Posted on

Hammer horror vs. Universal monsters



If you have read this blog much you may have picked up the fact that I like old Universal monsters and Hammer horror films quite a bit. Both have similarities in that most of their earlier films focused on classic monsters with several of them like Dracula and Frankenstein being based although loosely on books. Both companies created trends in horror that lasted for the next decade or so. Universal thrived in black and white with castles, fogs and superstitious villagers being set upon by monsters. Hammer did some of the same things only in color and as they went along they took more risks and eventually added more violence, nudity and at times ventured out of the gothics and into present day or then present day. Universal’s big stars were Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. while Hammer’s big regular stars were Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Universal of course came first and no doubt their films had some influence on Hammer once that studio decided to focus on horror films. I had watched plenty of films from both studios and certainly gone through phases where I watch one more than the other, but now I watch films from both studios quite a bit. Universal monsters to me always had great monsters, but the stories and amount of action varied from film to film. Hammer’s strength was probably when they explored greater themes than just stop the monster however eventually they began to cut the budget on their films and it frequently showed.

So maybe it’s one of those pressing questions in the entertainment world much like Star Trek or Star Wars or Ginger or Maryann so do you prefer Hammer or Universal? Is it draw? If you pick then why? Or do just throw taste to the wind and prefer crappy slasher flicks?



7 responses to “Hammer horror vs. Universal monsters

  1. I prefer Hammer myself … more gritty and compelling.

  2. I like Hammer, but not a huge fan. I very much prefer the Universal Monster films. Perhaps not all were great, but more often than not they were. You should add Edward Van Sloan to the list. Great actor often overlooked

  3. Ten years ago I would have gone with Hammer, but in recent years the atmosphere of the Universals have won me over.

  4. Both are awesome, but Universal more closely matches my particular tastes 🙂

  5. I am a massive fan of the Universal films, but don’t think I have managed to see any Hammer ones as yet. What are your favourites?

  6. I do enjoy the Universal Monster films quite a bit, some of that may be nostalgia. The scripts were simpler and easy to digest. Both Frankenstein and Bride of… are in my top horror films. But as a whole, the Hammer films delivered more intricate stories and better supporting characters. It is a hard choice but I would go with Hammer films. Also, Peter Cushing was such a great actor that he sold me on everything. Even if the concepts were hokey, he played them so straight and convincing, I had to believe him 🙂

  7. Teepee12

    Gosh I do love those old horror flicks 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s