Director: Roy Ward Baker
Starring: Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, UK. 1h 36m
This is one of my favourite Hammer Horrors and possibly one of my favourite Dracula films with Christopher Lee at the helm, mostly because he’s such an asshole in this film.
Starting with a double cross, the peasants are revolting against their oppressor, the dark lord Dracula who has terrorised them for too long. They hightail it up to the castle and after an encounter with the rough and well trained Igor, style character Klove (Patrick Troughton) they break in and start fucking the place up, meanwhile Dracula has already headed down to the village and eaten all their wives and children!! Bwahaaa! The revolting villagers make their way home to find the local church a mess of bodies and blood and meekly carry on with their lives with a bitterness in their hearts. The film takes a lighthearted turn as it shows Paul (Christopher Matthews) a young bed hopping playboy who is always on the run from one conquest to another, and after a quick visit to his brother Simon (Dennis Waterman) and his lover Sarah (Jenny Hanley) he becomes a prisoner in Castle Dracula. Simon and Sarah travel in search of the missing Paul and are soon shunned into the open arms of Dracula…
There is so much to really love about this film, it has the typical Hammer depth in story with the odd twist and great build up to the proper meeting with Dracula. I really love how he stands for no shit in this film, his concubine fucks up once and his shanks her without any question, leaving the body for Igor to clean up later on, a task he carries out as if nothing, cutting up the body and dissolving it in acid while robbing it of any goodies and cleaning the room for the next victim. I’ve been a fan of Patrick Troughton for some time, his contributions to horror films usually goes unnoticed but he’s developed a lot of characters with ease.
Most of the elements of Hammer are at work here, romance, thrills, horror, bats on strings and gallant hero’s, in a way you could say it’s run of the mill, but it’s Hammer so it has many charms, and for one it’s quite brutal for this niche style, and I think this rare harshness is a credit. Lee doesn’t have much on screen time, but as expected he doesn’t have to in order to make the character very distinguished, after all he pretty much reinvented Dracula after Lugosi hung up his cloak and by this time had it firmly in his grasp. Waterman was one of the most bizarre members of the cast, and this might be one of the only performances that he didn’t contribute to musically as well…
It’s ingenious, tense and quite a thrilling chase with a few laughs thrown in. A brilliant lavish addition to the Vampire legacy that Hammer produced in it’s golden years.
R – All other movie from the Dracula series, I aint naming them all.. Ok Dracula 1958 The Brides of Dracula (1960) The Brides of Dracula 1960 Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) Dracula: Prince of Darkness 1966 Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) Dracula Has Risen from the… 1968 Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) Taste the Blood of Dracula 1970
L -Selected Hammer Horror Movies, Dracula Movies
A – Hammer Horror Real Revival, Fake Bats on Strings and when Props Don’t matter.
5B – Christopher Lee, Patrick Troughton