4 Film Favorites: Draculas (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
The Horror of Dracula (1958)
Starring Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh
Directed by Terence Fisher
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
Starring Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing
Directed by Freddie Francis
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Starring Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Gwen Watford, Linda Hayden
Directed by Peter Sasdy
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Caroline Munro
Directed by Alan Gibson
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Jackpot! That's the word which immediately springs to mind when thinking about this collection from Warner Home Video! Four Hammer Film classics in one DVD package? Christopher Lee at his fanged finest? A copious amount of heaving bosoms? All for less than twenty measly bucks? Like I said ... jackpot!
Things kick off with what may just be the finest telling of Bram Stoker's tale ever put to screen, The Horror of Dracula. We all know the story so for me to rehash the plot would be completely pointless. With Lee at his most evil, and atmosphere that's rich with every horror fan's scariest nightmares, everything you could imagine wanting in a classic horror film is spot on. The Horror of Dracula may very well be Hammer Studios' best film.
But the fun doesn't stop there ...
Next up we get Dracula Has Risen from the Grave. Though ten years removed from Horror, this sequel still packs a lot of punch. After exorcising Dracula's Castle(!) a holy man and his assistant inadvertently awaken the Count from his unholy slumber. Pissed off about having his digs desecrated, Drac decides to exact revenge upon the Monsignor who did the deed by seducing his niece and ruining what's left of the poor schlep's life. Of the films included here, this may be the most stylized as it's riddled with camera tricks and filters every time something sinister is abound. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is a ghoulishly good trip down a very familiar road.
Now we come to the one flick that's rated R is the set, 1970's Taste the Blood of Dracula. A group of men find themselves bored by their everyday lives and wives so they befriend a reported Satanist to help them explore and indulge in the darker pleasures that until now they couldn't have imagined in their wildest fantasies. Of course said Satanist has other motives. Mainly those which include resurrecting the Count as a means to rule the world while serving at his side. Things end up going horribly wrong. The Satanist is killed by the group, but Dracula ends up rising anyway despite their attempt to thwart the evil plan, and wow is he pissed again. Taste the Blood of Dracula is rife with violence, rituals, and nudity. It's without question the most perverse movie found in this collection but not the most fun. That honor belongs to the final film included here.
Dracula A.D. 1972 is the gem of the bunch. Come on, Lee as Dracula, Cushing as Van Helsing, and a group of pot smoking, music loving hippies thrown in for good measure? Let me quote a line from the film's trailer, "Dracula is back to freak you out!" Do you need any more convincing? Trust me, this film is a must see and a must own. Considering it's packaged with three other classic little flicks, you just cannot go wrong!
In terms of supplemental material all we get is the trailer for each film, but who cares? This could very well be the horror bargain of the year! Click the link below and buy this set immediately. You don't want Dracula to get angry with you, do you? You wouldn't like him when he's angry! It doesn't get much better than this!
4 out of 5
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