IMDb > Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Dracula: Prince of Darkness
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Dracula: Prince of Darkness More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]
Index 83 reviews in total 

24 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Hammer Fans Unite!

Author: Bucs1960 from West Virginia
6 November 2003

There is a cult in this world that are die-hard fans of Hammer films and "Dracula: Prince of Darkness" is another one to whet your appetite. Hammer Studios made their reputation in the horror film genre and all the films have a cetain look that is their trademark. The sets are rather lavish, it always seems to be winter and Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing are lurking around somewhere.

This film, missing Mr. Cushing, is probably one of the best of the "series". The charismatic Mr. Lee, however, does not utter a word and has fairly limited screen time which may dismay some fans. But he is still menacing and still biting necks with abandon. The story centers more around the 4 travelers and the priest (very well played by Andrew Keir). As usual, the innocents in the film stay at a castle which they have been warned to avoid by half the population of Transylvania. And then they pay the price. One scene worth mentioning, which is a little more gory than most in films of the 1960's is the discovery of Charles Tingwell, hanging upside down like a side of beef in the basement. You might jump at little at that point. But generally the film pretty much sticks to the Hammer formula.

So, if you are a Hammer fan, this one's for you. If you are not a Hammer fan, don't think for a moment that the story resembles Bram Stokers "Dracula"........well, maybe the fly eating Thorley Walters, modeled on the Renfield character from the book. Howevwer, it is a satisfying entry in the Hammer oeuvre and worth a watch.

Was the above review useful to you?

21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

The count plays second fiddle to a no nonsense priest.

Author: Bynovekka1 from United States
19 April 2001

Christopher Lee first put on his max factor fangs for Hammer productions in 1958. The result was the marvelous technicolor classic "The Horror of Dracula". Despite the film's awesome success it took Hammer eight years to convince Lee to do a sequel. The result was the far less heralded but nearly as good "Dracula-Prince of Darkness".

Taking place ten years after the vampire king's demise at the end the of "Horror", "Prince of Darkness" concerns two British couples traveling through central europe on a sight seeing venture. Ignoring warnings to avoid Castle Dracula the foolhardy band enter the vampire's abode and must battle for their lives against the recently resurrected count. One couple escapes and finds sanctuary at the nearby monastery of the Abbott of Kleinberg.

Enraged, Dracula pursues to reclaim his lost prey. Unfortunately, the master bloodsucker must first contend with the Abbott who knows how to deal with toothsome troublemakers.

Lee is his ghoulishly macho self in the title role. Hammer pinup girls Barbara Shelly and Suzan Farmer are appropriately pretty. Peter Latham is effective as the count's creepy man friday, Klove. But the real star of this outing is Andrew Keir as the Abbott, Father Sandor. Tough, gruff, witty and righteous Sandor is a every bit as worthy an opponent for the count as Van Helsing was in the original.

Was the above review useful to you?

19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

This is one of the best tales of Dracula I've ever seen.

9/10
Author: Golgo-13 from The IMDb Horror Board!
22 April 2006

The plot is simple; four travelers are abandoned by their coach driver near an old castle. Mysteriously, another horse-drawn buggy arrives with no rider. Of course, they decide to take it and move on but the horses are set on taking them to the castle, which I thought was pretty cool. When they arrive, they find they were expected, a table set for four. Out comes Klove, the creepy caretaker, who informs them that the deceased owner's wish was that the castle stay open for travelers. They decide to take advantage of this…and the story takes horrific turns from there. The resurrection of Dracula was a very good scene and the ending was a rather original twist on the vampire mythos but I enjoyed it just because of that. This was the first film in which I had seen the great Christopher Lee play the role of Dracula and everybody was right; he's perfect as the bloodsucker…and he doesn't even utter a word in this one. His tall build, strong face, and piercing eyes are more than enough to inspire his character. Andrew Keir as Father Sandor, a Van Helsing type role, was also of note. All in all, this Hammer production mixes in a bit of blood, some terror, and a whole lot of classic atmosphere to make for one classy, enjoyable horror flick.

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

"One of the best Dracula films in the Hammer series"

Author: jamesraeburn2003 from Poole, Dorset
27 August 2003

Four English tourists arrive in the Carpathians for a climbing holiday. Despite warnings from the superstitious locals they spend the night at Castle Dracula, where Dracula's sinister manservant uses the blood of one of them as a life force to resurrect his long dead master...

Dracula Prince Of Darkness was the official sequel to Hammer's Dracula (1958). Hammer had made two follow-ups to their box-office hit with The Brides Of Dracula (1960) and Kiss Of The Vampire (1964), but neither featured Christopher Lee. Some say that Lee refused to repeat his role through fear of becoming typecast, while others say that Hammer dropped him because he wasn't a big enough star. He got billed fourth in the first film. Whatever the reason, Lee finally returned to his original role after seven years and Dracula Prince Of Darkness made it into the top twenty moneyspinners of 1966. You will notice in this film that Christopher Lee has no lines, he has always maintained that the lines he was given were so bad that he wouldn't speak them. On the other hand screenwriter Jimmy Sangster (who penned the screenplay under the pseudonym John Samson) swears that he didn't write any.

Dracula Prince Of Darkness stands as one of the best sequels to Hammer's 1958 film, which is regarded by many as a classic. While Christopher Lee has no dialog, he still manages to create a feeling of lurking evil which lasts long after the movie's over. Whereas in later films he was little more than a supporting character with very little to do. The supporting cast which includes Francis Matthews and Barbara Shelley is excellent and Thorley Walters does a fine job of portraying the fly-eating Renfield, an original character from Bram Stoker's novel who is renamed here as Ludwig.

Was the above review useful to you?

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A River Runs Through Him

Author: BaronBl00d (baronbl00d@aol.com) from NC
11 July 2000

Hammer brought Christopher Lee back after an eight year absence to play Count Dracula once more in this film, also directed by Horror of Dracula director Terrence Fisher. Fisher does a fine job creating tension as two English couples pay no heed to a priest's advice and go to Carlsbad AND to the unmarked castle in the forest. There a servant of the evil count kills one of the men(admirably played by Charles Tingwell) and uses his blood to ressurect his master. From there on, Lee creates havoc among the house guests. The typical Hammer touches are all here: bright colours, beautiful scenes and sets, great music by James Bernard, and a fine, talented acting group. Lee is very menacing as the count, yet the real star of the film for me is Andrew Keir as an outspoken Van Helsing-like priest. The Hammer girls are as always very easy on the eyes. Barbara Shelley makes a beautiful vampire. Though the script comes up a bit short to make this one of Hammer's best vampire films, all the rest certainly make it very entertaining.

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable albeit shallow revisit to Transylvania.

Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England
23 May 2003

Dracula (Christopher Lee) rides again in yet another Hammer entry in the Dracula franchise. This film is enjoyable horror hokum, but it has an awfully shallow story, fleshed out with a slow opening stretch and some amusing vampire lore in between the sporadic vampire attacks.

Four British travellers are journeying through the Carpathian Alps in the 1800s. They are repeatedly cautioned to steer clear of Carlsbad Castle but, being typically stuffy and stubborn, they end up going there anyway. The castle is deserted apart from a rather zombified manservant. During the night, one of the travellers is slain by the manservant, and his blood is used to resurrect the long-dead Count Dracula. Time for another bout of blood-sucking mayhem....

Christopher Lee has a small role this time around, but gets across a good performance due to his commanding presence in the title role. Andrew Keir is also good as a priest-cum-vampire-slayer, though he has to overcome some dumb dialogue. The slow build-up is rather damaging, as it generates more tedium than chills. The opportunities for real terror are somewhat fudged too, since most would-be "shock" moments are telegraphed too far in advance. However, Hammer buffs and vampire addicts will doubtless feel more than satisfied.

Was the above review useful to you?

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Dracula makes a successful comeback!

7/10
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
23 February 2005

Though not quite up to the standard of Hammer's first major success, 'Horror of Dracula', this follow up still represents another feather in the great studio's already feather filled cap. Returning from the first film are director Terence Fisher and, of course, Christopher Lee as the Count. Unfortunately, Peter Cushing doesn't recoup his role as the vampire hunter, Van Helsing and the film suffers a loss because of that; but it works despite that fact and although Cushing would no doubt have added to the film, it obviously doesn't need him to succeed. As Hammer are famous for playing with existing stories, and as they've already covered the original story; this one is a completely new version of Dracula. The plot follows four British tourists that end up in Dracula's castle and, as you can imagine, end up becoming dinner for everyone's favourite bloodsucker. Not Hammer's best storyline, I'm sure you'll agree, but as it's done with all the panache and style that we've come to love from Hammer, so they don't really need to set the world of plotting on fire to deliver a damn fine horror movie.

Christopher Lee is a great actor. He doesn't bring quite the same greatness to the role of Dracula that Bela Lugosi did before him, but if there was any actor to take the reins, Lee is definitely the one that I want. However, the problem with Lee's performance in this movie is that he doesn't get a lot of screen time, and considering he's the top billed star; I felt a little ripped off at him not being in it all that much. Every scene with him in it is a delight, however, and it's just a shame that there isn't all that many of them. The four actors playing the British tourists mostly carry the film, and although they aren't bad; none of them have anything on Christopher Lee. Terence Fisher's direction is adequate as usual, and he does a good job at creating the right sort of atmosphere and tension. There isn't a great deal of blood in the story, but it doesn't matter as that's not the point of the film, and the Hammer clichés that have gained them so many fans figure to an extent that you wont even notice the lack of blood and guts. This isn't the best Dracula film ever made, or even the best Dracula film that Hammer made; but it's a solid one and fans of Dracula and Hammer will no doubt find lots to like.

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

In some respects as good as the original,all the Hammer clichés at their best

Author: DrLenera
24 July 2004

Dracula Prince Of Darkness is in many ways as good as the first of the Hammer Draculas. It isn't actually the first sequel they made- that being The Brides Of Dracula- but that did not have Dracula in it, it actually being another adventure for Peter Cushing's Van Helsing, the vampire hunter. This film is hardly a classic, but it's extremely effective in what it sets out to do.

Rather disappointingly, Dracula is not revived {in startlingly gory fashion}until half the film is over, and even after that only puts in brief appearances. Although this has been heavily criticised, in some ways it makes the film more effective ,as you don't always know when he is going to appear. He doesn't even speak ,just hisses. The leisurely first half is nonetheless full of creepy atmosphere, while the second half is pretty much all action. The scene where a writhing Barbara Shelley is held down and staked remains astonishingly effective, and only Dracula's icy demise seems a little unconvincing technically.

Of course the sexual element is hardly worth thinking about- prudish Shelley becomes'eroticised'as a vampire and than has to be killed, and why were the Hammer ladies always far more attractive in their vampiric form? Still, this film shows many of the Hammer elements at their best.

Was the above review useful to you?

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the very best entries in Hammer's Dracula series.

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
24 June 2003

'Dracula: Prince Of Darkness' isn't technically the sequel to Hammer's 'Dracula' (a.k.a. 'Horror Of Dracula'), 'The Brides Of Dracula' is, but considering Dracula didn't even appear in the latter, this in my opinion is the REAL sequel. I actually enjoyed it a little bit more than 'Dracula' and it's one of the very best entries in the whole series, if not THE best. Dracula doesn't put in an appearance until about half way through the movie, but he's worth waiting for. Christopher Lee gives his most memorable performance as Dracula, which incidentally has no dialogue whatsoever. It's a great piece of acting, and Lee is an extremely underrated performer. Apart from Christopher Lee the rest of the cast is also first rate. Andrew "Professor Quatermass" Keir almost steals the movie as the unconventional Father Sandor, and the four English travellers who find themselves the guests of Dracula are Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer and veteran Aussie actor Bud Tingwell. All but the latter are familiar faces to Hammer fans. Shelley co-starred with Keir in the excellent 'Quatermass and the Pit" and she, Matthews and Farmer appeared with Christopher Lee in the wonderful 'Rasputin: The Mad Monk' released the same year as this movie. Pop culture obsessives will also remember that Francis Matthews voiced Captain Scarlet in the cult Gerry and Sylvia Anderson puppet show 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons' (a show that Bud Tingwell was also involved with). 'Dracula: Prince Of Darkness' is yet another wonderfully entertaining horror movie from Hammer studios. I suggest watching 'Dracula' and then following directly with 'Dracula: Prince Of Darkness' for a fantastic vampire double bill that is pretty hard to beat! Long live Christopher Lee!

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Hammer's decline starting to show.

6/10
Author: BrentCarleton
15 February 2007

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.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
External reviews Parents Guide Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history