Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker's loved ones.
Count Dracula, a gray-haired vampire who regains his youth by dining on the blood of maidens, is pursued in London and Transylvania by Professor Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker and Quincey Morris after he victimizes them and their loved ones.
When Castle Dracula is exorcised by the Monsignor, it accidentally brings the Count back from the dead. Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his hometown, preying on the holy man's beautiful niece and her friends.
A young man, Paul Carlson, is on a trip and spends the night at Count Dracula's castle. He is murdered. After some time has passed, the young man's brother Simon comes to the small town where all the traces end to look for him.
Roy Ward Baker
Three distinguished English gentlemen accidentally resurrect Count Dracula, killing a disciple of his in process. The Count seeks to avenge his dead servant, by making the trio die in the hands of their own children.
When a ship is wrecked off Whitby, the only survivor, Count Dracula, is discovered lying on the beach by the sickly young Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her dear friend Lucy Seward. Lucy, her fiancé Jonathan Harker (a solicitor), and her father Dr. Jack Seward (who runs the local asylum) try to make the Count feel welcome to England. The Count quickly takes the life of Mina, and proceeds to romance Lucy, with the intention of making her his greatest bride. Soon after the death of Mina, the Sewards call her father Dr. Abraham Van Helsing to come to their home. As Lucy falls deeper under the spell of the Count, Dr. Van Helsing almost immediately comes to understand that his daughter fell prey to a vampire and discovers the culprit to be none other than the Count himself. Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and Harker work together to foil the Count's plans to take Lucy away to his native Transylvania.Written by
Hillary Glendinning (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When undead Mina approaches Van Helsing in the mines under the graveyard, her reflection is seen in the water. When, two scenes later, Count Dracula comes into Mina's home and walks by a mirror, Van Helsing points out that he did not see Dracula in the mirror. That Lucy does cast a reflection in the water, where she ordinarily should not have, is explainable by the fact that, just before her reflection became visible, Van Helsing had dropped a crucifix into the water. That had the effect of sanctifying the water--of making it holy water, in other words; though they cast no reflections in glass or polished metals, vampires (according to one obscure detail of the superstitions about them) WILL reflect in holy water, which is the only substance capable of showing vestigial remnants of the souls they lost to damnation when they died as living beings. See more »
Director John Badham intended to film the movie in black and white but was forced by the studio to shoot in Technicolor. When the movie was re-released on laserdisc in 1991, at the behest of Badham, the lush color was drained from the film. All subsequent home video releases feature the desaturated print. See more »
This interesting if not all that successful version of the familiar Bram Stoker tale is largely a vehicle for Frank Langella. He plays a soulful, romanticized Count Dracula, whose ship crashes on an island shore. As he makes himself at home in Carfax Abbey, he becomes acquainted with the likes of Dr. Seward (Donald Pleasence), Jonathan Harker (Trevor Eve), and Dr. Sewards' daughter Lucy (the lovely Canadian actress Kate Nelligan). He becomes determined to make Lucy his bride, while the intrepid Professor Van Helsing (Laurence Olivier) catches on to what he is doing.
"Dracula" '79 isn't without its pleasures. However, purists may take exception to a script by W. D. Richter that makes a number of unfortunate changes from the original material. (Mina is VAN HELSINGS' daughter?) Director John Badham, who became an action genre specialist in the 80s, does a decent enough job with this horror film. It's quite visually striking at times (with matte shots by the legendary Albert Whitlock), although some viewers may not care for the way that Badham has desaturated the colour; this plays almost like a black & white production, albeit shot in widescreen by Gilbert Taylor. One highlight is a memorable lovemaking sequence.
Langella does a fine job as our smouldering, blood sucking antihero, especially when he's seducing Mina and Lucy or facing off against Professor Van Helsing. And Olivier is fun as the vampire hunter / expert. Pleasence is amusing as Seward, as is Tony Haygarth as the loony, bug munching Renfield (who's more sympathetic here than in other adaptations of the story). Nelligan does alright as Lucy, but Eve is a fairly bland Harker. Sylvester McCoy has a small role as an asylum attendant.
This is noteworthy for its atmosphere, its production design (by Peter Murton), and rousing score by John Williams. It's suitably creepy at times (dig those "crawling the walls" shots) and appropriately erotic.
Six out of 10.
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