SCARS OF DRACULA (1970)
Article #1279 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-14-2004
Posting Date: 2-11-2005
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Featuring Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley
A man unfairly accused of rape takes refuge in Dracula’s castle.
If the sole claim to fame of the Hammer horror pictures was that it upped the sex and violence quotient in horror movies, they would still be remembered, though not with quite the same degree of fondness as they are. Furthermore, most of their horror movies would have ended up like this one; the most noticeable aspects of this entry in the Dracula series is that it’s bloodier than the others and that the gowns are cut even lower. There’s also a great performance from Patrick Troughton and a good one from Michael Ripper. It’s hampered by several problems; it’s overdependent on fake looking bats, the plot plays more like a comedy than a serious vampire picture (especially during the first half), and Christopher Lee’s performance feels bored and pouty rather than menacing. It’s nice that they tried to have a scene of Dracula crawling up the wall, but it looks too unconvincing to be really effective. I don’t know if it’s the weakest Hammer Dracula of the bunch, but I would have to place it at the bottom of the ones I’ve seen so far.