Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP!

Lorelei's Muse: COFFIN HOP!: I'm very excited about the Coffin Hop! It's the first blog hop I have ever been a part of. A bunch of horror fiction writers are particip...

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Count Dracula & His Vampire Brides"

My husband and I went shopping today, and I found a fantastic DVD deal of 20 vampire movies for only $5 at K-Mart. I had to have this. I recognized only one of the featured films--Nosferatu--but the stars of these classics had me sold: Bela Lugosi, Vincint Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, to name a few, in these movies I'd never heard of, but they sound great.

I think I was lucky as a teenager to be able to stay up late to watch the old Dracula movies when they came on, and of course, the Lee-Cushing duo of Dracula vs. van Helsing are simply one of the staples of my Dracula movie diet.

This offering, "Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides" never made it to the American TV becasue of brief, yet repeated nudity--a woman on an altar. Set in modern England, it is quite British. Police investigate the murder of a man who was sent in to spy, and his accusations of several up-standing men involved in some Satanic rituals have them consult Van Helsing (but, of course!).

I have to say, the new twist on the Dracula/Van Helsing story was fresh to me. Dracula was his old horrible self, hording his vampire women chained up in a crypt-like basement of a mansion (the one where the devil worshipers gathered). I'm not sure why they were chained up, but the scene where they attack Van Helsing's granddaughter was pretty good. I loved the fangs they used in these Hammer movies. And Dracula could not have been more sexy (for 1974), in one scene where he comes into a room where a woman is kept, and she is very much anticipating his moves on her.

The story basically is that Dracula has enslaved a bio-chemist to develope a very fast-acting, deadly strain of the bubonic plague to destroy the human race. Cushing (Van Helsing), realizes it is his secret desire to erradicate all of the human race and to go down in a Armagedon-style glory. Of course our modern-day, chain-smoking Van Helsing must stop him--seeing that he is the modern generation of his great-grandfather--and the clock is ticking away to midnight when this deadly strain is to be unleashed.

I liked this one. Christopher Lee at least spoke his lines and was somewhat more convinicingly diabolical. His eyes turned red too. I think I was told that he somehow had to irritate them--possibly with salt?--in order to get this look. The things they did for their rolls even in the '70's. The effects were pretty cool at the end.

Hammer Films churned these out one after the other. This one may have been one of the last, as it was filmed in 1974. If you find this one, it's worth the buy. I recommend "Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride".

Happy Halloween!