Just in time for Halloween, Titan Books has released Hammer Glamour, a luscious coffee table book that collects pinup images of beauties featured in iconic Hammer Studios movies of the 1960s and 70s. These ladies helped redefine the horror genre.
Hammer was a UK studio whose mid-twentieth century reimaginings of popular monsters like Dracula reinvigorated the horror genre. Horror and monster movies were wildly popular in the 1930s and 40s with US-based Universal churning out franchises devoted to Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and others. But in the 1950s, horror merged with science fiction when "atomic monsters" were all the rage - and the old monsters fell by the wayside.
Hammer Studios genius was in merging the early-1960s Playboy sensibility with stock horror characters, sexing up Dracula and converting old-school into something campy that gothy flower children could enjoy. They brought back Dracula as a hot, magnetic emohunk played by Christopher Lee, and gave his brides some pinup sex appeal. While vampires were a Hammer staple, the studio also produced science fiction classics like Quatermass and One Million Years B.C. With sexy titles like Vampire Lovers, Slave Girls, Satanic Rites of Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, the studio continued to dominate the horror genre well into the 1970s.
The Hammer actresses whose naughty, terrifying eroticism is captured in Hammer Glamour are still part of pop culture horror styles. And of course, sexy horror featuring vampires continues to smolder at the box office today.
Marcus Hearn put together this compendium of images from the Hammer archives, organized by actress. Each section features a full page pinup, plus biographical information and behind-the-scenes gems about celebs from Ursula Andress to Nastassja Kinski. Other popular actresses of the era, like Raquel Welch, got their start in Hammer movies too.
Top: Yutte Stensgaard, star of several vampire movies, with a skull, some tassels (?), a tiki item, and many other silly objects on that velvety bed.
Raquel Welch, in her iconic role as a cavewoman in One Million Years BC.
Martine Beswicke, also from One Million Years BC. She also starred in the cunningly-titled Slave Girls as well as the superlative Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.
Ingrid Pitt (l) and the ever-popular Madeline Smith (r) in The Vampire Lovers.
Pauline Peart in The Satanic Rites of Dracula.
Madeline Smith graces the cover of the book.
Melissa Stribling with popular Hammer leading man Christopher Lee, who turned Dracula into a sexed-up Englishman.