Look at the name of the publisher and you can guess what you’re in for: This is a very academic and dry book analysing the impact British sociological changes had on the development of British horror movies, in particular those made by Hammer. It’s not a terrifically good book and often suffers from overinterpretation and is littered with trendy women’s lib demagoguery: “By showing the vampire as a vampire-rapist who violates and destroys her victim, men alleviate their fears that lesbian love could create an alternate model, that two women without coercion or morbidity might prefer one another to a man.” Hardly a book that you’ll want to cover in one sitting. It now commands ludicrous second hand prices on Amazon that I won't even gratify with a link.
I feel that I can't just transfer over this review without addressing something rather important that in nearly four years of blogging surprisingly enough never once had come up. And that is.... the name of my blog. And more importantly its connection to the book reviewed above. Why would I be paying homage to a Hammer book that I obviously didn't like?
Well, I didn't. At least not consciously.
When I set up this blog I knew that though I wanted to focus on Hammer movies I didn't want to just concentrate on Hammer alone but also wanted to be able to include info and reviews about other movies that Hammer actors and directors were associated with. I also wanted to have the liberty to talk about British and Classic Horror in general even without a direct link to Hammer if it so tickled my fancy. I was searching for a blog title that should incorporate that very clearly.
At the same time The Groovy Age of Horror went through some rebranding of its own and in order to highlight that they weren't just going to review classic horror pulp fiction anymore at least temporarily promoted themselves as Beyond the Groovy Age of Horror.
I really liked the sound of it and thought that this approach could do well for my blog, too, hence called it Hammer and Beyond.
Imagine my surprise when a few months later I spotted a link to the actual Hammer and Beyond - The British Horror Film book, a book I had read, loathed and forgotten years before starting this blog... yet also a book that is just a foot or two away from my writing place on a shelf with all the other Hammer books staring at me any time I write a review!
I had never once spared a second thought to it after I had finished reading it but of course must have subconsciously been aware of its existence when I started writing this blog. As the blog had already been established when I finally noticed the connection, I didn't bother changing the name. It still irks me a bit that I named this blog - albeit unconsciously - after a book I had disliked a lot but what the hell......
Nobody seems to have ever spotted it until now. Or people were simply to polite to mention.