Director – Terence Fisher (The Curse of Frankenstein, The Hound of Baskervilles)
Starring – Peter Cushing (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Dalek’s Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.), Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Wicker Man), Michael Gough (Batman & Robin, The Little Vampire)
Release Date – 1958
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “Who will be his bride tonight?”
I’ve stated a few times about how much Hammer shaped me when I was getting into horror during my high school years. I’ve collected several on VHS and when I started my DVD collection I was quick to jump on the Hammer DVD sets for my collection. Over the years I’ve collected and watch several of the films and miss the days before I was reviewing movies when I could just toss in any movie I wanted to enjoy.
Several years ago I worked my way through Hammer’s Dracula series and really enjoyed myself. Sometime ago I started getting in several of the Dracula films on blu for review from Warner Brothers and Scream Factory. After getting most of the series in I decided it was time for a marathon! First up is the blu from Warner Brothers. This release of Horror of Dracula is part of their Archive Collection. Thanks WB for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Doctor Van Helsing (Cushing) who is tasked with protecting his late friend Jonathan Harker’s family from the evil Count Dracula after Harker was murdered after he killed one of Dracula’s brides. Dracula has is sights on Harker’s future wife Lucy and once she falls prey to his bite he sets his sights on Mina forcing her husband Arthur and Van Helsing racing to stop Dracula before Mina becomes another bride.**Spoiler Alert**
I love the look and feel of the Hammers films of the 50s and 60s. Their gothic atmosphere and sets are absolutely brilliant. Horror of Dracula is a classic, not only among Hammer’s releases, but also among horror films in general. When people use the phrase “they sure don’t make them like they used to” they are referring to this film.
The acting in this one is great. The entire cast is top notch. We get two iconic performances from legends Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Both deliver performances that are now considered historical. Cushing’s Van Helsing is been imitated for decades now. His performance is amazing and his character, along with Lee’s Dracula, is what makes this film so much fun.
The story for this one takes liberties with the original Dracula story. It skips several scenes from the novel but still works. Horror of Dracula does set itself apart from the previous Dracula films with the gothic atmosphere and the amazing performances.
Finally, those of you looking for blood and gore will be disappointed. We do get some blood but the small drops you typically find from early vampire films. The effects are minimal and the lack of carnage may turn some of you off of this beautiful film. Overall, Horror of Dracula is essential viewing for any horror fan. This beautifully shot film is look decent on blu from WB. I’ve seen the film on DVD and can tell it was remastered somewhat over the previous release but there was still plenty of room for improvement. Check it out now.