Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

Director: Terence Fisher

Starring: Christopher Lee, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: Bloodthirsty Vampire Lives Again!

Plot: Two couples traveling in eastern Europe decide to visit Carlstad despite dire local warnings. Left outside the village by a coachman terrified at the approach of night, they find themselves in the local castle and are surprised at the hospitality extended by the sinister Klove. It turns out the owner, Count Dracula, dead for ten years, has been hoping for such a visit.

My Rating: 8/10

Would I watch it again? as sure as D keeps getting resurrected

#26 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)

It's 1966, 8 years since the first Hammer Dracula picture (with Lee as the Count) and Christopher Lee is back for his first (Hammer's second) Dracula sequel. There was much rejoicing. Yeah. Lee was a douche and didn't want to get stuck in that role so he put off reprising it after '58. What a dope. Fortunately he wised-up and from 1966 through the 70s played Dracula several more times.

What a gas this one is. It starts out recouping the last few minutes of the '58 film and D's demise. Cut to the credits and now we have to wait another 40 minutes until the blood sucker shows up, re-instated. But it's not like is presence isn't felt or anything.

Andrew Keir gives a great performance as the priest that interferes to stop D. Francis Matthews gives a funny performance to the point that you'd almost swear it's Cary Grant. And Barbara Shelley is a major cutie. She should've had my babies.

As always, the wonderful James Bernard score adds a thick, rich layer over Fisher's visuals giving the film it's iconic feel.

And probably the coolest scene in the film has Dracula's keeper, Klove, hanging a lucky victim upside down over a coffin with D's ashes/remains. He slashes the victim's throat to gushingly soak the remains to bring Dracula back to life. Fucking sweet.

I really love a lot of these Hammer horror films. I'm particularly fond of the rich Gothic atmosphere they create. They're not all gems but most of the one I've seen are worthy of repeat viewings, especially when I'm hungry for something I know I will enjoy on a dark, quiet night with a glass or two (or three or four) of red wine.

Here's the list of the Hammer Dracula films:

Horror of Dracula (1958)
The Brides of Dracula (1960)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)
Scars of Dracula (1970)
Dracula AD 1972 (1972)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)


  1. Will that one or two (or three or four) glasses of wine be Hungarian Bull's Blood? :)


  2. Man, I haven't had that wine in a long, long time. Good stuff! Plus, it's cool to drink something with "blood" in the name without being an emo/vampire wannabe.