Taste of Fear (Region Free)

Type: New Blu-Ray

(Seth Holt, 1961)

Release date: 19 July 2021

Standard Edition Blu-ray

During the early sixties, alongside its more famous Gothic horrors, Hammer also produced series of suspense thrillers inspired by the success (and plotlines) of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

The first of these was the classic Taste of Fear, written and produced by the prolific Jimmy Sangster. Set on the French Riviera, it concerns a wheelchair-bound heiress plagued by visions of her dead father, and stars American actress Susan Strasberg alongside (by now) Hammer regulars Christopher Lee and Ronald Lewis. The film proved to be a huge success for Hammer, its twisted plot with a tortured heroine becoming a template for their thrillers which followed into the 1970s.


High Definition remaster

Original mono audio

Two feature presentations: Taste of Fear, with the rarely seen original UK title sequence, and Scream of Fear, with the alternative US titles

Audio commentary with Kevin Lyons, editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television 

Body Horror: Inside ‘Taste of Fear’ (2019, 20 mins): Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby explore aspects of the film’s production

Hammer’s Women: Ann Todd (2019, 12 mins): profile of the Taste of Fear actor by Melanie Williams, author of Female Stars of British Cinema: The Women in Question

The BFI Southbank Interview with Jimmy Sangster (2008, 68 mins): archival audio recording of the celebrated filmmaker and screenwriter in conversation with Marcus Hearn at London’s National Film Theatre

The BEHP Video interview with Jimmy Sangster (2008, 117 mins): archival video recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring Sangster in conversation with Jonathan Rigby 

The BEHP Interview with Douglas Slocombe, Part Two: From Hammer to Spielberg (1988, 82 mins): archival audio recording featuring the renowned cinematographer in conversation with Sidney Cole 

Fear Makers (2019, 9 mins): camera operator Desmond Davis and assistant sound editor John Crome recall the making of the film

Anxiety and Terror (2019, 25 mins): appreciation of Clifton Parker’s score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Films’ Psychological Thrillers, 1950–1972 

Super 8 version of Scream of Fear (20 mins): original cut-down home cinema presentation 

Original US Scream of Fear theatrical trailer 

Sam Hamm trailer commentary (2013, 2 mins): short critical appreciation 

Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials

New and improved subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing