October Hammershow: Dracula A.D. 1972

There aren’t very many Hammer horror flicks that take place in contemporary times. For this month, only six of the films I’ve watched up to this point take place around the time in which they were filmed. Only one film from the franchise flicks, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, breaks away from its gothic setting. Until now. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Dracula A.D. 1972″

October Hammershow: Scars of Dracula

These Hammer Dracula films are showing serious signs of franchise fatigue. Scars of Dracula is the sixth film in the series, and I can’t be sure that anyone involved cared one whit about the project. Unlike the Frankenstein films, which had their ups and downs, there was still great care in producing a viable film. But Scars of Dracula looks and feels cheap. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Scars of Dracula”

October Hammershow: Taste the Blood of Dracula

What a title. Taste the Blood of Dracula. That’s a pretty good start for today’s horror film, before a single frame even goes by. From 1970, Taste the Blood of Dracula was written by Anthony Hinds, directed by Peter Sasdy, and features Christopher Lee returning to play Dracula. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Taste the Blood of Dracula”

October Hammershow: Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, or, Underboob: The Movie

Hammer, in a wise decision, jettisoned much of the tropes they had used in their previous Mummy films. For three consecutive productions, they had made basically the same film. British archaeologists discover ancient Egyptian tomb, said tomb has a curse on it, ancient Egyptian mummy resurrects and kills those who dared desecrate the tomb. It really was the same thing again and again. That was all well and good when they did it the first time, but by the last film, The Mummy’s Shroud, the plot was too familiar, and everyone involved seemed to be just going through the paces. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, or, Underboob: The Movie”

October Hammershow: Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

It is now the halfway point of this year’s Horrorshow, and I’m enjoying watching all these classic Hammer horror flicks. But, watching them all close together like this means I’m more aware of when they are repeating themselves compared to watching them on a normal release schedule. For example, the three Mummy flicks I’ve reviewed so far this month have basically been the same film. There is still a good film to be made from the idea, but by The Mummy’s Shroud, I’m not sure the filmmakers were trying. Today’s film, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, suffers from some of the same sort of creative malaise that doomed The Mummy’s Shroud. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Dracula Has Risen from the Grave”

October Hammershow: Dracula: Prince of Darkness

Dracula: Prince of DarknessAfter eight years, Dracula, the actual Dracula and not some misdirection with the title, is back in Hammer’s 1966 film Dracula: Prince of Darkness. 1958’s Dracula (Horror of Dracula in the US) is among the most well-known and revered of Hammer’s horror catalogue. It was also a moneymaker. So, for a company that was in the business to make a buck I find it surprising that it took Hammer eight years to put a sequel together. Part of the problem may have been Dracula’s recalcitrant star, Christopher Lee. He led a most interesting life, mingling with true giants on a regular basis. Sometimes it feels like he did all this cheap horror to pay the rent, but his heart was never really in it. Like many stars he often failed to do the decent thing and keep his mouth shut about a project after filming wrapped. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Dracula: Prince of Darkness”

October Hammershow: Dracula (1958), aka Horror of Dracula

It has been over a hundred and twenty years since Bram Stoker’s groundbreaking vampire novel was published. In that time, the titular character of Dracula has been put to film dozens of times. Every generation gets its own version of the tale. There’s just something about Dracula. The genre of horror itself is drawn to the character like one of his hapless victims. One can be sure that no matter what kind of just fate befalls Dracula in these films, it is only a matter of time before he returns. Continue readingOctober Hammershow: Dracula (1958), aka Horror of Dracula”

October Horrorshow: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Look at that title. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Of all the cinematic interpretations of the classic horror tale, only this one has the original author’s name in the title. It’s a nice touch, and easily differentiates the film from all the others. But, if a viewer is like me, they will wonder if such a title isn’t a tiny bit disingenuous. When I think of this film, I think of it as Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. His vision, and his touch, both deft and clumsy, is so evident throughout that he has made the material his own. Mr. Stoker didn’t need to have his name attached (except for legal reasons, apparently). Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Bram Stoker’s Dracula”

October Horrorshow: Dracula (1979)

I’ve seen hundreds of horror films. And I’ve seen more Dracula films than I can either count or name. But until recently, I had no idea that this version of the oft-filmed tale existed. This Dracula is so lost to the digital history of cinema that when I searched for it on IMDb, I had trouble locating its page. I have a hard time understanding why. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Dracula (1979)”