The story to this point: the good doctor of questionable moral standards, one Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) escaped the guillotine he was facing at the end of the first film, Curse of Frankenstein, only to find himself beaten to death by angry amputees at the end of the second film, Revenge of Frankenstein….
When last we saw Baron Victor Frankenstein, he was being marched to the guillotine to face a beheading for the murders committed by his man-made man, not to mention the murders in which he himself dabbled. Well, you can’t keep a good mad scientist down, and there are none better or madder than Cushing’s Frankenstein….
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.
If you miss the days when horror and science fiction, while not exactly being intelligent, were at least willing to play with lofty ideas and theories and mix them together with charm and drollness, then by all means hop on board the Horror Express and please forgive me for statements like that.
If you’re not worried about a film making sense until the very end, and even then just barely, then Scream and Scream Again is a pretty enjoyable romp. It doesn’t matter if you have high, low, or no expectations for this film. It will manage to confound them all.
If Brides of Dracula is the forgotten Dracula film, I can’t imagine it will stay that way for very long. It’s simply too good. Maybe not quite as good as the original, but definitely the equal of the next sequel, Dracula, Prince of Darkness, which saw the return of Christopher Lee to the role of Dracula.