As a major Hammer Studios fan I regret having to be the skunk at this little garden party. I believe, however, two points need to be made about this publication for those who are discriminating book collectors.
First, the cover on this (as well as on "The Hammer Story," which is also by Titan) is not cloth-covered hardbound. It is, instead, shiny paper-covered hardbound. Do you remember the type of covers on Dr. Seuss books? Think also of the books that they have in the discount bins at book retailers, the ones which look really cheaply produced. That's what you have here. I was appalled when I saw that they cut this corner. These covers do not hold up over the years. They get all dinged and scuffed up and look like junk in no time. I would have gladly spent another ten bucks, or more, for a quality production. Hammer fans are obviously going to be aesthetically oriented people, and this is low-brow book production.
Second, the photos of the female Hammer stars were disappointing. What you get here is one or two small shots of the star from the movie itself (if any), and then you get a full-page "publicity shot" of the actress which is not even remotely in the gothic context of the film. (She may be wearing a costume from the production, but the vast majority of the shots are entirely stripped of any connection to the film. She might as well be selling dishwashing detergent.) By way of contrast, on the back cover of the dustjacket you have a beautiful and seemingly hypnotized damsel walking amongst headstones in a cemetary while her nightgown is blown slightly open by the winds of menace. The lighting immediately brings to mind scary, and sexy scenarios. It is a haunting, weird, sensual photo which captures the trademark Hammer ambience. Well, you don't get much of that inside the book. Most of these photos are clinical promo shots which, if anything, are the antithesis to the Hammer vibe.
Yes, there is good information ("data") in the book, but I could have obtained that elsewhere. I wanted awesome shots which conveyed the characteristic Hammer beauty which we see and love in their films.
And, I wanted that ambience presented in a well-bound book which surely would have been destined to be a collectible. This book will disappoint the discriminating book-lover and many Hammer afficiandos.