Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Posted: June 6, 2013 in Movie Review
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Taste the Blood of Dracula

Directed By: Peter Sasdy

Starring: Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, John Carson, Peter Sallis, Linda Hayden, Ralph Bates, Isla Blair, Anthony Corlan

Subgenre: Vampires, Gothic

Synopsis: A dark ritual brings Dracula back to life, who immediately seeks revenge on those who destroyed his servant responsible for his resurrection.

Thoughts: Taste the Blood picks up right where Dracula Has Risen from the Grave leaves off. A seedy business man comes onto the scene shown at the end the previous movie and sees Dracula die. He scoops up some of his dried blood, his amulet and his blood soaked cloak.

After being introduced to three upstanding citizens, we soon learn that they are not quite so upstanding as they head to a brothel, where they look for unique entertainment. The scene at the brothel is racier than the earlier Hammer Dracula films, and is what earned this film an R rating I would imagine.

The three men meet a young man that promises them an experience they will never forget. He convinces them to purchase Dracula’s belongings and involve them in a ceremony that includes drinking the blood of Dracula.  The three men panic after the man takes his first drink and beat the man to death, fleeing the scene. After they leave, the man is transformed into Dracula, played once again by Christopher Lee. He sets out to seek revenge on the three men.

I didn’t find this installment from Hammer as enjoyable as the previous two, and I owe that to the fact that Christopher Lee just doesn’t have very much screen time, and when he does, he lacks the charisma he normally portrays as Dracula. He seems to take more of a primal angle, often growling his lines.  The primary players aren’t all that interesting. It’s interesting to note that the original intention was to not have Lee/Dracula in the movie at all.  Lee’s price tag and overall reluctance to return to the role had Hammer originally planning on having Courtley (the man from the brothel) becoming the newest incarnation of evil, replacing Dracula. I’ve also read that Vincent Price was also slated to play one of the dastardly trio, but was replaced to save money.  I can only imagine that this movie would have been much more entertaining with Price involved.

There are much worse vampire flicks out there, so this is still worth seeing if you are a fan of vampires, gothic horror or Hammer films, but just note that there are many better Hammer selections out there.

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