Saturday, 16 July 2016

Horror of Drakula

Since Al gave a great series of posts on the Hammer Horror series of Dracula movies, it inspired me to watch them myself. Although my observations will be more low brow than Al's. We start with Horror.

This is a rather abbreviated version of the Dracula story. We get a short version of Harker vs Dracula, before moving on to Van Helsing helping out against Lucy and then Mina. It seems that everyone lives within an easy horse ride between places, and Dracula only needs a night to seduce women. And then Van Helsing faces off against Dracula, and that's that.

There are some great sets in the castle, but they aren't really used considering how impressive they are. They are mainly there for the characters to run through. And Christopher Lee has great presence as Dracula, the word 'looms' comes to mind whenever he is on screen.

I was surprised as how short the film was, and thus how compressed the story was. There are still some iconic moments (such as the appearance of Dracula with bloody fangs), and the movie moves along at a good pace. But having read the story, it does feel abridged.

Oh well, with Dracula killed off at the end, there will never be another movie...


1 comment:

Al said...

Hi Jamas

So glad you gave this a spin. I got the lavish blu ray edition for Christmas, heaving with special features, and should point out that the castle sets are actually pretty well utilised - considering that they are essentially the same set ingeniously redressed and used again and again...
Hammer knew they could never afford a sea voyage, chase across Europe or bat transformations and ingeniously worked all this into their retelling. It's certainly not the last time that budget restrictions have resulted in a better end product than a production having money to burn (looking at you, George Lucas).
I'm always struck by how shocking this film would have been to a late fifties audience - particularly with the recovered cut scenes restored.