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Dracula A.D. 1972
Dracula jagt Mini-Mädchen

UK 1972
produced by
Josephine Douglas, Michael Carreras (executive) for Hammer
directed by Alan Gibson
starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Christopher Neame, Michael Coles, Marsha A.Hunt, Caroline Munro, Janet Key, William Ellis, Philip Miller, Michael Kitchen, David Andrews, Lally Bowers, Constance Luttrell, Michael Daly, Artro Morris, Jo Richardson, Penny Brahms, Brian John Smith, Stoneground
screenplay by Don Houghton, based on characters by Bram Stoker, music by Michael Vickers, songs by Stoneground, special effects by Les Bowie

Dracula, Hammer's Dracula, Dracula (Christopher Lee), Hammer's modern day Dracula, Van Helsing, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Just for kicks, Jessica Van Helsing (Stephanie Beacham) and her friends are participting in a black mass, staged by one Johnny Alucard (Christopher Neame), a black mass that ultimately culminates in the sacrifice of one of them, Laura (Caroline Munro), and the resurrection of Dracula himself (Christopher Lee) - yet the next day, Johnny claims it was all just a prank, which Jessica and the others believe, until Laura and another girl of the group show up dead.

Dracula however is not happy about the choice of victims supplied by Johnny, basically because he wants to get his hands on Jessica herself, because Jessica, you know, is a descendant of famous vampire hunter Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), who killed him 100 years ago. Thing is, there is still a vampire hunting Van Helsing around, Jessica's granddad (also Peter Cushing), and when the police investigates the recent vampire murders, Van Helsing is soon asked to help out.

While Van Helsing and his inspector friend (Michael Coles) are still looking for leads on Dracula though, Dracula finally succeeds in having Jessica kidnapped, and he wants to make her his bride in another black mass - but fortunately, Van Helsing is able to catch up with him just in time, and fight it out with the vampire in a desecrated church, a fight that ends with Dracula falling to his death in a pit full of stakes.

 

Though its premise sounds very much like Hammer's previous Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula A.D.1972 is actually Hammer's first attempt to bring one of their most successful characters Dracula to modern times is about as clumsy and anachronistic as it is charming and endearing: Sure, the cape-wearing vampire and his nemesis vampire hunter Van Helsing make little sense in modern times, especially when played by Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in their distinctive (and highly effective) acting styles that make more sense in the Victorian era than London of the 1970's. On the other hand though, making Dracula the centerpiece of a hippie-black mass and having both the vampire and his hunter interact with hip teens of the day comes across as rather funny (if unintentionally so) and turns the film into a great piece of nostalgia. Not a maserpiece, mind you, and maybe one of the lesser Hammer-Draculas, but an entertaining piece of film nevertheless (if entertaining sometimes for the wrong reasons).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD