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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.

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:

For Lovers of the Occult 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

In Johnny's place, the arches and posts on the left, upper staircase and the doorway at the foot of the steps are the same as the main room of Dracula's castle in Horror of Dracula (1958). See more »

Goofs

The yellow carriage spoke that punctured Draculas' heart in the opening scene and which "Johnny" placed into the ground with Dracula's ashes, seemingly remained untouched and unaffected by 100 years of London weather. See more »

Quotes

Professor Van Helsing: Do old ideas rest comfortably in an open mind...?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Scream Queens (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Alligator Man
Written by Sal Valentino
Performed by Stoneground
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A ripping vampire yarn…and that's about it
3 January 2015 | by RomanJamesHoffmanSee 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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