A History of Horror
1960 - 1970.


Psycho's and Zombies.


The 1960's saw Hammer films popularity continuing, echoing the success that Universal pictures had enjoyed during the 1930's and '40s, although the accolades for the most influential genre films of the decade went to directors Alfred Hitchcock and George Romero....


PsychoOne of THE most influential horror films of all time was released in the USA in 1960, this being the infamous adaptation of the Robert Bloch novel "Psycho", directed by Alfred Hitchcock. This was a box office smash and changed the very nature in the way that horror movies were made forever. To this day the film still inspires and receives numerous references in modern day horror pics.

Hammer films released "The Brides of Dracula" in this year, which was a sort-of sequel to their earlier Dracula pic, along with their first werewolf movie "The Curse of the Werewolf", which starred Oliver Reed. Both were successful, although their adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde entitled "The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll" was a box office failure.

Peeping TomThis year also saw the release of the controversial film "Peeping Tom", about a serial killer who likes filming his victims expressions as he murders them. Though the film is today regarded as a classic, the subject matter took the critics of the day so much by surprise, their savage reviews effectively ended director Michael Powell's career. Also released this year we got to see a bunch of creepy kids taking over the small English village of Midwich in "The Village of the Damned", which was based on the John Wyndham novel The Midwich Cuckoo's

Hammer films released "Maniac" in 1962 (not to be confused with the 1980 slasher pic of the same name), which was one of many "Psycho" inspired movies that came out in its wake. However, their remake of "Phantom of the Opera" that came out in this same year ,starring Herbert Lom, was another financial failure.

The Plague of the ZombiesMore creepy kids caused mayhem in 1963 in "The Children of the Damned", a sequel to "Village of the Damned" and Hammer released "The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb", an in-name only sequel to their first Mummy picture. Another in-name only sequel was Hammer's "Evil of Frankenstein", in 1964, which proved to be a big disappointment for fans of the original. Although Peter Cushing returned as Dr Frankenstein, it started afresh with a new monster (Kiwi Kingston), rather than following up the original plot.

Hammer finally produced a proper sequel to their original Dracula with "Dracula : Prince Of Darkness" in which Christopher Lee returned as the count. The following year in 1966, they released their first zombie picture entitled "Plague of the Zombies". Inspired by the film "White Zombie", this interesting, albeit an unlikely film about a tin mine in Cornwall run by the local squire, who enjoys practising voodoo in his spare time so that he can use zombies as slave labour. (Clearly a job for the unions to sort out). They also brought out "The Mummy’s Shroud" and "Frankenstein Created Woman" in this year, adding to their Mummy and Frankenstein series.

Night of the Living Dead1968 saw the release in the USA of another major influential horror film, namely George Romero's classic zombie pic "Night of the Living Dead". Despite being extremely low budget and made using old black-and-white footage, the film, which portrayed the undead as flesh eating ghouls, proved extremely popular at the box office and successfully opened up a whole new sub-genre in horror film world.

Meanwhile Hammer studios added to their Dracula and Frankenstein series, releasing "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" and "Taste the Blood Of Dracula". Although neither of these where as successful as their release of "The Devil Rides Out", which pitted Christopher Lee, playing the good guy this time, against a devil worshipping Charles Gray and proved to be one of their most successful films ever!

1900 - 1930 Silent Fear.
1930 - 1940 Classic Creations.
1940 - 1950 Chills and Chuckles...
1950 - 1960 Sci-fi, B-Movies and Hammer Horror.
1960 - 1970 Psycho's and Zombies.
1970 - 1980 The Birth of the Slasher.
1980 - 1990 Modern Horror Begins.
1990 - 2000 Scream until you like it.