Friday, March 28, 2008

Hammer Returns with "Beyond the Rave"

Once the name in horror movies, Hammer Films had been dormant since the Eighties when they produced the TV series Hammer House of Mystery & Suspense. This would change come the Naughts. Hammer would establish itself on the World Wide Web and even maintains a presence on Bebo, Facebook, and MySpace. The studio, which has existed in some form since 1934, In May 2007 Dutch consortium Cyrte Investments (headed by Big Brother creator John De Mol) acquired Hammer Films and its catalogue of nearly 300 films. Hammer had previously been purchased in 2000 by a group which included ad man Charles Saatchi. This time around, however, it appears that the studio's new owners actually mean to make films.

Indeed, it was in September 2007 that the news broke that Hammer Films was making its first horror movie in 31 years (the last one being To the Devil a Daughter in 1976). In some respects Beyond the Rave has a lot in common with previous Hammer Films: beautiful women (Nora-Jane Noone, Sadie Frost), vampires, an English setting, and even an appearance by Ingrid Pitt. In other respects, it looks like it will be unlike anything produced by Hammer before. The movie is set in contemporary England, in which a soldier, about to leave for Iraq, searches for his girl friend after she attended a mysterious rave. What really sets Beyond the Rave apart from previous Hammer Film productions, however, is its means of distribution. It will be released in 20 parts on MySpaceTV beginning on April 17. Eventually it will be released on DVD.

Beyond the Rave is directed by Matthias Hoene (known for his commercials and music videos) and written by Tom Grass (who worked on the serial When Evil Calls). Its special effects are being handled by Tristan Versluis, who provided effects for Hot Fuzz and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Those who want to see the teaser trailer can go MySpaceVideos here.

I must confess that in some respects it looks more to me like something Hammer's rival Tigon might have done in their best years, but I must also confess I am still looking forward to it.

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