In a move underliningthe growing market for quality, low-budget horror, British production andfinancing outfit Random Harvest is starting a new Enterprise InvestmentScheme (EIS) Company, Harvest PicturesIII, with Hammer Films and LA-based Stan Winston Productions.

Harvest Pictures IIIwill back new horror films from Hammer, Stan Winston and Four Horsemen Films(Random Harvest's genre arm.)

Several projects arealready in advanced development, among them The Cottage (Four HorsemenFilms) written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams, Drowning (FourHorsemen Films), Earth Requiem (Stan Winston Productions), PerfectSight (Hammer Films) and The Beetle (Hammer Films).

"There's a realappetite for low-budget horror, particularly on DVD," Random Harvest's M-DAlistair MacLean-Clark told

"This is aboutmaking movies like Saw and Cabin Fever, targeted at 16 to 24 yearolds, and re-inventing the Hammer brand for the 21st Century."

With the Harvest IIIbacking, the first new Hammer horror film to shoot in 30 years is likely to bein production by the early summer. "Horror is a perennial favourite andhorror movies have an exceptionally long shelf-life," Hammer chairmanLarry Chrisfield commented. "Hammer is the leading brand in thefield.

"Over the past two yearswe have been working up a slate of new movies and we are delighted to joinforces with Random Harvest and Stan Winston Studios to bring these projects tothe big screen."

Stan Winston, a doyen ofcreature and visual effects whose credits range from Aliens to Terminator,won't simply be developing his own movies with Harvest Pictures III backing. His technicians and artists at StanWinston Studios will also be working on Four Horsemen and Hammer projects.

Since being set up in1999, Random Harvest has raised over $33.9m (£18m) through two earlier EISschemes, two Section 48 Funds and a Sale and Leaseback Fund.