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Production News 22.09.2008

Following on from the release of Beyond the Rave via social networking website MySpace earlier this year, Hammer have announced the commencement of production on their first proper film for over 30 years.  A link to the press release is to the right. Hammer have also published an exclusive interview on their official website here.

The Wake Wood was revealed as a forthcoming Hammer project in an article in Variety on June 20th this year. According to the Variety article, Hammer chief executive Simon Oakes said "Those earlier Hammer films were very much of their time, and there is a lot of affection for them, but we have to keep up with audiences' expectations today... I like to think of ourselves now as dealing more in the Hitchcockian areas of terror and suspense."

A little digging reveals that The Wake Wood has been in development for some time, with the Irish-based production originally scheduled to be made by Dublin-based independent Fantastic Films (whose previous films include The Wilderness), with involvement from The Irish Film Board and Hammer Films. In fact, is ashamed to say (we're based in Ireland ourselves...) that we'd missed an article in the Donegal Post on 15th May (see here) which revealed that the production crew had been in the area around Pettigo for three weeks previously, finalising locations and arrangements. The production was put on hold in May owing to some issues with the script, and according to production manager Kathleen Dore "We’re definitely coming back. We’ll be back in July to continue the preparatory work and filming will start in September.
  “There was a realisation that the long summer evenings are not ideal for a horror movie. We need the darker nights. You could say Pettigo isn’t spooky enough at this time of year.”

The announcement that production is now under way should therefore come as no surprise, as filming has been planned for several months now.

The article in the Donegal Post also provides details of some figures relating to the production. There are some 55 members of the production crew and cast booked into accomodation in the area, and budget has been set at 1 million Euros (about £800,000 - twice the budget of Beyond the Rave, but still well below most low-budget films funding). It is not known currently if production will still be based around the rural village, but filming is underway in Dongeal as of today.

Following on from the casting of Nora-Jane Noone and Jamie Dornan in Beyond the Rave, and the strong Irish cast and crew on The Wake Wood (including Aidan Gillen and Eva Birthistle), it seems as if Hammer has developed a real affection for Ireland...

Of course, this isn't the first time they've come to the island either, with Ireland having featured in several shorts from the Hammer/Exclusive era, and with both Sword of Sherwood Forest and The Viking Queen having been filmed near Dublin. Anyone interested in Hammer's Irish connections should seek out a copy of Film Ireland issue 119 which features a lengthy article on the subject by unofficialhammerfilms editor Robert J.E. Simpson. Back issues are available from

Fans who remained sceptical about Hammer's return, disregarding Beyond the Rave because of its serial nature may take some comfort in the fact that this is a real film, and geared up for a cinema release sometime in 2009. We'll be following the production closely over the coming months.




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see also....


Read the press release announcing The Wake Wood.










House of Horror: The Unofficial Hammer Films Site © RJE Simpson 1999 - 2008
Site launched Sunday 8th August 1999