25 July 2014

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
90 min.
Directed by Terence Fisher.
With Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews, Charles Tingwell, Thorley Walters, Philip Latham, Walter Brown.
Eight years after the original Horror of Dracula (1958), and six years after Brides of Dracula (1960) - officially the second entry in Hammer's long running Dracula franchise - Christopher Lee returns to his signature role.

Here, four tourists are travelling through the Carpathian mountains, when they end up at the doorstep of an ominous castle.

They're met by creepy house servant Klove (Latham), who offers them hospitality and rooms for the night.

Little do they know, it's all part of a diabolical plan to resurrect his sinister master Count Dracula. All Klove needs is a few precious drops of blood...but once revived, there'll be little hope of stopping the bloodthirsty Count!

Lee doesn't have a single word of dialogue in Prince of Darkness. But like an expert silent movie star, he powerfully conveys everything with his eyes, his body, and the most subtle of movements.

He's terrific, as is Barbara Shelley, playing a nervous, frustrated woman who ends up an all too eager vampire. Director Fisher gives this one expert pacing, while the cinematography by Michael Reed is lush and captivating.

Perfect viewing for a quiet Sunday afternoon.

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