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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Scars of Dracula (1970)
(2017 Restored Blu-Ray & DVD Doubleplay)


Starring: Christopher Lee, Patrick Troughton, Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, Michael Gwynn and Michael Ripper
Distributor: StudioCanal
RRP: £TBC (Blu-Ray & DVD Dual Format)
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 30 October 2017

Hot on the heels of the recently reviewed Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb comes the re-released Scars of Dracula. This is another in the batch of Blu-ray/DVD Doubleplay horror films on offer courtesy of the vaults of Hammer Films. The other films available are Demons of the Mind, Fear in the Night, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, To the Devil a Daughter, Straight on Till Morning, and The Horror of Frankenstein.

In Scars of Dracula, a young philanderer called Paul falls foul of local authorities and is obliged to seek refuge at the infamous Castle Dracula. When he goes missing, his brother Simon and new wife attempt to seek information from the tiny village tavern. The occupants are afraid of the castle – particularly as they had attempted to burn it to the ground, along with its master. Now the couple arrive at the castle, and Dracula has taken a shine to the young woman… but then so has his manservant.

This doesn’t reach the simple impactful heights of Horror of Dracula (or just Dracula in some regions) but it is a good romp, and certainly the bloodiest of the Hammer Dracula films. Christopher Lee doesn’t really do that much; however, he doesn’t need to, as his presence and character persona is quite powerful.

This is a Who’s Who of interesting actors. Patrick Troughton is fantastic in practically every he’s appeared in, and undoubtedly one of the best Doctor's in Doctor Who. Here he plays Clove, the dirty manservant to Dracula; a beaten slave with a heart, especially in regards to Jenny Hanley’s character (an actress who would pop up often around this time). Dennis Waterman plays a bit of a refined toff and consequently shows-up the faults in his early acting. Of course, he would go on to make a name in The Sweeney and Minder as more of a streetwise ruffian. And what can I say about Michael Ripper except it’s a pleasure to see him. He was in more Hammer films than any other actor – usually playing a secondary role. In this one he is the tavern landlord.

These Hammer offerings are a real joy. Scars of Dracula is the last of four loosely-linked films, but rest assured you can quite easily enjoy this as a standalone experience. The period setting of the majority of them means they don’t date to the extent of many other movies.


Ty Power

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