Johnny Alucard raises Count Dracula from the dead in London in 1972. The Count goes after the descendants of Van Helsing.

Director:

Alan Gibson

Writer:

Don Houghton (screen-play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lee ... Count Dracula
Peter Cushing ... Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing
Stephanie Beacham ... Jessica Van Helsing
Christopher Neame ... Johnny Alucard
Michael Coles ... Inspector Murray
Marsha A. Hunt ... Gaynor (as Marsha Hunt)
Caroline Munro ... Laura Bellows
Janet Key Janet Key ... Anna
William Ellis William Ellis ... Joe Mitcham
Philip Miller Philip Miller ... Bob
Michael Kitchen ... Greg
David Andrews David Andrews ... Detective Sergeant
Lally Bowers ... Matron
Constance Luttrell Constance Luttrell ... Mrs. Donnelly
Michael Daly Michael Daly ... Charles
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Storyline

In London 1872 - the final battle between Lawrence van Helsing and Count Dracula on top of a coach results in Dracula dying from a stake made from the remains of a wooden wheel. Lawrence dies from his wounds and, as he is buried, a servant of Dracula buries the remains of the stake by the grave and keeps a bottle of Dracula's ashes and the ring. One hundred years later, the colourful 1972, Johnny, the great-grandson of the servant joins up with a "group" containing Jessica, the grand-daughter of the present vampire hunter, Abraham van Helsing and with their unknowing help resurrect Dracula in the 20th Century who is determined to destroy the house of Van Helsing, but who can believe that The king of the Vampires really exists and is alive - in 20th Century London? Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Time: Now. The Place: Kings Road, Chelsea. The Killer: Count Dracula. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Annett was offered the chance to direct. See more »

Goofs

Jessica refers to Lawrence Van Helsing as her great-grandfather. However, he was actually her great-great-grandfather. See more »

Quotes

Joe Mitcham: Don't look now, but Charley baby's gonna call the fuzz.
Anna: Oh, wow!
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Crazy Credits

The words "Rest in Final Peace" appear on screen before the end credits roll. See more »

Connections

Follows Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

""Black Mass: An Electric Storm in Hell" (uncredited)
Music by Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson, David Vorhaus and Paul Lytton
Performed by White Noise
Courtesy of Island Records
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User Reviews

 
One of the weakest Hammer Dracula films and lesser Hammer overall- not that bad though...
21 June 2015 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The Hammer Dracula series was mostly solid and entertaining, but the last three films were disappointing and three of Hammer's lesser efforts. Dracula A.D. 1972 has often been considered the worst of the Hammer Dracula films, for me it is one of the weakest along with Satanic Rites but by no means unwatchable.

Starting with what's good, the best assets are Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Cushing brings real dignity and class here to a character that ranks with his best, his dialogue is often absolutely terrible but he remarkably delivers it with much conviction and seriousness(without being overly so). Lee has very little screen time and even little dialogue but is a towering presence and the embodiment of evil. The cast generally actually are decent, with the most memorable being Christopher Neame, he overacts at times and does seem to be trying too hard at times to channel Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange but he is incredibly charismatic, very sinister and is so much fun to watch. There are three good scenes, the genuinely exciting opening coach fight which features one of Dracula's most memorable demises of the series, Dracula's resurrection which is one of the series' most imaginative and the tense and entertaining ending which is one of the series' better and more plausible ones. The photography is incredibly stylish and the lighting has a lot of vibrancy and atmosphere.

However, Dracula A.D. 1972's biggest problem is that it is very dated(especially in the production values, script and music), a term I try to avoid using but I do feel that it applies here. And this is not just by today's standards, it was dated back in 1972 as well. The sets are really lacking in atmosphere and are quite tacky and gaudy in colour, a cheaper version of Austin Powers. The very 1970s costumes and hair-styles are pretty much the same. The script is howlingly bad, Cushing has the worst of the dialogue(some of which are endless explanations) but the howlers come from Alucard, and while it provides some unintentional entertainment at first it gets very tiresome soon after. The film even tries to incorporate some Dracula mythos, but does absolutely nothing with it, a decent idea wasted. The soundtrack dates the film terribly, not only does it sound incredibly cheesy but it is always incongruous with what is going on, with tense scenes almost completely ruined by inappropriately 'groovy' music.

The story has its moments, but does drag badly and was in serious need of more suspense, mystery, excitement and tension. It is especially bad in the party scene, which goes on forever and serves no point to the story at all, instead showing off an exhausting display 1970s fashions and behaviour at its worst, complete with the most unconvincingly played hippies for any film. The direction is often far too languid, the characters are not really all that interesting or engaging(with the most important characters being severely under-utilised, Dracula and Van Helsing's rivalry is so much more interesting than everything else in this film, why not show more of it?) and while most of the acting from the main players is decent, Caroline Munro is mesmerising to watch but is wasted by being killed off too soon, Stephanie Beacham is sexy but quite vapid and the acting for the hippies is mostly terrible.

All in all, not unwatchable but one of the weakest of the Hammer Dracula series and lesser Hammer overall. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dracula A.D. 1972 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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