Book Review: The Art of Hammer

artofhammerThe Art of Hammer: Posters from the Archives of Hammer Films
By Marcus Hearn
Published by Titan Books, 192 pages.

There was a time when movie posters were created not only before a single frame had been shot, but sometimes even before a script had been written. An artist was simply given a title and told to come up with a movie poster design for it. This was then used by the studio to try and sell the film before it was even started. Hammer Films did this, but they weren’t the first. But some of the artwork that came out for those movies is just stunning. Now, thanks to Hammer scholar Marcus Hearn, we all can enjoy these incredible pieces of art, but also keep these images alive and well for us collectors.

I know this as cliché as this sounds, this book really is a must. But not just for fans of Hammer Films, fans of movie posters in general, This coffee table size book is filled with beautiful images from Hammer movies from the ’50s to their end in the late ’70s. They display a mixture of close to 300 posters from around the world, from British quads, American 1-sheets, Spanish, Polish, and many others that will make any poster collector just drool. They are divided by decades, with a great index at the end in case you’re looking for a certain title. Each poster has the country from it is from listed, as well as the size of it.

plagueposter

kiss of the vampire belgiumThis book will show you a time when not only were posters truly an art form, by incredibly talent artists like Tom Chantrell, Arnaldo Putzu, Mike Vaughan, and many others. You’ll get to see a ton of the British quads, American 1-sheets, the colorful Belgian posters, as well as some from Japan, Italy, Germany, and many, many more. If you’re a collector, you’ll probaly start making a list of ones that you’re going to want to find.

For the low cost of this book, it is a volume that you can go back to time and time again and admire real poster artwork. Maybe some day, we’ll get see that again. Thanks to Hearn for creating such a wonderful tome for us to page through.

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