Count Dracula is reconstituted when blood falls on to his
remains from the mouth of a vampire bat. In retribution against
his evils the nearby villagers decide to raid his castle.
Pushing aside his manservant, they set fire to several rooms
but fail to find the fiend himself. When they return to the
village it is to discover a bloodbath at the church, where
the women had congregated thinking themselves safe. Sarah
is celebrating her birthday at a high class party with Simon,
her aspiring fiancee. But his brother Paul is an enigma to
her. Paul escapes from a scandal using a runaway carriage
which dumps him in the woods. After being shunned at the village
he travels to the castle, unaware of its roots. Dracula stabs
his own woman cohabitant to death after she sleeps with Paul,
but Paul is soon trapped in the castle. Sarah and Simon look
for Paul and soon trace him to the castle...
1970 is the last of four loosely linked Hammer Dracula
tales starring Christopher Lee. The continuity is, at best
tenuous, which is of course as it should be. The horror element
is upped considerably for this one. There's a stabbing to
death, an implied rather than seen sawing-up of a body, a
mass slaughter of women, an impaling, a human conflagration,
and several bat attacks.
from the ever-commanding Lee there are several cast names
here you might recognise. Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, a
young and beautiful Kate O'Mara, and Michael Ripper. It's
always great to see Patrick Troughton in something, and here
he plays Clove, Dracula's manservant.
liked the idea of Dracula sleeping in his coffin during the
day in a walled-up room which only opens on to a window with
a sheer drop of hundreds of feet. It's good security, and
a prison for anyone else without a rope from the room above.
If you can overlook the certainty that Waterman learned his
craft after this production (his expression is openly blank
throughout, whether doing angry, scared or determined)
Scars of Dracula is a highly enjoyable film which even
stands up quite well today.
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