DRACULA A.D. 1972 (1972)
Article #1754 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-2-2006
Posting Date: 6-1-2006
Directed by Alan Gibson
Featuring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham
Dracula is resurrected by a disciple in 1972, and decides to take vengeance on his old enemy Van Helsing by destroying the daughter of one of his descendants.
There’s something about the way this movie is marketed that might lead you to believe that Hammer had started playing the series for laughs. Certainly, the tag line on the cover of the DVD about Dracula having an eye for London’s hot pants seems more comic than horrific, and the first still I recall seeing from the movie had Christopher Lee as Dracula looking like he had a headache while being surrounded by scantily clad women. Fortunately, the movie itself decides to play it straight; as a matter of fact, the movie could have easily been put in the period setting. All in all, it’s not a bad entry in the series; though I don’t care for the jazzy/funky music that pops up in the soundtrack, I will admit that’s more of a personal quibble than an artistic one. Actually, if there’s any element of this one that does border on camp for me, it’s the over-elaborate series of circumstances that have to occur to kill the vampires; when one vampire stumbles into a bathroom to get away from the sunlight shining through the window, he inadvertently pulls the curtain that opens up the overhead skylight, which makes him scream and fall into a bathtub, inadvertently hitting the tap mechanism, so now he has to deal with running water as well. This is the type of thing I’d expect from a Jerry Lewis vampire. I’m also really tired of the use of the “Alucard” name; it was clever in SON OF DRACULA, but it’s popped up way too often since then.