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Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

PG | | Horror | 17 November 1972 (USA)
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2:48 | Trailer
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:

Grave news for people who thought all vampires lived last century. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scenes, the narrator refers to the original Van Helsing as "Dr. Lawrence Van Helsing", despite the fact that his initials in the first sequel were "JVH" and in the novel, Van Helsing's first name was Abraham. See more »

Goofs

The calendar in Johnny Alucard's apartment could be used for three months in the year 1972, but September, when the action takes place, is not one of them. See more »

Quotes

Jessica Van Helsing: I wish someone would tell me what all this is about.
Professor Van Helsing: Murder, Jessica. That's what all this is about. Ghastly, horrible, obscene murder!
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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 Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Hammer Films (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

You Better Come Through
Written by Tim Barnes
Performed by Stoneground
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User Reviews

 
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) **1/2
29 September 2006 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

You really can't blame Hammer studios for trying to do something different with their long-running Dracula franchise by the early '70s. This film has its share of detractors and most of those slam it because it feels "dated" to them, or because the legendary Count seems oddly out of place amongst all those groovy "modern-day" hipsters, man. For me, the trouble with "Dracula A.D. 1972" has nothing to do with its welcome new setting -- after all, if we accept that Dracula is a supernatural being who can sustain himself throughout the ages, why wouldn't that also include his living amongst us during the late 20th century? -- but unfortunately, the problem is that very little is done to take full advantage of the circumstances.

The movie opens with a spectacular prologue set in the 1800's where a runaway horse-drawn carriage races through a shaded forest with two figures atop it, fighting hand-to-hand: Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and the vampire king himself, Count Dracula (Christopher Lee). In the midst of their struggle, the wagon crashes into a tree and is demolished. But the wise vampire hunter manages to grab a broken cart wheel and thrusts its wooden spoke into Dracula's chest, killing his enemy and reducing him to ashes. Van Helsing himself lives just long enough to witness Dracula's decay before succumbing to his death. But no sooner has the world become better off, when a young disciple of the Count (Christopher Neame) arrives at the scene to secure Dracula's remains in a vial.

We then leap to London "today" (meaning 1972, that is) where the disciple, now referred to as "Johnny Alucard" (cute), heads a naive young group of thrill-seeking teens (or twenty-somethings). They've tried everything they can think of for kicks, like crashing high society parties unannounced where they can boogey to the mod sounds of the performing rock group Stoneground (who do two songs). Alucard's latest scheme is to involve his gang in a devilish black mass. Gathering the guys and gals together inside the ruins of an old church, Alucard performs a satanic ritual which resurrects Dracula once more, and this time one of the naive chicks who is first to fall victim to him is raven-haired Caroline Munro. But Alucard and Dracula are more interested in corrupting Jessica (Stephanie Beacham), the blonde member of their little circle, who happens to be the great-granddaughter of the original professor. She is currently living with her grandfather (again played by Cushing) who himself is the descendant of the first Van Helsing, as well as being skilled in the black arts. He is a great asset to Scotland Yard when the mysterious murders start piling up, though much of the dull stretches in the movie lie within tiresome scenes of Cushing meeting with police investigators, and it's usually a challenge for me to remain alert for them any time I watch this.

It's never a bad thing to see Cushing and Lee in another film together, and they do get to shine in an updated climax where Dracula even gets to roar classic lines straight out of Bram Stoker's novel. Lee looks great as the count and he's magnificently ruthless in the few treasured scenes he has. But it's a pity that the filmmakers opted to keep Dracula confined to his claustrophobic quarters at the dilapidated church; he is never scene venturing anywhere else, so one then wonders what was the point of going through all the trouble of setting the story in modern society! The "20th century face lift" worked much better in other horror films of this era like COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (1970) and BLACULA(1972). Though there are some moments to be savored with A.D. '72, this is somewhat of a missed opportunity and arguably the nadir of Hammer's Dracula series. **1/2 out of ****


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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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