ByDerrick Elder, writer at

During the 1950s, as cinema attendances dropped and box office revenues fell, the film industry took action in several ways. Tactics were adopted in Britain by Hammer Productions, a small insignificant producer that suddenly emerged as a major contender in the film industry.

It was the commercial success of The Quatermass Xperiment, a science fiction-horror, that marked Hammers success. The Quatermass Xperiment was known as a, "thriller for television in six parts." Broadcasted in July and August in 1953, a whopping audience of 3.4 million for the first episode then rising too 5 million for the final part. Hard to believe this represented 13.6 percent of the British population at the time. Most viewers believed it was the most "unusual" and "exciting" thing, although, some found it to be "too horrific". Quatermass 2, aired in October and November 1955.

Founded in November 1934, Hammer is one of the oldest film companies in the world. It celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Hammer is known for the horror, after defining the genre in Britain with classics such as Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy, which created numerous sequels. However, only 1/3 of Hammer films were horror! The company tackled other genres, including psychological thrillers, sci-fi, noir and historical epic. Even comedy and drama. The company's comedy included Up The Creek (1958) starring Peter Sellers, and The Ugly Duckling (1959). Hammer has nearly 300 titles, and has a long list of interesting characters including classic monsters, mobsters, psychopaths, and cavegirls.


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