An occasional series where I watch and review works inspired by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula…
These reviews reveal plot twists.
Setting: Another vaguely turn-of-the-20th-century time period, again in Transylvania. It’s about a year since the events of 1970’s Taste The Blood of Dracula.
Faithful to the novel? This is number six in Hammer’s series of Dracula movies, so we’re quite far removed from the source material now. The count (Christopher Lee) is resurrected by the dripping blood of a bat, but some locals burn down his castle, so he takes revenge by killing their loved ones. We then cut to Simon (a poor Dennis Waterman) and Sarah (a sexy Jenny Hanley), who are having their wedding reception at the Café Mozart. Perhaps it’s the same one from Carry On Spying. The film actually has a Carry On feel next, as we then meet Simon’s brother, Paul (Christopher Matthews), in a sequence that involves bed-hopping, comedy nudity and a father finding his daughter in bed with a man. When Paul is chased out of the town, he ends up at the fire-damaged Castle Dracula and becomes the count’s prisoner (not unlike Jonathan Harker in the book). Simon and Sarah’s search for him takes them to the castle too.
Best performance: Patrick Troughton, less than a year after quitting Doctor Who, is all ruffled hair, stubble and shabby clothes as Dracula’s dogsbody, Klove. The character was played by a different actor in previous film Dracula: Prince of Darkness.
Best bit: A dryly comedic scene with two slovenly policemen who question a barkeeper and his daughter.
Review: On the whole, the cast aren’t very good, but nevertheless this film has a bit more energy to it than most Hammer stories. The leads feel more like everyday people with reasonably modern sensibilities: for example, sex is no longer deep subtext; characters want it. It’s enjoyable-enough hokum with a disturbing way of killing off Dracula: he burns alive (or undead, I suppose).
Six steins of beer out of 10