In the 1890s a team of British archaeologists discover the untouched tomb of Princess Ananka but accidentally bring the mummified body of her High Priest back to life. Three years later ... See full summary »
Three middle-aged distinguished gentlemen are searching for some excitement in their boring bourgeois lives and get in contact with one of Count Dracula's servants, Lord Courtley. In a ... See full summary »
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at count Dracula's castle. Needless to say, he is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to ... See full summary »
Roy Ward Baker
In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the ... See full summary »
After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one who may be able to protect them is Dr. van Helsing, Harker's friend and fellow-student of vampires, who is determined to destroy Dracula, whatever the cost. Written by
The film takes numerous liberties with the story of Bram Stoker's novel, including (SPOILERS FOLLOW): In the novel Dracula can transform into a bat, a wolf, a horde of rats, and a mist, while in the film he does not have these abilities. * Dracula is an old man at the beginning of the story in the novel and becomes younger as he feeds on blood, while in the film he stays the same age throughout. * Dracula has only one bride in the film and is killed by Jonathan Harker, while in the novel Dracula has three brides and they are killed by Van Helsing. * In the film Mina is Arthur's wife and Lucy is Arthur's sister and Jonathan's fiancée, while in the novel Mina is Jonathan's fiancée and unrelated to Arthur, and Lucy is Arthur's fiancée. * Dr. Seward, a major character in the novel, appears only briefly in the film. * Dracula is killed in the film by Van Helsing, who exposes him to sunlight, while in the novel Dracula is killed by Jonathan Harker and Quincey Morris (a character not included in the film), who cut his throat and impale his heart simultaneously with knives. * Sunlight is lethal to vampires in the film, while in the novel it merely reduces their supernatural powers. * In the novel Jonathan Harker visits Dracula's castle to sell him real estate, unaware that he is a vampire, while in the film he visits Dracula's castle with the knowledge of his vampire nature and the intention to kill him, posing as a librarian. * In the novel Jonathan Harker survives the events of the story, while in the film he is turned into a vampire and killed by Van Helsing. * In the novel Dracula's castle is in Transylvania and Jonathan, Mina, Lucy, and Arthur live in England, while in the film Dracula's castle is in Klausenburg and only a short distance from the city in which Jonathan, Mina, Lucy, and Arthur live. * In the novel Dracula hides in England in Carfax Abbey, a property he purchased from Jonathan Harker, while in the film he hides in the cellar of Arthur's home. In the novel he transports a large number of crates of his native soil to England via ship, and in the film transports only a single coffin filled with his native soil to Arthur's home via carriage. See more »
The door to the Holmwood's cellar has the ability to change appearance. When Van Helsing finds Dracula there, both sides of the door are obviously made of wood with an aged appearance. After Dracula leaves, Van Helsing screams for Arthur to let him out, and after the door is opened, the side facing the inside of the house is green and looks metallic. See more »
[narrating his diary]
The Diary of Jonathan Harker... Third of May, 1885. At last, my long journey is drawing to its close. What the eventual end will be, I cannot foresee. But whatever may happen, I can rest secure that I will have done all in my power to achieve success.
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Bram Stoker's classic gets a makeover....Hammer style!
Often regarded as the highlight of Hammer horror's oeuvre, The Horror of Dracula stands up today as a fresh and inventive take on what is maybe the best story ever written. Hammer is a studio that has had many a fine hour, and although this is one indeed; I think that there are several other films from their ranks that just top it. Just, being the operative word as this is certainly up there with the best of them. As you might expect, the story follows that of Bram Stoker's original novel; with a young man travelling to Dracula's castle, and not returning. This attracts the attentions of Professor Abraham Van Helsing; an authority in the field of vampirism who then sets out to slay the malevolent fiend that is the source of all the foul play in the movie; Dracula himself.
Although this is based on the classic story, Hammer very much makes it their own. Of course, the campy horror styling that that the studio has become famous for features strongly in the movie and serves in giving it that classic Hammer feel. Furthermore, this movie features both of Hammer's greatest stars; Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Christopher Lee may be no Bela Lugosi, but if there was anyone other than Bela Lugosi that I would want to play Dracula; Christopher Lee is that man. He isn't actually in it that much, but the moments when he is are the best in the movie. He has an incredible amount of screen presence, and all of that is transferred into the character of Dracula. In a similar way, Peter Cushing plays Van Helsing. Like Lee, Cushing has buckets of screen presence, but it's all in a very different style. While Lee is a defined evil, Cushing is more subdued, which allows him to adequately play the hero as well as well as he plays the villain. I've got to be honest, I prefer Cushing in the bad guy role; but he still makes an excellent hero.
Terence Fisher, one of Hammer's premier directors, directs the film and does a great job with it. The atmosphere of the Gothic period setting is spot on, and a constantly foreboding, and intriguing atmosphere is created throughout. The way that the smoke drifts across the graveyard in the movie is among the most atmospheric things Hammer ever shot. Dracula is a great story, and this Hammer yarn more than does it justice.
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