critically neglected after the decline of Hammer Studios, the British horror film remains a significant and steadily growing body of genre works within a nationally grounded cinema.

Deeply rooted within the Gothic tradition, these post-Hammer films place their threats within contemporary Britain, allowing werewolves to roam the Moors; a family of cannibals to dwell beneath the London Underground; a virulent plague to be unleashed throughout the country and for a plague of zombies to stumble through middle-class suburbia. The juxtaposition between these unreal elements and the very real ‘Britishness’ of the characters and locations provides film-makers the opportunity to generate a body of work that examines the fears of contemporary Britain.

Written in a format accessible to the student, tutor and general horror film enthusiast, Beyond Hammer provides new critical readings of classic, contemporary and lesser-seen films of the post-Hammer British horror canon, including The Vampire Lovers, The Wicker Man, Death Line, An American Werewolf in London, Hellraiser, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 28 Days Later, The Last Horror Movie, Shaun of the Dead and The Descent.

James Rose’s work has been published in a range of international journals including Vertigo, Senses of Cinema, Splice, MediaMagazine and Rue Morgue. Beyond Hammer was his first book and he has also written Studying The Devil’s Backbone (2009) and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (2012) for Auteur.


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