The newly revived Hammer studios have put the call out to film fans everywhere for their help in track down some lost scenes from their back catalog that were previously cut by a villain even deadlier than Dracula, the censors!
Hammer have identified nine missing scenes from six of their most beloved films, which back in the 50′s and 60′s were deemed too shocking, violent, sexy or gory for British audiences by the film censors. The film studio’s search is a worldwide one with the hope that uncut versions of these scenes may be owned by private collectors who own the original film reels in other countries.
Here’s the nine clips being sought, which are listed on their website;
- The Reptile – an extended “knife in neck/snake bite” scene
- The Curse of Frankenstein – the “eyeball” and “head in acid bath” scenes
- The Mummy – “under-dressed maidens”, “tongue-cutting” and/or the “tongue wriggling” scenes
- Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell – extended “glass-in-throat” and “body falling into grave” scenes
- Rasputin: The Mad Monk – extended fight scene
- The Viking Queen – extended, more explicit version
Hammer failed to keep the cut footage back when film preservation was expensive and not seen as important as it is today. They are confident that in some private collections that these scenes will exist in their original form, though in some cases they only have still photographs taken during filming to go on with the actual scenes themselves not seen in decades.
Peter Naish, Hammer’s senior vice-president of distribution, said.
“We’re fairly sure they exist in private collections, instead of official archives,”
“There’s a network of Hammer fans and collectors who snap these things up, so we need to scour the whole world and appeal to the fans at large to see what we can come up with.”
The most wanted clip for Naish is the infamous “head in acid bath” moment from Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee’s The Curse of Frankenstein;
“I think that one’s iconic – that would be the one people would most want to see. But if we can find any others, that would be great,” he added.
As well as making some kick-ass movies, like the amazing The Woman in Black, Hammer are going through a major restoration period right now. They have plans to restore all these lost scenes into their original cuts and have just this week started releasing their classic films onto blu-ray such as Dracula: Prince of Darkness with The Reptile and more to come soon.