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Modern horror movies love to place classic horror icons and characters in modern times and people love to hate modern horror movies for that! However, it really isn't something that's new, as this 1972 movie clearly demonstrates. It take the classic Hammer Dracula character and puts him into a 'modern' 1972 setting, no doubt also in an attempt to modernize and update the Dracula series, hoping this would boost the franchise again. It didn't really worked out though, since its one of the final Dracula movies from the Hammer studios but in all truth and honesty; I still quite liked it!

Lets face it, all of the older Dracula movies set in more classic settings were starting to get extremely repetitive. All of the movies were being more or less the same, with very little variety to them. And while in essence this movie is also really being the same as any other classic Dracula movie story-wise, it still manages to feel like a breath of fresh air, due to its difference in style and settings.

It definitely feels like a more modern movie, though of course in today's light, it still is a very outdated movie. It's really a product of its time, with some funky '70's clothing, music and type of characters.

You could complain about it that this movie doesn't have enough vampire action in it, since this is definitely true but in all honesty, the same can be said for a lot of Dracula movies, also those from the Hammer studios. Blame Christopher Lee for that, since he was the one who was done with the character pretty early on already but agreed to still appear in Dracula movies as the count, probably just because it was quick, good money for him. But he always made sure his role was being as limited as possible and also his dialog always needed to be cut down to a minimum. But how can you be mad at Christopher Lee for that? after all, he's still an awesome and very charismatic Dracula, in every movie in which he plays the character.

Also good news about this movie is that Peter Cushing returns in it, as professor Van Helsing. Or well, a decedent of him of course. It had been 12 years and 5 Dracula movies ago he starred opposite Christopher Lee. And he was truly missed in the 4 Dracula movies which that he didn't appeared in. Not just because he was a great actor but also really since he has just as much screen-presence and charisma as Lee and was capable of counterbalancing him. All of the Dracula movies without him basically lack a good and strong enough lead, that besides was being a memorable and likable enough character.

You could argue about it if it truly adds something that this movie got set in 1972, since Dracula himself doesn't even ever get outside I believe but it does bring some originality and more creativity to the series, while still maintaining a good and typical Hammer studios horror style to it.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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