Category Archives: 1 star

Hitchcock (2012)

Even the poster cannot hide the simple truth that the film wants to make it's own simplified storyline. The emphasis is on the current stars filling the roles of badly written caricatures of stars.

Even the poster cannot hide the simple truth that the film wants to make it’s own simplified storyline. The emphasis is on the current stars filling the roles of badly written caricatures of stars. Arguably the most important secondary character is hardly in the film and does not appear on the poster: Hitch’s agent the legendary Lew Wasserman.

1 Star out of 4.

What exactly did they want from this picture?

A study of one of the most prominent figures in our field? A true story behind the legend? A picture to fulfill all the gossip and hero worship?

Who knows what the intent was as the result is a biopic so muddled and so disjointed that the picture never takes off in any sense, and relies on stereotyping a year in The Master’s career into exactly the sort of audience pandering gibberish that Hitch himself loathed more than anything else.

All the right elements are there for aficionados and fans. The gossipy bits are there for the uninitiated, reducing Hitch to his obsessions and demons, let alone ever acknowledging the man in front of them. Admittedly, Mrs. Hitchcock does finally get her due, but in a manner overtly waving a giant flag in front of the audience’s face for the length of the picture.  Alma was a brilliant editor of both story and picture and deserves a massive share of Hitch’s praise, but the manufacture of such blissfully ignorant typical script drivel just makes one ask the one simple question that is death to any film: “Why?”.

Hitchcock is a continually frustrating experience in that it is not a portrait of the man or his life but a caricature of what many would like to think Alfred Hitchcock was. It features all of the so-called critical theories about his adoration of the cool remote blonde, his rejection of Vera Miles, lust for his leading ladies, his personal connection to Vertigo and everything else that has become standard baggage whenever even approaching the subject of The Master. Some of these have some basis in reality but can only remain theories. Yet the film treats these as truth to work from and in fact never gives a legitimate glimpse into the period of 1959-1960 when Psycho was made and the same period where Hitch was doing what he always did but in a completely different way.

What most people fail to realize, and arguably the secret of Hitch’s extreme longevity and success was his unmatched ability to “run for cover” and produce a project so intricately perfected that it both pleased audiences and his own artistic desires. He especially knew when he had to perform one of these feats of magic after a particularly unsuccessful picture where attempts were made to break the mold. It is of no coincidence that many of The Master’s most famed works of art were produced when they were. Strangers on a Train in 1951 turned his career back around after the successive failures of The Paradine Case, Rope, Under Capricorn, Stage Fright. North By Northwest was a massive return to form after the absolute rejection of both The Wrong Man and especially Vertigo.

Psycho was an attempt to fully break new ground with audiences and produce something both shocking and new. Hitch was fully aware of the growing trend in low budget shocker pictures that were making fantastic returns in drive-ins and the like. In one of the few things the film gets right, the general idea behind Psycho is that what if a great movie maker made a low budget shocker picture?

This was neither the first nor last time Hitch tried to break new ground. Continually forced to bury his innovations and desire for unrestricted creativity in his work, Psycho is one if not the only time he was ever able to fully capitalize on his full creative powers. This is the key reason why so many put a larger stock in his earlier British period, where the films were technically and monetarily limited but feature an extreme and sublime amount of imagination that essentially formed the Hitchcock touch; the way his camera probes every single scene exactly as our eyes do, his devilish sense of humor even in the darkest of predicaments.

A much better, albeit far darker picture would be based on entirely different work. (This films claims to be based on the classic text Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho but instead plays much more like a tabloid article than a researched account.) A truly insightful biopic about the most revered director in the medium of cinema would not take place at his pinnacle but rather starting three years later at the apex of his downfall. It is not ever a pretty story to detail the gradual fall of any person, but in Hitch’s case it took many years and some truly mismatched pictures amidst a multitude of denied opportunities.

With his own health and that of Alma eventually becoming unreliable, the pains of trying to make a living in an ever-increasingly changed world were only furthered. And in the end, it was a truly heartfelt and sad existence, as chronicled in David Freeman’s relatively ignored and forgotten The Last Days of Alfred Hitchcock. A truly meaningful picture about The Master of Suspense as both an artist and man would not be about making the actors look and sound exactly like the subjects within. It would not be about trivializing the facts for general audience consumption and also would not fall into the usual trap most biopics find themselves in where every aspect of the subject’s life is glossed over to give a hugely incomplete portrait of their lives in just over two hours.

The biopic of The Master should begin in 1972 and find our hero home in the markets of London confronted by the long forgotten ghosts of his childhood while making what was to be his final triumph, Frenzy. (Itself partially made from the shattered remains of what would have been his second groundbreaking masterpiece of the 1960’s, a picture in the vein of Psycho’s shocking breakthroughs but even more daring. This was to have been the vibrant and beyond suspenseful 16mm handheld picture Frenzy-Kaleidoscope.)

The film never touches upon any of this or gives a true sense of the man himself except for one glorious and perfect moment. The film is book ended by premieres. It opens with the premiere for North by Northwest and closes with the premiere of Psycho. In the theater while the first audience is becoming entranced by one of the most legendary of all motion pictures, Hitch is shown hovering in the projection booth gazing down voyeuristically at the enraptured audience.  Then he paces in front of the entrance door waiting for the shower sequence to begin and waiting ever so patiently for the reaction. And because we know what is coming, because we know what sacrifices he had to make to make the picture, because we know our own reactions to the scene over fifty years later there is suspense in the waiting. And in the audience’s screams of terror, for one single moment in this entire picture we have a moment with The Master himself. Carried away in his manipulation of the audience, we get a glimpse of the sensitive and charming person beneath the showman who merely liked to tell stories.

“The audience is like a giant organ that you and I are playing. At one moment we play this note on them and get this reaction, and then we plat that chord and they react that way. And someday we won’t even have to make a movie- they’ll be electrodes implanted in their brains, and we’ll just press different buttons and they’ll go ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaaah’ and we’ll frighten them…Won’t that be wonderful?”

Yes it is wonderful. That is why we make pictures.

 

EDITIONS: The Blu-ray does exactly what it is supposed to; represent the film as best it can in the home. Picture and sound are what they should be, highlighting the rather flat and drab appearance meant to convey the period of 1959-1960. The artificiality of the setting is so much so that you wish you were simply watching Psycho again and inferring yet more details for the umpteenth time. Nothing this film can ever do will compare with the best and most exciting screening I’ve ever witnessed of Psycho, an open-matte battered 16mm reduction print projected onto a theater’s outdoor wall in the parking lot.

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Filed under 1 star, Film Review

A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon (1989)

1 star out of 4. Dull, mindless, and a complete waste. Awful.

They really should have called this: Chow Yun-fat stands around and does little of nothing while finding a coat and pair of sunglasses. Catchy, right?

After butting heads on the second film, producer Tsui Hark and director John Woo parted ways  and abandoned plans for a prequel film…one that was supposed to have taken place in Vietnam. Woo had written a script but that was shelved and later became Bullet in the Head (1990), which is such a superior film to this travesty that it hurts. Badly.

Hark took over the directing reigns for this “prequel” film, where Mark Gor (Chow Yun-fat) must go into Vietnam in the midst of war to aid his relatives in getting to Hong Kong. Of course this involves him gaining some of the aspects of his character from the first film, but the film handles this so poorly that all we see is Mark get a pair of shades and a trench coat.

Mark and his cousin Mun encounter an alluring gun runner and both fall in love with her. This love triangle becomes further complicated when Kit falls for Mark who will not return her affections because Mun spoke first. Eventually, Mark gets his cousin and uncle back to Hong Kong and the love triangle become more complicated when Kit’s gangster boyfriend returns and begins trying to kill Mark and Mun.

Eventually everyone winds up back in Vietnam with guns. Some uninspired fights follow. The blessed credits finally come up.
This film is tepid. It’s dead throughout with even the action scenes coming off as low grade made-for-tv fodder. There is simply no reason to care for any of the characters because their cardboard structure. The plot is crap, the film looks like crap, and you feel disgusted with yourself after having sat through this pointless mess.

I don’t even want to go into detail after seeing Woo’s Bullet in the Head. These two films have virtually the same idea, but Woo’s film is about the loss of humanity and growth combined with a musing on the bonds of friendship. It is a film that never stops giving, whereas A Better Tomorrow III never stops milking the viewer for their reverence of the first film. That is if you have any left after ABT III ends.

Avoid this travesty if you liked the first film or the second. It just has no reason for being. The story is awful, the dialogue is dull, the characters are uninteresting, the locale doesn’t even seem like Vietnam and just who exactly read this and thought it would be a good idea?

EDITIONS: Essentially there’s just the IVL DVD from their boxset of the ABT trilogy. It looks clean enough, the video is 16:9 progressive NTSC, Cantonese mono, and the English subs are understandable. But I really wouldn’t recommend this disc unless you were already buying the boxset.

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Filed under 1 star, Chow Yun-fat, Film, Film Review, Hong Kong action

The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)

1 star out of 4.

Kharis rises again to wreak havoc in New England and return his Ananka and her relics to Egypt. This is merely an exercise in rehashing the elements of The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb. Nothing really new is presented at least on the surface. Other than the role of another new Egyptian priest being filled by the scenery chewing John Carradine, only the oddly dark ending gives one reason to watch this increasingly monotonous entry in the ever awful Kharis cycle.

The problems are too numerous to really mention. The film roughly takes place in the year 1974 if the laughable continuity of these films is ever to be taken seriously. Yet again, we start a mummy film by wasting time with a recap of the original films’ stories all badly snipped together and only hinting at the greatness of the Karloff original.  This retelling is simultaneously told by the Egyptian priest Andoheb (who is somehow miraculously still alive after dying twice! First shot dead at point blank range in Mummy’s Hand, and then dying of extreme old age in Mummy’s Tomb-scientists must have a lot to learn from this crazy loon.) to new underling Yousef Bey (John Carradine) and the same tale is being told by American Professor Norman at a University in the same small village where Kharis terrorized in The Mummy’s Tomb. Coincidence? Unfortunately no.

Yousef Bey is challenged with traveling to America with Kharis, reclaiming the mummy and possessions of Princess Ananka, and destroying all those who would invoke their wrath. Really? Couldn’t we have changed the general plan up a bit? It isn’t as if you haven’t tried that one before. Back at the University, a student leaves the lecture and visits his girlfriend working in a nearby office. Amina becomes reticent and distant whenever Egypt is mentioned and demands they never speak of it.

That night, Professor Norman finally discovers how many tana leaves must be brewed to complete the ritual he has been attempting to crack. He brews the nine leaves and Kharis begins to stir to find the mystical brew. As he passes Amina’s house she begins to sleepwalk towards the Professor’s home as well. Kharis kills the Professor and drinks the fluid. Amina loses consciousness at the sight of the Mummy. She is found the next morning on the grounds by the police who want to hold her as a potential suspect. No one seems to notice the large white streak in her hair…

The mold left on the Professor’s throat alerts authorities that the Mummy is on the loose again. (Not that they seem to really care all too much. Wouldn’t you?) Some time passes until Yousef Bey arrives and obtains Kharis. What happens in the interim is unexplained. Oh, there’s just an undead Mummy running around. They break into the Scripps museum where Ananka is housed. As Kharis moves to retrieve the mummy, it collapses into dust at his undead hands. Stupified, Kharis looks to Yousef who realizes that her soul has passed on into another body. In one of the only moments of acting in any of these Kharis films, the Mummy destroys the room in rage. A hapless guard is attracted by the noise and quickly dispatched by the monstrous Egyptian.

The police find the dead guard and destroyed museum the next morning. They determine it is also the work of the mummy and devise a trap for him. Amina is strained by the Professor’s death and her possible implication. Her boyfriend Tom persuades her to elope with him to New York. Now Yousef prays to the gods to show Kharis the way to Ananka’s reincarnated form. A shaft of light appears and Kharis is hot on the trail. (Well, as fast as an undead shuffling mummy can be following a non-existent light beam.)

The police have dug a pit outside the Professor’s home and brew tana leaves to lure the mummy. Unfortunately, this also once again awakens Amina into sleepwalking. She has the further misfortune of running into Kharis who recognizes Ananka’s reincarnation. Kharis returns her to Yousef at an abandoned mill. Tom is told of this by the helpless landlady and sets off in pursuit with the police far behind. Yousef tells Amina that she is the reincarnated spirit of Ananka. He then decides that he must have her for himself, and like every single other Egyptian priest suddenly realizes his primal manly urges by trying to make both himself and the female victim immortal.

In the only other bit of acting, Kharis realizes Yousef’s intention and kills him. This is almost as if Kharis come to this realization and declares: “Hell, no! Not this stinking crap again! Bitch, I am not being set on fire!” He then carries Amina off into the swamps with Tom and the police at his heels. The pursuers refrain from shooting the monster in fears of hitting the girl…who is getting a rather quick hair bleaching. The Mummy sinks into the swamps with her withered old corpse.

This ending is a curveball when considering everything else that has transpired up to this point. There is no indication that the ending will be dark, and thus it doesn’t fit the film whatsoever. It is a completely unnecessary moment that despite its shock does not have the power to redeem this schlock. The performances are forgettable save for Carradine’s mad Egyptian. He chews scenery as if it was his mandate, and gives a slightly more interesting face to look at then yet another bland young fez-wearing Egyptian.

Lon Chaney Jr. famously hated playing the Mummy. His disdain is obvious for he shuffles along doing absolutely nothing. Although, he wasn’t really ever made to do much of anything else. Chaney does show some emotion in a few scenes as I’ve mentioned, but it just isn’t enough. Christopher Lee was able to do so much with only his eyes in the Hammer 1959 Mummy film that it seems like a Mummy acting masterclass after watching all of these Universal Kharis films.

Save for a few choice moments with Carradine and the ill-fitting ending, The Mummy’s Ghost is an absolutely forgettable piece of double bill filler.

Like all the other Kharis films, Mummy’s Ghost is packaged in the Mummy Legacy Collection in a well presented single-layer transfer. Sound is standard Dolby 2.0 mono and the print source is very clean.

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Filed under 1 star, Film, Uncategorized, Universal Horror

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

1 star out of 4. Beyond godawful.

Somehow this garbage is simultaneously better and worse than AD 1972. If that makes any sense at all.

After the runaway success of the previous film, (I’m kidding, even then people knew it was awful.) Hammer decided to make a direct sequel to cash in on its in-no-way-under-any-circumstances-could-ever-be-possibly-considered-a-sucess hit idea of resurrecting the Count in the present day.

The film opens with an unexplained Satanic ritual being performed in some English country house. A man escapes from being held captive and makes a dash for freedom. He manages to elude his captors and jump into a waiting car outside. These turn out to be his superiors, and the injured man is an undercover secret service officer. He attempts to tell the others of the house being a front for a Satanic cult including several notable members of the British government. After recounting this he dies and the officials are left scratching their heads. They call in the Scotland Yard Inspector from the previous film and he in turn recommends they talk to Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing).

The secretary who has been taking notes all this time is suddenly attacked by the two sheepskin vest wearing cult henchmen on motorcycles. She is later shown tied up at the manor house and Dracula randomly appears to give her a bite to eat…

The officers travel to tell Van Helsing of these strange events and he recognizes one of the men as an old acquaintance (Well, he actually doesn’t say anything at first, but his granddaughter says that he knows one of them, so he then admits he was holding back for some unknown reason…maybe time padding perhaps?) and agrees that he should go and visit his old friend Doctor Keeley and pump him for information.

The officers and Jessica Van Helsing travel out to the manor house where they are greeted by the supposed leader of the cult, Chin Yang (yes, this movie even has a random Chinese lady.) They find themselves in the cellar, which is filled with vampire girls chained to the floor and the coffins in some sort of vampiric dungeon. The head officer stakes the secretary from earlier and the three then flee from the grounds.

Vna Helsing confronts Doctor Keeley, who is nearly insane at this time. Keeley has been commissioned to create a new strain of the bubonic plague by some mysterious benefactor. Another of the sheepskin wearing henchmen shoots Van Helsing, who crumples to the floor. He awakens later (Yes, Van Helsing was shot at point blank range in the head and was merely knocked unconscious.) to see the Doctor’s body hung from the ceiling. The bacteria that was on a table earlier has vanished.

Kelley spoke of the 23rd of October, which Van Helsing knows to be the “Sabbath of the Undead”. The Doctor’s writings reveal a certain mysterious businessman named D.D. Denham to be behind the funding of this new project. Van Helsing deduces that this is none other than Dracula himself, who wants to wipe out all humanity with the plague in order to die taking everyone with him in the ultimate revenge. Van Helsing then travels to the headquarters of Denham, armed with a gun loaded with silver bullets. He arrives at the building which was built on top of the church ruins from the previous film. He meets with Denham in one of the oddest scenes in the entire series.

Of course this is actually Dracula. It’s really rather obvious. So why the filmmakers decided to make Cushing and Christopher Lee carry on this charade any longer than necessary is inexcusable. Lee speaks in a almost imitation of a Middle European accent (possibly Hungarian…?) and is seated behind a desk with the light turned towards Van Helsing to keep his face in darkness. (yeah, right.) Van Helsing cleverly slips a Bible into some papers on the desk and thus reveals Denham to be Dracula. (Yes, we knew that already thank you very much.) He then repels Dracula with a crucifix and takes a good several minutes too long to shoot the silver bullet. He is captured by Dracula’s minions and taken to the manor house to be killed slowly.

The two inspectors and Jessica lie in wait outside the house keeping watch. They are attacked by a sniper and the elder agent is killed. The Yard detective and Jessica are captured, with the detective awaking in the cellar. He is approached by the Chinese lady from earlier who is also a vampire. He manages to stake her and escape all the others, making it to the door of the cellar. In just about the only clever moment of this entire film, he notices his arm is next to the old sprinkler lever. He snatches at it and activates the water flow. The cellar full of vampiresses are destroyed.

Dracula then begins his own ceremony to inaugurate his plans of apocalypse. Lee is on top form here as he speaks of the men being his four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The three remaining government officials begin to react in dismay as they believed the plague to be a biological deterrent and never expected the Prince of Darkness to actually use it. This causes one of the men to tremble and accidentally break the vial of plague. He staggers about in agony as a fight between the detective and a guard results in a fire breaking out. Everyone flees leaving the flailing plague man, Dracula and Van Helsing as the only ones left in the burning house.

Van Helsing escapes into the woods and lures Dracula into a hawthorn tree. (Earlier, Van Helsing mentioned that this tree could harm vampires because it was used to make Christ’s crown of thorns.) His method is brilliant; simply shouting at Dracula. The idiot Count does not realize what tree this is, so he blunders through the branches and finally makes it through the other side mortally wounded. Van Helsing makes an improvised wooden stake from a nearby fence and kills Dracula again. The end titles immediately appear.

Let me reiterate: Dracula is essentially killed by a tree. That should tell you everything in a nutshell. The film looks incredibly cheap and badly shot. The script is incomprehensible at times and with all of the espionage and sci-fi elements it becomes quite obvious that it was written by a former Doctor Who scribe.

This one is so bad that American distributors initially refused to distribute it in the US. It was only in 1976 that the film was released, greatly cut down and under the inane title of Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride.

But the idea of the plot is genius. For once there is actually a good idea behind Dracula’s actions.  The idea that Dracula actually wants to die is a thought that gives intense personal drama to the character and actually gives him a motivation. But Dracula cannot simply commit suicide. No, no no. He decides the best way to die is to kill the entire population of all living things on the Earth and perish due to lack of food supply. Thus he would achieve his revenge for all eternity and finally be free from his eternal damnation. To achieve this he lures politically powerful men into a Satanic cult and hides everything behind a rich corporate front, pretending to be a reclusive millionaire à la Howard Hughes. Ironic? Chilling? Cold? Metaphoric? Societal criticism? In a 70’s Hammer film?

Cushing once again proves that he is life force of these films. The dialogue could be nonsense (which occurs often) and his energy is so focused that we believe anything the man says. One could only wish that a better film could surround these few good qualities because they are so promising that you have to wonder what the film could have been like if everything was excised and someone had done a second draft.

The film has lapsed into the public domain. I wonder why…

 

Due to the film being in the public domain, there are indefinite versions floating about all in terrible quality. Anchor Bay released the only watchable transfer years back under their Hammer Collection banner. It is a terribly outdated non-anamorphhic 1.85:1 transfer with muddy Dolby 2.0 mono audio. The same disc was repackaged with Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Both editions are now out of print. Several public domain DVDs are said to use the Anchor Bay transfer.

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Filed under 1 star, Film, Hammer Films

Dracula AD 1972 (1972)

1 star out of 4. Rubbish.

This is the one I dreaded returning to. It’s just awful. The title is the entire film. Dracula is destroyed in 1872 and returns a century later.

But instead of doing anything remotely interesting or worthwhile with this radical departure from the vampire legend, Hammer does their typical stupid revenge plot. And this time all of it is lifted from various parts of their own Dracula films, and done so monotonously that one simply has no care in in finishing this mess.

The film opens with the only really exciting sequence, a final battle between Dracula and Van Helsing (Peter Cushing back in one his best roles after 12 years.) atop a runaway carriage. Both are thrown when the coach crashes and Van Helsing staggers awake to find Dracula conveniently run through by a broken carriage wheel. He uses all of his strength to break off the wheel and form a wooden stake which destroys Dracula. Van Helsing then crumples to the ground not noticing the shadowy figure that appears to gather Dracula’s ashes…

This same person buries the ashes outside the churchyard where Van Helsing is being buried. We dolly into the tombstone and then pan over to a pile of rubble. We then pan up to the blue sky and the titles begin: DRACULA (and then a jet appears and the first cue of the absolutely awful 70’s funky score) AD 1972. And you then know for sure this will be absolutely horrid.

I wasn’t kidding.

The only saving grace of this trash is Peter Cushing. You wonder why it took Hammer twelve years to put him in a Dracula film again. His presence is so sorely needed to keep the proceedings actually interesting, because Dracula will only be in the film for  a combined total of ten to fifteen minutes. Here he plays the descendant of Van Helsing, who just happens to also be an expert on the occult. His granddaughter runs around with a group of hippies who have an odd pastime: they like to gatecrash houses until the police arrive.

This is the opening sequence of the modern-day London setting. Random twenty somethings are dancing about (badly) in a traditional English drawing room. There’s this truly awful band in the background as the kids do all sorts of uninteresting random things. The adults all stand back in their formal wear, completely exasperated by the doings of this traveling band of youths. And this single scene goes on for nearly ten minutes. It’s enough to make you want to leave then and there, but this reviewer has braved the atrocities a second time to bring you a detailed look at the horrors of bad Hammer.

The ringleader of this little group is on Johnny Alucard (that doesn’t suggest anything does it?) who voices the consensus that things are getting a bit stale. So he proposes to perform a Black Mass inside an old abandoned church because that’s the groovy thing to do these days. No one really raises any more than an eyebrow at this suggestion.

So they all meet up at this church that night for a night of fun! They begin the ceremonies looking like a bunch of stoned hippies when Alucard begins actually performing a ritual. The fact that this is the same actor who played the mysterious man in the opening already tells you where this is going. Alucard then attempts to resurrect Dracula by slitting open his hand in a moment that exactly recalls the far superior Taste the Blood of Dracula.

The kids flee, Dracula rises again, he kills a girl and that’s it. Haven’t seen that before have we? They wonder why she has disappeared, and then the police find her body. one of the detectives seeks Van Helsing’s advice as this murder resembles something of the occult. Alucard is granted vampiric life and some of the other kids are killed and vampified as well. All of this leads to a final showdown between Lee’s Dracula and Cushing’s Van Helsing for the first time since 1958.

Of course this isn’t done very well either so the entire climax of the film is wasted. Dracula spends his little screen time standing in this old church for no apparent reason and lusting after Van Helsing’s granddaughter. Why it takes people so long to realize just where Dracula is located is beyond me. It isn’t as if they don’t know where the abandoned church is! The girl’s body was found there and they know the Black Mass was held there, so why does Van Helsing only discover this location at the end of the film? Then again, it took him a whole night to realize Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards.

It is reestablished here that running water can kill a vampire. This leads to an interesting end for the battle between Alucard and Van Helsing in the former’s apartment. Yes, Alucard drowns in his shower. That’s how bad this gets. You didn’t believe me did you?

Dracula never even has anything to do with 70’s London, so why the change in locale? Simply because this was an attempt by Hammer to reconnect with young audiences to drum up ticket sales. And it fails horribly. Still, it is hard to fault when Cushing is involved. He throws himself so wholeheartedly into the story that you can honestly still believe in it somehow. This combined with the usual Hammer quality of production is the only reason why anyone should even dream of watching this.

Unfortunately there are actually fans of this film, which I still cannot believe that there are any:

Go figure.

Like many film series, the awful later entries are usually the ones best represented on home video. Warner’s bare bones DVD is nearly flawless. The single layer 1.85:1 anamorphic image is fantastic, and the Dolby 2.0 sound clearly gives you that completely unnecessary funky score. Also available packaged with Horror of Dracula, Has Risen from the Grave and Taste the Blood for considerably less.

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Filed under 1 star, Film, Hammer Films