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RE: Hammer Horror - 14/5/2008 5:20:10 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

I saw this the other day too......

THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES
At the turn of the century,a monk from China arrives in Dracula's castle in Transylvania,and asks Dracula to help the Seven Golden Vampires dominate China.  Dracula takes the form of the monk and begins a reign of terror in Asia.  However,he's reckoned without his arch-enemy Professor Van Helsing,who along with his son,a rich woman who funds the expedition and seven martial arts experts,sets out to destroy the vampires,who also have zombies under their control....


I love this film,and yet I'm fully away of it's flaws.  The film was a co-production between Hammer,who had lost their dominance of the horror market and were looking for something new to attract their public,and the Hong Kong studio Shaw Brothers who were the leading studio of martial arts films responsible for many  classics of the genre such as The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin.  The film was not the success it should have been but it's enormous fun.

Rather disappointingly,Dracula is hardly in the film,perhaps just as well when he's played by a guy who wears so much makeup he looks like a drag queen.  He's dispatched ludicrously easy too. You could actually remove the Count from the movie and it wouldn't really matter!

However,looked at not as a Dracula film but a martial arts movie with horror elements the movie works much better.  The many battle scenes are very well staged and extremely gory,while there are some vivid horror scenes too,such as some bloody vampire attacks and quite atmospheric scenes of the zombie army raising out of the ground  which are reminiscent of the Blind Dead movies.  There is a superb set piece early on in the film where a villager tries to destroy the vampires and he kills one whereupon they summon the zombies to kill him.  East meets west quite well here.

With Peter Cushing at his best,looking like he's enjoying himself as he shouts "strike at their hearts"! during the battle scenes,some really garish but appropriate lighting which sometimes looks like Mario Bava's,and an exciting music score by Hammer's best composer James Bernard [although it does sometimes recycle cues from previous films],this should never be considered up there with the likes of Dracula or The Devil Rides Out,but it's very entertaining.  Best enjoyed with a couple of mates,a six pack and a curry!



Great review there mate,and yes a six pack and a curry was consumed the night i watch this,plus a bottle of ye old red wine.

quote:

 deeplydisturbed 
Just got a copy of 'Dracula has risen from the grave' which i'll be watching soon. Let the good times roll...

Love that movie must have a Dracula night with Chris Lee of course as drac himself.

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Post #: 61
RE: Hammer Horror - 10/7/2008 11:56:45 PM   
MovieLover12

 

Posts: 105
Joined: 10/7/2008
The only two I've seen is Countess Dracula and The Plague of the Zombies. Both very good.

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 62
RE: Hammer Horror - 15/7/2008 8:53:13 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: MovieLover12

The only two I've seen is Countess Dracula and The Plague of the Zombies. Both very good.

There some great box sets out there you should give ago,and they are pretty cheap from HMV and Amazon.

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Post #: 63
RE: Hammer Horror - 31/7/2008 5:08:38 PM   
Doc Tourneau


Posts: 6
Joined: 30/7/2008
From: Miskatonic University
It's not horror, but I recently revisited The Abominable Snowman on DVD, and was happily shocked by how very good it was.  Not the crappy, talky, almost-monsterless movie that bored me as a kid, but a really well-written,-well-acted, and well-directed thriller, with a taut story line and intriguing subtext.  If you haven't seen it recently, I urge you to check it out.  Plus, Peter Cushing is absolutely terrific in it.

Also, for my money, Hammer's The Hound of the Baskervilles is the absolute best version of a pet story ever filmed, and one of the greatest Sherlock Holmes movies ever.

I have to say, it's a complete mystery to me why there have been no boxed sets of Hammer's individual series; i.e. no Dracula set, no Frankenstein set, no Mummy set, no Quatermass set, etc. Personally, I've held off buying the individual titles (except for the series' original entries,) and the mixed-bag box sets, waiting for a more systematic approach.  Should I not hold my breath?

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Post #: 64
RE: Hammer Horror - 1/8/2008 12:55:54 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5139
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 My sis bought me this, and I got it last night.  Finally !  I've been wanting the original Hammer classics for ages.  I have a German DVD of Dracula and the UK version of The Mummy, but now I'm really glad I have this rare boxset as part of my collection.  Only £30 off eBay, brand new and sealed! 

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Post #: 65
RE: Hammer Horror - 1/8/2008 1:35:56 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey

 
My sis bought me this, and I got it last night.  Finally !  I've been wanting the original Hammer classics for ages.  I have a German DVD of Dracula and the UK version of The Mummy, but now I'm really glad I have this rare boxset as part of my collection.  Only £30 off eBay, brand new and sealed!
 


The wife bought this box set about 5 years ago for me as a christmas box,now thats what i call thoughtful.

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Post #: 66
RE: Hammer Horror - 4/8/2008 4:56:53 PM   
rich


Posts: 4941
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Neo Kobe
Was getting through the Optimum 21 disker, think I'll check out what looks worth watching later. Personal faves - Scars of Dracula, She, The Devil Rides, Quatermass and the Pit, oh and Rasputin! Shame it doesnt have the first Dracula one or some of the other's you'd expect. Is the book on the previous page worth a look? Might check what it's going for on Amazon...

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 67
RE: Hammer Horror - 4/8/2008 9:10:42 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

Was getting through the Optimum 21 disker, think I'll check out what looks worth watching later. Personal faves - Scars of Dracula, She, The Devil Rides, Quatermass and the Pit, oh and Rasputin! Shame it doesnt have the first Dracula one or some of the other's you'd expect. Is the book on the previous page worth a look? Might check what it's going for on Amazon...

Yeah the book is class if your interested in anyway about Hammer Films,well wrote and lots of never seen before pictures.Theres a restored version of  Hammers Dracula coming soon to DVD,it has been doing the rounds at different Film Festivals,so hold onto your cash for now.

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Post #: 68
RE: Hammer Horror - 21/8/2008 10:59:35 AM   
FGT


Posts: 246
Joined: 10/3/2008
Hammer originally planned to do an adaptation of I AM LEGEND

Which ended up being made in Italy as 'The Last man on Earth' starring Vincent Price and available on R1 Dvd. Pretty good and pretty grim.
As for She...to be honest looking like she did in the film Ursula Andress didn't need to act

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Post #: 69
RE: Hammer Horror - 21/8/2008 8:45:20 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: FGT

Hammer originally planned to do an adaptation of I AM LEGEND

Which ended up being made in Italy as 'The Last man on Earth' starring Vincent Price and available on R1 Dvd. Pretty good and pretty grim.
As for She...to be honest looking like she did in the film Ursula Andress didn't need to act

It's one of those if only they had the guts,and money,to go ahead with the project,as it never got pased the scripting stage.
Watched THE MUMMY last night and it's on power with Karlofs version if not better,Cushing and Lee what a dream(nightmare)team.

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Post #: 70
RE: Hammer Horror - 28/1/2009 11:08:21 PM   
Psychotic angel

 

Posts: 47
Joined: 22/1/2009
I love Hammer´s gothic monster films - yes, even Karnstein trilogy!  They kick crap like modern horror to the sewers they belong!

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Post #: 71
RE: Hammer Horror - 29/1/2009 12:03:22 PM   
kargon


Posts: 1024
Joined: 6/6/2007
From: BOWELS OF HELL
DRACULA 1972 A.D an awful classic

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Post #: 72
RE: Hammer Horror - 20/10/2009 6:44:25 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
Good time of year to revive this great thread,so here's my review of the classic DRACULA (1958) enjoy.

Although based on the story by Bram Stoker, the movie doesn't even try to adapt the book. Jimmy Sangster simply took the characters and events he needed, and went off and did his own movie, and yet it works brilliantly.Jonathon Harker arrives at Castle Dracula under the guise of being Dracula's new librarian. Actually however, he's there to destroy the vampire. When he fails, Dracula(Lee) wrecks vengeance on Harker's fiancé and family, while Van Helsing (Cushing) arrives in the hope of ending what Harker couldn't.
This is one of the best Dracula movies made,to begin with, you have the set design by Bernard Robinson made on a shoestring budget,it's superb. Jack Asher, the cinematographer does a stunning job lighting the movie,helps add to it's gothic feel.The score by James Bernard,bring's excitement, dread, fear and keeps things rolling,adding to the classic Hammer Horror style.The direction by Terence Fisher, Hammer's most important director, keeps things going at a brisk pace,with some brilliant set-pieces.  Christopher Lee's performance is gripping and charming,yet also menacing.Then there's Peter Cushing, the best ever Van Helsing on screen, played by the best actor ever in the horror genre. Cushing brings compassion to Van Helsing (watch the scene with the child in the graveyard) but also determination and obsession at ridding the world of evil. Although by todays standard, some of the acting may appear wooden, and some of the effects, especially in the movie's stunning climax may have dated.The movie as a whole has not,it's a true classic of horror,and with the greatest double act ever in the history of the horror movie.5/5

< Message edited by evil bill -- 20/10/2009 6:48:11 PM >


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Post #: 73
RE: Hammer Horror - 20/10/2009 10:16:19 PM   
hiptobesquare_x


Posts: 1384
Joined: 27/6/2009
From: A petri dish.
I love Hammer horrors! Although, I always found their scariest film to be The Nanny. Bette Davis terrifies me.

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Post #: 74
RE: Hammer Horror - 22/10/2009 6:52:11 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: hiptobesquare_x

I love Hammer horrors! Although, I always found their scariest film to be The Nanny. Bette Davis terrifies me.

The Nannys a classic,and Bette Davis even makes the nanny in The Omen look friendly.


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Post #: 75
RE: Hammer Horror - 22/10/2009 9:13:32 PM   
Lazy wolf eyes


Posts: 4104
Joined: 9/9/2006
From: Royston Vasey
quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: hiptobesquare_x

I love Hammer horrors! Although, I always found their scariest film to be The Nanny. Bette Davis terrifies me.

The Nannys a classic,and Bette Davis even makes the nanny in The Omen look friendly.


I watched this for the first time the other day.  Great film, but I wanted the little boy to die. What a snotty little brat!


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Post #: 76
RE: Hammer Horror - 22/10/2009 9:50:55 PM   
grounded

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 13/5/2007
Don't forget Kronos the vampire killer cheesy as feck but they could make a hell of a great remake with someone like depp and tim burton at the helm.

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Post #: 77
RE: Hammer Horror - 23/10/2009 2:53:32 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk


Released in 1959, THE MUMMY and taking it's story line from Universal's 1932 THE MUMMY and 1940 THE MUMMY'S HAND, it opens with a band of Victorian-era archaeologists in Egypt, where they discover the lost tomb of Princess Ananka--and in the process unleash a mummy cursed to guard her throughout eternity. It is a curse that follows the men back to England, where they are stalked to their deaths one by one.
Once again director Terence Fisher and cinematographer Jack Asher who both worked on Dracula 1958,do a great job,their efforts result in a series of truly arresting visuals; in their hands, bright color is no obstacle to moodiness. The cast plays it out extremely well, with the lovely Yvonne Furneaux a classic Hammer beauty, Peter Cushing as her archaeologist husband, and (yes, the posture and bearing really is unmistakable) Christopher Lee under wraps for the title role. Hammer Horror may not save the world, but it is often a lot of fun--and THE MUMMY is easily among the studio's best. Recommended.4/5

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Post #: 78
RE: Hammer Horror - 24/10/2009 6:05:46 PM   
DazDaMan


Posts: 10109
Joined: 8/9/2006
From: Penicuik - a right shithole
Can I sign myself up for this one?

I've just gone and bought all the Christopher Lee Dracula films, and have a couple more on order (thanks, Amazon!).

They were a MASSIVE part of my childhood!!!

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Post #: 79
RE: Hammer Horror - 24/10/2009 6:10:08 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5139
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
I would buy The Satanic Rites of Dracula, but since the film is in the public domain on DVD, I'm sure the quality will be terrible.

Hopefully either Optimum or Warner Bros get off their ass and release the uncut version... and well as the full cut of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell!

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Post #: 80
RE: Hammer Horror - 24/10/2009 6:17:45 PM   
DazDaMan


Posts: 10109
Joined: 8/9/2006
From: Penicuik - a right shithole
I bought a Region 0 copy off eBay recently, and have to say that the quality was not that bad at all!



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Post #: 81
RE: Hammer Horror - 25/10/2009 11:50:43 AM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
Great to have you on this thread DazDaMan;


This was Hammer Films opening entry into their Horror re-imagining of classic Universal Studios Monsters and it is still one of the best. Here we get a new take on the familiar Frankenstein myth with the young Frankenstein coming from a fatherless background and embracing only science and reason with any real conviction. Finally when a breakthrough comes, the Young master will stop at nothing to achieve the fame, glory and notoriety he desires--his lack of regard for others is frightening even to his mentor Paul Krempe(played excellently by Robert Urquhart)who warns him against tampering with the forces of nature and that nothing good will come from it. Cushing is outstanding in the role and adds a real sense of tragedy, genius and malice. Hazel Court is certainly lovely as the innocent cousin Elizabeth who naively becomes entangled into Frankenstein's sinking path of unconscious self-destruction.And of course this movie was the start of Christoper Lee,as one of the great bad guys of cinema,with Hound Of Baskviles,the Mummy, Fu Mancu and of course Dracula,which he would become the most famous count ever.This movie scared the pants of me as a child,and still has air of menace,the great acting and so well directed and lit,that i just can't give it any less than 5/5.


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Post #: 82
RE: Hammer Horror - 27/10/2009 9:04:51 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3935
Joined: 19/10/2005

Two couples, Charles and Diana, and Alan and Helen, are holidaying in Transylvania. In an inn they meet Father Sandor, who warns them to stay away from the castle. Of course they don't listen and head straight for it. They are welcomed by the butler Klove, who actually wants to use one of the visitors to bring his deceased master back to life....


After seven years, Hammer finally decided to bring Christopher Lee back as Count Dracula. Dracula Prince Of Darkness was actually not the first sequel to their 1958 classic, in the interim there had been The Brides Of Dracula, in which Peter Cushing's Van Helsing returned to battle another vampire,but audiences probably felt cheated by the title as Dracula did not appear, despite the film itself being very good.  Finally Dracula returned in great style with this outing.

This is generally regarded as being far inferior to the original, but I disagree. While overall it's not as quite the same high level,it is at times really good indeed and contains scenes and passages which which are just as good or even better. One thing many people don't like is Dracula not being in it that much and when he does he doesn't speak, he just hisses [which was apparently because Lee thought the dialogue given to him was so bad he removed it all]. I find it really effective, with his brief appearences exciting and usually quite brutal.

Nearly half the film is devoted to the build up to Dracula's revival. Terence Fisher handles some of this superbly, brilliantly creating atmospher and tension. As Arthur Grant's camera prowls through Dracula's castle and James Bernard's music drones ominously, there is a terrific sense of gothic poetry, which makes a mockery of critics of the time saying Hammer were just interested in gore. Of course gore there is, especially when Klove slits a man's throat and the blood drips in to Dracula's coffin, bringing him back to life. It's excellently done like a black ritual, and as with a few other scenes is cut in some versions. The action packed second half of the film, which is basically monks vs vampires, moves really fast and has two very memorable scenes-a really vicious staking by the monks of the writhing vampirised Helen, and a fine climax on the ice.

The script holds few surprises and is quite mechanical, while nothing is really added to the first film. A few bits, such as having Dracula cut himself so a victim can suck his blood, are welcome and often unused touches from the original novel though. As is often the case the young protagonists are quite bland and there's not enough of Philip Latham as the creepy Klove. Nevertheless, this carefully paced, sometimes very effective vampire shocker is a fine example of Hammer craftmanship. A very good sequel.
8/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 25/6/2010 2:45:25 PM >


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Post #: 83
RE: Hammer Horror - 27/10/2009 9:31:18 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3935
Joined: 19/10/2005


In turn of the century England, the Duc De Richleau returns from holiday to hear his nephew Simon has been acting oddly. He discovers he's involved with a group of Satanists led by the evil Mocata who is a master of black magic. Aided by some friends he sets out to rescue Simon and a woman he befriends called Tanith from Mocata's clutches, but it's the eve of the Sabbat and time is running out........

This rip roaring tale of decent English chaps battling Satanists is one of Hammer's very best movies. It was not a commercial success [ it's said some people thought it was a Western!] but it's reputation has increased and I would rank it as highly as the 1958 Dracula. It's a thrilling and imaginative film and makes one wonder why more Dennis Wheatley hasn't been filmed besides two other films by Hammer The Lost Continent and To The Devil A Daughter.

Terence Fisher directs as a really fast pace, making the most of Richard Matheson's script which condenses Wheatley's book into a series of thrill sequences while maintaining a really strong atmosphere of menace as the scales seem to be more and more tipped in favour of evil. There's a tense encounter with an 'Ipsissimus' in a library, a great chase in vintage cars, a thrilling rescue of a woman from a Satanic ritual where they've just conjured up the Devil himself, and a real tour de force sequence where the good guys are in a pentacle while besieged by evil demons, tempters and finally the Angel Of Death. I was constantly on the edge of my seat when I first saw this film when I was young!

Special effects-wise some of this seems a little primitive [something a modern remake could improve on], for instance two demons are a magnified spider  [the wierd blob thing in the book would have been more interesting] and a black guy folding his arms respectably, but the vivid staging and James Bernard's frightening score easily atone. The only real flaw is the climax, where corners seem to have been really badly cut and is over far too quickly. It doesn't make a great deal of sense too.  Never mind, it's been preceeded by pretty much 80 mins of brilliance so it doesn't matter that much.

Christopher Lee is razor sharp as De Richleau and is clearly enjoying being on the side of good for once, while Charles Gray is a superb slimy Mocata, suggesting Alistair Crowley-like perversity simply by the way he delivers his lines. The rest of the acting is generally of a higher quality than normal. Perhaps The Devil Rides Out is a little quaint [it's notable there's hardly any blood, perhaps because of the subject matter], but it's a terrific, really exciting movie that shows the studio at the peak of it's powers.
9/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 25/6/2010 2:47:25 PM >


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Post #: 84
RE: Hammer Horror - 27/10/2009 11:26:37 PM   
DazDaMan


Posts: 10109
Joined: 8/9/2006
From: Penicuik - a right shithole

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS
Two couples, Charles and Diana, and Alan and Helen, are holidaying in Transylvania. In an inn they meet Father Sandor, who warns them to stay away from the castle. Of course they don't listen and head straight for it. They are welcomed by the butler Klove, who actually wants to use one of the visitors to bring his deceased master back to life....

After seven years, Hammer finally decided to bring Christopher Lee back as Count Dracula. Dracula Prince Of Darkness was actually not the first sequel to their 1958 classic, in the interim there had been The Brides Of Dracula, in which Peter Cushing's Van Helsing returned to battle another vampire,but audiences probably felt cheated by the title as Dracula did not appear. Finally he returned in style with this outing.

This is generally regarded as being far inferior to the original, but I disagree. While overall it's not as quite the same high level,it is at times really good indeed and contains scenes and passages which which are just as good or even better. One thing many people don't like is Dracula not being in it that much and when he does he doesn't speak, he just hisses [which was apparently because Lee thought the dialogue given to him was so bad he removed it all]. I find it really effective, with his brief appearences exciting and usually quite brutal.

Nearly half the film is devoted to the build up to Dracula's revival. Terence Fisher handles some of this superbly, brilliantly creating atmospher and tension. As Arthur Grant's camera prowls through Dracula's castle and James Bernard's music drones ominously, there is a terrific sense of gothic poetry, which makes a mockery of critics of the time saying Hammer were just interested in gore. Of course gore there is, especially when Klove slits a man's throat and the blood drips in to Dracula's coffin, bringing him back to life. It's excellently done like a black ritual, and as with a few other scenes is cut in some versions. The action packed second half of the film, which is basically monks vs vampires, moves really fast and has two very memorable scenes-a really vicious staking by the monks of the writhing vampirised Helen, and a fine climax on the ice.

The script holds few surprises and is quite mechanical, while nothing is really added to the first film. As is often the case the young protagonists are quite bland and there's not enough of Philip Latham as the creepy Klove. Nevertheless, this carefully, sometimes very effective vampire shocker is a fine example of Hammer craftmanship. A very good sequel.


Great review.

The DVD I have of this has a near hour-long feature called "The Many Faces of Christopher Lee", and it's essential viewing for any Hammer film buff!

_____________________________

You fucking fuckers are gonna do what I say or I'm going to stick my foot so far up your assholes you'll rue the day you crawled out of your mother's twat!

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Post #: 85
RE: Hammer Horror - 28/10/2009 8:43:49 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
This is the box set the three reviews i did came from,and i'd love to own Dracula Prince Of Darkness with the extras.


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Post #: 86
RE: Hammer Horror - 28/10/2009 9:28:45 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5139
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
quote:

ORIGINAL: DazDaMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS
Two couples, Charles and Diana, and Alan and Helen, are holidaying in Transylvania. In an inn they meet Father Sandor, who warns them to stay away from the castle. Of course they don't listen and head straight for it. They are welcomed by the butler Klove, who actually wants to use one of the visitors to bring his deceased master back to life....

After seven years, Hammer finally decided to bring Christopher Lee back as Count Dracula. Dracula Prince Of Darkness was actually not the first sequel to their 1958 classic, in the interim there had been The Brides Of Dracula, in which Peter Cushing's Van Helsing returned to battle another vampire,but audiences probably felt cheated by the title as Dracula did not appear. Finally he returned in style with this outing.

This is generally regarded as being far inferior to the original, but I disagree. While overall it's not as quite the same high level,it is at times really good indeed and contains scenes and passages which which are just as good or even better. One thing many people don't like is Dracula not being in it that much and when he does he doesn't speak, he just hisses [which was apparently because Lee thought the dialogue given to him was so bad he removed it all]. I find it really effective, with his brief appearences exciting and usually quite brutal.

Nearly half the film is devoted to the build up to Dracula's revival. Terence Fisher handles some of this superbly, brilliantly creating atmospher and tension. As Arthur Grant's camera prowls through Dracula's castle and James Bernard's music drones ominously, there is a terrific sense of gothic poetry, which makes a mockery of critics of the time saying Hammer were just interested in gore. Of course gore there is, especially when Klove slits a man's throat and the blood drips in to Dracula's coffin, bringing him back to life. It's excellently done like a black ritual, and as with a few other scenes is cut in some versions. The action packed second half of the film, which is basically monks vs vampires, moves really fast and has two very memorable scenes-a really vicious staking by the monks of the writhing vampirised Helen, and a fine climax on the ice.

The script holds few surprises and is quite mechanical, while nothing is really added to the first film. As is often the case the young protagonists are quite bland and there's not enough of Philip Latham as the creepy Klove. Nevertheless, this carefully, sometimes very effective vampire shocker is a fine example of Hammer craftmanship. A very good sequel.


Great review.

The DVD I have of this has a near hour-long feature called "The Many Faces of Christopher Lee", and it's essential viewing for any Hammer film buff
!


I have the same DVD. I'm glad the film is finally uncut . I had it on VHS and the violence was toned down a lot.

(in reply to DazDaMan)
Post #: 87
RE: Hammer Horror - 29/10/2009 7:35:28 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3935
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: DazDaMan


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS
Two couples, Charles and Diana, and Alan and Helen, are holidaying in Transylvania. In an inn they meet Father Sandor, who warns them to stay away from the castle. Of course they don't listen and head straight for it. They are welcomed by the butler Klove, who actually wants to use one of the visitors to bring his deceased master back to life....

After seven years, Hammer finally decided to bring Christopher Lee back as Count Dracula. Dracula Prince Of Darkness was actually not the first sequel to their 1958 classic, in the interim there had been The Brides Of Dracula, in which Peter Cushing's Van Helsing returned to battle another vampire,but audiences probably felt cheated by the title as Dracula did not appear. Finally he returned in style with this outing.

This is generally regarded as being far inferior to the original, but I disagree. While overall it's not as quite the same high level,it is at times really good indeed and contains scenes and passages which which are just as good or even better. One thing many people don't like is Dracula not being in it that much and when he does he doesn't speak, he just hisses [which was apparently because Lee thought the dialogue given to him was so bad he removed it all]. I find it really effective, with his brief appearences exciting and usually quite brutal.

Nearly half the film is devoted to the build up to Dracula's revival. Terence Fisher handles some of this superbly, brilliantly creating atmospher and tension. As Arthur Grant's camera prowls through Dracula's castle and James Bernard's music drones ominously, there is a terrific sense of gothic poetry, which makes a mockery of critics of the time saying Hammer were just interested in gore. Of course gore there is, especially when Klove slits a man's throat and the blood drips in to Dracula's coffin, bringing him back to life. It's excellently done like a black ritual, and as with a few other scenes is cut in some versions. The action packed second half of the film, which is basically monks vs vampires, moves really fast and has two very memorable scenes-a really vicious staking by the monks of the writhing vampirised Helen, and a fine climax on the ice.

The script holds few surprises and is quite mechanical, while nothing is really added to the first film. As is often the case the young protagonists are quite bland and there's not enough of Philip Latham as the creepy Klove. Nevertheless, this carefully, sometimes very effective vampire shocker is a fine example of Hammer craftmanship. A very good sequel.


Great review.

The DVD I have of this has a near hour-long feature called "The Many Faces of Christopher Lee", and it's essential viewing for any Hammer film buff!


Thanks,may do some more,though for some reason I'm unable to post pics on this forum! I have the US DVD which doesn't have the doc you mentioned [though I think I've got that on another Hammer DVD] but does have a great commentary with Christopher Lee and three other cast members.

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check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to DazDaMan)
Post #: 88
RE: Hammer Horror - 18/11/2009 8:04:14 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6706
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk

This version of The Phantom of the Opera(1962) was the second remake of the often filmed classic tale,and for me the best,it's another Hammer classic filmed by Terence Fisher with Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Edward de Souza staring.
An Opera based on the life of Joan of Arc is being performed at the Opera house. Several mysterious unexplainable events have taken place. An apparent murder scares off the lead singer and she is replaced by a young aspiring singer, Christine (Heather Sears). A shadowy figure known as The Phantom (Herbert Lom) lurking among the shadows takes a personal interest in the girl. Also taking an interest in her is lecherous Lord Ambrose D'Arcy (Michael Gough) the womanizing entrepreneur. Coming to her aid is the Opera's producer (Edward de Souza) the token hero of the piece.Needless to say the girl winds up in the Phantom's underground hideaway where she is kept captive until his terrible secret is revealed. Lom as the Phantom is more of a supporting player rather than the star. The Phantom is played more as a sympathetic character rather than a menace. The real villain of the piece is Gough who steals the film as the unscrupulous D'Arcy. There is also an evil dwarf (Ian Wilson). Lom's makeup as The Phantom is not revealed until the end of the film and then we only get a brief glimpse. It should and could have been used to much greater effect.Unfortunately, the producers have left many loose ends. What happens to D'Arcy who is last seen running from the room in which he has just met The Phantom? And the Dwarf? He is literally left hanging at the film's end. Do the baddies get away with it?Now this is just a few sore points but the style,and acting talents are first class,along with direction and lighting.There is a longer cut of the movie,it's 98 minutes, which adds scenes involving Scotland Yard detectives investigating the goings on at the Opera, a flashback sequence which repeats in its entirety a scene shown earlier and an attempted murder of D'Arcy's mistress all of which add nothing to the film. No one will ever better  Lon Chaney as the Phantom in the 1925 silent version of this story but you have to give Hammer this is one great gothic classic,that even the great Argento could not better.Hammer at least where trying to tell it with a few new twists and turns,and gave the Phantom a heart of gold.3/5 or 7/10 if you prefer.

< Message edited by evil bill -- 18/11/2009 8:06:49 PM >


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"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 89
RE: Hammer Horror - 2/12/2009 2:08:01 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3935
Joined: 19/10/2005
I've always been a little disappointed about Hammer's Phantom Of The Opera, it's a fine work but feels somewhat muted, Hammer could have really gone to town on the story, like they did with Frankensteind and Dracula, but they seemed to hold back. Still good though,I like most of their films and never tire of watching them!

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check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 90
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