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.
Release: 1974 Director: Brian Clemens Screenplay: Brian Clemens Starring: Horst Janson, John Carson, Shane Briant, Caroline Munro, John Cater, Lois Daine, Ian Hendry Country: Great Britain At the end of the day, I have to shrug and surrender to my baser side and say that Michael Carreras probably needed to be kicked in the shin…
It’s really one of Hammer’s most impressive, quirkiest efforts. Regardless of how bad things were for Hammer in the 70s, the movies that came out of it were usually very good and very interesting.
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.
And we were doing so well! Most movie studios can’t sustain the quality of a film series beyond two films — and quite a few have problems even getting that far. It was no small feat, then, that Hammer managed to produce not one, but two consistently good series. Their Dracula and Frankenstein films set…
Despite the weak ending, Taste the Blood is an exceptional entry into Hammer’s Dracula oeuvre. Even Christopher Lee grudgingly admits that it turned out to be a good film, though to this day he won’t stop going on about how corny the title is.