Rank the hammer Draculas

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Burunman
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Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Burunman »

Horror of Dracula

The most beautifully shot and artistic looking film in the series. At the time this movie completely tore up the rules for Vampire fiction by focusing more on the Vampire killer, and also giving us a Vampire that was truly demonic and loved torturing it's victims and killed for revenge and sadism. It was also more explicit and brutal than those that came before and showed a more physical side to the Vampire too.

60 years on it's aged reasonably well. Cushing is still the definitive Van Helsing, Lee dominates any scene he's in and the movie is reasonably well paced and has stunning production values.

10/10

The Brides of Dracula

An overlooked sequel. I actually wish more films had focused on Van Helsing. He was a more interesting character to me. This movie expands the Vampire lore in an interesting way by revealing there is more than one type of Vampire species, and Baron Meinster is a charismatic and engaging enemy for Van Helsing.

8/10

Dracula Prince of Darkness

A fairly straight forward story and Lee's is only on screen for 5 minutes. Nevertheless it makes up for it with it's characters and concepts. I love the idea of Dracula being brought back by a blood ritual, Barbara Shelley is brilliant at going from the timid, scared Helen to her savage Vampire counterpart, and Father Shandor is a brilliant character in his own right. I love the way he is the opposite to Van Helsing, gruff, rude, big, burly, a priest as opposed to a man of science, yet willing to use the black arts. Even his weaponry is more modern the way he uses guns. He was a great enemy for Dracula.

8/10

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave

I think this one is a bit overrated. It's well shot, but the story is fairly derivative. Added to that I think Dracula's menace is undermined by the fact that he is killed by just an ordinary guy. That said Lee is given more to do, the atheist being the hero is an interesting twist and Dracula gets some of his nastiest moments in this one.

7/10

Taste The Blood of Dracula

The story is extremely derivative in some ways. Yet again the Count wants to get revenge on someone by making their loved ones kill them. Still it more than makes up for it with its more 3 dimensional characters. Hargood is one of the vilest villains in the series. HIs treatment of his daughter brings a certain real life horror to the franchise that is still disturbing even after all this time.

8/10

Scars of Dracula

This has some of the most terrifying moments in the series, Lee is at his best here, being both icey and savage, we see the full extent of Dracula's cruelty and how he keeps the villagers in line. Sadly however its leads are somewhat bland and boring and the production values are really tacky compared to the previous entries.

7/10

Dracula AD 1972

It's elevated hugely by Peter Cushing's Van Helsing who is a fascinating character and there are some genuinely brilliant moments like the opening fight on the carriage. Johnny Alucard is also a wonderfully hammy and fun villain and I like the 70s setting. However it is cheesy, cheap and dated, albeit in a charming way.

7/10 (I admit that rating might just be because I enjoy it so much. Its flaws would probably bring it down a bit, but what the hell I still love this film. It's a laugh.)

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

Such an underrated classic. It's hilarious that people rip on this film even to this day for doing things that would become staples of Vampire fiction!

Hmm lets see, Vampire in modern day? Yep, Buffy, Blade, Being Human etc. Vampire or supernatural creature hiding in plain sight as a respectable businessman or figure or authority, using that position to prey on people, The Mayor in Buffy, Wolfram and Hart, Herrick in Being Human, how are they any different to D.D. Denham industries? Vampire or creature planning to bring about the appocalypse, and the latest in a line of Vampire hunters having to stop him? No you never see that in Buffy, Supernatural, Blade or just about every Vampire franchise of the past 30 years.

I'm so fed up of never seeing any critic acknowledge that and just repeat that this movie is crap for those reasons. It's so unfairly judged.

Added to that Lee and Cushing get more screen time together, Dracula is at his nastiest like when he infects his servant. It is let down by the ending I will admit, but even then it's not the weakest ending (that "honour" falls to Taste the Blood of Dracula.)

9/10

The Legend of The 7 Golden Vampires

Another misjudged film. First and foremost this film is just great fun. Peter Cushing once again is fantastic as Van Helsing, whilst the fight scenes are creative and fun, and the Vampire make up is effective.

Other than some fake bats, it's very well made. There are some wonderfully memorable moments such as the Zombies breaking their way out of the graves or the horde of Vampires charging on their horses. The Vampires themselves are at their most monstrous here. They are ugly, savage monsters that abduct and torture their victims for days.

More than all of that however this movie much like Satanic Rites can also be seen as something of a prototype for so many Vampire franchises that came after. (Ironically much like Satanic Rites it gets ripped on for those very reasons.)

Mark Gatiss slagged this movie for having kung fu Vampires. Again like Buffy, Blade, Angel or the entire Kung Fu Vampire movie genre in China with the Mr Vampire film series!

Added tot hat I liked the way this movie explored different myths about Vampires, specifically the myths about the Jiang Shi from China. This film would serve as an inspiration to the Mr Vampire movies that would similarly bring Eastern and Western myths about Vampires together.

Overall a campy classic and brilliant end to the series (I so wish they had made Kali Devil Bride of Dracula. That sounds like it would have been fantastic.)

9/10
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iank
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by iank »

I really enjoy the Hammer Draculas. I wasn't overly keen on Brides or Rises, but the rest range from good to great. Completely agree that the 70s ones are awesome and stupidly underrated (I suspect fans are just as conservative as some classic Who fans and just don't like anything different). I saw the original five years or so back and liked it, but it was actually seeing Satanic Rites late last year that really got me into watching them all, loved it!
The only thing I didn't like about Golden Vampires was the silly Dracula recast, esp given he didn't need to be there anyway as the film was strong enough on its own.
The last four are probably my favourites actually. :)
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Burunman »

iank wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:04 am
I really enjoy the Hammer Draculas. I wasn't overly keen on Brides or Rises, but the rest range from good to great. Completely agree that the 70s ones are awesome and stupidly underrated (I suspect fans are just as conservative as some classic Who fans and just don't like anything different). I saw the original five years or so back and liked it, but it was actually seeing Satanic Rites late last year that really got me into watching them all, loved it!
The only thing I didn't like about Golden Vampires was the silly Dracula recast, esp given he didn't need to be there anyway as the film was strong enough on its own.
The last four are probably my favourites actually. :)
I agree about the presence of Dracula being unneeded in Legend. John Forbes Robertson is okay as Dracula. He has the look and presence, but obviously he pales in comparison to Lee.

Added to that the Dracula bit is kind of well stupid. It makes no sense the way his flashback is 100 years earlier (how did he meet Van Helsing, and what was he doing for 100 years in China? He went on about wanting to use the Golden Vampires as tools of his vengeance on mankind, yet does bugger all for 100 years?)

Van Helsing was a strong enough character to carry something on his own. They didn't need to shoehorn Dracula in there at all.

Kali would have been great though. I would have loved to have seen the Indian myths about the Vetala. Who knows had it been good we would have maybe got an entire Indian subgenre of Vetala movies like the Jiang Shi crze in China.
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by iank »

I hear it was down to the US distributors refusing to release it unless Dracula was in it.
Fucking morons. :roll:
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Rawkus »

Zombies is where it's at.
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Burunman »

Rawkus wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:05 am
Zombies is where it's at.
Vampires are better than Zombies. Vampires are the best supernatural creatures.
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Ludders »

1. Dracula 9.5/10
2. Dracula: Prince of Darkness 9/10
3. Taste the Blood of Dracula 8.5/10
4. Dracula Has Risen From the Grave 8/10
5. Scars of Dracula 7.5/10
6. Brides of Dracula 7/10
7. Satanic Rites of Dracula 6.5/10
8. Dracula A.D.1972 6/10
9. Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires 3/10

I'll post some reviews on another thread, because I include all the film and TV versions of Stoker's novel, as well as the Hammer and Universal Dracula canon.
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by BillPatJonTom »

Always adored the Hammer Dracula films, I'm rating them by order of preference....

1. Dracula
The original Hammer Dracula is a major post-war horror breakthrough. An economic and very pacy adaptation of Stoker, with truly dynamic performances from Lee as a passionate incarnation of evil and Cushing as the ice cool vampire slayer, with a thrilling confrontation at the climax that's as good a realization of the confrontation between good and evil as any classic horrror film ever presented.
10/10 Pure classic horror!

2. Brides of Dracula
Superb sequel (although Drac himself doesn't appear), continuing Van Helsing's adventures. This positively drips with atmosphere so is almost as brilliant as the previous film and of course another outstanding performance from Cushing. Baron Meinster makes an original kind of vampire villain and there are some truly remarkable female characters utilized particularly well in this one.
10/10 Transylvania never looked spookier!

3. Dracula Prince of Darkness
The first Hammer horror I ever got to see (on television as a kid) so it's always a personal nostalgic treat to revisit. Great build up to the grimly graphic resurrection of the Count and Lee's return is majestic. Barbara Shelley's transformation from prim Victorian lady into salacious vamp is excellent and Andrew Keir makes a very worthy and striking opponent too.
9/10 Dracula revamped!

4. Draculas Has Risen From the Grave
Another classic sequel that's immensely stylish with a certain fairytale-like quality that enhances the overall effect. There's an increasingly demonic aspect to the Count emphasised in this one especially after the Monsignor performs an exorcism at the castle. Powerful stuff with Lee once again proving he is the definitive Dracula.
9/10 Veronica Carlson is gorgeous!

5. Taste the Blood of Dracula
Plenty to relish here with the first film in the series actually set in Victorian London. Ralph Bates (originally planned as a replacement for Lee) makes a cracking villain in the first half of this after which the film turns into a rather too basic revenge plot. But, even if Lee seems to have too little to do in this one, the atmosphere remains as effective as ever.
9/10 Possessed of the Devil!

6. Dracula AD 1972
Many don't like the updating to the 1970s (after a rather lovely Victorian era prologue scene) but it's an extremely enjoyable and energetic total reboot of the series, electrified by the reteaming of Lee with Cushing. This may be a bit camp at times but it's wonderful nonetheless. Love the setting, love the mood or, as Johnny Alucard (this film's memorable protagonist might say, "dig the music, kids!" 8-)
8/10 Come in for a bite!

7. Satanic Rites of Dracula
Direct sequel to AD 1972 that plays a bit like an episode of The Avengers or, given Joanna Lumley's presence, The New Avengers. I think the blend of espionage, thriller and the then trendy occult elements work very well here. Bit of trivia: Michael Coles reprises his Inspector Murray role from AD 1972 so I think is the only actor (save Lee and Cushing) to play the same character in the series more than once.
8/10 Drac unleashes a deadly virus....now that IS scary!

8. Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Loads of fun and, with its Chinese locations, something of a refreshing change from the traditional formula of the other films. I love the zombie-like vampires in this and some fantastic martial arts scenes certainly help keep things lively. Cushing is effortlessly great again in his final Van Helsing role but Dracula's presence here does seem a bit superfluous, something only accentuated by replacing Lee with Forbes-Robertson.
7/10 Who dares to disturb the sanctity of Count Dracula?

9. Scars of Dracula
Weakest of the series imo, this annoyingly abandons any plot continuity with any of the other films. Personally, I'd have preferred a sequel to Taste, maybe with Cushing turning up in London to sort things out. The sex and gore in this one get stressed but seem a bit crude with the overall cheap look of the production being notably less impressive than usual. Lee manages to be sadistic and malevolent of course, and there's a nice little Stokeresque touch when Drac even gets to scale the castle wall, but he lacks any worthy opponents here so it all seems a bit lacking or even toothless perhaps.
6/10 The Bat!
the true Who the whole true Who and nothing but the true Who
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Burunman »

Ludders wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:47 am
1. Dracula 9.5/10
2. Dracula: Prince of Darkness 9/10
3. Taste the Blood of Dracula 8.5/10
4. Dracula Has Risen From the Grave 8/10
5. Scars of Dracula 7.5/10
6. Brides of Dracula 7/10
7. Satanic Rites of Dracula 6.5/10
8. Dracula A.D.1972 6/10
9. Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires 3/10

I'll post some reviews on another thread, because I include all the film and TV versions of Stoker's novel, as well as the Hammer and Universal Dracula canon.
I'll check it out. I'm disappointed to see Legend ranked so lowly, but different strokes. Have you ever seen the Mr Vampire films? Legend might not seem quite so odd with those in mind (Though I agree as a Dracula film it fails. Its better as a Vampire film.)
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Re: Rank the hammer Draculas

Post by Ludders »

Burunman wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:11 am
Ludders wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:47 am
I'm disappointed to see Legend ranked so lowly, but different strokes. Have you ever seen the Mr Vampire films? Legend might not seem quite so odd with those in mind (Though I agree as a Dracula film it fails. Its better as a Vampire film.)
I'm not really into comedy/horror.
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