Debuting between the final episode of Star Trek and the release of Star Wars, Space: 1999 occupies an odd bit of real estate and has an even odder tone of voice, though it’s easier to make sense of if you understand where sci fi was when Space: 1999 aired.
I don’t think Evil of Frankenstein deserves quite as much venom as is sometimes flung its way. It’s a misstep, sure, and a disappointing experiment, sort of like one of the doctor’s many unsuccessful attempts at breathing life into the dead.
For my money, the double whammy of Curse of Frankenstein and Revenge of Frankenstein represents the high water mark for Hammer horror productions. They’re simply wonderful films, perfectly connected to one another without the sequel being a derivative rehash.
As latter-day Hammer films go, The Vampire Lovers is an entertaining, sexy romp. It relies less on the hammy scare tactics of the later Dracula series and more on the audience’s assumptions.
Paul investigates and discovers that all of them were clients of Christine. There’s also the body of a poor sewer man with no dialogue other than “Aarrgghh,” played Michael Ripper.
I was left celebrating the merits of the film while all those around me who had seen it more recently made with the ominous proclamations of, ‘You’re going to be disappointed with that one, chief.’ Impossible! I mean — seriously: magic carpet dog fights!
Realizing that I was witnessing something completely weird, I threw a tape into my VCR and recorded about 70% of the film. It became one of the most cherished gifts I ever gave my stoner buddy Ken. But I can’t even play the ‘dude, I was so wasted’ card, because I was stone cold sober at the time
Even though it never really becomes a swashbuckling adventure (although Peter Cushing does get to swing from a chandelier) or a horror film, Hinds exploits the trappings of both genres to create a thrilling hybrid driven by strong characters and solid British acting.
One would assume, then, that with a title like The Satanic Rites of Dracula, the sequel would follow in the footsteps of turning Dracula into a religious anti-icon. But then, honestly, what more can be done to make him Lucifer incarnate than having him summoned by rituals and pentagrams and strange runes?
The plot is a bit of a letdown, especially considering that it’s the first time Van Helsing and Dracula have been on screen together since the first movie.