31 Days of Halloween 2016 #6 – Dracula, Prince of Darkness
Dracula, Prince of Darkness is one of the better Hammer horror movies, but I could have used at least a word or two from Christopher Lee. This movie sorta features Christopher Lee and a bunch of other people. These people gibber gabber for a while, ride around and head over to Castle Dracula, even though they’re told not to. Inside, they gibber gabber some more. The butler appears and serves chicken. He then sneaks off and kills people, reviving Dracula with the power of Blood. Dracula returns. Yay. Lee swings his arms and fite fite fites. Yay.
Prince of Darkness begins with a group of people being warned not to go to Castle Dracula. Again. Some townsfolk deny the castle even exists. There is quite a bit of build in this movie, which leads to the Dracula reveal, and the climax. The best scene in my opinion is either the Dracula fight or the Dracula rivival.
This is the third movie in the Dracula series by Hammer, because Christopher Lee refused to come back for Brides of Dracula. Philip Latham plays Dracula’s butler and he does a pretty darn good job looking ominous and building his own unique presence. As he comes in the room for the first time to greet his guests, we don’t know who it is, so the movie teases us that it might be Dracula. I like this scene and it does well to continue the build, and help support the Butler character at the same time. The Butler doesn’t reveal his motivations but I think we can tell he wants more than he lets on.
After The Butler Jeeves kills one of the Happy Crew, he revives Dracula. Dracula then feeds on the ladies. Well, Dracula’s up to his old tricks. When Dracula does appear, he beckons, waves his hand, sneers and stares in a threatening way, without even a word. Because of this, Christopher Lee plays Dracula like a hissing animal, threatening to destroy anyone in his way. His eyes are constantly bloodshot and he never wavers from his angry appearance, which is quite the opposite of the way he’s usually shown, as regal and imposing. He mostly uses his voice to intimidate, but he doesn’t do that here, so it’s mostly just body language and those bloodshot eyes.
Christopher Lee himself said that the script was so bad, he refused to say any word of it. The script writer later retorted that he never wrote any dialogue in the first place, so Lee was a damn liar. I’m not sure who to believe. It doesn’t seem very believable to have a Christopher Lee Dracula movie without dialogue, so I’m not apt to believe the script writer over Lee, so that’s my opinion.
Overall, this is a good movie. Barbara Shelley and Suzan Farmer do well to stand in as sorta heroes, because there is no Peter Cushing this time around. The acting isn’t horrible and the plot serves them well. This isn’t my favorite Hammer horror movie, but it’s good, although I prefer Horror of Dracula over this one for the most part because Lee actually speaks some damn dialogue. Still, this is way better than most of the other Dracula sequels, including disco Dracula.
31 Days of Halloween 2016
31. Young Frankenstein (1974)
30. Jason X (2001)
29. Cloverfield (2008)
28. The Monster Squad (1987)
27. Bad Moon (1996)
26. The Haunting (1963)
25. Splinter (2008)
24. Frenzy (1972)
23. Aggression Scale (2012)
22. The Exorcist III
21. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963)
20. Silver Bullet (1985)
19. Joy Ride (2001)
18. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The Funhouse (1981) by Tobe Hooper Shin Godzilla (2016)
16. Videodrome (1983)
15. Re-Animator (1985)
14. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
13. Cube (1997)
12. Evil Dead
11. Day of the Dead (1985)
Tales of Halloween (2015) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
9. They Live (1988)
The Innocents (1961) Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966)
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
6. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
5. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990)
4. Hatchet (2006)
The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) The Abomidible Dr. Phibes (1971)
2. Halloween II
1. Silence of the Lambs