This one frequently gets ripped to shreds even by or particularly by Hammer fans. It would be the last Dracula film that Hammer would do in a gothic setting. So let’s see happened here. This short flop haired guy who likes woman and he may do okay with them, but his luck on this night is just awful. To avoid the law he flees town and one wild event after another transpires then eventually he ends up at Dracula’s castle running for his life aieeee. So then his flop haired, not so bright brother and his girlfriend go looking for floppy hair number one. They run into a bartender (Michael Ripper steady as always) and a bunch of floppy wigged goons who run them out of town. You see they lost all their women folk early in the film to Dracula so now they just hate everyone who mentions vampires, Dracula, the castle or kitty cats well not kitty cats, but yes to the others. Anyways of course flop hair # 2 and his girlfriend end up at the castle dealing with Dracula (a very pale and bored looking Christoper Lee) and his weird as all get out servant Klove (Patrick Troughton). Drac seems nice at first but hey we’ve this before he just wants the girl. Flop hair # 2 is just a little smarter than his brother. Drac gets his girl briefly and he discovers his brother has a big hook sticking through what used to be his chest-aw so sad. So eventually there is a final fight in front of a
cheap as dirt backdrop classy, realistic looking edge of a castle. Dracula picks ups a metal rod and impales the lame hero and his girl in a grisly manner with blood gushing everywhere. Everyone chants Drac-Drac-Drac! Yeah, right the vampire never wins in these. What really happens is lighting hits the metal rod and old pointy teeth or at least his stuntman catches on fire and jumps off the ledge to his death- yaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! The goody goodies triumph and roll the credits.
The bad-The production values are pretty crap in many aspects this time around. We see strings on the bat, the stunt man’s mask in the fire, wrinkles in the backdrop, the day for night is worse than films that Hammer did ten years prior. The story is run of the mill. Christopher Lee seems ready for the film to end as soon as possible. The holes in logic-vampire girl getting stabbed by Drac, Klove letting in nasty villagers just because they say they have something for him and other slips.
The good-It’s a gothic Dracula from Hammer and that always appeals to me. It has an overall decent cast. There are some good items visually, the castle, the valley below, the gore effects on flop hair # 1 and others.
It’s far from Hammer’s best but I tend to like it more than most people. The fact that it was one of the first I saw in the series may help as well.