a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on 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.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The first sequel to Hammer's "Horror of Dracula," this film does not feature Dracula himself, but another vampire played by David Peel. A young woman is traveling through Transylvania for an assignment as a teacher at a young woman's school. She is forced to spend the night at the castle of Baroness Meinster, played by the great Martita Hunt. While looking from her balcony that night, she spots what appears to be a young man about to leap from his balcony. She shouts out to him, then finds his room only to discover that his mother has him chained by the foot to prevent his leaving. This should have been her first warning. But Baron Meinster (Peel) is very persuasive…
Without Lee, everything seems just a little bit underwhelming. But Cushing does it again and fans of Hammer or Peter should have a good time with this one.
Despite Lee's return in Prince of Darkness, I think I still prefer Brides to the 2 that follow.
Is it a 'Dracula' film or does it not count? Hmm....
One of my lesser favorites
Once you get past the fact that it is about neither Dracula or any of his brides, The Brides of Dracula offers entertaining, reliable genre fare (even if it never quite lives up to its cool-ass poster).
The Brides of Dracula is a very standard Hammer horror: Gothic horror infused with monstrous romance, dramatic soundtrack, you know. It's all a little stilted, a little stiff, but if you're expecting that, it feels familiar and welcoming rather than boring. It seems like a nice movie to curl up and watch during a thunderstorm (sadly, it's a perfectly nice day where I am).
Peter Cushing is reliable as ever as Dr. Van Helsing, and he carries much of the…
A real punkass vampire tries to step into Dracula's shoes but runs afoul of Peter Cushing, who subsequently pursues him like a goddamn slasher villain.
From it being the first Dracula sequel and not featuring Christopher Lee, I wasn't expecting much , but this was actually a pretty great movie. I always tend to think of Peter Cushing as an old man, so it's kind of weird seeing him in so physical a role - watching him jump kick a guy swinging a chain at him is pretty goddamn awesome.
Also I kind of love how Hammer movies sometimes just go fucking nuts and let tertiary characters take over the movie for a while; case in point, the other doctor of this film essentially stealing five minutes of screentime to explain why he believes having screaming fits into a bucket of boiling water is healthy.
Horror Movie October Film 18
"A fine handsome little imp he was too. But you spoiled him oh yes. He was always self willed and cruel and you encouraged him. Aye. And a bad company he kept too. You used to sit and drink with them didn't you. Yes. And you laughed at their wicked games."
So, going into these Hammer Films I expected cheesiness and colors. There's some camp factor, and a lot of colors, but the writing in this was incredibly good. I was pretty blown away by its intelligence and dialogue.
The style in this is wonderful. Deep reds and blues and purples, suggesting blood, wine, opulence, contusions.
This beautiful humongous mansion, almost completely empty out in…
I thoroughly enjoyed this. I loved the Victorian countryside setting and all the actors. I really wish that Hammer continued stories like this instead of going back to Dracula.
A Hammer Dracula film without Christopher Lee is a hard road to travel. We do get Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, but the omission of Lee is a hard break. I know it's called The Brides of Dracula, but you know? Looking at the story, you would have to have a younger more dashing vampire than Lee to seduce all of the lovely ladies.
I love Hammer horror. It's bright, and lavish and always gives you at least one big moment in every film. This one is definitely the windmill cross at the end. It's a great shot and a perfect way to bring about the demise of our villain. Another great moment is when the crazy old lady is coaxing/waiting for one of the brides to dig herself out of her grave. You don't get moments like these in American horror films.
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