A Hammer Dracula movie without Christopher Lee in it? Blashphemy! Well, that would my normal response be, also since all of the other Hammer vampire movies without Christopher Lee in it hardly work out as any great ones. This movie does however work out but it still remains a far from great movie to watch though.

Thing that prevented this movie from ever being a really great one is its pace. The movie is far too slow for my taste, which also makes this movie a bit out of tone with any of the other Dracula films, from the Hammer studios. It's more heavy on its atmosphere than ever on its story, characters or any of its other horror ingredients really. Thing that the pace does well is building up the tension for this movie but there is never a spectacular or satisfying enough payoff to be found in this movie however.

Still I'm being more positive than negative toward this movie. It's original enough in its sort, even though it follows a very familiar and standard story. It's really a movie that works out, even though I still just can't rate it very highly, mostly because there isn't really anything that stands out about it.

One of the things that truly works out well about this movie is its vampire character. The title of the movie is "The Brides of Dracula" and it gets presented as a direct sequel to the 1958 "Dracula" and it besides features a most excellent Peter Cushing in it as 'a' Van Helsing but the main villain isn't even Dracula. And I think that in this particular case that actually is a really good thing. Most of the time actors in these sort of horror movies simply do a Dracula impression, while in this movie the actor obviously plays a totally different character, with a different personality and motivation. This works out as highly refreshing and interesting as well.

Perhaps you could say that this movie suffers from too many rewrites. It seemed to have plenty of ideas but it kept changing directions and not everything ever got properly handled and developed. The first half of the movie is mostly slow and atmospheric but the second half is a bit more like a 'normal' standard Hammer Dracula movie, with Peter Cushing trying to kill the evil vampire.

Not a lot of excitement in this movie but it still has a good atmosphere to it and works out as something original.


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About Frank Veenstra

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