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Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

PG | | Horror | 17 November 1972 (USA)
Johnny Alucard raises Count Dracula from the dead in London in 1972. The Count goes after the descendants of Van Helsing.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Marsha A. Hunt ...
Gaynor (as Marsha Hunt)
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Janet Key ...
William Ellis ...
Philip Miller ...
Bob
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David Andrews ...
...
Matron
Constance Luttrell ...
Mrs. Donnelly
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:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 November 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dracula jagt Mini-Mädchen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released only two days before Horror Express (1972), which likewise starred Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. See more »

Goofs

In the closing credits, Proffessor is mispelled. See more »

Quotes

Professor Van Helsing: [spelling Johnny Alucard's surname backwards] A disciple of Dracula. Oh my God!
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Dracula: A Cinematic Scrapbook (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Alligator Man
Written by Sal Valentino
Performed by Stoneground
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A ripping vampire yarn…and that's about it
3 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

In the late 1950s Hammer Films revolutionised horror with the likes of 'The Curse of Frankenstein' (1957) and 'Dracula' (1958) which, for the time, pushed boundaries in terms of gore (not least through the knowledgeable use of colour film) and eroticism. They were commercial and critical successes that resurrected a dead genre (pun intended) and opened the door for a boom in horror movies equivalent to that in the 1930s.

However, cut to the beginning of the 1970s and society itself had gone from Black and White to Technicolour due to the flowering of the counter-culture which saw all social institutions subject to intense criticism or outright attack and in horror we had seen the all-out assault of George A. Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968). As a result, recognising that quaint Vampire movies from England just don't get the scares they used to, Hammer tried to change things up. One thing they tried was ditching the subtle but potent eroticism for simply showing more tits and having the women engage in lesbianism. Another, more respectable, thing was to attempt to update the vampire story to make it more relevant to a modern audience. And from this comes 'Dracula AD 1972'.

The plot is basically the same as any other of the Dracula sequels that came in the wake of 'Dracula' (1958): the count, dead since his last encounter with Van Helsing is brought back by a dutiful underling and seeks revenge. The film begins with an impressive period piece prologue showing Dracula's staking a hundred years ago and then, panning up, a plane screeches across the sky announcing the updated setting. The film then cuts to an amusing scene where a group of young hip cats (led by the charismatic and aloof Johnny Alucard) have gate-crashed a party and are "terrorising" the owners in the most limp and middle-class way. Later on they talk of where the next far out thrill will come from when Johnny suggests a black mass. They all attend for kicks but get freaked out when Johnny seems to take it too seriously and wants Jessica (family name Van Helsing) played by Stephanie Beacham, to get involved. She declines but the Prince of Darkness is summoned with the aid of another girl and, awakened to the twentieth century, Dracula is out for revenge.

The film has been criticised by many as a failed attempt to desperately breathe life into the franchise, and while that charge can't be escaped, the conceit of the film to update Dracula is not a bad one. If anything, the failing of the film is that it didn't go far enough in its updating and still feels like the reserved period pieces which came before just in funky threads and platforms. What's more, director Alan Gibson (who would direct the next attempt to update Dracula with the much worse 'The Satanic Rites of Dracula') is no Terence Fisher and lacks the directorial subtleties which distinguish the earlier features. Still, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are sheer class, as always, and raise the film up a notch or two.

All told, it's a decent attempt, with some good moments, and manages to be fun ride. However, considering that 'The Exorcist' was around the corner, it's no surprise poor old Dracula couldn't cut it. Which is sad.


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