View Full Version : Rate The Hammer Big 3 Part 2 - Dracula
10-16-2001, 01:21 AM
Its Time for Part 2 of Rate the Hammer Big 3. This time Dracula:
1.) Taste The Blood of Dracula: I guess I always favor the underdogs over the obvious and most highly rated by the masses. I have always found this to be one of the richest looking Hammer films and one of the most Gothic feeling. I love the way Dracula is used in the revenge plot here by using the children to get revenge on the parents who committed a crime against him. This also contains the most original and creative death scene for Dracula even if it is the least bloody. It also has a wonderfully meloncholy score by James Bernard.
2.) Horror of Dracula: This is the original in the Hammer series and a classic all the way. This is the closest Hammer came to telling the story from the book.
3.) Dracula Has Risen From The Grave: Good Production Values and another very Gothic feeling Hammer film. Excellent Portrayal of the Count by Christopher Lee. He's both Very Evil and Very Erotic.
4.) Scars of Dracula: The bloodiest of the Hammer Dracula series and another great portrayal by Christopher Lee. This one is only hampered by noticably lower production values due to Hammers loss of revenue as the Horror cycle was going more modern and American by 1970.
5.) Dracula A.D. 1972: This one is unfairly bashed by many Hammer fans but it is quite good actually. Christopher Lee is in good form and there are many good scenes in this one. It does have the dated hippies element but it also has Johnny Alucard : ).
6.) Dracula - Prince of Darkness: This one has a lot of potentional and is a worthy entry to the series with some good moments but it has a slow first half, no Dracula until the 50 minute mark and no spoken dialogue by Christopher Lee.
7.) The Satanic Rites of Dracula: The final Dracula is well worth watching but doesn't have enough of the Count and has an odd attempt to mix a James Bond element in a Dracula story.
Well theres my Picks. What are yours? Next week will be Part 3 - The Mummy.
I've only seen a few of the Hammer Draculas, so I won't bother to rate them, since there's some great ones I haven't seen yet.
But where's Brides of Dracula on your list. No brides, and no Dracula, but it's still one of the better vampire films made, and it does have Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. Great movie.
10-16-2001, 07:04 AM
Alright. 1. "Horror". This movie is one hell of a ride, the pace is almost too fast moving for it's own good. There's a real sense of fairytale atmosphere to the scenes in Dracula's castle, and this wasn't quite captured again in the later films. Not at all, to be precise and that's exactly why it stands out. It was also the first Hammer Dracula I ever saw, so nostalgia obviously plays a part.
2. Normally I would place "Brides" here, but since it doesn't feature the Count I'll skip it and go for "Prince" instead. Great sets, great spooky atmosphere (that curtain !), and an excellent cast of old favorites. Yes, it's too bad Dracula doesn't speak, I wish he had but the silence is kinda eerie too. -And Dracula skating on not-so-thin ice is a sure pleaser every time.
3. "Taste". Just when are we going to see (an uncut) DVD of this one ?. Another superb cast to carry the load, with the Count making a stranger of himself yet again. Standing about in the shadows like that, stiff as a board, is not my idea of the ideal Dracula. -It almost makes me wish Hammer had stuck to their original plan of having Ralph Bates take over as bloodsucker. Still, this is a wonderful film.
4. "A.D. '72". -Yeah, I'm not kidding. I've always loved this movie because it has the scariest Dracula of all the movies (IMO). There's an almost green glow to Lee, just watch the brilliant opening scene and his murderous stare when he's closing in on Cushing in the great finale'. The comedy I can do without though, but the music is not as bad as people say. And I just dig Alucard's apartment !.
5. "Risen". More great sets, and more great tits. The Dracula action could've been better (again), but Michael Ripper's 100th innkeeper is very funny.
6. "Satanic". Probably the most disappointing entry of the whole series with its "Avengers"/"Persuaders"-type spy thriller story. We don't get the feeling Dracula is this new important businessman because it's just not played upon enough. Good idea though, but badly executed. I'm not crazy about this movie, but it does seem to get a little bit better with each viewing so that's a plus.
7. -"Scars" does not, no matter how many times I see it. I just can't get over those cheap sets, the bad bats, and that rubber knife !. The cast is fine though, and this particular vampire bride is my fave. Mind you, I'm still to watch the new DVD (see Karen's excellent review) but I doubt it'll change much.
Finally, if I had to pick a favorite Dracula death-scene from any of the movies, I'd pick "Taste" with the Count's fantastic "fall-from-grace" in the church.
10-16-2001, 05:54 PM
You definately need to see all the Hammer Draculas and the Frankensteins if you like Hammer films at all. I did not include Brides of Dracula because despite the name it is not officially considered part of the Dracula series because it has no Dracula because Christopher Lee did not want to make any more Draculas at that time. It is a very good vampire movie though. Hammer made several other very good vampire movies that are not a part of the Dracula series.
Oh yeah, I definitely want to see more Frankensteins and Draculas. Problem is, I basically refuse to watch videotapes at this point, and very few Hammer films are on DVD or LD. So it will be a while before I get to see all these great films.
(c'mon, is seeing Horror of Dracula on a pan-and-scan VHS really "seeing" Horror of Dracula??)
10-17-2001, 06:22 PM
Ok Paff I agree seeing Hammer on VHS and in Pan and Scan is not a good way to see them. Alot of Hammer films that aren't on DVD were on Laserdisc but they are out of print now. I am lucky enough to have them though :) There are more and more Hammer films coming to DVD though so hopefully the wait for the rest of the Hammer Dracula and Frankensteins won't be long. Although since Warner Bros. owns alot of them we may be in for a wait :( So until then my Laserdisc and VHS will have to make due.
Well, according to the Warner Bros chat at HTF, they're "considering" Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein. It's a start.
I do have some Hammer LDs, like Brides of Dracula and the Nightmare/Kiss of the Vampire double feature. I know there's others out there on LD, but they're friggin expensive! Vampire Circus goes for over $50!
I always keep my eye out for those LDs though. Every so often, a bargain slips through the cracks.
10-27-2001, 05:02 AM
The best Hammer Drac was...(don't laugh) Scars of Dracula. I'll forgive hovering bats and insane burgomeisters. Oh, Lord, the bats. Anyway, Lee may not have wanted to do the film but he kicks pasty white British butt (all the while being pasty white and British himself).
Jenny Hanley was adequate, however, Klove totally blew all away when Lee wasn't on screen, and Michael Ripper ("...I'm all alone out here..I've got something for you..") sublime. Scars has burned its way up the Hammer Drac ladder and is on par with...
HORROR OF DRACULA (although Harker was weak, and WHY DO VAMPS SLEEP IN AN OPEN BASEMENT?).
Next is DRAC A.D. 1972. Oh yes, my friends, besides the fact the movie took 45 minutes to figure out what ALUCARD is backwards, the inappropriately scored Dracula film is Lee's third best outing. Steph Beacham, Caroline Munro, and the feline Chris Neame are attractive, but alas, LEE AND CUSHING TOGETHER AGAIN. Forget the music and immerse yourself in the camp.
OK, DRAC: POD came next (sue me :D ) and the resurrection alone left me in awe of Dracula and his need for Ms. Shelley's blood.
Oh, it was erotic.
Then: DRAC HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, TASTE THE BLOOD OF, and SATANIC RITES (forgive me Ms. Lumley and Mr. Cushing and Mr. Lee)
02-10-2002, 10:08 PM
:cool:The Horror of Dracula *****
:)Dracula, Prince of Darkness ****
:(Dracula Has Risen From the Grave ***
:DTaste the Blood of Dracula ****
:)Scars of Dracula ****
:eek:Dracula A.D 1972 **1/2
:eek:The Santanic Rites of Dracula **1/2
02-10-2002, 11:02 PM
I haven't seen all of them, but I'll rate the ones I've seen:
1. Dracula - Prince of Darkness
2. Scars of Dracula
3. Satanic Rites of Dracula
4. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
02-11-2002, 02:10 AM
Being an old geezer raised in Britain, I was lucky enough to see most of Hammer's Dracula series during their original theatrical showings. Based on their cinema versions, my preferences are:
1 - DRACULA / HORROR OF DRACULA
One of my 10 favourite horror films. From the Count's first appearance to the pounding climax, this terrific Gothic adventure never lets go.
2 - DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS
More considered than the original, the sequel embellishes many of the original's themes and contains Barbara Shelley's best performance.
3 - TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA
A devastating attack on family values and Victorian hypocrisy, this is the most subversive of the series.
4 - THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA / COUNT DRACULA AND HIS VAMPIRE BRIDE
For the masterful confrontations between Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
5 - DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE
Best death scene next to the original.
6 - SCARS OF DRACULA
The entry most influenced by European horror movies.
7 - DRACULA A.D. 1972
Some interesting ideas, but with nowhere to go.
Having also re-watched all these films in recent years on VHS, LD and - in a few cases - DVD, I've yet to see a video that equals the audio-visual impact of watching them in cinemas.
02-11-2002, 08:44 PM
Not nearly as good as Hammer's Frankenstein series, I'd say theres about ONLY 3 films in the entire series that I would consider GREAT: Fisher's firstwo entries, and Peter Sasdy's initial entry...
1.The Horror of Dracula(1958)
2.Taste the Blood of Dracula(1970)
3.Dracula, Prince of Darkness(1965)
After that I'd consider the following to be slickly made that offer no other than fun light entertainment, nor in-depth or as multilayered as Fisher's and Sady's entry's: ; SCARS is most certainly a VERY underrated film, and RISEN is beautifully shot but comes out rather cartoonish in it's approach:
4.Scars of Dracula(1971)
5.Dracula Has Risen From the Grave(1968)
....And the last 2 are some "fun" misguided atempts to liven the series, DRAC A.D 1972 in particular is the better shot of the two, and offer's beautiful camerwork from DP Dick Bush , and what possible is Peter Cushing's best turn as Van Helsing. RITES is the lesser of the two but al least it tires to be inventive, yet the film still somewhat stagnates...:
6.Dracula A.D 1972
7.The Santanic Rites of Dracula(1973)
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