Saturday, November 26, 2016

DRACULA - "Horror Of Dracula" (1958)

Just like this poster, tonight's Saturday Night Special is a classic! The original title was "Dracula" but most people know it as U. S. title, "Horror Of Dracula!" Sometimes, I don't think "Horror Of Dracula" gets the respect it deserves, because it's a remake, or essentially a cover tune! There were earlier vampire movies, but Bela Lugosi was the first "Dracula" back in 1931. Sure, there were other vampire and Dracula movies after that, and before this, but "Horror Of Dracula" was the first real reincarnation of the character in a completely different sense!

So what in the Hell am I talking about? This Dracula some 27 years after Bela's classic portrayal besides being evil, is really mean-spirited! He's younger and sexier, he's a loner that no longer needs a little buddy like Igor who eats bugs, and changing into a bat is beneath him!
This Dracula is just pissed off all the time!

In 1957, Hammer released "The Curse Of Frankenstein" starring Christopher Lee as the Frankenstein monster, and in 1958, Christopher Lee was starring in "Horror Of Dracula" as Dracula! Somehow Chris had literally taken away the crown worn for a couple of decades by both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in the course of just two years, and there was no turning back after that!

Pop Culture of the past 60 years or so has taken quite a hit in the movie and music industries the last couple of years! The world has lost people of an ilk that most likely will never repeat itself, but we've become so numb, and lost, that the talents of people like Christopher Lee, David Bowie, Prince, Leon Russell, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson, Maurice White, Dan Hicks, George Kennedy, George Martin, Frank Sinatra Jr., Patty Duke, Gato Barbieri, Merle Haggard, Lonnie Mack, Muhammad Ali, etc. etc., who we have just lost in the last year alone, will be nothing more than just names in some stupid trivia game in the not too distant future!!

Nice matte painting!

What you want to do, is not go down there!

So, who cleans up after Dracula, and why is this place so clean? It's disturbing!

Not too ominous, drinks are on the house!

And then this guy shows up!

As Reverend Tom Frost would say.........
"I'm gonna gitcha, gitcha, gitcha....."

"Aw! This is exactly what I was trying to avoid!!"

And then Dracula gives out a little smirk.........!

The "Gilroy Garlic Festival" happens between July 28th and the 30th, and has been going on for some 38 years now! There have never been any known vampire sightings in the town of Gilroy, California for some reason!

Time for Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing to step in and take control of things! I'm counting five movies that Peter played Val Helsing in, and another 11 TV shows and movies where they used his footage in some archival form! It's gotta get kind of frustrating after you kill Dracula three or four times, and somehow that evil bastard always seems to make it back!

"Horror Of Dracula" has a great cast that includes Melissa (Crucible Of Terror) Stribling and the always intriguing Michael Gough! It looks like this was Michael's first role in a horror movie, but after this, he put it in high gear making dark films like "Horrors Of The Black Museum," "Konga," "Black Zoo," "Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors," "The Skull," "Berserk," etc., etc. Speaking of dark, some 20+ years later Michael would be in four Dark Knight movies as Alfred Pennyworth! What an amazing career!

"Okay, I'll admit I'm a vampire, now would you quit using my forehead as a Crucifix Grill?"

There are some things that never change!
There is only one tried and true way to dispose of vampires, and that's the good olde fashioned wooden stake through the heart!

"You messed up my hair, and now you must die!!"
This is what Jerry Lee Lewis would have looked like if he was a vampire!

"Oh, God Damn, that really hurts!"

The music in "Horror Of Dracula" was written by Hammer workhorse James Bernard, and is just as Gothic and ominous as you would expect, and is the antithesis of why I started doing this blog in the first place, just like all the great Universal horror films, that's the reason it's taken me so long to get around to this fantastic film, but have no fear, because there will be lots more classic blasts from the past as long as there is a future!!

All these Amazing posters are just some of the images you can find at the spectacular Wrong Side Of The Art website! It's a great museum to hang out at if you've got some time to kill!

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