While I admit that I was a little disappointed to see that this Hammer movie was missing my particular favourite actor known for his work with the studio, Peter Cushing, I knew that I would be in for something reasonably entertaining with Christopher Lee reprising, arguably, his most famous performance and the fact that it was directed by Roy Ward Baker and written by Anthony Hinds (two names probably familiar to fans of horror from this era).
The movie starts
off with Dracula being resurrected thanks to the help of a daft, rubber
bat. Then the fun really begins as the Count gets straight back to reprising his reign of terror, making some trouble for himself when he takes in a stranger (Paul, played by Christopher Matthews) and then doesn't let him leave. It's not long until Paul's brother (Simon, played by Dennis Waterman) comes looking for him with the beautiful Sarah (Jenny Hanley) by his side.
While this is not really a GREAT Hammer movie it is a damn entertaining
one, despite how silly and slight it may be. Dennis Waterman makes for
a decent enough leading man, Patrick Troughton is great as a servant of
the fanged Count (even if he does resemble Oddbod from Carry On Screaming!), the lovely Jenny Hanley is quite lovely and everyone
else does their bit portraying Hammer standards such as the scared
priest (Michael Gwynn), the grouchy innkeeper (Michael Ripper), etc.
Nothing really feels too slick or polished but it doesn't ever feel
like a rushed hatchet job either, falling somewhere in between the two
and doing just enough to smooth over the more ludicrous moments in the
movie. The ending is a bit of an anti-climax but such a slip-up is allowed when the rest of the movie is so much fun.
I actually found it more endearing than irritating whenever
there was someone getting overly dramatic or whenever anyone was threatened by a distinctly rubbery bat but others may not
feel the same way. That is, of course, their choice. If nobody agrees with me then I'll happily keep this treat all to myself.
Available in this super duper bargain boxset - http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ultimate-Hammer-Collection-Disc/dp/B000HN31KQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353949514&sr=8-1