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 »
A dead and frozen Baron Frankenstein is re-animated by his colleague Dr. Hertz proving to him that the soul does not leave the body on the instant of death. His lab assistant, young Hans, ... See full summary »
Two couples traveling in eastern Europe decide to visit Karlsbad despite dire local warnings. Left outside the village by a coachman terrified at the approach of night, they find themselves in the local castle and are surprised at the hospitality extended by the sinister Klove. It turns out the owner, Count Dracula, dead for ten years, has been hoping for such a visit. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Although this film holds a nostalgic pull for this particular viewer, (having seen it in its original stateside release at a Drive-In)an honest assessment today compels us to admit that the film is a study of a studio in decline.
True, the film is not without its assets, not the least of which is the veteran cast, with the lovely and always dramatically compelling Barbara Shelley pretty much walking off with the picture. Suzan Farmer, as always, is charming, and very easy on the eyes.
However, Bernard Robinson's art direction, (though adequate) doesn't begin to approach his earlier work, (particulary in "Brides of Dracula," "The Man Who Could Cheat Death," and "The Kiss of the Vampire"--and Robinson's genius is of a type that the work 'adequate' sits uncomfortably upon). Curiously, Mr. Robinson was back at the top of his game months later when he designed the plushy, "Plague of the Zombies."
The cinematography is compromised by grainy film stock, poor color, (as noted by film historian Leslie Halliwell), often rushed lighting, and a cumbersome and unnecessary use of wide screen. Terence Fisher filmographer, Wheeler Dixon, has noted the deficiencies in Michael Reeds's lensing on this project. In any case Mr. Reed nowhere equals the beautiful compositions he had managed on "The Gorgon," all of which makes the absence of Jack Asher particularly evident.
That the aforesaid technical credentials are lacking bears ample testament to the studio's drastic mid 60's cost cutting strategies, and the artistically regrettable, but imminent move away from Bray studios.
Moreover, the commercial objectives are baldly evinced here--the film screams "Formula."
Despite these shortcomings, and since this film was one of the last shot at Bray, it does bear compensatory traces of former glories. Thus we fully appreciate the hapless quartet's posthumous toast to Count Dracula, whilst the armorial flags above them billow in a ghostly breeze and the underscoring throbs unnervingly.
And Miss Shelley, as a vampiress, descending the staircase in a diaphanous gown goes a far way on the asset side of the ledger.
Mr. Lee for his part, does his usual hissing and cape waving. Too much is made of his lack of dialogue here. After all he has only a few lines at the beginning of "Horror of Dracula," and a few lines in this film's successor, "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave." So why on earth people feel the absence of such scanty phrases damages this film, who can say?
This picture would have been far better had it been done five years earlier. That said, it is a masterpiece compared to the dreck the eviscerated Hammer would be foisting on the public just five years later.
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