When his castle is exorcised, Dracula plots his revenge against the Monsignor who performed the rites by attempting to make the holy man’s young neice his bride.
I hate to disagree with the BD review of this film, as they are correct in everything they say. But “Dracula has Risen from the Grave” is, in my opinion, the weakest of the Hammer Horror Dracula series, as well as the weakest Lee/Cushing effort. That’s not to say, however, that it is all that bad. The thing is, it’s just a lot slower and a bit less of an actual “horror” movie.
The film picks up right where the previous one left off, with Dracula impaled on a gigantic crucifix. Sweet! I got super excited at this, as a huge fan of the last movie. This one, however, is just very slow moving. Not much happens — it is more of a focus on the romance between the protagonist and his girlfriend, who happens to be the female victim that Dracula is after. The film is basically a long, drawn out look at their desperate situation, and as such feels more like a romance movie at times. Dracula himself shows up only occasionally to make quick work of some slutty woman or other, and overall is far less menacing than he is in, say, “The Horror of Dracula.” It feels as though he is less of a character, shoved off into the corner as we watch these two young lovers. In fact, I might go so far as to say the writers seemed forced to write him in. The big, long-awaited confrontation at the end is also no more than 10 minutes long, and less than satisfying. After all this stuff, Dracula finally shows up, hisses a little, says a cool line or two, and then… just gets his ass kicked one, two, three.
Also, Mr. Cushing’s absence hurts this film. He was, and always will be, Count Dracula’s great nemesis. Now I’m not saying that no other actor can face Dracula — that of course is impossible. Casts change. I’m just saying that seeing as most of the other films in this series featured Cushing, his absence here is quite noticeable.
However, this film is not all bad. This one really focuses on the eroticism of the whole interaction between Dracula and his female victims. They really built a lot on the sexual tensions that arise as Dracula forces them to look into his glowing red eyes, and stresses the womens’ surrendering to him. I think that this worked really well, and gave it the very powerful, erotic vibe that 60s and 70s horror is noted for, so that much is a plus.
Again, sorry to disagree. But still, all in all, if you are a Hammer fan, or a fan of Lee as Dracula (like I am), this film of course cannot be missed. You need to see it. I just think that it is kind of a weak link compared to the other efforts in the series. Of course, it is worlds better than a lot of the crap out there now… (cough cough Dracula 2000 cough)
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