Dracula / Horror of Dracula (1958)
May 26, 2024 6:10 PM - Subscribe

[Trailer] When Jonathan Harker rouses the ire of Count Dracula for accepting a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses, his friend Dr. Van Helsing pursues the predatory villain. -- IMDb.

Classic Hammer film, based on Stoker's Dracula but with some significant plot differences.

91% critic / 81% audience @ RottenTomatoes.
posted by johnofjack (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A classic. I think Cushing may be my all-time favorite Van Helsing.

It is funny to see what passed for shock sensationalism back then--now it's all very tame.
posted by praemunire at 6:54 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]

Lee has comparatively few lines compared to Cushing, but he absolutely dominates the film with his presence.
posted by Gelatin at 6:17 AM on May 27

Read the book recently. Stoker mentions the Count's long gray mustache at least two or three times. I cannot think of any film or TV production where the vampire has a mustache. Probably diminishes the visual impact of the sharp, elongated teeth.
posted by SoberHighland at 6:44 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

Worth seeing if only for Christopher Lee's surfing sequence in the third act.
posted by Naberius at 8:41 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

I cannot think of any film or TV production where the vampire has a mustache.

Gary Oldman has a lot of different looks in Coppola's Dracula (including full bat-face) but he spends a fair portion of the film rocking a 'stache.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:46 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]

The Hammer films were frequently on Saturday afternoon TV when I was a kid and I would hide behind the couch while watching. Gave me nightmares. Don't know why that makes for fond memories but it does!

As an adult, I watched Horror of Dracula and it's a master class in efficient storytelling. They understand the modern viewer knows a lot of the basic Dracula lore and is coming into the movie to see vampires, so jump right into the the horror with minimal prologue. The essential plot and emotional beats are still there though.

The details frequently veer from the novel, but in spirit it's a lot closer than Coppola's version, with it's attempt to introduce a romance element.
posted by mark k at 9:16 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]

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