20 October 2014

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
87 min.
Directed by Alan Gibson.
With Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Joanna Lumley, Freddie Jones, Michael Coles, William Franklyn, Barbara Yu Ling, Valerie Van Ost, Richard Vernon.
The eighth entry in Hammer's Dracula series.

As with the previous entry - Dracula A.D. 1972 - this one also sets the action in modern day London.

A group of satan worshippers, comprised of high-ranking government officials and influential businessmen, threaten world disaster by introducing a new kind of black plague.

Seems a mysterious company named the Denham Corporation is behind all the mayhem...and the president & CEO of Denham Corp. is none other than Dracula himself!

Cushing returns as a descendant of Van Helsing, back on the case against his old foe.

Not as bad as sometimes trumpeted, it's probably true that Satanic Rites is the weakest link in all nine of Hammer's Dracula flicks.

(There would be one more Dracula entry after this: 1974's offbeat Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires).

At any rate, Satanic Rites has a few good points in its favor: Joanna Lumley is good as Van Helsing's granddaughter, Cushing still has the requisite fire, and there's a thorny, well done conclusion.

Also known as Count Dracula and his Vampire Bride.

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