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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A Sadistic & Violent Dracula Film

8/10
Author: spacemonkey_fg from Puerto Rico
10 June 2005

Title: Scars of Dracula (1970)

Directed by: Ray Ward Baker Cast: Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanly, Patrick Throughton, Christopher Mathews

Review: How many here enjoyed Horror of Dracula? Did you like its creepiness? Did you dig its heavy atmosphere? Did you shiver at Draculas evil blood shot stare? Well have I got news for you.

Those of you who have not seen this flick, or are just discovering Hammer films, go and search this one out. It's a very enjoyable and creepy Dracula tale, that will please fans of Dracula films and gore alike! I've seen some of the best hammer Dracula films and I have seen some of the worst, and all I can say is that this one ranks way up there as a highly enjoyable Count Dracula story, which I'm sad to say is sometimes bombarded by critics and even by Christopher Lee himself as being a weak entry into the series. Me? I thought it was a kick ass vampire movie, old school style of course, but mega fun non the less. The only reason for it being called a "weak"entry is because it has more violence then other Hammer films. This in my opinion does not make it weak, if anything it made it a cooler film to watch. It made it more of a horror film.

The story is about a young womanizer who goes by the name Paul (Christopher Mathews) . Hes escaping the local authorities for having his way with some important dudes daughter. Anyhows on his way to escaping he ends up in Draculas castle. After that his brother Simon (Dennis Waterman), decides to go and look for him with his girlfriend Sarah (Jenny Hanley). What they encounter is Count Dracula himself who of course first offers them his hospitality, then proceeds to try and suck their blood! Even though this film is sans Peter Cushing and that's a sad thing any day of the week, we do get some really cool and likable characters. First there's the Simon character played by Dennis Waterman. He is very headstrong and valiant. Facing off Klove in some scenes and Dracula himself towards the end. There's Sarah played by Jenny Hanly who is so beautiful and delicate yet she herself is valiant and daring when she has to be. Also there's this one character that I guess was supposed to replace Peter Cushing and it's the Priest played by Michael Gwyn. He even looks a bit like Peter Cushing but in my opinion cant even be compared, simply because Cushing has such presence…not so with The Priest. In Scars of Dracula we also see a character that was also presented in Dracula : Prince of Darkness which is Draculas day time protector. He is this Igor-like character called Klove. He presents a nice twist in the movie. Not gonna go into details, but he is part of what made the movie a little different.

Dracula is a bit more evil, sadistic and violent in this film than in others, for example he is seen using weapons such as daggers and swords to express his fury, instead of the more traditional ways were used to seeing him use. There's this really cool scene which I very much enjoyed in which Dracula uses a burning hot sword! Cool scene! The movie has a lot of classic horror images and it is filled with all the horror ambiance and imagery we've come to expect from a Hammer film but pushed a little further. For example the fog is heavy and thick in this one, Draculas castle is huge and haunting, and the sound of the wind blowing almost never stops in the scenes that take place up in Draculas castle. A nice little touch if you ask me. Also there's full moons, ans howling wolfs in the distance, and lets not forget the giant vampire bats! They are all over the place in this film aiding Dracula in his evil schemes. These bats are responsible for some of the most gruesome scenes in the film. And there's also a wink at Vlad the Impailer for in one scene Drac impales one of his adversaries.

Also another scene that made this film special was one scene in which Dracula crawls out of his lair through the window...and then proceeds to scale the wall, spider-man style. This comes directly out of the Bramstokers novel so I found it amusing. Equally amusing was the fact that this was the only time that this had been shown on film. The other film that did it was in the Jhon Badham version of Dracula were Frank Langella does the scaling up the walls.

Be on the look out also for a mega cool demise for Dracula, I think the final sequence in this film is spectacular, and in it I saw the inspiration and the muse for Jerry Dandridges fiery death sequence in Fright Night, speaking of which, there's a scene in this flick which actually appears in Fright Night. Its towards the end of the film. It involves a giant vampire bat trying to take away a crucifix from Sarahs neck. We see this scene playing on Charlies TV set at some point in Fright Night. It seems to me that there's a little bit of all these Hammer films in Fright Night.

Finally I think that anyone fond of Dracula films, and specially Hammer films will find this film highly enjoyable, because of Christopher Lees evil performance, high atmosphere, Gothic sets and the high blood quotient (for a Hammer film anyways) Don't go expecting a huge bloodbath, by todays standards its tame, but by Hammer films standards up to that time, its got lots of the red stuff. Expect a fun ride into Gothic atmospheric horror…hammer style! Rating: 41/2 out of 5

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Dracula's back and there's gonna be trouble!

6/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
20 February 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The fifth installment into the Dracula series from the Hammer studios, Scars of Dracula. Now we are talking, this film was Rated R and we are talking some real hard core violence in this film. You thought the prior films could be scary, you haven't seen anything yet with this Dracula. Christopher Lee returns and has a lot more screen time and lines and looks more chilling than ever. I think he had to enjoy this role a little more than the sequels, at least he seemed to have a more horrifying presence than the previous sequels. There's more blood, more sex and more bats on strings. Yeah, that's the big flaw with the film, the story isn't as strong and for a series that was pretty popular, you'd think that they could afford better special effects than bats on a string! I digress; despite the flaws, I think this was the scarier sequel from the previous films. Flaws aside, Dracula is biting, stabbing, impaling and burning his victims this time and he is out for blood.

Local villagers, enraged that yet another young woman has been murdered by the Count, rise up and set fire to Castle Dracula. However, the Count is safely asleep in a solid stone crypt. Falsely accused of rape by the spurned burgomasters' daughter, libertine Paul Carlson flees the Kleinenberg authorities by jumping into a nearby coach. He is deposited near Count Dracula's mountaintop castle. Initially he is welcomed by the Count and a beautiful woman. Paul later has a liaison with the woman who concludes their lovemaking by trying to bite his neck. Dracula enters and, casually throwing off Paul's efforts to stop him, savagely stabs the woman to death. Trapped in a room high in the castle, Paul uses a line to climb down to a lower window but the line is withdrawn and he is trapped in a dark doorless room. Paul's brother Simon and Paul's fiancée Sarah Framsen come searching for him. Dracula has immediate designs on the lovely Sarah, but Klove, who has fallen in love with the young woman, helps the young couple escape. But Dracula never gives up so easily and is determined to get Sarah.

The flaws with the film besides the bats was the characters. They're just a bit more bland this time except for Paul who sadly leaves the film early. Speaking of Paul, isn't it weird how many times there has been a character named Paul in this series? Did Hammer have a thing for the name Paul? Moving on, also there's a moment where a bat attacks a priest killing him, the priest doesn't fight back at all which was unbelievable. Then Dracula commands one of the bats to take the cross of Sarah's neck…well, not so much her neck as her massive heaving cleavage that the camera manages to zoom into every five seconds, but again she doesn't fight back as more she stands there and just screams. I think she wanted Dracula to bite her, she just had to show a little resistance since she plays so defenseless. And just Dracula's luck, he grabs a metal pole during a thunder storm and gets hit by lightening! You know there's something I've learned from this series, Dracula is a very bad shot. Every movie, he throws something at someone during a fight and always misses, he's about to throw the metal pole at Simon and lightening strikes him, I think it's God's way of telling him "Oh, give it up, man! You're a bad shot!" Anyways, back onto the film, is it worth the watch? I think so, despite it's flaws, this was a lot more gory and had some really good scares. The scene where Dracula burns his servant Klove is genuinely terrifying. Dracula knows what he wants and will do anything to get it and if you mess with him prepare to take on some severe punishment, because if you come at him with fists, he'll come at you with a bat, you come at him with a bat, he'll come at you with the fangs and if you bring a stake, I suggest you make sure he's dead because he'll never stop until he's drained you of every last drop of blood in your body. I know, because I've watched all the sequels.

6/10

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23 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

The best Hammer Dracula

8/10
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States
6 January 2005

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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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

None too original but action filled Dracula film , the most underrated of the series

Author: DrLenera
26 July 2004

Scars Of Dracula is generally regarded very poorly among Hammer fans, which is a shame. Yes, the decreased budget results in less impressive sets, and there is a bit more blood and violence than usual, but the film has an energy which was somewhat lacking in Dracula Has Risen From The Grave and Taste The Blood Of Dracula.

The script is little more than a rehash of Dracula and Dracula Prince Of Darkness, but there is more action than any others in the series, and several memorable sequences, including the discovery of bodies horribly gored by bats in a church [replete with Lucio Fulci style zooms into the nasty bits], Dracula climbing up a wall a la Bram Stoker, and a vampire seduction ending with Dracula stabbing the woman to death. Atmosphere is a little lacking ,and it's odd that no continuity has been attempted to link it with the previous entry. Christopher Lee has more screen time than usual, although his makeup here is over done. James Bernard's music, though, is as vibrant as ever.

With a much stronger supernatural element than the other Draculas, this is still an enjoyable entry, probably the third best in the series.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

In the End, Evil Is Defeated

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
10 August 2014

In a small village, the villagers decide to destroy Dracula (Christopher Lee) burning his castle to the ground. They protect their wives in the church and head to the castle, but evil wins and their wives are murdered by bats under the command of Dracula.

Sometime later, the womanizer Paul Carlson (Christopher Matthews) has one night stand with Alice (Delia Lindsay, who is the burgomaster's daughter. He is surprised by her father and flees from the town in a coach. He arrives at the village late night and the landlord of the inn refuses to lodge him. He seeks shelter in Dracula's castle and disappears.

His brother Simon Carlson (Dennis Waterman) and his girlfriend Sarah Framsen (Jenny Hanley) seeks Paul out and arrive at the inn where Paul was expelled. Nobody gives any information for them but the servant Julie (Wendy Hamilton) tells that Paul has gone to the castle. Simon and Sarah go to the castle and are welcomed by Count Dracula. Will they escape alive from the vampire?

"Scars of Dracula" is a violent movie by Hammer with Dracula. The director Roy Ward Baker explores the bright colors to make a gore movie. One of the best scenes in this movie is when Dracula leaves his lair crawling on the outside wall since the room does not have any other exit but the window. The actresses are beautiful and voluptuous and the special effects are reasonable for a 1970 movie. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Conde Drácula" ("The Count Dracula")

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Much maligned fourth sequel in the Hammer Dracula series

6/10
Author: stephenneale67 from United Kingdom
21 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Writers of Horror cinematography seem generally to have deemed 'Scars of Dracula' to be the poorest offering in the Hammer/Lee Dracula catalogue (1958-73), based chiefly on a lack of originality. I would disagree and whilst the film may have more flaws than most Hammer films in terms of not so special effects, it has considerable merit and, in my view, a good deal of originality. Firstly, one is struck by the peculiar physiognomy of Lee - his face drawn and ashen, almost as though he has been drained of blood, and definitely looking more like one of the undead than in previous films. In tandem with this new image, Lee carries out unprecedented acts of violence: in one maniacal scene, repeatedly stabbing one of his female cohorts with frenzied aggression when he discovers her in bed with an equally doomed guest, and in another scene, sadistically branding his man-servant (Patrick Troughton/Klove) across the back with a glowing sword, drawn from hot coals. In another scene, we find the previously mentioned guest hung like a piece of meat on a hook, which impales his chest. Such violent visuals do not, of course, necessarily add merit to the film (and Christopher Lee later commented that he deplored the violent contents of this particular sequel), but again represent an unprecedented aspect of the Dracula perennials. Possibly the most original and pleasing merit of the film is the location of Dracula's sleeping chamber and the way in which only he can access it. The chamber is set high up in the castle and can only be accessed by a window overlooking an abyss, hundreds of feet above the ground. This literally is the only access, as inside we find that there are no internal doors - only walls of stone. Drawing inspiration from the original Stoker novel, we come to see how Dracula comes and goes from his chamber, as at nightfall he emerges from the window and defies all the laws of physics by crawling up the wall to a window above. Marvellous. There is also an interesting addition where we find Dracula to have developed an ingenious defence mechanism to prevent him being staked while he slumbers. Though his eyes remain closed, the lids are superimposed by glowing red eyes which, understandably, startle and ward off the would-be 'staker'. As said, the film does have its flaws, not least in that it contains more than its fair share of Hammer hum-drum (Carpathian landlords with Cornish accents type-of-thing) and visually there is much to evoke laughter rather than fear. Rubber bats proliferate the film from start to end and the shoe-string sets also inhibit proceedings. There is one point when the 'solid stone' wall of Dracula's sleeping chamber containing the window wobbles momentarily as an intruder (who has managed to gain ingress by means of a bed-curtain hung from the window above) rushes to it, on seeing the curtain being pulled back up. And, though we are given an original demise for the Count, as he bursts into flames whilst holding an iron rail when it is struck by lightening, this sequence is itself shot down in flames as we see that the figure besieged by the inferno is clearly not Christopher Lee, but a masked stuntman. But then it is goofs like this which elicit such affection among Hammer aficionados. This film is well-deserving of a place in a horror film collection and though not great, it does have aspects which make it good.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The devil has won.

6/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
1 October 2009

A village girl found murdered, could it be that Dracula is back? Playboy Paul Carlson is about to find out.

A bat hovers over a concrete slab, blood frothing from its mouth, the drops of which are reinvigorating the Prince Of Darkness. Yes, Dracula is back, bloodier than usual and even kind of chatty! Directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Christopher Lee in his fifth outing as Dracula, Scars Of Dracula, hamstrung by low budget as it is, is one of the better efforts in the Hammer Horror Dracula cycle.

Standard rules apply, buxom wenches are ripe for slaughter and the guys are a mixture of village yokels and posh gentlemen. Lee as ever is charming and carrying his air of nastiness, and the story leads us nicely to a castle top finale of some standing. There's also some nice visual flourishes and memorable scenes along the way. Blood drips onto white candles that segue into red ones and Drac walks up walls. While the redness in the piece has never more been so vivid thanks to Moray Grant's impacting photography. The cast reads like a who's who of British television, you got a Doctor Who {Patrick Troughton with the worlds scariest eyebrows}, Minder {a badly miscast Dennis Waterman}, a Bond girl and presenter of Magpie {the lovely Jenny Hanley} and Lord Melbury from Fawlty Towers {Michael Gwynn}.

Safe & solid Hammer Horror fare that just about rises above the normality of the script. 6.5/10

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Underrated...and my favorite in the series

Author: mord39 from New York
10 October 2000

MORD39 RATING: *** out of ****

In my opinion, SCARS OF DRACULA is the most satisfying entry of all the Hammer Dracula's, even squeaking past the revered HORROR OF DRACULA.

People like to pick on the reduced budget, but I have never felt that the sets look too bad when all is said and done. The only thing that "Count's" is that Dracula is given more screen time than usual and is thoroughly evil and sadistic.

Sure, it's not an original idea having another man stranded at Dracula's castle, but it works well. A point that not many bring out is that there are also elements of Bram Stoker's novel which are utilized in the film, and for that alone I give it a slight nudge over HORROR OF DRACULA.

I think that this film might appear more to those who are not familiar with Hammer's other Dracula films, as they won't have any prejudices. This is a good, solid Dracula film.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Scars of Dracula (1970) ***

7/10
Author: JoeKarlosi from U.S.A.
6 September 2006

This is simply an underrated film, and is unfairly placed at a disadvantage merely for coming along too late in the Hammer Dracula Sweepstakes. I'd place "Scars of Dracula" very high atop my personal favorites in this haphazard franchise, even above the good but yet still overrated "Horror of Dracula," even though I gave both of these the same basic surface rating. Had "Scars" been the very first offering for Hammer studios, it would be much better accepted than it is now.

For openers, "Scars of Dracula" correctly focuses more on the actions of Dracula himself and affords Christopher Lee more screen time than in any other Hammer Dracula film. The story itself is standard stuff, as another young man stumbles upon the Count's castle and tangles with the vampire. But in addition to seeing more of Drac, we also get to see more traditional staples of good vampire films - like squealing vampire bats and a Renfield-like assistant, for example. Dracula's vintage castle looks much more Gothic and authentic here than it ever did in "Horror of Dracula," and director Roy Ward Baker even includes a shot from straight out of Bram Stoker's novel where the Count is witnessed scaling the sides of the castle's exterior like some kind of lizard. And the lustful Anouska Hempel makes for a gorgeous and sexy vampiress. When she commands: "love me!" all I can do is ask her how hard.

Detractors like to pick on the fake look of the bats in the movie (as if movie prop bats have ever looked authentic in any old vampire films!) and they also cite the low budget sets as a detriment (and I'll maintain that "Horror of Dracula"'s sets looked far cheaper). I'll begrudgingly concede one commonly held flaw with the film, though - it involves the demise of Dracula. While it was a good idea in theory, the execution utilizes an obvious dummy and some hopelessly looped screaming that's repeated over and over again. Nothing's perfect when it comes to Hammer Dracula films, but this one's still a good time. Even Christopher Lee was pleasantly surprised when he did a recent audio commentary for the Anchor Bay DVD. *** out of ****

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Late nights on the blood, well just look at those eyes.

6/10
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
10 June 2007

A bat drools blood on the smouldering corpse of its master to revive him from the dead, where Dracula causes terror to the locals and passing travellers. A young man Paul fleeing from the authorities, disappears when he drops by Dracula's castle. Soon his brother Simon and his finance Sarah have gone looking for him, where they encounter unwelcoming locals and learn that Paul has passed through to Dracula's castle.

Out of the Hammer Dracula films I've watched (which would be Horror of Dracula, Dracula - Prince of Darkness, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Taste the blood of Dracula and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires), this particular entry (the sixth) would have to be the weakest, but not entirely bad. What stands out is how sadistic it is in its nauseating actions and grisly make-up, where the red, red blood runs freely and the shocks are explicit. Also flesh and sexual activity is more fruitful. There's no denying this is one dark and mean-spirited Gothic film, held together by its scorchingly sombre atmosphere and some sensationally brooding set-pieces of striking suspense and images. These effective moments mainly derived from the original novel. Director Roy Ward Baker does a sound job, even though it can get patchy. However the main problem is that basic story and wilted script doesn't really build upon anything and it gets rather repetitive, senseless and creates drawn out feel. The ending is somewhat anti-climatic too. It's hard to escape the cheap look, as the sets are a mixture of cardboard structures, nice oil paintings as background features from the castle and plenty of rubber bats dangling from strings. While the woodlands surrounding the castle where forebodingly captured. The intrusive flair seems to be lurking there, but not with the same energy. Clocking in is a routine, frenzy music score. Christopher Lee seems to be going through the motions with a called in performance, but his presence features strongly to forgive that. The supporting cast are capable in their deliveries. Christopher Mathews, Dennis Waterman, and a stunning Jenny Hanley are likable in their parts. Patrick Troughton, Wendy Hamilton, Michael Ripper and Michael Gwynn also are terrific.

Bloody, nasty and dread-filled, but due to its languid pace it nothing more than a modest attempt.

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