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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 the small town where all the traces end to look for him. Written by
The last period Hammer horror film with Dracula. The story isn't really that good--just a bunch of young, good-looking, talentless young actors getting involved with Dracula (Christopher Lee).
There are MANY things wrong with this film: 1) The plot is slight and heavily padded (even at 90 minutes) 2) There are some ridiculously fake rubber bats 3) The special effects are dreadful 4) With two exceptions the acting is even worse than usual for a Hammer film 5) Dracula stabs a woman vampire to death (why???) with an obviously fake knife and THEN drinks her blood. How could a knife kill a vampire? And WHY did he kill her?
This is considered the worst Lee Dracula film. I disagree. I think it's one of the best. For one thing it is easily the goriest Hammer Dracula film (it was the first one to get an R rating here in the US) with some mild nudity thrown in. The violence is strong and savage and played to the hilt by Lee. Also there are two sequences that come directly from Bram Stoker's original Dracula novel--Dracula sleeping in a room with no way in or out--except a window; and when Dracula climbs UP the castle wall from window to window. It was great seeing Hammer at least (for once) TRYING to get some of Stoker's creation on screen. Also Patrick Troughton is very good as Dracula's servant Klove and even Christopher Matthews has a few moments as the doomed Paul. But Lee's acting is the main reason to see this. He has more screen time and dialogue in this than any of the other Draculas and he just gives out an incredible performance. You can't take your eyes off him when he's on screen.
Supposedly Lee and director Roy Ward Baker HATED this film (they blamed Hammer management for forcing them) but they shouldn't. It's very scary and well-done. Recommended.
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