30 October 2014

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
92 min.
Directed by Freddie Francis.
With Christopher Lee, Veronica Carlson, Rupert Davies, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews, Michael Ripper, Ewan Hooper, Marion Mathie.
Following on the heels of Prince of Darkness (1966), this fourth entry in Hammer's Dracula franchise is well done, if more of the same.

This time, we find the Count (Lee) encased in a tomb of ice, whereupon he's accidentally revived by a few drops of blood from a meddling priest. (Oh, mother of all ironies!).

Now, normally in a case like this, Drac would begin a new spree of bloodletting by preying on the local villagers. But first things first.

It seems a dutiful Monsignor (Davies, essentially standing in for the part of Professor Van Helsing) has sanctified Castle Dracula, effectively leaving everyone's favorite bloodsucker sans home.

What better way to exact revenge than to harass the Monsignor's extra beautiful niece Maria (Carlson) and her cloyingly handsome boyfriend Paul (Andrews)?

This was the first of several Hammer films for lovely horror siren Carlson, and it's no surprise why.

She brings an authentic sense of class to the effort, and carries off the period detail with a charming sense of grace. (She'd go on to co-star with Peter Cushing in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) and Ralph Bates in 1970's The Horror of Frankenstein).

Special mention should be made of the attractive production design here courtesy of Bernard Robinson, especially the charming tavern interiors and sweeping village vistas outside Paul's bedroom window.

Followed by Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970).

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