The Best ’80s Horror Series Secret Gem Isn’t From America, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Brian Myers | Updated

Hammer house of horror

To be a great horror anthology series, a number of boxes need to be checked. A variety of writers, adaptations of outside source material, and the use of genre-experienced directors combine to make each episode its own unique feature while at the same time staying within the vein of the series. Though there have been dozens of horror anthology series in the United States, one of the best ones ever produced was a British show that aired in 1980 called Hammer House of Horror.

Hammer House Of Horror

hammer house of horror

Hammer House of Horror took the gothic-style horror of the famed studio’s films and made weekly featurettes with a different antagonist for each episode. “Children of the Full Moon” tells of a man who is plagued by a pack of werewolf children, “Charlie Boy” concerns a possessed idol that is under the control of an ancient African spirit, and the “Mark of Satan” has a man believing that he has been chosen to be the devil’s apprentice.

A Weekly Anthology Series

hammer house of horror

Each week, viewers tuned in not knowing what lay in wait for them over the hour-long episodes. Hammer House of Horror dealt with century-old witches, modern cannibals, and angry ghosts. The series certainly gave audiences a nail-biting experience from start to finish as each feature had the same quality sets, costuming, and the Hammer signature aesthetics that were afforded its films over the years.

The terrifying overtones of each episode were accentuated by chilling cinematic scores and brilliant writing. But the believability of each Hammer House of Horror can also be attributed to the quality of the actors that guest starred each week.

Denholm Elliott (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), Peter Cushing (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), Brian Cox (The Ring), and Patricia Quinn (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) are but some of the familiar faces that viewers saw making horror history.

Top Notch Production Values

hammer house of horror

Hammer House of Horror was able to capture the essence of fear and successfully translate it for the screen. The screenplays alone would have been disturbing enough, but after the studio was able to add layers of eeriness with well-timed shots and accompanying scores, as well as creative lighting and realistic special effects.

Other Hammer Studio Outings

Hammer Studios had dabbled in the horror anthology business before with fair success. In the late 1960s, Hammer produced 17 episodes of the hit show Journey to the Unknown, which combined supernatural and science fiction elements with traditional horror. Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense followed Hammer House of Horror in 1984, its final production of the 20th century as the studio was liquidated by its parent company.

Available Through Streaming And Physical Media

hammer house of horror


Hammer House of Horror can be streamed, but the iconic series is also available on physical media. The first DVD release in the United States dates back to 2001, but the 2012 edition loaded with tons of extras that include an animated stills gallery, mini documentaries focusing on the show, and episode introductions from a notable film historian.

You can stream the complete first season of Hammer House of Horror for free with Pluto, Tubi, and Roku or buy it through Prime.