Twins Of Evil (1971 Britain)

A typically stylish period vampire tale from Hammer, one of the J. Sheridan LeFanu trilogy. The difference here is a nifty gimmick that makes great use out of Madeleine and Mary Collinson, real life twins who make for a voluptuous pair indeed. Hammer Horror were at their best when they just tweaked classic stories. Throw the classic elements up in the air and let them fall where they may. And that is what is done here, in a very camp and over-the-top manner. Director John Hough has also given the film a very heavy handed score, which although gets a little silly, increases the camp value of the film and is therefore beneficial. [Read more…]

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Dracula A.D. 1972 (United Kingdom)

(I dedicate this post to Peter Cushing, who always maintained his dignity even when his hands were full.) Moving on…no prizes for guessing which year this baby was released. T’was a leap year in horror. A vintage year for being a vampire trapped in St Bartolph’s churchyard, London. Although it feels slapdash, with its day-as-night shots, total lack of continuity and sloppy script, this film succeeds as a comic masterpiece. A bit like the Beatles disastrous Let It Be sessions, Hammer’s Dracula run-at-the-top was also nigh. Right nigh. And there was little Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee could do to stop the rot except to throw as much middle aged, Anglo-Saxon gravitas at the latest concotion they had found themselves roped into. [Read more…]

Scream Blacula Scream (1973 USA)

scream-blacula-screamWe all have problems. But African princes who’ve been vampirized by Dracula himself probably carry an extra load. Very camp, very strange sequel to an already outrageous original. “Scream, Blacula, Scream” was the natural progression in the Blacula mythos: after having committed suicide by walking out into the sun in the original film, Mamuwalde (that’s Blacula to you) finds himself unwillingly resurrected by a jive talking voodoo shaman who is insanely jealous of Lisa, a sexy voodoo chick played by none other than Pam Grier. [Read more…]

The Brides Of Dracula (1960 United Kingdom)

brides-of-dContinuing the theme of bloodsucking from my previous post, (and before they made a deal with the Fox/Seven Arts mafia distributors) Hammer’s artists and technicians were still carefully keeping the camera lens focused on the best aspects of their productions when this sparkling gem was conceived – in this case a most lovely Yvonne Monlaur, well-dressed Bray Studios interiors, a memorable exterior windmill set-piece, and yet another unforgettable protagonist courtesy of the great Peter Cushing. Hammer’s best films are a model of efficiency and economy, and this film definitely looks a lot better than it should. [Read more…]

Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula (USA/Italy 1978)

zoltanI don’t recommend this but I’m feeling generous to old B pictures that have been mostly forgotten. They need some love too. Title also known as Dracula’s Dog, “Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula” is really something quite unique. Much of it is shot in bright, sunny open countryside, a setting which tends not to lend itself very well to the horror genre, although to be fair most of this picture’s suspense scenes are reserved for the night-time sequences. [Read more…]

Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970 UK)

taste the blood of dracula“Taste the Blood of Dracula” starts where “Dracula has raised from the Grave” ended, when traveling salesman by the name of Weller (played by Roy Kinnear) is pushed from the wagon he was travelling in. After a brief moment he pulls himself together and hears a loud scream from deep in the forest. He goes to investigate and finds the Count impaled in a golden cross, watching in horror as Dracula disintegrates into a red powder-like substance. [Read more…]

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968 UK)

dracula-has-risen-from-the-grave-01The musical theme startled me on a first watch. James Bernard never wrote a better score than this one – it’s so threatening as well as thrilling. The psychedelic opening titles are also mesmerizing. In so many ways it is the quintessential Hammer horror film. It has all of the elements which have made me a fan of the Studio. The fairy-tale Central European setting, the Gothic Castle Dracula with the quaint little village huddling under its menacing presence. [Read more…]

The Vampire Lovers (1970 UK)

Ingrid Pitt 1970 (2)In Australia this movie ran continuously for at least 5 years at the same theatre, so popular was this Hammer classic. The Vampire Lovers is a classic tale of good versus evil, the way vampire films should be, with the vampire as a soulless and selfish creature with no humanity left in it. The modern idea of the suffering humanistic vampire decrying the pain of immortality is somewhat embarrassing. Another ridiculously overused modern device is vampirism as an infectious disease. We’ll have none of that here! [Read more…]

BLACULA (1972 United States)

blacula 3 Can there be a title that would sound more promising for fans of 70s cult-material? And cult-stuff this is indeed! This is about as entertaining as it gets for lovers of cult-cinema, and an absolute must-see for all the blaxploitation enthusiast’s out there. Plot and suspense are secondary, of course. But the film delivers in a highly engaging manner. [Read more…]

Horror Of Dracula (1958 United Kingdom)

horror-of-dracula-melissa-stribling-christopher-lee-1958(Don’t get too excited. This was just a publicity shot to help the men in plastic macs to their seats at the back of the theatres) Not another bloody Hammer Horror from before your mother was born I hear ye cry? Yep. You’ll just have to get used to it. If you are a frequent visitor to this blog – yes, he does exist! – let’s just say this will be the cross you have to bear. [Read more…]

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