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| 7 July 2015 | Reply

Shock Entertainment
3 July, 2015
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Martita Hunt, Peter Cushing, Yvonne Monlaur
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7 ½ /10

Brides Of Dracula - BluRay cover

The Hammer studios had such a huge hit with their soapy take on the Dracula myth in 1968’s The Horror Of Dracula, that they could barely wait to get back to Transylvania and give it another run around the ride.

However, Christopher Lee had, for the time being, refused to reprise his role as the titular blood sucker. What to do? Enter Baron Meister, played by David Peel, who we discover chained up in his family castle by his mother (Martita Hunt).

The beautiful, young Marianne (Yvonne Monlaur) ends up stranded in one of those remote Transylvanian villages full of British people that Hammer did so brilliantly, and is taken in by Mother Meister. Taking pity on the entrapped Baron, she steals the key to set him free, setting in motion a series of murders as the Baron enlists night brides to assist him in his quest to be, err, well, evil, I guess.

Before Marianne discovers this, she becomes enamoured of the Baron and they announce their engagement, just as Van Helsing (the indomitable Peter Cushing) arrives to explore the murders.

The ravishing Hunt and Cushing bounce off each other extremely well, with other strong performances by a myriad of extras including the demented housekeeper (Freda Jackson) and Mum, but Peel is a poor shadow of Lee – too sly rather than enigmatic, and not exuding nearly enough charisma – and without a charismatic bad guy (especially when there’s no actual Dracula in the movie), the whole shebang suffers.

It’s a shame as the story is one of the best of Hammer’s vampire series, including some great imagery, sexual allusions, and the Baron’s ultimate demise is truly original.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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