Jack Asher


Jack Asher was born in London in 1916, and passed away in 1991. As cinematographer for several of Hammer's most memorable productions, he shrouded the studio's gothic horrors in all kinds of fantastical colours, filling the screen with lush purples, reds and greens. His technique was, however, slow and expensive, and by the 1960s, Hammer replaced him with Arthur Grant, among others.

His credits for the studio included The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1958) and The Mummy (1958). His final Hammer horror was The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll in 1960; he returned in 1964 to film the non-horrors The Scarlet Blade and The Secret of Blood Island.

Below, a typical Asher green lighting gives a non-realistic, almost fairy-tale-like quality to a scene from The Hound of the Baskervilles. Below that, a similarly fantastic effect is created with a purple spot in The Brides of Dracula (1960). At the bottom, an effective use of low lighting and shadows for the Count's startling first appearance in Dracula.




David L Rattigan 2005





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