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(Review originally written at 12 May 2008)

It's the combination of the '70's- and dark horror atmosphere that makes this movie such an highly effective and great one. It's a real shame that this made for TV Dracula version, based on the Bram Stoker novel, is not any better known.

The movie has an amazing dark atmosphere that adds to the tension and horror of the movie. This is a true genuinely scary horror movie and definitely amongst scariest of all the Dracula movies out there.

The movie uses some great settings. Despite the fact that this is made for TV movie, it's not a cheap looking film. They did a real good job with this and its low budget can be seen nowhere back on screen.

It's certainly true that the movie uses a bit too many zooms into the characters faces and all but that all was part of '70's film-making when film-makers experimented a lot with cinematography. Perhaps it was also an homage to the old days of horror cinema. Technically its a fine made movie by TV director and horror expert Dan Curtis.

Too bad that the acting is also quite laughable at times. And no I'm not talking about Jack Palance as Dracula. I actually quite liked him in his role and I think he did a good job with his interpretation of the character. Too bad that he never played the famous count again after this movie, despite having several movie offers to do so. All the other actors in this movie aren't obviously amongst the most experienced or talented ones. I especially disliked the way Nigel Davenport portrayed the Dr. Van Helsing character.

It's not like this movie version is adding anything new with its story to the Dracula movie legacy. As a matter of fact it's rather leaving out stuff then putting in some new elements. For instance there is no Renfield character in this movie or any mentioning of him. If you're familiar with the Dracula story or any of its movies you'll notice that this is a movie version that runs pretty much by the book with its story.

A version truly worth seeing!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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