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Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

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 Count is back -- with an eye for London's young blood! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dracula jagt Mini-Mädchen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in September 1872 and September 1972. See more »

Goofs

The action supposedly takes place over a Friday-Sunday in September, 1972. On the Friday night, Jessica says Lawrence Van Helsing died September 18, 100 years ago to the day, but that Friday in 1972 was September 15. See more »

Quotes

Gaynor: Is this your place, Johnny?
Johnny Alucard: Come in for a bite.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofed in The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
More hip than horror
13 March 2014 | by WuchakSee all my reviews

England's Hammer Studios did 9 Dracula or vampire films from 1958-1974:

1. Horror of Dracula (1958); 2. Brides of Dracula (1960); 3. Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966); 4. Dracula has Risen from the Grave (1968); 5. Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970); 6. Scars of Dracula (1970); 7. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972); 8. The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973); and 9. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974).

Christopher Lee plays the Count in all but "The Brides of Dracula" and "The Legend 7 Golden Vampires." Peter Cushing also stars in four entries as Van Helsing.

By the time of the seventh film the creative well was apparently running dry and Hammer decided to spice up the series by bringing the Count to present-day London (1972, of course), which was Hammer's response to other successful vampire films at the time taking place in the modern day, such as "The Night Stalker," "Blacula" and "Count Yorga." The story revolves around a group of hip counter-culture youths performing a black mass in an abandoned church for kicks (although the ringleader takes it serious) and they revive the blood-sucking prince of darkness. Havok ensues.

Peter Cushing appears as Van Helsing's descendant. Christopher Neame plays the nutjob who performs the black mass with utter relish. Also on hand are the stunning beauties Stephanie Beacham and Caroline Munro. Stephanie plays Van Helsing's daughter and Caroline has a small but significant role. There are a couple of other early-70s hippie babes as well.

The first half of the film borrows heavily from the previous "Taste the Blood of Dracula" in that the Count is resurrected in roughly the same manner, although "Taste" is more effective. Which isn't to say that "Dracula A.D. 1972" isn't a decent entry in the series, albeit bizarre. The main problem with the film is that the story doesn't seem to know what to do once Dracula is resurrected. For instance, Cushing's final battle with the Count is fairly lame for various reasons (I don't want to give anything away), not to mention Lee only appears for about 10 minute in the entire film, which is usual for the series, of course.

Another problem is the score. It screams "early 70s" in a bad way, but doesn't mesh with what is essentially a serious horror flick. Of course some would cite that as part of its charm. I said "serious horror flick, by the way, because this is not a goofy or campy flick despite the colorful hippie elements and lousy score.

What works best is that it's a great period piece. You'll get a groovy glimpse of England's counter-culture, including the hippie girls and a live performance by the band Stoneground (who didn't go anywhere beyond this movie, likely because their sound & style was already passe by 1972). So, the first half is fun and compelling, whereas the second half just sort of goes through the motions and peters out.

BOTTOM LINE: "Dracula A.D. 1972" is hard to rate because, despite the mediocre-ness of the story's second half, the film is a fun experience with numerous highlights. Hence, as a Dracula story I give it a C+, but for entertainment value I give it a solid B or B+.

The film runs 96 minutes and was shot in England.

GRADE: B-


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