Horror studio Hammer is teaming up with distribution and production partners around the world to restore its classic library.
Once restored the films will be suitable for release on Blu-ray and future media formats.
The first title to be restored is Dracula Prince of Darkness which will be released in the UK in conjunction with STUDIOCANAL in March 2012.
The Reptile, The Plague of The Zombies, The Devil Rides Out, Rasputin the Mad Monk and The Mummy’s Shroud will follow later this year.
Hammer says it will also be releasing “definitive versions” of its the hugely-influential Gothic classics The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy in the UK.
Hammer CEO Simon Oakes said: “Our decision to restore some of Hammer’s most famous titles not only allows existing fans to experience the films again in high definition, but also encourages a new global audience to discover Hammer for the first time.
“We have a busy year ahead but are confident that our Blu-ray plans will ensure that Hammer’s legacy will live on for generations to come.”
STUDIOCANAL’s John Rodden said the studio “is immensely proud to continue its investment in the best of British cinema both past and present by restoring and re-releasing these films.”
As well as featuring a fully-restored HD picture and restored sound, the remastered films will boast a host of newly-filmed extras produced by Hammer expert and historian Marcus Hearn
Pinewood Studios carried out the restoration of the first three STUDIOCANAL titles after housing the original negatives for the films, restoring the original UK title sequence to The Plague of The Zombies as well as the UK title cards to Dracula Prince of Darkness.
Recently-discovered footage that was originally cut from the British version of Dracula has been restored by Molinare to the BFI’s 2007 restoration courtesy of The National Film Center at The Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
Following the discovery and restoration of the footage, Hammer is keen to unearth further “lost” scenes and on-set footage and is inviting private collectors to contact the company.
Hammer has also launched a ‘Restoration Blog’ offering an inside view of the project.