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...
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.
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 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.