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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The dark horse of the sequels: Taste the Blood of Dracula. I don't
know, the title alone is awesome, I also happened to really like this
story. Once again Christopher Lee returns as Dracula, you could tell
this time he was definitely not happy to reprise the role. Not that he
doesn't give great chills, but he doesn't have many lines and what
lines he does have usually consist of two words: "The fiiiiiirst
"The Thiiiiiiird" "Lucy
Alice", etc. What
makes a sequel special is if the story doesn't copy typical formulas
and if the characters are likable and relatable. The story while slow
paced at times and has certain flaws is still very creepy. Originally
due to Christopher's hatred of the sequels, they were going to have his
servant take over the role of Dracula, but eventually Christopher did
agree and he wants revenge over the men who beat his servant to death
while resurrecting him. It's a great idea and the resurrection scene is
very well done with chilling atmosphere and very good acting. Then
Dracula being the total baddie that he is doesn't want to get his hands
dirty, he gets the men's kids to do his revenge for him, I couldn't
think of a more evil way to handle things and that makes not only for a
darker sequel but one of the stronger in my opinion.
Three English gentlemen - Hargood, Paxton and Secker - have formed a circle ostensibly devoted to charitable work but in reality they indulge themselves in brothels. One night they are intrigued by a young man who bursts into the brothel. The gentlemen are informed that he is Courtley, who was disinherited for celebrating a Black Mass. Hoping for more intense pleasures, Hargood meets Courtley outside the brothel. The younger man takes the three to the Cafe Royal and promises them experiences they will never forget but insists that they come to see Weller and purchase from him Dracula's ring, cloak and dried-up blood. The three meet with Courtley at an abandoned Church for a ceremony during which he puts the dried blood into goblets and mixes it with drops of his own blood, telling the gentlemen to drink. As they refuse, he drinks the blood himself, screams and falls to the ground. As he grabs the gentlemen's legs, they kick and beat him with increasing vigour - not stopping until Courtley dies, at which they flee in disgust at what they have done. While the three return to their respective homes and get on with their lives, Courtley's body, left in the abandoned church, transforms into Dracula, who vows that those who have destroyed his servant will be destroyed.
There are flaws with the film, like why the daughter Alice is never made into a vampire. The count has several opportunities to bite her but never does, you could say that he wanted a servant for the day time but after his revenge is done, there was no reason. But the hero was her boyfriend, so he's gotta get something for going through all that trouble of defeating the count. Plus I do love how for once there is a girl that does stand up to the count, every girl is always thrown down by the count all shocked and wants to be taken back immediately, Alice actually says "you know what? Screw this, you can fight off your own crosses" and throws the cross at the count. There is another flaw where the son Jeremy is made into a vampire but was never staked or shown what happened to him, you could just assume he's wondering around in a circle around his father's house waiting for Dracula's next command. However, flaws set aside, I think this was still a very good sequel. There's nothing majorly wrong with the film that I think given the right chance, people would really enjoy Taste the Blood of Dracula as a film in itself.
This was the only Dracula/Lee movie that I saw on the huge theater
screen and it was pretty cool. My mom would never take me to these
things so I had my dad drop me and my friend off, then pick us up
later. It was a double feature along with Trog. The theater was not
packed, but it had been playing for at least a week. Now some kids are
going to rate this lower because they've all seen much bloodier and
scarier stuff. No kidding, really????? When this came out it was very
good in terms of gore and horror.
My most memorable scene was when the hardened dust broke in half and Dracula's face filled the screen with those red eyes. I just purchased the DVD and it includes some restored footage of the brothel T&A and during each victim's death they look up at the standing figure of Dracula. The first victim's shovel-gashed face was restored on the DVD, the second victim's bloody face and the third victim too. This version was never released in the US. It would have been rated R, instead it was GP (before they called it PG).
I think it's bull for another commenter to say it's obvious that Dracula was never intended to be in this. No, what is obvious is that a certain commenter read some of these movie facts before claiming they "knew all along." Yeah, they were going to have Bates as Dracula, thank god that fell through. Lee was talked into it again. They had to rewrite it to insert Dracula in there, and his presence was awesome though some of his lines were bad. Hmmm, Dracula can count to 3. I'll give this one 7 stars. The DVD quality is spectacular.
A trio of seemingly respectable, well-to-do Victorian gentlemen (played
by Geoffrey Keen, Jonathen Secker, and Peter 'more cheese, Gromit?'
Sallis) form a secret club in order to experience the wildest thrills
that life has to offer. However, their limited imaginations mean that
they soon become bored, and so they decide to take their lead from
disgraced aristocrat and practising Satanist Lord Courtley (a
marvellously slimy Ralph Bates), who suggests that they attempt a
ritual to bring the infamous Count Dracula back to life.
When the three men panic during the ceremony, and beat Courtley to death, they flee the scene, not realising that Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) has indeed returned from the dead, and now seeks retribution for the killing of his loyal acolyte.
Although Hammer's Dracula movies rarely strayed far from their well-worn formulaDracula lives; Dracula kills; Dracula diestheir lush Gothic atmosphere, fine ensemble casts, and sumptuous cinematography usually meant that, even when the script was somewhat lacking, there was still plenty to enjoy. Such is the case with Taste The Blood Of Dracula, which features a so-so story and a surprisingly unremarkable turn from Lee (who is forced to deliver some particularly dodgy dialogue), but manages to keep fans entertained with some gloriously camp performances from the rest of the cast, some fine direction from Peter Sasdy, and loads of Hammer's trademark Gothic trappings.
Plus, this entry in the series also stars the gorgeous Linda Haydenone of my favourite actresses from the late 60s/70swhose presence makes it a must-see as far as I am concerned. Her transformation from wide eyed innocent to slutty vamp slave (with cleavage on display, naturally) is reason enough to seek this one out!
Three wealthy gentlemen go out during one night of the month for
pleasure seeking (supposedly for charity the wives think) and are
becoming incredibly bored in what they do in that time, as they think
that they've done everything. That's until they meet Lord Courtley
(Ralph Bates) who claims he can give them power if they join him in
some ritual to recreate his dead master, but first they have to buy a
certain item off a shopkeeper to perform this task. So, with the help
of Dracula's servant Lord Courtley they meet in a rundown chapel to
revive Dracula (Christopher Lee) from his ashes, but they chicken out
of fulfilling their end of the bargain and to keep this quiet they kill
the servant. Thinking that it will just blow over, but there wrong as
now Dracula has been revived through his servants' corpse and he plans
to take vengeance on those three for killing his servant.
Decent latter-day hammer effort that has very good production valves and some solid performances on show. The polished Victorian sets standout with sharp detail and great use of shadowy and dim lighting for its Gothic atmosphere. Though, the atmosphere was good it wasn't that grand in stature and it's not terribly suspenseful as we've seen it all before. The overall feel might come across a rather glum, but it has its lively parts and an undertone of pervading sexuality and flesh for some added boost. The compellingly clever plot is well thought out to begin with (great intro) and there are some unpredictable moments, but then it does seem to follow the usual pattern of the earlier Hammer Dracula's and ends rather unconvincingly after it looked like there was going to be an exciting finale. After a promising first half it does kind of drag in parts after the resurrection of Dracula and comes up with an uninspiring romance tale. The script is utter ham and quite stilted. Christopher Lee as Dracula doesn't really get that much too do, but whenever on screen his presence or quick flashes has some hypnotic pull making you wish he had more screen time. Most of the time his sneaking about in the background, counting down his victims in a husky voice (1,2 & 3) and giving orders to others (their children) to do his dirty work. Most of the performances were good (some deadpan) from the likes of Geoffrey Keen, Peter Sallis and John Carson as the three gentlemen and Ralph Bates as Lord Courtley is incredibly over-the-top, but seemed well suited for it. The ladies of the film or you should say Dracula's victims Isla Blair and the ravishing Linda Hayden give fair performances and some added eye-candy. The direction by Peter Sasdy is top-notch in delivery and he adds in some great sequences. The fine camera-work had sprawling crane and ground shots. While not forgetting the look into my eyes camera zooms too. Even the make-up and gore effects (nice flowing rich blood) were pretty well conceived and didn't come across as too wretched. Another highlight of the film would have to be piercing, but also moody music score.
Anyway maybe the formula was starting to wear thin in this film? Well, it does rehash certain elements and the usual clichés follow, but what do you expect from these campy hammer films. Its their trademark and has been a winning formula for them.
A mildly enjoyable hammer film, even if it's by the books.
The story concerns three middle-aged men seeking thrills, making a pact with a devil's disciple, backing out of that pact at the last moment, and then dying as well as their progeny for their lack of commitment. The story has some big holes, but is one of the better Dracula films in the Hammer series. You get what you generally can expect from Hammer: good character acting, lush cinematography, dutiful direction(ably done by Peter Sasdy), Christopher Lee(alas no Peter Cushing), beautiful young girls showing lots of cleavage, wonderful period costumes, and the film's shining grace is the score by James Hermann which is simply poetry put to music. Ralph Bates stands out as a Lord Courtly living a life of sin and debauchery. Good Hammer Fun!
When I was a kid by the late 70s I had the chance to see on TV some of Hammer's horror flick from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. But I had developed a special king of passion for the Dracula series. I remember the foggy atmosphere, the old castles and the Gothic Victorian era. Hammer movies were really well done and very elegant. "Taste the Blood of Dracula" starts where "Dracula has raised from the Grave" ended, when traveling salesman by the name of Weller (played by Roy Kinnear) is pushed from the wagon he was traveling in. After a brief moment he gets his self together and hears a loud scream from deep in the forest. He goes and investigates and finds the Count impaled in a golden cross and while he sees in horror Dracula is disintegrated in a red powder like substance. Weller, quickly decides to take the powder with him and all of Dracula's belonging. Later we see a group of three English businessmen with their families in church but that's only a cover when the three Englishmen leave their families every Sunday night, apparently to help the poor and feed the hungry instead they seek pleasure to satisfied their personal desire by visiting a night club. While the three businessmen are having their usual fun they are interrupted by Lord Courtley (played by Ralph Bates) how is a black magic practitioner and invites the three businessmen to participate in a satanic ritual promising them that he will expand their pleasures. But first they must buy from Weller, Dracula's blood and artifacts for him to perform the ritual. First the businessmen hesitate but they are easily deceived by Lord Courtley and later they perform the ritual in an abandoned church. After Courtley drinks the blood he falls to the ground in pain and the businessmen in fear start to beat him up to death. After leaving the body of Courtley lifeless on the ground the body of Courtley transforms in the Count Dracula. After this Dracula promise the revenge of his servant (Courtley) by hypnotizing the daughters of the businessmen and making them murder their own fathers. Dracula is like a puppet master in this movie and his participation is more in the shadows but still has a good feel to it. The acting by the entire cast was superb, especially for Ralph Bates. The costumes, art direction, photography, and directing was one of the best in the Dracula series. I had the chance to buy this classic in 2004 on DVD and later the rest of the Hammer's Dracula series. But "Taste the Blood of Dracula" still my overall favorite. Atmosphere and the great performances makes this a must see. Unfortunately Taste the Blood of Dracula was (in my opinion) the last good Dracula of the series. After that they started to do Dracula more too present day and kind of lost its touch. If you are a Hammer fan and want to make your own Dracula movie marathon this movie should be in your collection.
This is a very unusual Hammer horror film in that it picks up exactly
where the last one left off--providing some nice continuity. It seems
that after Drac was impaled in the last film, his body disintegrated
and all that was left was his powdered blood. A REALLY STUPID passerby
decided to scoop up the blood and later sells it--followed by the not
unexpected resurrection of Dracula once again!! Despite this weird
reincarnation, the movie does offer some nice innovations and some that
weren't all that necessary. Dracula was revived by a Devil worshiper
and three perverts. Just before Dracula revives, the three perverts get
cold feet and kick the Devil worshiper to death. In an odd display of
loyalty, Dracula decides to take revenge on the three man and their
families because a sweet old Devil lover was needlessly killed! In most
Dracula films his sidekicks are killed at the slightest whim by the
vampire without a second thought. I really suspected that Christopher
Lee's character was just looking for an excuse to shed some more
innocent blood--and how he had them killed was pretty cool and unusual.
However, were also some bad changes. Since the film came out in 1970
and the morals of the world were changing, the producer decided to "sex
up the series" by adding a brothel scene and throwing in some
gratuitous nudity. The entire scene could have remained and been just
as effective without the boobies, but because of this some parents
might want to think twice about allowing junior to watch this film. Of
course, with all the killing and bleeding, this isn't exactly a kids'
film anyway!! Overall, a very watchable addition to the franchise and a
nice followup to "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave".
A couple final notes--when a dead woman is removed from the lake, the man who retrieved the body accidentally tripped a bit--and you can see the "dead lady" move her arm instinctively in response!! I'm amazed they didn't catch this or re-shoot the scene. Also, one of the three men marked for revenge is played by Peter Sallis (the voice of Wallace from "Wallace and Grommit"). It's interesting to see this man play a rather slimy part.
Hammer studio's Dracula series comes second to it's far better
Frankenstein series - that's obvious - and the reason for that is that
the films tend to be very similar to one another. Of course, the same
thing could be said about the Frankenstein series; but at least the
latter obviously tries to make each instalment a unique entry in the
series. Dracula tends to take the easy route and go for the simple;
Dracula gets resurrected and kills some people shortly before getting
defeated again, only to reappear in the next Dracula film. It has to be
said that this entry in the series suffers from that affliction, but in
fairness to it; Taste the Blood of Dracula definitely sports one of the
better plots in the series, and is probably the second best film -
after the original of course. The story this time round follows a
circle of three bored gentlemen who get duped into resurrecting the
count by a young upstart (Ralph Bates, in fine form) who offers them an
experience beyond belief. Havoc ensues.
One of the principle reasons why this film works is that the campy Hammer style features in droves. You know you're watching a Hammer film when you see three straight-faced (even slightly worried!) men in an antiques shop negotiating the price of a vile of Count Dracula's blood! The campness continues throughout the movie, and it's always good to see. As usual, Christopher Lee appears for all of about five minutes and the acting is mostly left to a cast of unknowns, but they carry it well and every moment that Lee is on screen is delightful. The script is rather corny, naturally, with several unintentional comic delights that are sure to delight Hammer fans. Most of the Dracula clichés are present, and since we live in a world now where it's become a cliché to step away from clichés, it's nice to see a movie that has a lot of clichés in it. On the whole, this is a decent waste of time and I very much doubt that fans of Hammer horror, Christopher Lee, Dracula, Playboy magazine or even ham and pineapple pizza will be disappointed with it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Victorian England. Rather irritating young Satanist and three Bible-bashing hypocrites resurrect Dracula, causing the death of the young scumbag. Dracula thinks the trio had no right to help the death of HIS servant and goes to attack the trio through their children. Entertaining Dracula film set to the right milieu, with quality being the name of the game. Sets and locations - the period interiors, the atmospherically ruined church, the gorgeous autumnal graveyard - are very beautiful, so are the women's feminine costumes and strong, but natural colours of 1970s Technicolour. James Bernard's score is one of his best. Christopher Lee may be the most overpraised Dracula in history, but who cares - this film shows the charm of the old-fashioned "horror" at it's best.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Atmospheric "Dracula" pic from director Peter Sasdy, who also helmed "Countess Dracula". This is a much better film than that and rates in the upper echelon of the series. The film's opening ten minutes -- a man thrown from a carriage discovers the Count in his death throes -- are pitch perfect. It is a creepy, beautifully realized opening that raises expectations. For the most part, the expectations are met. The basic story, involving a trio of pleasure seekers who accidentally raise the dead vampire with a little assistance from Lord Courtley (Ralph Bates), is nothing novel, but Sasdy's direction, Arthur Grant's cinematography, and Scott MacGregor's production design combine to produce one of the finest looking Hammer pics. Of special note is James Bernard's score. It is truly one of the most beautiful scores of any film, and the final fifteen minutes are beyond sublime. Although the film stumbles in the centre and doesn't permit Lee too much screen time, it is, nevertheless, a solid, sensual entry in the Dracula canon.
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