Scream of Fear
Despite gaining the moniker of “House of Horror” for its formulaic wanderings through the sublime world of gothic horror, Hammer were in fact long purveyors of generically diverse material. Throughout the late 1950’s World War Two dramas such as Yesterday’s Enemy (1959) and The Camp on Blood Island (1958) stood side by side with the ongoing adventures of Baron Frankenstein. In the early 1960’s Hammer embarked on a series of pirate adventures designed for the summer release schedules and titles such as Captain Clegg (1962) (US title Night Creatures), The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964) and Pirates of Blood River (1962) proved time and again Hammer’s adept ability at tapping into and sometimes creating trends. Perhaps the most successful of Hammer’s efforts to diversify were the monochrome suspense horror films inspired by the commercial success of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). Taste of Fear (1961) written by Jimmy Sangster (who also penned the screenplays for The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958)) were the first of these to take advantage of the market opened up by Hitchcock.