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Weekend Discussion Thread: Most Riffable Hammer Movies

Alert regular “Sitting Duck” opines:

Though they have produced many riffable titles, MST3K has only featured one Hammer film. Even that was a science fiction film instead of one of their trademark Gothic horror movies. So what Hammer film would you like to see riffed?

I’d go with “The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires,” where Hammer Horror is crossed with Hong Kong martial arts cinema. They could have one or more host segments where the Satellite of Love gets an infestation of bat-on-a-string, which could invade the theater as a handy way to censor the topless virgin sacrifices.

I’m going to go with “The Quatermass Xperiment.” Challenging, but I think they could do it.

Your pick?

36 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Most Riffable Hammer Movies”

  1. jay says:

    Five Million Years To Earth –

    aka – “Quatermass And The Pit”. Subway excavation in London uncovers an ancient Martian spaceship. I love the Britishness of this movie with its thousand year backstory.

       11 likes

  2. skrag2112 says:

    ‘One Million Years B.C.’ with Raquel Welch. Another challenging one because there is no English dialogue, but hey, Raquel Welch!

       5 likes

  3. “Topless virgin sacrifices”?

    Y’know, on the one hand, a) I think this topic is reaching a bit, and on the other, b) imma be watching all day on Pirate Bay to see if the seeders and leechers counts on “The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires” take a sharp and sustained jump.

    Just sayin’.

       3 likes

  4. Kenneth Morgan says:

    The Hammer movie “The Lost Continent” (not to be confused with the rock climbing movie, or “Atlantis, the Lost Continent”) would be a great choice. A poster on IMDB described it as “‘The Love Boat’ on acid”, which is an apt description. Water-sensitive explosives, living plants, an actual lost continent, the Spanish Inquisition, a creature in a pit, and the balloons. It’s perfect for riffing.

       4 likes

  5. yelling_into_the_void says:

    I’ve only seen Captain Kronos–Vampire Hunter

       2 likes

  6. I love this movie! Watched it all the time as a kid. You are right, it is so British, and while it’s a fun movie it’s just bonkers through and through. Plus a MST3K riffing would give it some new exposure.

    jay:
    Five Million Years To Earth –
    aka – “Quatermass And The Pit”.Subway excavation in London uncovers an ancient Martian spaceship.I love the Britishness of this movie with its thousand year background history.

       5 likes

  7. The Great Crowdini says:

    How about the 1963 Hammer/Castle coproduction “The Old Dark House”?
    Even as a horror/comedy, J&TB would have more than enough bizarre moments to riff.

    This movie stars Tom Poston of “Newhart” fame.

    The opening animation would be an easy target as with “Catalina Caper”. And when that “Drawn By” hand appears. Yikes! And what terrible penmanship!

    The stinger has to be when everyone comes across Agitha after following the red yarn and seeing her impaled neck and her waaay too creepy smile!

       4 likes

  8. littleaimishboy says:

    Both the Quatermass films are excellent, and I don’t think MST or RT should waste their time mocking – even in a gently supportive ribbing kind of way, like some people have deluded themselves into thinking was the case in THE JOEL ERA – really good movies.

    Maybe “Dracula A.D. 1972”. If you haven’t seen it, the title tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

       4 likes

  9. Patti says:

    The Great Crowdini:
    How about the 1963 Hammer/Castle coproduction “The Old Dark House”?
    Even as a horror/comedy, J&TB would have more than enough bizarre moments to riff.

    This movie stars Tom Poston of “Newhart” fame.

    The opening animation would be an easy target as with “Catalina Caper”. And when that “Drawn By” hand appears. Yikes! And what terrible penmanship!

    The stinger has to be when everyone comes across Agitha after following the red yarn and seeing her impaled neck and her waaay too creepy smile!

    “The Old Dark House” is a lot of fun. Another Castle film with Tom Poston that’s also a good watch is “Zotz.” For the topic, though, I vote for the Hammer version of “Hound of the Baskervilles.” Starring Peter Cushing as a not very interesting Holmes and Christopher Lee, of all people, as the “romantic” lead Henry Baskerville, a lot of liberties are taken with the story. I think MST3K would do a good job with it.

       4 likes

  10. The Great Crowdini:
    How about the 1963 Hammer/Castle coproduction “The Old Dark House”?

    Think of the Norm Abrams jokes! “Today we’ll visit this creepy gothic mansion. Rich will remove the curse from the cistern. Kevin will deal with the crazy brother. And I’ll show you how to restore the original oak wainscoting. Next on ‘This Old Dark House.'”

       8 likes

  11. Joseph Goodman says:

    Yeah let’s leave the Quatermass trio out of this, inclusive of that one section of really terrible special effects in “Pit” (if you’ve seen the film, you know which scene I’m talking about).

    “Lost Continent” certainly fits the riffable bill, “Prehistoric Women” is another. Imagine “One Million Years B.C.” with no Raquel Welch or Harryhausen dinosaurs, and an immobile rhino prop.

       3 likes

  12. jjk50 says:

    I have seen almost every Hammer film made between the mid 50’s to the mid 70’s and “Moon Zero Two” was probably the worst Hammer movie I have seen. Second worst was “The Old Dark House” because hammer didn’t do comedy very well and this unfunny “comedy” proved that. Third was the awful choice of “Dracula 1972 AD” which was Hammers idea of updating the Dracula legend to the 70’s to bring the “kids” into the theater. The problem was the kids stayed away and the older Hammer Dracula fans hated that they didn’t keep it as a period piece. It’s not surprising that Hammer was out of the horror business a few years later because of this bad decision.
    MST3K should have done any of the earlier Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing Dracula,Frankenstein or Mummy films.

       3 likes

  13. goalieboy82 says:

    speaking of this:
    my friend (from ice hockey) did this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIj5N85ERw8

       2 likes

  14. The Bolem says:

    I’ll go with “Twins of Evil”, because I remember it being ‘meh’ enough to benefit from from being jazzed up with professional riffing.

    But of course “The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula”–I mean LOTSGVs inspired this thread. I’ve riffed the heck out of that one with friends.

    A ‘What’s Up, Tiger Lily?’ reference, when the old guy tries to save his daughter from the sacrifice: “Everyone just drops in when we have girls to tie up.”

    The 7th vampire gets his bat medallion ripped off: “It was covering his air nozzle!?” “Well, now it’s the legend of the 6 golden vampires”

    The last of the three vampires in the cave-attack falls, so their zombie army immediately loses interest and just wanders out: “Union break! (yawn)”

    In the final confrontation, Peter Cushing weirdly emphasizes “Dracula…COUNT Dracula!”: “What, were you expecting DUKE Dracula? How long have we know each other, seriously?”

    This thread reminded me just how many of the great ones I still haven’t seen. Lots to DVR off TCM this October…

       5 likes

  15. goalieboy82 says:

    goalieboy82:
    speaking of this:
    my friend (from ice hockey) did this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIj5N85ERw8

    he owned the company that did it.

       2 likes

  16. mando3b says:

    Patti: Another Castle film with Tom Poston that’s also a good watch is “Zotz.”

    I thought I was the only one who remembered Zotz! Saw it when I was a kid, and the brown plastic zotz coin they passed out as you entered the theater was one of my prized possessions for a while. (You see, the movie was about this magic coin an archeologist found that … eh, never mind. Just google it.) It had a faux Nikita Khrushchev in an airplane cockpit, too, which even at my age seemed too much.
    Other than that, I know nothing at all about Hammer films, and so this week I will sit back and be entertained and enlightened . . .

       3 likes

  17. There’s also the matter of MST vs. Rifftrax. “Paranoiac” and “Curse of the Werewolf” were not only absolute killer scripts in and of themselves, beautifully produced and absolutely worth watdhing, but two of the best things Oliver Reed ever did. And MST didn’t do that many “good” movies to begin with.

    So turn them over to Rifftrax. Mike, Kevin, and the other guy could just bore right in on Oliver Reed drunken-frenzy jokes and stay there for ninety minutes.

    My GOD was “Paranoiac” a fun ride. Freddy Francis directed, Jimmy Sangster wrote it, Janette Scott provided the Janette Scott.

       2 likes

  18. The Bolem:
    I’ll go with “Twins of Evil”, because I remember it being ‘meh’ enough to benefit from from being jazzed up with professional riffing.
    But of course “The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula”–I mean LOTSGVs inspired this thread.I’ve riffed the heck out of that one with friends.

    I always confuse “Seven Brothers” with “Seven Golden Vampires”: Thought they were the same movie, where Cushing never seems to be in the same shot with all the Shaw Bros. chop-socky.
    Although it would still run up against the same problem as “At the Earth’s Core” (even though that was Amicus): Namely, that Peter Cushing is just too darn lovable in anything he does, and such a stalwart good sport in his roles to riff, that all you can do is just beat the same Star Wars jokes into the ground.

    Otherwise, even some of the hippie-era later Hammers–where Cushing, Herbert Lom or Oliver Reed played puritanically corrupt Witch-Hunters/Inquisitors, hypocritically cracking down on peasant orgies/covens out in the woods that just wanted to Do Their Own Thing–but that would mean doing “Twins of Evil”, and…well, darnit… :) And no Doctor Who fan dare suggest taking on “Vampire Circus”, lest that mean joking at Lalla Ward.
    Maybe one of the “modern” 70’s-London Christopher Lee hippie-era Draculas, like “Dracula 1972” or “Taste the Blood of Dracula”–Imagine the “Mod young people” jokes from the first few scenes of “Deadly Bees”, only with a story that gives more opportunity to joke about big collars and plastic boots.

    jay:
    Five Million Years To Earth –
    aka – “Quatermass And The Pit”.Subway excavation in London uncovers an ancient Martian spaceship.I love the Britishness of this movie with its thousand year backstory.

    If you so much as TOUCH Quatermass & the Pit, John Carpenter will send hordes of possessed backlit zombies from “Prince of Darkness” after you to avenge it. All singing the Silver Shamrock jingle.

       2 likes

  19. jay says:

    If you so much as TOUCH Quatermass & the Pit, John Carpenter will send hordes of the possessed backlit zombies from “Prince of Darkness” after you to avenge it.All singing the Silver Shamrock jingle.

    I will match your zombie horde with the five million or so Texas fire ants terrorizing my place like the Martian army and raise you this. The MSTie treatment for the corn-cob-in-his-dark-place Col. Breen character would be glorious to behold. Glorious.

    PS – This movie has been high on my cinematic list since I saw it during its first theater run. It is sublime.

       6 likes

  20. EAG46 says:

    I think any of the vampire movies Hammer did with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing would be excellent Rifftrax fodder. If Christopher Lee is Dracula in them, all the better. IF Roger Corman’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH was done with Hammer, throw that one into the mix too. Vincent Price in full-grade ham.

       2 likes

  21. Kenneth Morgan says:

    The Original EricJ: I always confuse “Seven Brothers” with “Seven Golden Vampires”:Thought they were the same movie, where Cushing never seems to be in the same shot with all the Shaw Bros. chop-socky.
    Although it would still run up against the same problem as “At the Earth’s Core” (even though that was Amicus):Namely, that Peter Cushing is just too darn lovable in anything he does, and such a stalwart good sport in his roles to riff, that all you can do is just beat the same Star Wars jokes into the ground.

    Otherwise, even some of the hippie-era later Hammers–where Cushing, Herbert Lom or Oliver Reed played puritanically corrupt Witch-Hunters/Inquisitors, hypocritically cracking down on peasant orgies/covens out in the woods that just wanted to Do Their Own Thing–but that would mean doing “Twins of Evil”, and…well, darnit… :)And no Doctor Who fan dare suggest taking on “Vampire Circus”, lest that mean joking at Lalla Ward.
    Maybe one of the “modern” 70’s-London Christopher Lee hippie-era Draculas, like “Dracula 1972” or “Taste the Blood of Dracula”–Imagine the “Mod young people” jokes from the first few scenes of “Deadly Bees”, only with a story that gives more opportunity to joke about big collars and plastic boots.

    “Seven Brothers” and “Seven Golden Vampires” are the same movie; they just used different titles in different areas.
    “Taste the Blood of Dracula” is a Victorian era Dracula story. The two mod ones are “Dracula A.D. 1970” and “The Satanic Rights of Dracula”, the latter of which finally convinced Christopher Lee to give up the character.
    As for “Vampire Circus”, that movie is just plain nasty, but no Whovian would mind mocking it, since I don’t think Lalla Ward, herself, thinks very much of it.
    And while Cushing played a Hammer witch hunter, Lom played one for another company, and Oliver Reed never did.
    Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

       3 likes

  22. Cornjob says:

    How about “To the Devil a Daughter” with Natasha Kinski?

       3 likes

  23. Them Are At McDonalds says:

    The docudrama “Too Legit”.

    Wait a minute. Sorry.

       4 likes

  24. Patti says:

    mando3b: I thought I was the only one who remembered Zotz! Saw it when I was a kid, and the brown plastic zotz coin they passed out as you entered the theater was one of my prized possessions for a while. . . .

    I am mega-jealous that you had one of the zotz coins. I only learned about Zotz long after the theatrical release.

       4 likes

  25. mando3b says:

    Patti: I am mega-jealous that you had one of the zotz coins. I only learned about Zotz long after the theatrical release.

    Oh, Lord, I slept with it, kept it in my pocket as a kind of talisman, cried when I lost it then fell on my knees and rejoiced when it turned up again . . . (Yes, yes: “Get a life”, but I was 10 or 11 at the time.) Have no idea what became of it–it is lost in the mists of time. I’m kind of curious: Why hasn’t Zotz ever shown up on TV? They show everything else, and as you say, it’s quite watchable. (Or has it been, and I just didn’t know?)

       2 likes

  26. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    I dunno, I still can’t get over MOOOOOOOOON ZEEEEEE-ROW TWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

       2 likes

  27. skrag2112:
    ‘One Million Years B.C.’ with Raquel Welch. Another challenging one because there is no English dialogue, but hey, Raquel Welch!

    Okay, got me–I forgot that one was Hammer, and it’s perfect fodder.

    Although without Welch, I always confused it with Hammer’s follow-up “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth”.
    I remember seeing that one with our all-night audience, where we quickly discovered that the Hammer version of caveman language in both movies consists of exactly two words (“Mana!” “Akita!”)–Which, like the Hawaiian “Aloha”, are richly expressive and multi-purpose, and can mean anything from “Kill him!” to “Look out, the big pterodactyl!”
    Our audience responded accordingly. :)

    mando3b:I’m kind of curious: Why hasn’t Zotz ever shown up on TV? They show everything else, and as you say, it’s quite watchable. (Or has it been, and I just didn’t know?)

    Good question: I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on TV, even back in the days when they DID show movies on local TV.
    Only time I ever saw it was on DVD: https://www.amazon.com/Zotz-Tom-Poston/dp/B008SGVRO6/

    (And before anyone asks, no, there is no riffable William Castle outside of the Tom Poston comedies. Even Rifftrax doing their public-domain Legend-colorization-b*tch version of “House on Haunted Hill” worked better as a movie than as riff.)

       0 likes

  28. The Quatermass movies are excellent (and so are the serials that spawned them).

    I would go for Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, simply because it’s such an odd genre mix up.

       1 likes

  29. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    The Bolem:
    I’ll go with “Twins of Evil”

    Some women have such cute nicknames for their breasts…

       10 likes

  30. bartcow says:

    I’ll jump on the Dracula AD 1972 bandwagon. Caroline Munro? Check. Peter Cushing? Check. Kinda-cool-but-also-really-cheesy vampire-in-the-bathtub scene? Check.

    And to slightly veer from the topic at hand (because they’re not Hammer), I’d love for them to do Wild, Wild Planet and its sequel, War of the Planets. Deeply silly movies that I enjoy on their own, but could use some good ribbing (I felt the same way about Starcrash and was thrilled to see it in Season 11).

       3 likes

  31. Cornjob says:

    I seem to recall that in The Satanic Rites of Dracula a plot to destroy the world came undone because Dracula made the mistake of storing his water soluble vampire chicks in a basement with a sprinkler system.

       1 likes

  32. Sitting Duck says:

    Perhaps they could do Scars of Dracula. With Patrick Troughton as the minion, they could get a lot of mileage out of Doctor Who jokes.

       1 likes

  33. jjk50 says:

    Sitting Duck:
    Perhaps they could do Scars of Dracula. With Patrick Troughton as the minion, they could get a lot of mileage out of Doctor Who jokes.

    Scars of Dracula was the last Hammer Dracula movie that kept the Gothic setting before the last two Christopher Lee films were updated to the 70’s. This one was the most bloody one with a little bit of nudity they could get away with in the early 70’s. Of course MST3K would have to edit this one if they had shown it.

       1 likes

  34. I wouldn’t mind QUATERMASS AND THE PIT getting riffed, but would really like to see ’em tackle X–THE UNKNOWN. Regardless of the traditional MST3K intro, the movie doesn’t HAVE to be bad to get riffed, and these two are my favorite Hammer films. X–THE UNKNOWN is legitimate nightmare fuel with plenty of low-budget effects and genuine horror, but they could have a lot of fun with the situations and characters, particularly the horny doctor and nurse, and the “swore an oath” kid.

    On the other hand, yeah, SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA is really pretty awful–worst Drac death, easy–so it’d be a good pick as well. Love the ’70s-licious John Cacavas theme, and I think the MST3K bunch would too.

    Worst picks: STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING (ugh) and TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER (primarily because they’d have to censor the hell out of the ending).

       1 likes

  35. They did a mystery called “Scream of Fear” in the early 60’s – quite a watchable film, but I’m sure the crew could work their magic on it.

       1 likes

  36. SpaceChief says:

    Satanic Rites of Dracula. Title sounds amazing, but Dracula is basically an evil CEO. It’s a crappy version of 1972 AD. Would be perfect.

       0 likes

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