Monday, February 6, 2017

Day 98: The Horror of Dracula

Hammer had such a hit with the Curse of Frankenstein that they decided to try their hand at more horror with a retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula titled The Horror of Dracula. Peter Cushing is once again front and center, this time as Van Helsing, the vampire hunter. Christopher Lee is once again at odds with Cushing as the evil Count Dracula himself.

They take a few liberties with the source material (making Jonathan Harker a vampire hunter sent to infiltrate Dracula's castle gets the plot moving a little faster) but overall, this is a zippy, fun retelling of the old story. We get lots of staking and a nice final battle between Van Helsing and Dracula that is very physical. There aren't many scares per se, but the action movie approach to the horror works pretty well. Once again, as in Frankenstein, the monster is not the center of the show. Van Helsing's slow deputizing of Michael Gough (Alfred from the 90s Batman movies) as his new assistant is fun and brings the audience up to speed. Like all good origin stories, it makes me want to see where this series could possibly go next.

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