Hammer horror classics to be restored

The Plage of the Zombies (courtesy of Hammer) The Plague Of The Zombies is one of the films to be restored in high definition

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Dozens of horror movies produced by Britain's Hammer studios are to be restored for their release on Blu-Ray.

More than 30 films will be resurrected, with several gaining new or extended scenes that were cut from the original.

Among them is Terence Fisher's Dracula, which will incorporate a recently-discovered extended death scene considered too gruesome in 1958.

Hammer was established in the 1934 and became synonymous with the horror genre in the 1950s.

Its run of monster movies included Dracula and The Curse Of Frankenstein, which made stars of British actors like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

After lying dormant since the 1980s, the company and its back catalogue were bought in 2007 by a consortium, and recently started producing new films including Let Me In and The Woman In Black.

The restoration of its older titles is a large undertaking, with the likes of Pinewood Studios, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, Studio Canal and Paramount Pictures all contributing material.

In a press release, Hammer added that the Blu-Ray discs would contain "newly-filmed extras, including interviews with cast members".

The company is also asking members of the public to help it track down lost footage and deleted scenes from its movies.

Some discoveries have already been made - the original UK title sequence has been reinstated on The Plague of The Zombies, while the UK title cards for Dracula: Prince of Darkness will be included on its release.

Other classic gothic titles slated for restoration are Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, The Mummy, Frankenstein Created Woman, The Lost Continent, The Reptile Slave Girls and The Vengeance of She.

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