Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

Film of 2012 #26
No Spoilers

This film is the last Hammer film to star both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and is also the last film for Christopher Lee to play Dracula. It is a sequel of sorts to some of the earlier Dracula films but at the time I watched it I was not aware of any of the history, though the film itself clearly references previous stories and battles. Peter Cushing plays Lorrimer Van Helsing and his niece is played by Joanna Lumley who I did not recognise to begin with but later in the film you can clearly see that it is her. 

The film starts quite confusingly with a ritual and a prisoner escaping and through the main characters finding out what happened you are brought up to speed. Scotland Yard are investigating a group of influential individuals who appear to be up to no good and within their investigations they discover that the group are headed up by Christopher Lee. He turns out to be Count Dracula resurrected from the dead as Van Helsing had killed him two years previously. This film is one of those older films that just accepts supernatural goings on, you have a case when someone known to the main characters is turned and they shout she is a vampire and there is simple acceptance of this fact as it is normal everyday goings on in the Hammer world. 

This was really a very enjoyable film, there are some issues around the pacing of it and I think that modern audiences would struggle with it as it moves at it's own pace. It is a good vs evil story and you know where it is going. a big plus point is that it is near the end of the Hammer films as there are plenty of b**bs on show and there is still some tension built up so a three star film for me, very enjoyable.

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