Dr. Van Helsing, investigating the death of his friend concludes that Jonathan Harker was the victim of a blood-sucking vampire. But Dracula persists in seeking revenge against Harker, targeting Lucy’s beautiful sister, Mina.
(Also known as Horror of Dracula.)
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Christopher Lee will always be the definite Dracula when Hammer first made their signature name on the map of Horror with this fine adaptation (which played out little like both Browning's 1931 adaptation & Coppola's 1992 adaptation). Can never get that scene where Carol Marsh's character becomes a vampire who tries to lure her niece out of my head every time I'd see that, it's brilliantly chilling in a classic way.
Re-watching I was struck how much Guy Maddin paid tribute to this in his vampire ballet film. Carol Marsh was amazing, so many different emotions and thoughts cross her face in alternation—and cycles—that felt so right, so sincere, yet deliciously camp. Radiant is a word that should be reserved solely for her and Louise Brooks. Now there is a lost opportunity: Louise Brookes in a Dracula film, a Dracula ballet.
"And then I think the better of the two, the film that we really felt went further, was HORROR OF DRACULA. You know, there's nothing like the introduction of Dracula in that picture" (Martin Scorsese on this and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN)
A brisk reduction of Stoker; Cushing leads with an etiolated dash and the Parma Violet feel of early Hammer Horror is nicely in situ. It's probably the best of the Hammer Horrors (certainly of the Dracula series which neatly declined with each entry) with splendidly realised atmosphere achieved on a limited budget - talent will out...
All the characters act like utter idiots, with Gough winning the contest for 'Dumbest Face,' Oh, but it's all in good fun. As Count Dracula, Christopher Lee's barely contained contempt for having to play at human respectability--and his untethered bloodlust in the heat of conquest--make for a character & career-defining performance. Peter Cushing epitomizes the Secretly Badass Distinguished English Gentleman.
The best Hammer Universal horror reboot, and Lee is the best Dracula who isnt Lugosi. Great sets and cinematography, and Cushing is a nice Van Helsing. Good stuff alll around, a must watch around Halloween imo. 4 stars
Mesmerizing classic and hugely representative of early Horror films with legendary duet Christopher Lee / Peter Cushing. Certainly the film aged a little but Fisher offers here one virtuosic interpretation and visual masterpiece in the Victorian gothic style, this creepy vampire romance is of a rare elegance. My favorite from the serie with Dracula, prince of darkness, also directed by Terence Fisher.