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Michael Carreras rejoined the now booming company in 1971, but the British film industry was already beginning to suffer financially as the arrival of colour television contributed to a sharp decline in box office revenues.

Hammer was far from booming in 1971, despite what its prolific output might suggest. After more than a decade reaping the rewards of the world's appetite for gothic horror, the company's formula was becoming tired. The company began to seek novel ways to spice up its output, the chief weapon being the female vampire, typified by Ingrid Pitt's Carmilla, in The Vampire Lovers.

At the same time, the company discovered a lucrative side-line in spin-offs of British TV sit-coms, and the world was brought that wonderful window into the social scene of Britain in the 1970s - the On the Buses trilogy.

Undaunted, Michael Carreras still tried to get new films off the ground, including Vampirella, based on the Warren comic book character. But by the middle of the decade the game was up. Gothic horror was out of fashion, and Hammer couldn't find backers for production. To the Devil A Daughter, the company's last horror film of the 20th century, was in spectacular departure from the well-worn recipe.