1 9 8 0 (UK)
13 x 60 minute episodes
A 13-part anthology of spine-shiverers produced for ITV by cult horror flick company, Hammer Films.
Those taking the helm included such Hammer veteran directors as Don Sharp – maker of the classic The Brides of Fu Manchu – and Peter Sasdy.
Production of the series was quick – the scripts were written in a shorter time than was desirable and each of the 13 episodes was shot in two weeks, totalling approximately six months filming.
Some of this took place in the grounds of Hampden House itself (Hammer’s new headquarters in Buckinghamshire), much of the rest of it was done in the local area, in particular, the nearby church and the village of Great Missenden.
Subject matter covered all the usual suspects – voodoo, cannibalism, witchcraft, devil worship, werewolves, body snatchers – with the overall result being decently shocking.
A follow-on collection of Hitchcock-style thrillers appeared in 1984 as Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense.
Starred Jon Finch as soundtrack composer David Winter getting all hot under the collar for Lucinda, a 17th-century lusty witch played by Patricia Quinn (Magenta of Rocky Horror fame – In the nude no less).
THE 13TH REUNION
Starred Kevin Stoney and was set in a ‘health clinic’.
Sir Humphrey Chesterton
Denholm Elliot is an estate agent slowly being driven mad by dreams and supernatural happenings which he believes are in his imagination but are actually being engineered by his secretary and her boyfriend.
Features some rather grisly deaths – “you shouldn’t have done it, Mr Shenley”.
A scientist’s son eats some of his scientist fathers new rabbit food supplement. The rest of the plot was about revenge from beyond the dead by the boy. With Barbara Kellerman.
THE HOUSE THAT BLED TO DEATH
Starred Brian Croucher from Blakes 7. A cat gets sliced up.
A. J. Powers
Sarah (Angela Bruce) has a carved figure from Africa she calls Charlie Boy. But the statue is more than a wooden statue with a funny face.
Features a cameo role from Janet Fielding (Tegan in Doctor Who).
Janet Clare Fielding
THE SILENT SCREAM
One of the best-remembered Hammer productions starred Peter Cushing as the man with a pet shop and a little steel-walled room where he had a woman trapped. Also with Brian Cox.
Detective Inspector Aldridge
CHILDREN OF THE FULL MOON
Featured Diana Dors and Christopher Cazenove in a tale about werewolves.
The tale of a beautiful countess from Carpathia whose pet eagle tore out her lovers’ hearts. Just an ancient myth? or is it?
Featured Suzanne Danielle and Sian Phillips, along with a then-unknown Pierce Brosnan (pictured above with Suzanne Danielle) credited as ‘Last Victim’.
GUARDIAN OF THE ABYSS
For centuries, evil men and women have tried to raise the archdemon Choronzon, Guardian of the Abyss. Many have died in the attempt. Others have lost their reason.
Then a chance purchase by antique dealer Michael Roberts (Ray Lonnen) brings him into terrifying contact with the Unknown.
A VISITOR FROM THE GRAVE
Starred Simon McCorkindale and Gareth Thomas.
Kathryn Leigh Scott
TWO FACES OF EVIL
A family’s car crashes after they pick up a hitchhiker in a yellow raincoat and he attacks the husband with a claw finger.
The husband returns home but seems to be a completely different person. He can’t talk and he rings a little bell for attention.
THE MARK OF SATAN
A man claiming to have been possessed by the devil dies trying to drill a hole into his head. Peter McEnery is the mortuary attendant.