“Transylvania, land of dark forests, dread mountains and black, unfathomed lakes, still the home of magic and devilry…Count Dracula, monarch of all vampires, is dead. But his disciples live on, to spread the cult and corrupt the world…”
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The second and easily one of the best of Hammer's Dracula series (though Christopher Lee's undead count is conspicuously missing). The usual lavish Hammer production values and photography, and another great, intense performance by Peter Cushing returning as Van Helsing, but what really sets it above the rest is its compelling, fast-paced story. A must for fans of Hammer horror.
More musty velveteen dramatics from Hammer but impeccably delivered with a confidence in its own hokum. Cushing as ever cuts a dash and the whole affair has a gorgeous appearance despite budgetary constraints.
Gets better with each viewing. Jack Asher's impeccable technicolor photography, sumptuous Hammer sets, Cushing's perfect Van Helsing. Who else can put a hot iron to his neck and continue, gracefully, battling the undead?
"I've been asked to make a study of a strange sickness, partly physical, partly spiritual. Have you heard of the cult of the undead?" - Van Helsing, doctor of philosophy, theology and metaphysics.
The Beauty and the Beast element, at first, dominates this powerfully resonant gothic fairy tale. But what really makes the film so startling to this day, is the vampire's relationship with his mother. He was once her golden boy. When she changes her clothing and makeup and talks nervously of doing "whatever hideous thing he asks me to do," it's clear, the Baroness is a fallen woman. Norma Bates awaits her in...
Satisfyingly good follow-up to Dracula (1958) albeit no Christopher Lee. But Peter Cushing is enough to make this another of Hammer's horror classic. Damn, Van Helsing is quite the athletic and stuntman. :D
Standard but entertaining Hammer horror film. Dracula doesn't actually make an appearance in this one but it's still pretty much as you'd expect as Peter Cushing once again lends the whole think a sense of class while throwing himself around when the film requires. Great ending, but a little slow in patches.