Anthony Hinds, horror film mogul; at 91

NEW YORK — Anthony Hinds, the producer who put the horror in “Hammer horror,” in the process turning a puny British film studio into a Goliath of cinematic gore, died in England on Sept. 30. He was 91.

When Mr. Hinds, the son of one of Hammer’s founders, joined the studio in 1946, it was known for forgettable, unsanguinary B pictures.

Mr. Hinds, who seemed to have his finger squarely on the pulse of postwar Britain, gave audiences bankable stars; more sex, please; and more blood — all, before long, in color. He also gave them monsters, mummies, reptiles and a blob or two.


The pictures he produced in his quarter-century with the studio include “Terror Street” (1953), “The Curse of the Werewolf” (1961) and “Die! Die! My Darling!” (1965), which starred Tallulah Bankhead and Stefanie Powers.

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Under the pen name John Elder, Mr. Hinds also wrote the screenplays for many Hammer films, among them “Night Creatures” (1962) and “The Ghoul” (1975).

Moviegoers came in droves. “They go,” Mr. Hinds told The New York Times in 1958, “because horror, the search for it, the experience of it, the enjoyment of it, is an even more fundamental human quality than the profit motive.”

The films were profitable in any case, and some, like “The Phantom of the Opera” (1962), starring Herbert Lom, came to be considered exemplars of the genre.

On Mr. Hinds’s watch, Hammer attained international renown, especially after he paired Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), their first significant joint appearance.


The two actors went on to make a string of Hammer films together, including “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (1959), with Cushing as Sherlock Holmes and Lee as Sir Henry Baskerville.