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Thousands of visitors get teeth into Hammer Horror exhibition

Thousands of people have got their teeth into a special exhibition that delved into the vaults of one of Britain’s most famous horror studios.

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Hammer Horror: Terror! Horror! Blood! at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Heritage Centre was staged by Cinema and Television History Research Centre, custodians of the Hammer Script Archive since 2012.

The celebration of Hammer Studios, famous for horror films such as Dracula, The Mummy and The Devil Rides Out, has attracted 6,000 people since it opened on Halloween.

Since then there have been events organised to link in with the exhibition, including a talk by PhD student Kieran Foster on Hammer’s unmade films, the subject on which he is writing his thesis.

Curator Elizabeth Wheelband said she was delighted that it had seen such numbers. She said: “It has really caught the imagination of visitors, we have had people come from all over the country to see it.

"We had some students who said Hammer is the coolest exhibition they’d ever seen in a museum. It’s been a huge success and allowed people to find out more about the studio’s own story.”

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The exhibition – which closed on Sunday 10 September – has allowed visitors to see scripts and plans for films which were never made, such as Dracula on Ice, Nessie, a multi-million-dollar production planned around the Loch Ness Monster and the The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula, which sees the vampire head off to India on his murderous spree.

Hammer films became one of  Britain’s most successful productions companies in the 1950s and 1960s. This exhibition tells the story of  Hammer through a stable of its most terrifying monsters, exploring how each contributed to the making and eventual breaking of this infamous institution, which saw a Renaissance under The Woman In Black.

Interactive videos, sound effects and a Dracula diorama to add to the spooky atmosphere.  
 
The exhibition was put together by PhD student Kieran Foster, Associate Professor Matt Jones and Professor Steve Chibnall, director of the CATH centre. Chelsea Walker, third year Interior Design student, artist Graham Humphreys and graphic artist Robert Harris, as well as museum fitter Jim Birch, also worked on the exhibition.  

Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

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