Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Frequently Asked Questions
When three distinguished English gentlemen—William Hargood (Geoffrey Keen), Samuel Paxton (Peter Sallis), and Jonathon Secker (John Carson)—go in search of sordid excitement, Lord Courtley (Ralph Bates) gives them the opportunity to buy some of Dracula's belongings, including a vial of Dracula's dried blood. When Courtley, who is the only one brave enough to drink the blood, screams and falls to the ground, Hargood, Paxton, and Secker beat him to death. Sometime later, Courtley's body transforms into Dracula (Christopher Lee), who promises to get revenge.
Taste the Blood of Dracula is the fourth movie in Hammer Horror's Dracula series, preceded by Dracula (1958) (1958), The Brides of Dracula (1960) (1960), and Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) (1966) and followed by Scars of Dracula (1970) (1970), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) (1972), and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) (1973). All of Hammer's Dracula movies are based on the character created by Irish novelist Bram Stoker in his 1897 novel Dracula. The screenplay for Dracula: Prince of Darkness was written by British screenwriter Anthony Hinds.
Secker writes a note to Paul (Anthony Higgins), telling him what he must do to save Alice (Linda Hayden). Armed with candles and crucifixes, Paul goes to Dracula's sanctuary, bars the door with a cross, and sets up an altar. When confronted by Alice and Dracula, Paul tells Alice to choose between good and evil. Alice chooses evil and wrests the crucifix from Paul's hand. Dracula attacks Paul and tells Alice he has no more need of her. He attempts to escape, but the crucifix Paul placed on the door keeps him from leaving. Dracula breaks a stained-glass window and tries to get out, but the room is suddenly filled with church music, prayers and candles. Dracula tumbles down on the altar and turns to dust. In the final scene, Paul and Alice walk out of the church together.
Remember, Dracula is already dead, so he cannot "die" but can only be destroyed. His destruction scene in Taste the Blood of Dracula is very ambiguous. Some viewers have suggested that he died of a heart attack. Not possible, if he already dead. Another viewer suggested that all the crosses strewn about the sanctuary, especially the lighted cross on the stained glass window he breaks just before he falls, may have fatally weakened him. Still another viewer, perhaps covering all bases, simply called it "death by holiness."