April 30, 2024

Your Prescription is Ready: Mad Doctor Meds, Hammer-style

When you watch lots of retro TV like I do, you become very familiar with the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and which of their overpriced prescription meds are the greatest cash cows. Every time I’m blitzed with drug commercials, I shake my head at the tongue-twisting brand names that seem to have originated straight out of Superman’s Bizarro universe, not to mention all the small print side effects which are way worse than the disease (if you can even figure out what the damned things are supposed to be treating).

As you might expect, in that parallel universe we all know and love where monsters are the norm and retailers and advertisers cater to their every whim, Big Pharma is there to exploit every monster malady… and there are a lot of them!

Publicity still - Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
With all those vegetarians and vegans walking around, it’s harder than ever for vampires to find the iron-rich blood necessary for a healthy undead existence. Taken with 10 pints of fresh blood, once-daily Corpusletrex ™ guarantees your nightly requirements of red corpuscles, iron and 13 additional vitamins and minerals.
  Common side effects: Red eye; general pallor; sensitivity to sunlight, silver crosses and wooden stakes; enlarged canine teeth; increased desire to wear black silk capes; constipation; living death. Don’t take if you’re allergic to Corpusletrex or any of its ingredients.
Screenshot - Christopher Lee in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Let’s face it: in their rush to create new artificial life, mad doctors aren’t the most scrupulous or detail-oriented of medical professionals. They use any old body parts that they can get their hands on, and they stitch them together with the sort of carelessness that would make a bottom-of-the-class, first year medical student look like a virtuoso. If you’re the product of a mad scientist’s haste, don't despair. Daily applications of Suturetril ™ will lessen the redness and swelling around your sutures, and help to fight off infections caused by mad medical malpractice.
   Common side effects: Redness and swelling around sutured areas; skin discoloration and eruptions; rheumy eyes; poor muscle coordination; diarrhea; death.
Screenshot - The Reptile (1966)
It’s never a good thing when, as the result of a terrible, mystical curse, you periodically turn into a slavering, scaly human reptile that spits venom at innocent people, turning their skin purplish-black before causing them to expire in the most horrible way possible. Used as directed, Scalera ™ will smooth and soften scaly skin, fill-in cracks and wrinkles, and add a healthy, greenish glow to your complexion.
  Common side effects: Blackened, forked tongue; slurring of speech; bulging eyes; lowered body temperature; general clamminess; increased desire to bite people for no good reason; constipation; death. For external use only, not to be taken internally.
Screenshot - Oliver Reed in The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
Chasing after human prey night after night under the full moon can be exhausting and hard on your lungs. Used nightly, the Madvaire inhaler ™ can restore peak lung function and ensure that you never get winded when hunting down terrified victims.
  Common side effects: Excessive salivating; halitosis; sinusitis; elongated yellow teeth and bloody gums; swollen tongue; split ends; ringing in ears; explosive diarrhea; death. Not to be used as a rescue inhaler.
Screenshot - Jacqueline Pearce in The Plague of the Zombies (1966)
Zombies have a hard time maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, mainly because blood has stopped circulating in their bodies. In combination with a healthy diet of human flesh, Oozemplic ™ can help prevent further rotting and restore enough vitality to allow even the most decomposed zombie to accomplish whatever mindless, slavish tasks are required. And it will keep those extra pounds off too!
  Common side effects: Oozing and discharges at the injection site; gangrenous flesh; cloudy, watery eyes; rotting teeth and bleeding gums, incontinence; death-in-life.


  1. I dunno about adding that "healthy greenish glow" to the skin -- maybe something a little more on the gold or red tones scale (in diamond or striped patterns) would immeasurably enhance that reptilian look to the complexion...
    Fun post! And, yeah, those ENDLESS advertisements; if you put all of them together, back to back, you could run your own Night of the Living Ads marathon.

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately, I've long been part of that demographic for which every night spent watching ad-supported video is "Night of the Living Ads." But I'm too cheap to go ad-free premium. 😊

  2. Your terrific post had me in stitches (Perhaps I need some "Sururetril," myself?)! This would have been a great addition to the Hammer-Amicus blogathon, if not for the fact that it's taking a pause this year. I've often wondered about these annoyingly ubiquitous pharmaceutical ads as well. As you mentioned, the side effects of the drugs often seem far worse than the malady they're intended to relieve.

    1. Thanks Barry! Baron Frankenstein had the right idea -- transplant your brain to a younger body before you start having to take all this stuff with sketchy side effects.
      P.S.: If you decide to go with Suturetril, test it on something tough and organic, like an elephant or rhinoceros hide, before applying. Just sayin'.

  3. That Corpusletrex sounds like just the thing to put some spring back into the step of this night worker. Sure seems to work for Drac. Do you think it's covered by most healthcare plans or would I need a supplemental Hammer Health policy?

    1. In the Hammer-verse, everything is covered, but there are some things to consider: Baron Frankenstein makes the final call on eligibility, and if you need more than two brain transplants in a year, you pay out of pocket. 🤪

  4. Brian, you've outdone yourself with this one! Maybe I'm overly suspicious, but I tend to avoid most medications that list death as one possible side effect. But I have to admit the "healthy greenish glow" to one's complexion as promised by regular use of Scalera is certainly tempting. Speaking of retro TV, I love to watch DVDs of old commercials. Some of the cigarette ads in which we were told that 9 out of 10 physicians chose Lucky Strike (without filters) as their personal brand almost make the current drug ads seem sensible!

    1. Hi Mike! I'm so glad that I'm not alone in being suspicious of drugs with fatal side effects. Do you think they really did a survey of doctors' cigarette preferences back in the day? Of course I'm old enough to remember the ubiquitous cigarette ads, but I don't remember my doctor recommending any brands, filtered or unfiltered. 😜