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Production News 19.06.2009

Hammer's progress over the last thirty years has been fraught with difficulty, with productions frequently announced and then discreetly dropped when money fell through. Most fans will be aware of the fate of 'Vampirella' and 'Nessie', but what about the remake of Countess Dracula or the reboot for The Quatermass Xperiment in the 1990s, or The Beetle?

Since Hammer's latest take over, several productions have been announced, and others have been discussed in forums and magazines, details having leaked from various people involved. We must always remember that Hammer are working on something like two dozen projects at any one time and most will not make it to the screen.

However, the reboot seems to be taking casualties. Beyond the Rave was launched as a co-production in 2008 with MySpace as a free online serial. The MySpace channel has transformed into a bizarre page with Cyrillic text and none of the video content is now playable. The dvd release (which according to online retailers was through Fox) was pulled from schedules early last year suddenly, and the website has only stopped functioning in the last few months. Does this mean we won't be allowed to see Beyond the Rave any more? And why?

I'm constantly being asked about Beyond the Rave so it would be good to have some authoritative and definitive answers. In the meantime, the whole thing is up on Youtube (a technically illegal upload), so catch it while you can before that is removed too!

More worrying, Hammer's much touted return to production, The Wake Wood, which was filmed in Co. Donegal and Dublin in Ireland in 2008 (with pick-ups in Sweden), has mysteriously vanished from Hammer's official website this week. A still from the production showing actors Ruth McCabe and Eva Birthistle has been prominently featured on the site homepage for a couple of months, but has suddenly been replaced by a video for Scream of Fear.

The Wake Wood has also vanished from Hammer's list of productions for 2009...

Disturbingly it looks very much as if Hammer are no longer associated with The Wake Wood. The film has also disappeared from parent company Exclusive Media's website here. The title does appear on UK distributor Vertigo Film's website and the production's own website is still up with the Hammer name evident.

According to reports at the time of production, Hammer put money into the production of The Wake Wood along with the Irish Film Board (see here) so why they should suddenly be disassociating themselves with it (after a year of promoting it) is a mystery. According to a report published yesterday Hammer have been selling the film (presumably they mean Exclusive Film Distribution - Hammer's sister company) and has sold already to Greece, Portugal and the Middle East (plus of course the UK - which isn't mentioned in the article).

The high production values of The Resident/Invasion of Privacy and A-list casting, not to mention US production base and even the hugely significant casting of Christopher Lee may well make for a much better headline return to production for Hammer than the low-budget The Wake Wood but it remains to be seen if that is the right move.

Is this a case of letting the right one out?

We'll be monitoring things closely...


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see also....


* 22.09.08 Hammer confirms new film The Wake Wood


* 06.05.09 Christopher Lee cast in new Hammer film


* 21.10.08 Unofficialhammerfilms launches new Exclusive Films website












House of Horror: The Unofficial Hammer Films Site © RJE Simpson 1999 - 2009
Site launched Sunday 8th August 1999