Hammer House of Horror

I’m not the biggest fan of Hammer flicks. Sure, once or twice a year the moon aligns with the stars and I feel like watching a creaky old gothic flick with lots of heaving bosoms and excellent scenery chewing, but by and large i’m a kid of the 80s/90s. I do however enjoy horror tv anthology shows. I remember watching Tales from the Darkside, Amazing Stories, Monsters and tales from the crypt as a kid on Syfy (then SciFi) and enjoying the hell out of them. There’s a special type of story that can only be told in an hour or less. There’s something personal and efficient with well told tales told in a short form. I wish I could get my hands on some episodes of Monsters but for the most part they’re impossible to get. One thing that is no longer impossible to get thanks to the fine folks is the Hammer House of Horror, an anthology show that aired for one season in the early 80s.
Now, i didn’t know what  I was going to get. Was it going to be the creaky gothic stuff, or more of a twilight zone intellectual type vibe? Nope, HHH is a fun series with some decent blood, boobs, and while only a couple have beasts, there’s plenty of murder. Each episode clocks at just under an hour and no two are the same. Cannibals, werewolves, a voodoo doll, a doppleganger, a double cross, and a killer ghost are just a few of the ways the characters meet their untimely deaths.
My favorite episode was number three, about a man who keeps waking up from a dream only to find that he’s still inside a dream. Its like a russian doll, but with dreams.  There are other great ones too, the final episode is about a man with terrible paranoid delusions, an episode that was promptly banned and never seen by audiences until now.
The episodes are all restored and cleaned up, looking as good if not better than during their original broadcast. Each episode has a great introduction by Shane Dallmann, who provides interesting tidbits about the actors, writers, and directors of each episode. It’s that loving attention to detail that permeates the whole release. The dvd case contains several discs, 3 episodes on each. All the episodes could have easily been crammed and compressed onto just 3 discs but Synapse decided to give the episodes, and the customers, the quality they deserve.
Hammer House of Horror is a quality release of a forgotten British television show that many horror heads were too young to see upon it’s original release. Synapse has saved it from the garbage bin and bestowed upon us a package of fun horror for us to dive into.