A number of scenes were cut from the studio’s releases after U.K. censors deemed them too gory or shocking for audiences and Hammer Film Productions executives have since discovered that the film reels containing the edited clips have not been archived.
Peter Naish, Hammer’s senior vice-president of distribution, says, “We’re fairly sure they exist in private collections, instead of official archives.
“There’s a network of Hammer fans and collectors who snap these things up, so we need to scour the whole world and appeal to the fans at large to see what we can come up with.”
Nine key clips from six of the studios’ most iconic movies, including The Mummy and Rasputin: The Mad Monk, have been identified – and one of the most sought-after features actor Peter Cushing in 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein, in which a severed head is dropped into a bathtub full of acid.
Naish adds, “I think that one’s iconic – that would be the one people would most want to see. But if we can find any others, that would be great.”
Studio bosses hope the worldwide appeal will prove a success and aid them as they work to restore all of the edited films as part of an ongoing project.