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(Seth Holt, 1961)
Release date: 25 November 2019
Limited 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 Hitchcocks 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
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with an essay by Marcus Hearn, Jimmy Sangster on Taste of Fear, an archival on-set report, a selection of promotional materials, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits

BBFC cert: 12