I'm really bad at challenges but love the concept of Hoop-Tober and every year look forward to everyone's lists and…
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.
Brides of Dracula has no Christopher Lee but instead stars David Peel as blonde, Drac-a-like, Baron Meinster. But at least Peter Cushing's here and Cushing does what Cushing does best - the bounciest and most athletic Van Helsing we all know and love.
Jack Asher as DP shoots like Bava and the film is vivid and full of purples and reds and yellows. The sets are wonderful and how they managed to create those European villages mansions and castles in a small country house in Berkshire, I'll never know. The dressers, sculpters and technicians all deserve medals. A beautiful film.
There are so many memorable performances apart from the aforementioned Cushing. Peel is excellent as Drac... ahem, Meinster and starts…
YES! YES! A MILLION TIMES YES!!!
I do not fucking remember this being as good as it was this time around. What an incredible film! It's been way too long. WAY too long!
Vastly different from Horror Of Dracula, despite sharing the same director.
From the get go, I suddenly noticed some Bava influence in terms of the new sets and lighting techniques. The score was absolutely out of this world! Really complemented the film, and could be wonderful and heartwarming in one instance, and then blood pounding and suspenseful the next.
Really did not remember this being as good as it was... What a film... What an utterly Halloweenie, eerie, and brilliant time! I'm over the moon now guys, I can't stress it enough. I'm pleased. I'm very pleased.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Peter Cushing swings off a rope and puts a boot right in the vampire's face.
Vampire hunter Van Helsing returns to Transylvania to destroy handsome bloodsucker Baron Meinster, who has designs on beautiful young schoolteacher Marianne.
I believe this is the 2nd of the Hammer Dracula flicks (yes I realize I'm going way out of order). First off, the main problem is no Christopher Lee as Dracula. I mean really there is no Dracula. There's a goofy looking vampire. But he's no Dracula. Also he's engaged so technically there's A Bride. Otherwise the best thing about this movie was Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. He's great in this as usual. There's one shot involving him that I loved. A vampire woman says to him "there's no release from this curse". The camera zooms in on Cushing's face and he just smirks and says "Well there is one release". Of course she's staked soon after. The movie itself is fun and breezy but sorely missing Lee.
Might be my favorite looking hammer film.
Sequel to Dracula, or Horror of Dracula is a slight step down, but nonetheless retains the vibe of the original film, while adding new ideas to create something entertaining. The film boasts a very well thought out story and an interesting angle on the characters. Overall this is a film that boasts everything that has made the original such a good film, but adds on elements to create something unique. Brides of Dracula adds to the storyline, and it is a well acted feature that is complimented with eerie atmosphere, which was a big part of Horror of Dracula. Although a bit lacking compared to the first film, Brides of Dracula nonetheless has enough going fo0r it to appeal to…
I have a special place in my heart both for Hammer films in general and the performances of Sir Christopher Lee and/or Sir Peter Cushing in particular. Some excellent work here that never gets tired or boring. They command the screen and deservedly were at the apex of that specialty. I simply wish I could find and watch them all.
" Who is it that is not afraid ? "
"Only God has no fear"
No Lee (or Dracula at all, for that matter) this time out. Peter Cushing carries this movie on his back, and it suffers when he's not on screen.
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
With a list of…
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…