"Horror is one of the most readily dismissed genres from critics and film buffs, yet is, arguably, the…
The Brides of Dracula
He Turned Innocent Beauty Into Unspeakable Horror.
A young teacher on her way to a position in Transylvania helps a young man escape the shackles his mother has put on him. In so doing she innocently unleashes the horrors of the undead once again on the populace, including those at her school for ladies. Luckily for some, Dr Van Helsing is already on his way.
My vampire weekend ends... for now...
Reader beware: anecdotal review ahead.
After falling madly in love with Werner Herzog's Nosferatu I went out in search of more dark, moody, and thoughtful vampire movies. Byzantium showed promise but felt too unfocused to buckle down on any one idea. Vampyr had the moody imagery down pat, but the thin story failed to carry the visuals anywhere interesting. Then came (Horror of) Dracula. It wasn't at all what I was looking for, but it was so much something else that it managed to put me under its spell. It wasn't dark, moody, or thoughtful: it was colorful, fun, and silly! So I decided to give Hammer Films another chance in the form of…
This is that Hammer Dracula film that's not a Dracula film.
But you can't blame them for sticking Dracula in the title considering the success they had enjoyed with their original Dracula film a couple of years before. Although The Brides Of The Vampire would have been a pretty cool title as well, I think. Probably wouldn't have made as much money though.
The problem I have with a lot of the Hammer horror films is that so many of them are so similar. That's not a bad thing at all, for the record. They really are nice and welcoming old things that you can pretty much always rely on, but it's an absolute pain in the arse trying to…
He was my son. Now he is only... a beast of the night.
Peter Cushing returns with his gentlemen-like-badassery as Doctor Van Helsing while Christopher Lee takes time off from the series. Even though Dracula's name is in the title, the film is actually about one of his "disciples" and a few female vamps that could be described as the Brides of Dracula in an extremely abstract way considering the Count has never even met them.
As if to get all thoughts of Dracula showing up in the film out of your mind right away, the story opens up with a narration to remind you that Dracula is in fact dead. What we do get is David Peel…
I like the various manifestations the plot takes: a Gothic horror about a family secret, a manhunt, a swashbuckler... only rarely does it dip into traditional sequences of bats flying into windows and biting necks. Peter Cushing owns the movie as the most suave, badass Van Helsing ever. It's as if someone told him they were making a James Bond movie set in ye olde vampire times, and he ran with it (I can only imagine how the girls' school sequence would have played out if this was a Bond movie...). The main vampire (he's not Dracula as the title would mislead you to believe) is excessively handsome in a boyish way that moves away from the Lugosi/Lee traditional depictions…
For a film that proposes to focus on the brides of Dracula, this focuses an awful lot on a completely different male vampire. Taken on its own merits and ignoring the irrelevant title, it's not a bad little vampire flick. It would be easy to complain about the damsels-in-distressing and the minimalizing of the female vampires, and certainly that's disappointing, but this is a showcase for Peter Cushing. It helps that he's got a powerful screen presence; he's fun to watch. (Especially when he's acrobatically combating our fancy vampire villain, who seconds before was whirling a chain about like a madman in one of the best visuals.) It's noteworthy that this otherwise kinda stiff (but not badly so) horror film…
Watching Peter Cushing calmly DE-vampirize himself with burning hot coals to his neck is alone worth the price of admission. Also worth the price of admission: everything else.
Well… this series went downhill fast. This sequel to the 1958 Hammer Dracula doesn’t feature Christopher Lee, which is understandable given that Dracula is supposed to be dead here, but the new vampire dude they decide to use (David Peel) isn’t nearly as charismatic. There’s not a lot to say about this, the movie is very slow to get going and it loses me fast. Not very good.
The sequel to (Horror of) Dracula is not about Dracula and it's certainly not about his brides.
The title font was really nice. The film looked and sounded great. The French lead actress was tres annoying non? The plot starts okay but really falls apart in the second half. The whole final confrontation had me saying 'Really?' every ten seconds. Peter Cushing is immune to vampires? The windmill bit is just stupid, ludicrous, ridiculous, dumb, idiotic, impossible, improbable, and laughable. There is no Dracula. The Brides do nothing but hiss. Could have been so much better.
stop. Hammer time.
This movie starts out really good... enter Van Helsing and it stays a good movie for awhile then somewhat goes down hill. The ending was ok - I liked the idea of the windmill - in fact that is very creepy! To me the movie hits a lull around 50 min to an hour into the film but does pick back up in the end.
David Peel was pretty good as Baron Meinster but just not very convincing as a vampire IMO. Martita Hunt is ideal for the role of Baroness Meinster - she is quite good in this movie. Yvonne Monlaur was very pleasing to watch as Marianne. And Peter Cushing is, once again, smashing as Doctor Van Helsing.…
No Dracula and no Christopher Lee but Hammer's second vampiric outing, "The Brides of Dracula" is still a grandly atmospheric and archly Gothic horror yarn. The screenplay by the trio of Jimmy Sangster, Peter Bryan and Edward Percy sees the young Marianne (Yvonne Monlaur) on her way to take up a new teaching position and being invited by Baroness Meinster (Martita Hunt) to spend the night at Castle Meinster. At the castle Marianne discovers that the handsome young Baron (David Peel) is being kept a shackled prisoner by his mother, the Baroness. Unwisely releasing Baron Meinster, Marianne soon discovers his true vampiric nature as he sets about seducing the young women of the parish - his presumed "brides". Luckily Dr.…
Despite being on her way to her new appointment as a student teacher at a girl's school, Miss Marianne is clearly not the brightest of young ladies.
When her coachman abandons her on her way to the school she ill advisedly accepts an offer to stay the night at the castle of the Baroness Meinster, even though it is clear that the locals are terrified of the old lady.
To compound this error she decides that it is a good idea to release the Baroness' son from his shackles, even though his own mother has already explained that he suffers from a sickness of the mind.
Luckily she is rescued by good old Dr Van Helsing who, although he had…
I was struck again by how effective and strange the atmosphere is on this film compared to most of the rest of the Hammer oeuvre. Only "The Gorgon" really achieved the same odd dark fairytale feel that Terence Fisher said he was going for with his films. The opening in particular with the heroine getting maneuvered to the weird abandoned castle and finding the rather boyish Baron chained in the basement is incredibly effective and dreamy, and the second half of the film is almost non-stop action, with one of the greatest climaxes in Hammer horror (even though I don't really like the final "gag").
Unlike what the title led to believe, Brides of Dracula is a missed opportunity to reverse the gender dynamic and the tropes recurrent to this era of cinema at the time the film was made, and the dominance of a powerful in control charismatic man over the more vulnerable weak and often psychotic submissive woman.
What if Dracula and Van Helsing were two women who respectively fed on and took care of beautiful vulnerable and defenseless men?
And while Brides of Dracula casts a couple more feminine characters than usual, it doesn't address that problematic, and both Van Helsing and the Vampire behind the scenes are still men.
What's left is another rehash of Dracula, but this time around without what makes the Dracula story so fascinating to the vampire aficionados's eyes, Dracula himself.
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…