Hammer Horror and science fiction

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter


Though the last five years have witnessed a growth in critical discussion of the Horror output of the British Hammer film studio, there is little analysis of the role that science fiction has played in its output. Perhaps as a result of both the studio’s predominance of overtly melodramatic horror productions and the need for dominant critical hegemonies to create convenient taxonomies, critics have ignored the science fiction content of many of the films released by the studio. This chapter addresses this failing, arguing; through an analysis of Hammer’s changing depictions of the Quatermass and Frankenstein figures, that the studio maintained a belief in the commercial viability of science fiction, with much of its most respected work drawing upon the genre’s tropes and iconography. Indeed, Hammer’s commitment to the genre only faltered entirely with the general decline of the studio during the 1970s, up to this point, the studio frequently infused its most successful films with science fiction content.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Science Fiction Film and Television: Critical Essays
EditorsTobias Hochscherf, James Leggott
Place of PublicationNorth Carolina
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780786484836
ISBN (Print)9780786446216
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2011

Publication series

NameCritical explorations in science fiction and fantasy


  • Horror
  • Science Fiction
  • Film
  • Genre
  • Popular culture
  • Performing arts
  • Fantasy
  • Television


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