Monday, October 24, 2016

The Rest of Hammer's Dracula (and Vampires)

12 Days of Halloween 2016 (5)

Hammer didn’t stop telling vampire stories with their Dracula films, and their Dracula series included a lot more films than it should have. Here is a rundown of their vampire entries:

1. “Dracula” (“The Horror of Dracula” in the US) 1958

The best of the bunch. A fairly straight retelling of the Dracula story. Dracula brought into color cinema!

2. “Brides of Dracula” 1960

An attempt to do Dracula without Dracula.

3. “Kiss of the Vampire” 1963

The Vampire metaphor comes to stand in for more than just evil, drugs and youth culture are examined.

4. “Dracula: Prince of Darkness” 1965

The formula told straight, with hints of a message about moral hypocrisy and the dangers of legalism.

5. “Dracula Has Risen from the Grave” 1968

They get so caught up in their message about the nature of faith that they forget what series they are in.

6. “Taste the Blood of Dracula” 1969

How can you criticize debauchery in an exploitative horror film? They try.

7. “Scars of Dracula” 1970

With this film Hammer descends into exploitative money grabs, and begins to offer up lame horror with lame, embarrassing nudity. None of the next few movies mean anything.

8. “Vampire Lovers” 1970 Skip this.
9. “Lust for a Vampire” 1970 No, really, you want to skip this even more.
10. “Twins of Evil” 1971 Another skippable spectacle, even if it does try to tackle a religious message.
11. “Countess Dracula” 1971 Just another one of their female vampire stories, which means less horror and meaning and mere potential topless women.

12. “Vampire Circus” 1972

This one gets away from the silly nudity and tries to offer a unique take on things.

13. “Dracula A.D. 1972” 1972

Dracula is brought to the current day and gets interesting again briefly.  (But the studio's idea of "cool" feels a little lacking.  See the music below.)

14. “Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter” 1973

Another interesting (?) twist on the genre.

15. “The Satanic Rites of Dracula” 1973 Stay as far away from this mess as you can!

16. “The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires” 1974 In an effort to capitalize on the popularity of Kung-Fu flicks, Hammer tried to mix that genre into their Dracula series. It didn’t work.

17. “Let Me In” 2010

The original Swedish film is better, but this is an interesting and disturbing film.

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