Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

Posted: June 2, 2013 in Movie Review
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Dracula has Risen from the Grave

Directed By: Freddie Francis

Starring: Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews, Ewan Hooper

Subgenre: Vampires, Gothic

Synopsis: Dracula is revived and looking for vengeance.

Thoughts: This sequel to The Horror of Dracula takes place one year after the original when a Monsignor feels the need to travel to Dracula’s castle and perform an exorcism, putting to rest the evil of Dracula once and for all. I think we can all figure out what happens next. Dracula is inadvertently brought back and he seeks his revenge upon those that would desecrate his castle.

Christopher Lee proves once again that he owns the role of Dracula. His portrayal of the Count is just mesmerizing.  I did miss the presence of Peter Cushing; Dracula’s foes were not nearly as worthy as Cushing’s Van Helsing in the original.  It is interesting to watch how Hammer Studios evolved as you watch their movies.  You can see here that they are starting to rely more on the allure of sex in their films.  Barbara Ewing exudes sexiness and plays the role of the bar wench perfectly.

Director Freddie Francis is actually a two-time Academy Award winning cinematographer who also happened to direct several genre films for Hammer and Amicus Studios. Knowing this, it’s not a shock that his movies tend to have solid visuals, but it seems like his movies are just missing something.  It could be that Francis never accepted his role in the horror genre, even stating that “Horror films have liked me more than I have liked horror films.” That makes me more than a little sad, because I think had he embraced his role in the genre, his movies could have been epic.

While this was a good Dracula movie, the script could have been a little better.  There just seemed to be some dull spots throughout and I thought that the pacing could have been a little tighter. Even with that, it is a decent Dracula and Hammer entry. Check it out if that is your cup of tea.

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