HAMMER GLAMOUR Review. [Hammer Time!]

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Written by Marcus Hearn
Published by Titan Books.

Hammer Studios doesn’t really get the credit they deserve for creating the modern scream queen.  Our recent horror beauties like Julianna Guill and Betsy Rue owe a debt of gratitude to the British studio, who pioneered the inclusion of gratuitous cheesecake forevermore into horror films, for better or worse.  Hammer’s leading ladies, often fashion models making a detour into acting, became an integral part of Hammer’s marketing and are some of the best remembered visuals from Hammer’s body of film.

Titan Books’ HAMMER GLAMOUR serves as a companion book to author Marcus Hearn’s terrific THE HAMMER STORY, but it’s also of interest to any movie fan who appreciates the bygone sensuality of vintage glamour models.  This exhaustive hardback “coffee table” book boasts hundreds of full-color photographs–casual shots, set photos, and publicity stills–of pretty much every actress to ever work for the studio.  The book is categorized in alphabetical order, from Ursula Andress (SHE) to Raquel Welch (ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.), the greatest pair of bookends you could ever asked to be sandwiched between, providing informative biographies and “where are they now” information for even Hammer’s most obscure starlets.


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Directed by David R. Ellis, 2009
Written by Eric Bress

Does the “The” added before the title, in lieu of a number four, mean that this series is dead now?  FINAL DESTINATION had the efficient idea of cutting out the middle man from slasher films, just offing its teenybopper cast members through awful, gory accidents, and skipping the whole killer thing, but the films have gotten progressively lazy.

The first attempted to tell a compelling story, the second one used the art of misdirection for maximum shock value, but the third one poorly telegraphed every death scene, and, with this fourth and latest installment, we’ve reached the point of self-parody.  Yes, the instantly forgettable cast of vanilla zeroes will escape some catastrophe in the first ten minutes of the film, then spend all of their time between each character’s death scene trying to figure out the order in which everyone will die.

THE FINAL DESTINATION manages to completely sever itself from the tale of Flight 180 (despite some in-jokes), but it hardly matters, as it forges no new ground.  Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo) attends a stock car race with his immensely unlikeable best friends, where he witnesses their tragic deaths in a premonition involving a crumbling stadium, condescending NASCAR fan cliches, and Krista Allen putting tampons in kids’ ears.  It’s the sorriest opening for an installment  in this series by far–poorly staged, and executed with some of the worst CG I’ve seen in a recent feature film. 

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