(Review originally written at 10 September 2008)

This is a slow going Universal/Hammer vampire production, that could had worked out if it had some more and a better style written over it. Instead now the movie feels like a real lackluster.

The movie is atmospheric but definitely not tense or exciting. This movie is quite different from the regular Hammer horror production from the '60's. For some this approach will work, while for others it certainly simply won't appeal much. The last is for me the case, even though I always normally enjoy watching an Hammer production.

Noel Willman looks like Christopher Lee and sounds like Bela Lugosi, so in other words he is a good count Dracula, even though his character has a different name in this movie but of course it's still the same character. It's still of course a big shame that Christopher Lee himself doesn't star in this movie, like he had done in so many other Hammer film productions. Same goes for Peter Cushing. There is a Van Helsing type of character in this movie, which in this case is being played by Clifford Evans.

It isn't until very well halve way through that the movie and its story finally start to take on a good form and pace, when the true horror and mystery of the movie starts to kick in. The movie does get better after that point but it really doesn't make this a very consistent movie though. Not everything within this movie blends in very well with each other.

I liked the musical score from James Bernard, who throughout his career almost entirely solely worked for the Hammer studios. He worked on some of the best known productions such as the 1958 movie "Dracula", "The Hound of the Baskervilles", "The Quatermass Xperiment", "The Plague of the Zombies" and some many more Frankenstein and Dracula movies from the Hammer studios. He was a great genre composer who provided the movies with an unique and suiting sound.

A different but not necessarily better vampire movie from the Universal and Hammer studios. Still watchable though.


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About Frank Veenstra

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