Writer: Jimmy Sangster (Screenplay) Bram Stoker (Novel)
Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, Olga Dickie, John Van Eyssen
Plot: 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.
Tagline – Sensational SHOCK and THRILL SHOW!
Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Another Dracula Story
Story: Dracula starts when Jonathan (Van Eyssen) heads to meet Count Dracula (Lee) in an attempt to have learn the truth about the mysterious Dracula, when Doctor Van Helsing (Cushing) doesn’t hear back from Jonathan, he heads to the castle only to learn the tragic truth.
Returning to London, Van Helsing soon discovers Dracula has followed him, searching for his latest victim, which will see him haunt the family of the fiancée of Jonathan, trying to make his new latest bride, Van Helsing sets out to end the reign of terror Dracula has been having for years, can he stop him?
Thoughts on Dracula
Characters – Doctor Van Helsing has been trying to hunt down Dracula for years now, his latest attempt sees him anger the vampire, forcing him to defend his loved ones before he starts his own attack on the vampire. Count Dracula has lived a life where his presence has struck fear in the locals, he is a vampire with his age seemingly unknown, after his bride is taken from him, he goes after the people that took her, in search of finding his new bride. Arthur is one of the people working with Van Helsing, it is his family that has becomes the target of Dracula, with Mina being the wife of Arthur that is one of the women Dracula wants to make his brides.
Performances – Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are the icons on the 50’s horrors, this film shows they are just wonderful in the horror performances both sides of the good and evil scale. When it comes to the supporting roles, it appears that the rest of the cast are meant to just let the lead two stars take the spotlight.
Story – The story here is the basic Dracula story, where after one of his brides is killed, Dracula targets the family that took his bride to get his own new bride and revenge. The Dracula story has been told so many times, it does become slightly boring to watch a story that doesn’t offer anything new to the tried and tested formula. If you do know the basic story, you will know everything that happens in this film which just ends up being nothing refreshing.
Horror – The horror comes the ideas of vampires with Dracula lurking in the darkness, most doesn’t come off scary though which is disappointing.
Settings – The film uses the couple of main locations, we have the castle of course which we don’t spend enough time around, the English house that shows how the family will try to hide from Dracula.
Special Effects – The effects are practical which do bring one of the most memorable scenes in the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a hammer horror version of Dracula, it works well enough for the basic idea, only it doesn’t reach too much new to the story idea.
Overall: Hammer Horror Dracula.