To celebrate the Blu-ray release of Hammer Studios’ “The Quiet Ones”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite all-time Hammer film. This giveaway will remain open until August 29th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all of our Media Mikes readers worldwide. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.
Inspired by actual events, the thriller The Quiet Ones film stars Jared Harris (TV’s “Mad Men”), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Erin Richards (Open Grave), Rory Fleck-Byrne (Vampire Academy) and Olivia Cooke (TV’s “Bates Motel”).
When a crazed university professor (Harris) and his team of students set out to cure a disturbed patient, the unthinkable happens. Trusting in their leader and his motives, Brian (Claflin) and his fellow students find themselves far from help…and all too close to a sinister force they never suspected.
Actors: Charlie Bewley, Clive Standen, James Cosmo
Directors: Farren Blackburn
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 99 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars
Vikings have never been hotter this year, thanks to high-rated TV series on History. When I first saw the poster for “Hammer of the Gods”, I knew it was going to be a wild ride. I was most definitely right. The film is packs some extreme non-stop action and some crazy gore. The cast includes some great talent that really fit this film very well. Speaking of History’s “Viking”, you might recognize Ivan Kaye and Clive Standen from the series as well, who are the leads in this film. They both are great in the film. James Cosmo known best for his role in “Game of Thrones” as Jeor Mormont steals to the show, no question. Sticking with “Game of Thrones”, Alexandra Dowling also had shows up here. So basically I think it is save to come up with the conclusion that if you like “Game of Thrones” of “Vikings”, you will definitely dig this film.
Official Premise: Britain, 871 AD – A young Viking warrior, Steinar (Charlie Bewley), is sent by his father the king on a quest to find his estranged brother, who was banished from the kingdom many years before. Steinar’s epic journey across terrifyingly hostile territory gradually sees him emerge as the man his father wants him to be the ruthless and unforgiving successor to his throne.
Magnolia delivered an impressive Blu-ray presentation. The 1080p transfer works great with the battle scenes and visual effects. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also works well with the non-stop action and the pounding score by Benjamin Wallfisch. In terms of special features, this release has some pretty good content included. There are various interviews with cast included. There is a behind-the-scenes look into the production with “Making of Hammer of the Gods”. There is also a look “Behind the Visual Effects”, which I enjoyed quite a bit. The film itself is very visual and this shows all the great work put into it. Lastly there is a generic EPK style feature, “AXS TV: A Look at Hammer of the Gods” included. The only other thing I would like to see was a commentary track.
Debuting in 2003, The Venture Brothers follows the animated misadventures of super scientist and former “boy adventurer,” Dr. Thaddeus ‘Rusty’ Venture, his Hardy-Boy-like teen sons Hank and Dean, and their self-proclaimed arch nemesis, The Monarch. The show has created an amazing universe of heroes, villains and henchmen throughout its first four seasons while sending up everything from Johnny Quest to Hunter S. Thompson. Leading up to this Sunday’s fifth season premiere on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, creators, co-writers and stars, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer got on the phone to discuss the show’s diverse roster of characters, super science, and the challenges of animating convincing tin foil jokes.
Lauren Damon:Your show revolves around a lot of Super Scientists, is there anything in actual modern science that’s freaked you out or sounded like something from the show? Doc Hammer: I’m personally not that educated. So I’m personally not up on actual scientific discovery. Jackson Publick: I have recently subscribed to Popular Science. Doc: So he knows all the things that are popular. Jackson: I’m super excited that they might be figuring out warp speed and when they grew a human ear on a mouse’s, I’ve never forgotten that.
LD: How about the 3D printers? Jackson: I’m not that excited by the 3D printer—Somebody showed me a Green Lantern ring they made with a 3D printer the other night. Actually it was a White Lantern ring, calling it a “White Power” ring, which is weird! Doc: Do you have to wear glasses for the 3D printer? Jackson: No, it’s a printer that makes a 3D object for you. Out of like, resin or something, it just carves this thing for you. Doc: Oh yes. You know what? Those are more like 3D fax machines than they are 3D printers.
LD: You have so many characters on the show, do you find that you have favorites to write or watch interactions between? Doc: Oh yeah, you can tell just by watching the show. Jackson: Yeah, you can tell who we’ve turned into pairs, we like those guys. Doc: And you’ll start seeing pairings that are not appropriate. Like Hank and 21 for some reason are weird pairing… Jackson: Yeah, yeah. Doc: They’ve been together and we kind of keep throwing them together because they interact well. Because they both have this kind of love and exuberance. And then there are just classic pairs. I mean 21 and 24. Even though we murdered one… Jackson: I like when we put 21 and the Monarch together. Doc: 21 and the Monarch is another…I think when we put them with The Monarch, he was trying to hang out with them…That’s when we realized these guys will interact well because they’re so different. Jackson: And the power dynamics of their relationship— Doc: Yea. Jackson: ‘The creepy boss is trying to be my friend now…I don’t know what to say, he shoots guys sometimes when he doesn’t like what they say.’ Doc: Yeah, and weird combinations show up. Billy and Doc are funny because Billy dresses Doc down a lot. It’s an odd combination— Jackson: Also he lifts him up a little bit. Doc: He does! He does, because he fanboys on him. But at the same time he— Jackson: Yea he’s like ‘I can’t believe that’s what a fucking mess the thing I’m fanboying about has become!’ Doc: Yeah, it’s a weird thing. It’s a weird thing because he loves Rusty Venture but I think he can barely tolerate Dr. Venture. Jackson: ‘Please try once try to be what you used to be!’ Doc: [In Billy Quizboy’s voice] “I used to love you and you’re nobody! You’re a horrible person!”
LD: Last season, with the death of Henchman 24, Henchman 21 went through so many changes, did you anticipate such an arc when you singled out these henchmen at the beginning? Doc: Oh no, those two guys were anonymous henchmen! Jackson:Yeah, we just got sick of them being anonymous. And we liked two voices we did. Doc: Yeah they were made up on the spot. I mean it was just two voices that we used to do while reading people’s emails. [Both laugh] So we just put them in the show. I mean, I remember when it first happened, you know Jackson was trying to do that every time we would get a nerdy e-mail. He would get like 21 and then he did that weird Ray Romano voice. We just did it not knowing that these characters would be around for ten years.
LD: What type of e-mail would instigate the Romano voice? Jackson: It was just him. I think we would just pick on him because we had like watched like past episodes— Doc: We would pick on him and we would use his use his voice for just being not us but not being a character on the show. But now we can’t. Jackson: Right. To express the opinion of someone—usually a negative one. [in Henchman 24’s Romano voice] ‘HEY WAY TO GOOOOO’ Doc: ‘GOOD JOB.’ That kind of crap.
LD: And, as opposed to 21, which character do you think has changed the least over the course of the show? Doc: Has changed the least? Doc, actually. Jackson: Yeah. Doc: He’s gone through a lot of revelations but his basic character has not changed so much. Even Brock has had more changes than Doc has and Brock is rock steady. Jackson: Even Hank has had more changes. Doc: Hank, the boys, have had a lot of changed.
LD: Your characters have such great names, working on this for ten years are you just constantly thinking of new potential characters? Doc: It’s like a bi-annual thing. Jackson: Yeah, I forget the good ones… Doc: I think both of us have notebooks filled with idiot names and then there are actual documents of names of episodes that don’t exist. Like “Return to Spider Skull Island” was just a bad episode name that we wrote around.
LD: Does that happen often? Doc: More than it should. I don’t know about often. Jackson: Probably yeah, like two episodes out of every season we like, just have a working title the whole time we’re making it and then when we’re making the credits, we have an argument about what to name it and then we both make a list of about forty things and try to hone in on one. Doc: Oh yeah. The amount—just like the season premiere, we both probably wrote forty different titles for. All of them would have been fine in anybody else’s book, and of these eighty, of the eighty titles that we came up with “What Color is Your Cleansuit?” was the one that we liked. Which is insane. That was just a good one for us.
LD: Any names from season five that you’re particularly excited about that you can share? Doc: We’re very particularly excited about season five, but we can’t give out any spoilers because season five is coming and the episodes themselves— Jackson: Oh! You can drop a name out, can’t you? Doc: What? Titles? Characters? Jackson: Or name. Doc: Go ahead! I’m not gonna do it. I have a firm line on spoilers. But you can do it. Jackson: We’ve already told people that there is an Augustus St. Cloud. Which we were excited about him this season. He exists. What’s the best episode title do you think? Doc: Best episode title?! Pick yours…Mine are awful. Jackson: [laughing] Doc: I have awful episode titles. They’re always awful. Name one of yours. One of yours that isn’t clever or just stupid. Those are my favorites. Jackson: Right. Doc: “O. S. I Love You” is a good title. Jackson: There ya go. Doc: That’s not bad.
LD: You’ve had a lot of gross stuff on the show—half-formed clones and skinsuits are jumping to mind—has there been anything that’s made you as grateful as I am that it’s all animated? Doc: Like disgusting things that happened? Well nobody wants to see anybody turn into a caterpillar, we did that in episode three. Jackson: Oh that would look so much better if we did it in episode five. Doc: Oh, right? Yeah… Jackson: It really just kind of looked like he was wearing a caterpillar costume, it was very just flat and stiff back then. Doc: Some of the things that we do are bad ideas. Like we make a lot of jokes that really don’t work as well in cartoons as we think. Like we made a terry cloth joke. And you can’t animate terry cloth. It looks just like color. Jackson: Right, or tin foil. We did eventually get good tin foil though… Doc: We kept asking for tin foil and eventually we got tin foil. Jackson: We did the worst tin foil hats for season one and then we did like amazing ones last season that the Korean studio even called us and went ‘Hey, can you simplify the tin foil design please?’ It was like five hundred facets of tin foil… Doc: And you couldn’t really move it. You could only draw it once and then have tin foil floating. The first season just looked like a gray hat— Jackson: Like a gray walnut shell is what it looked like. Doc: Yeah, you knew it was tin foil. But you can’t make tinfoil jokes, you can’t make terry cloth jokes— Jackson: My god, I want to make corduroy jokes so bad! Doc: And you can’t show corduroy because you can’t really animate corduroy… Jackson: I know! Doc: We can barely get a car to turn the corner nicely. We’re never gonna get corduroy on that screen.
Venture Brothers premieres Sunday, June 2nd on Cartoon Network. Also making a return this year is the show’s exclusive weekly Shirt Club, not seen since season three. More info can be found, here.
In the meantime, Adult Swim has released a full four-season recap video hosted by Henchman 21 to get you all ready for the new season!
Starring: Justin Gregg, Pail Tylak, Nicola Coughlan, Alan Stanford, Liz Lloyd, Paul Tylak
Directors: Oskar Jonasson
Distributed by: Arc Entertainment
Release Date: 01/15/2013
MPAA Rating: PG
Run Time: 83 minutes
Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
After the success of “The Avengers”, you have to imagine that there will be tons of copycats trying to cash in on its success. “Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer” though is a pretty well done CG animated film. The story is very silly and not the sharpest but still fun, especially for kids. This film includes a few firsts This is a Walmart exclusive and is the first full-length animated film to come out of Iceland, thanks to the studio CAOZ. For that being said, it is really well done. The animation is quite impressive, if you can over the way Thor looks. Kids who are fans of superheros should definitely enjoy this.
Official Premise: Thor, the son of the mighty god Odin, battles the evil Ice Queen and her army of vicious giants in this exciting animated adventure! Thor is a village blacksmith who dreams of being a mighty warrior, practicing with a broomstick as his mother laughs at him. When a talking hammer falls from the sky, he realizes he may truly have a way to fulfill his dreams. Soon after, the Ice Queen kidnaps his mother and the rest of the villagers, and he must reach deep inside himself to unleash his full powers to fight the queen and her army. Will Thor and his magical hammer be enough to save the world from destruction?
On thing I just need to point out is that the Ice Queen reminded me so much like Izma from Disney’s “The Emperor’s New Groove”, she is decent baddie but no Loki. Arc Entertainment is the distributor and they have yet to cross over into 3D Blu-ray, as they barely release many Blu-ray but this film was made in 3D. It includes many over-the-top 3D gimmicks, though would have been fun to see but remain unavailable. There are no special features besides a trailer included. Lastly there is a Vudu digital copy of the film included.
Director: Peter Sasdy, Tom Clegg, Alan Gibson
Starring: Peter Cushing, Denholm Elliott, Pierce Brosnan
Distributed by: Synapse Films
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Running Time: 702 minutes
Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
If you are wondering who to so thank you for this great release, all the praise needs to go to Synapse Films. They are the ones behind this complete series of “Hammer House of Horror”, which is presented in their original airdate order, with all-new introductions. Even those this show is from the 1980, the episodes are still creepy and feel rather timeless. The episodes presentation…well that’s another story, which I’ll cover more below. I just wish that this series ran longer than 13 episodes. Nonetheless hardcore fans will be doing back flips for this release.
There is plenty of Hammer regulars, including Peter Cushing (Twins of Evil, Star Wars) and Denholm Elliot (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Patricia Quinn (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and even Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye) shows up. Like other anthology shows like “The Twilight Zone”, each episode of this series takes us on a completely new tale of horror and suspense. Being a die-hard fan of Hammer, this release is truly the shit. It carries the Hammer name with pride and makes sure to include plenty of gore, boobs, and plain ole gothic macabre, which is what made Hammer so great.
The episodes are presented it full frame with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This is exactly how the show was originally filmed and broadcasted. Don’t worry though these episodes look damn good. There is some fuzzy spots and print flaws pretty but overall nothing that affects the viewing experience. All of the episodes are pumped with Dolby Digital mono tracks, which of course is true to the original airings over 30 years ago. The special features are decent but not amazing. Like i said above their are episode introductions from Film Historian Shane M. Dallmann. There are two featurettes included as well. The first is called “Grave Recollections: A Visit with Kathryn Leign Scott and the second is called “Hammer Housekeeping: A Visit with Mia Nadasi. Both are short but sweet. Lastly there is a decent “Animated Still Gallery”, which Hammer always deliver on stills.
The Thirteenth Reunion
The House That Bled to Death
The Silent Scream
Children of the Full Moon
Guardian of the Abyss
Visitor from the Grave
The Two Faces of Evil
The Mark of Satan
Author(s): Marcus Hearn, Alan Barnes
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Hammer Films, legendary British company, has been release some of the best genre films in the last fifty years. It is also responsible for making international stars out of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and many other actors. This book is that story of this amazing company that is still making great films today like “Let Me In” and “The Woman in Black”. I have read many other book about the legacy of Hammer but they are usually about the posters art or the woman of Hammer. This gets to the real heart of Hammer’s history.
Marcus Hearn, known for his work with Hammer, is the author on the title and he got some really great insight into the history of the company and was nice enough to allow us to take a rare look into their archives. “The Hammer Story” gives a very thorough film-by-film breakdown and is jam packed with amazingly rare promotional material and previously unpublished photographs. It is really amazing to get a chance to view this material and you really get taken into this book and take a journey through its history.
The great thing about this release is that it is put out by Titan Books and they have always impressed me. The pages are so crisp and contain such beautiful high quality images. There is a forward by Mr. Christopher Lee himself. It is fantastic to get Hammer’s main star to tell his experiences but the only issue is that it was written in 1997, which was for the first edition of this book. I wish that when this book was revised in 2007 that they would have gotten Lee to update his forward. Nonetheless, this is a real treat for all horror fans and especially fans of Hammer. It is a no-brainer purchase and will make a fantastic spot on your coffee table for sure.
Author: Marcus Hearn
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 29, 2009
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Hammer has been known well for its over fifty years history of mixing sex and horror into some of the best titles in the genre. It all started with the release of “Curse of Frankenstein” and Christopher Lee in “Dracula”, from there Hammer redefined an era of sexy horror. This book is a showcase of the many beautiful women that are known best for their work in Hammer’s films. It contains many classic well-known and loved images from the film archive.
The book is authored once again by Hammer-expert Marcus Hearn. All of the Hammer books that I have ever read were authored by him. He is the ultimate go-to guy when it comes to Hammer films and their legacy. This book is a little different than the ones before it. This one focuses strictly on Hammer’s luscious female stars, including Ingrid Pitt, Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro, Barbara Shelley, Joanna Lumley, Nastassja Kinski, and of course Raquel Welch. These women are so iconic from these films and such sexy yet elegant, never tasteless.
These rare and previously unpublished photos included are so glorious and high quality. Titan Books is really known for produce high quality especially with their art books. Theses images are special from Hammer’s archive and private collections worldwide. Also included are many new interviews and well with the showcased talent. Just note if you are familiar with Hammer’s films then you will know that this book is not for kids at all to view. Hammer fans these is a fantastic collection and tribute to these wonderful woman and their films.
Author: Marcus Hearn
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars
If you enjoyed Marcus Hearn’s last book “The Art of Hammer”, then you will like this one even more…as it is a great improvement. Each page on this book is laid out SO well. I found myself rushing to the next page just to see what was on it, so excited. There is little to no white space on each page, since it is totally full with either props, script pages, unused poster artwork, production designs, rare promotional material or personal letters. There are honestly hundreds of rare and previously unseen stills, which range from classics of the 1950s to the studio’s latest productions.
Some f the films covered in this book range from “The Quatermass Xperiment” to “Maniac” to “She” to recent films like “Let Me In”. Of course it isn’t Hammer without Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing and the Dracula films, which are showcased beautifully. Also included are the “Frankenstein” series like “The Curse of Frankenstein”, “The Revenge of Frankenstein” and “The Horror of Frankenstein”. I mean I just named some of the greats and there are still about 80 other films covered in this book….that’s right 80 more. I found myself even learning new things about these films that I have never known
Don’t think that this book is just posters though…if you want that then pick up Hearn’s last book “The Art of Hammer”. This includes rare letters from the film’s stars, pages from Peter Cushing and managing director Michael Carreras scrapbooks and also rare photos and posters that have never been published. The photos in the book are such high quality and looks beyond amazing. The color is so vibrant and despite the age of the film it looks brand new. Just a heads up though, the book is not for kids as there is a little bit of nudity included but if you are familiar with Hammer then this is nothing new. Honestly if you are a fan of horror at all this book is a MUST-BUY for sure!
Author: Marcus Hearn
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: November 23, 2010
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“The Art of Hammer” is a fantastic celebration of the Hammer legacy. If you are not aware of Hammer posters, this collection includes various art ranging from 1950’s through the 1970’s. Hammer’s greatest posters from the “Frankenstein” and of course the “Dracula” series. This is such a visual collection of how amazing posters used to be. If you are fan of horror from that era and in general, this is a must purchase book.
The first section of the book focuses on 1950-1959, golden era for starting with posters for “The Curse of Frankenstein” and “Dracula” and “The Mummy”. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were featured quite a bit by Hammer’s posters. The second section takes us into 1960-1969 continues the “Frankenstein” and “Mummy” series as well as classics like “She”, “The Reptile” and one of my personal favorites “One Million Years B.C.”. The next section and last is 1970-1979, starts right off with the great “Taste the Blood of Dracula”, “Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb” and “Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde”.
What I liked most about this book is that these are posters like you will never see again. They were risque and started a chain reaction with their unique look. This book also doesn’t include one poster from each film, instead it includes multiple variants from different countries. It is great to get a chance to view all these different designs for our favorite films. Lastly I would like to say that this book comes with quality, it is a solid hardcover with finely printed and restored posters.