October 30, 2011

Dracula (1958)

(AKA Horror of Dracula)

"After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one who may be able to protect them is Dr. van Helsing, Harker's friend and fellow-student of vampires, who is determined to destroy Dracula, whatever the cost."

The final entry in my "Hallowe'en Countdown" is Hammer's version of "Dracula" from 1958. It may not be all that horrific for a modern audience but you can't have Hallowe'en without Dracula and this is the version that I grew up with.

I was, am, and always will be a fan of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing no matter how bad the later films were that either of them got themselves into. Neither ever gave a bad performance and they took their roles completely seriously in spite of how ludicrous the subject matter was.

Hammer's "Dracula" is still the quintessential vampire film for all lovers of the genre. It may not be strictly accurate to the book (but then again, what Hammer film is?), but it's certainly the most enjoyable and watchable version ever made.

A great atmosphere, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing fighting it out, beautiful actresses, rubber bats on wires, and all done on a budget which wouldn't even pay for Keanu Reeves' voice coach in a more modern production.

This is what horror movies were all about when I was young and you couldn't even call yourself a horror fan back then without having watched all the Hammer and Amicus films first.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about "Dracula" except that, even though it was shown on the BBC nearly every year, it took far too long to become available to a British audience on VHS.

Now it's available just about everywhere on DVD, go on and spoil yourself.

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