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(Review originally written at 3 June 2008)

This is the eight Dracula movie entry from the Hammer studios, which began first in 1958 with the movie "Dracula" and ended in 1974 with the movie "The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires". All of these Dracula movies are of variating quality but they all have in common that they are entertaining to watch, like basically every Hammer movie ever made.

There is a bit too much talking though at times and not enough 'action', so to speak, though toward the ending this certainly changes. It doesn't make the movie dull or anything but still makes it feel a b bit overlong. Nevertheless the movie has a good and original enough story. The movie does a good job at putting the old fashioned Dracula character into 'modern' 1974 (even though the movie itself already got released in 1973). This is something most modern horror movies could learn from. The story mixes the occult with the Dracula legend, combined with some modern police work.

Peter Cushing once more plays a true excellent role as a decedent of the good old Abraham Van Helsing. A character he played numerous times before throughout his career. Christopher Lee also reprises his role again as the famous blood-sucking count. It would be the last time he would play the character, though he played vampire characters again in later movies. It was a real worthy last Dracula performance by him. As often the Dracula role is also really restrained in this movie. He doesn't even show up for the first time when we are already well halve way through the movie. Nevertheless its always great seeing Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing acting in one and the same sequence together. The movie besides also features a fine British supporting cast with some fine actors.

The movie is well directed by Alan Gibson, who also directed the previous Hammer studios Dracula entry "Dracula A.D. 1972". The movie further more features some wonderful editing and camera-position at times, like you would expect from an '70's movie. Also surprising good was the musical score by John Cacavas, that suits the movie real well.

The movie knows to create a good and also certain tense and mysterious atmosphere. It adds to the reason why this movie is such a perfectly watchable one. It surely a movie that entertains withs story, characters and actors which are portraying them.

A great Hammer movie!

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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