Hammer and beyond

The British horror film

By Peter Hutchings

Edited by Johnny Walker

Hammer and beyond


  • eBook
  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5118-6
  • Pages: 328
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: September 2021
  • BIC Category: Film Studies, Film history, theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Film / Genres / Horror, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Films, cinema, The arts / Film: styles & genres, The arts / Film theory & criticism


Peter Hutchings's Hammer and beyond remains a landmark work in British film criticism. This new, illustrated edition brings the book back into print for the first time in two decades. Featuring Hutchings's socially charged analyses of genre classics from Dead of Night (1945) and The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) to The Sorcerers (1967) and beyond, it also includes several of Hutchings's later essays on British horror, as well as a new critical introduction penned by film historian Johnny Walker and an afterword by Russ Hunter. Hammer and beyond deserves a spot on the bookshelf of anyone with a serious interest in the development of Britain's contribution to the horror genre.


'When Hammer and beyond first appeared, it immediately set new standards for the study of British horror and our understanding of genre through national cinema. This welcome new edition returns Peter Hutchings to the centre of these debates, where he will always belong. Johnny Walker's new introduction and thoughtfully selected supplementary materials frame Hutchings's contributions alongside contemporary developments in scholarship and film production, making this an essential volume for the past, present and future of British horror studies.'
Adam Lowenstein, University of Pittsburgh, author of Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film

'Few academics understand the balance between industry and artistry, history and heritage, and few can articulate the impact each has had on the other as well as Peter Hutchings. When first published, Hammer and beyond was a turning point in the study of British horror and served as a liberation of ideas that began decades before. Hutchings's entire career served the genre, the films and the filmmakers he deeply loved, but it all started here. This new expanded edition is cause for celebration and, as required reading, should be placed beside your collection of Hammer films for immediate reference, constant study and eternal enjoyment.'
Constantine Nasr, filmmaker/writer

'This new edition of Hammer and beyond updates and extends Peter Hutchings's trailblazing work and his determination to take British horror cinema seriously. Johnny Walker's work on this volume is a testament to the great esteem in which Hutchings was held by the academic community: he is sorely missed as a critical voice in horror film studies and in the scholarship of British cinema. Walker's introduction to this volume insightfully places the new edition, and Hutchings's work in general, in its historical and intellectual context, mapping out the changes in British horror cinema since Hammer and beyond was first published. It will be an essential addition to any horror studies syllabus.'
Helen Wheatley, University of Warwick, author of Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure


A return to Hammer and Beyond: introduction to the new edition - Johnny Walker

Part I: Hammer and Beyond: The British Horror Film
Introduction to the first edition
1 For sadists only? The problem of British horror
2 1945-55: from Dead of Night to The Quatermass Experiment
3 1956-64: Hammer and other horrors
4 Frankenstein and Dracula
5 1964-69: horror production
6 Horror and the family

Part II: Selected writings on British horror film
The Amicus House of Horror
American Vampires in Britain: Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and Hammer's The Night Creatures
Putting the Brit into Eurohorror: exclusions and exchanges in the history of European horror
Afterword - Russ Hunter

Editor and Author

Peter Hutchings (1961-2018) was Professor of Film Studies at Northumbria University
Johnny Walker is Senior Lecturer in Media at Northumbria University

Hammer and beyond

By Peter Hutchings

Edited by Johnny Walker

Paperback £20.00 / $29.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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