Britain's cult Hammer Films are set for a resurgence - almost 30 years after the last one finished production.

Hammer movies launched the careers of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, among others, and now investors Charles Saatchi and NEIL MENDOZA are funding six films to be produced over the next five years.

Australian company PARADISE IN PICTURES is co-developing the scripts, and company leader CHRIS BROWN says, "A lot of people have tried to talk with Hammer about re-makes.

"But I'm interested in working with them to create horror films in the 'new gothic' style, and that's what they've found interesting. That's their roots, their trademark. But we're not talking about making slasher films."

Hammer's chief executive TERRY ILLOTT adds, "This deal gives us a terrific opportunity to deliver highly commercial, low-budget, horror movies for a worldwide teenage audience."

Hammer was founded in the 1930s and produced it's first movie, THE MYSTERY OF THE MARIE CELESTE in 1935 - which starred Bela Lugosi, and in its heyday was the most successful British film production company for box office sales and movie output.

Stars who launched their careers with Hammer movies include Gladiator actor Oliver Reed, and DAVID PROWSE - who went on to play DARTH VADER in the original STAR WARS series.

17/08/2003 10:23