Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS - James Bernard - "Drac Is Back" (1966)

In 1958, the first Hammer Dracula flick was released as "Horror Of Dracula," but was originally titled merely "Dracula!" It would be eight years until this sequel, "Dracula:Prince Of Darkness" would see the light of day in 1966! Hammer did release two more vampire movies in between these two, "Brides Of Dracula," and "Kiss Of The Vampire," but neither film had Christopher Lee in them! Christopher Lee was in one other non-Hammer vampire movie during this period as Count Ludwig Karnstein in "Crypt Of The Vampire!" Hammer beast of burden James Bernard once again gets credit for the score!!

Jeez, the last time we saw our hero, he looked like he was out for the count for sure, but......

Just take about 13 steps into the future and the modern day digs of Count Dracula! If you decide to visit, don't ask any questions, or you might just take a shot to the chops!! For some odd and unexplained reason, the locals don't dig this place!

Drac's pad is still kept up quite nicely by Philip Latham as Klove, as a kind of tourist attraction! Out of 83 credits, mostly on UK TV, this is without a doubt, the most ghastly role in Phil's repertoire!

Whenever I see a shot like this I always want to give a big shout out to whoever the Cinematographer is, and in this case it's a fellow named Michael Reed!

The Kent family were the lucky winners in this all-expense paid vacation, but it's no time at all before Charles Tingwell as Alan Kent is called upon to make an extra payment!! It's kind of a draining situation, but he's head over heels about it! Among his multiple credits, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell did all kinds of puppet voices in the "Thurderbirds" and "Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons" TV shows that included the voices of Bruno, Dr. Lang, The International Space Control, Captain Brown, Dr. Fawn, and Agent 042!

That snarky olde Klove has been holding onto his master's dust for a long time, and once Alan Kent's blood is added to the mixture, it's no time at all before Dracula is reconstituted and back in action again!

She's regularly referred to as the first leading lady of British horror for her roles in such films as "Village Of The Damned," and "Quatermass And The Pit, and here Barbara Shelley is rudely brought down by Klove to see her husband and is immediately met up with by Dracula, who does a number on her neck, and she quickly becomes another walking dead minion of the night ready to prey on the others!

I don't know what the big deal about Christopher Lee is, he only has 275 acting credits to his name, and in this film, he doesn't utter not even one single word, which is probably just as well, since the version I watched was in Italian with no sub-titles! Grazie Tedmo, Grazie!!

It's like one big vampire family reunion, and the invitations state very clearly B.Y.O.B! Bring yer own blood!!!

Dammit! Don't make eye contact!!

Suzan (DIE, MONSTER, DIE) Farmer as Diana Kent leads the gang in a rousing edition of "100 Pints Of Blood On The Wall!" Suzan was such a good screamer, they used her voice for both hers and Barbara Shelley's screams!!

Thorley (THE PSYCHOPATH, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, TWISTED NERVE) Walters has what I believe to be a completely disposable role as Ludwig, a fly eating Renfield type character!

"Dracula: Prince Of Darkness" is not a film to be taken lightly by any means!

Where they really lost me, was in the ending! If you have ever seen any vampire or werewolf movies at all, you know there are some very strict rules, and one of them is you don't come out during the daylight hours, and since when does ice water have such a devastating effect on a vampire? That was a new one on me!

Here's one last look at the survivors, Francis (CORRIDORS OF BLOOD, THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN) Matthews as Charles Kent, Suzan Farmer as Diana Kent, and Andrew (DALEK'S' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.) Keir as Father Sandor, the benevolent Priest! Here's a pretty amazing statistic for you, as far as I can discern, out of all the people I've mentioned here, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer and Philip Latham are still alive! That's a pretty high percentage for a film this old!

So, if Dracula is the Prince of Darkness, then who are the King and Queen! I could see Satan as the King, but who is the Queen, Mrs. Claus?? You know we like to kid around sometimes, well, here's something I just found out that's not a joke! If you're looking to see this film, there is some guy in Georgia who has a sealed DVD of "Dracula: Prince Of Darkness" that he's trying to sell on Amazon for $8,102.69 plus $2.98 shipping! I think he should have at least offered free shipping!!! Good night sweet Prince!!

1 comment:

TABONGA! said...

That last still is freakin' awesome!!

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