Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride (1973)

COUNT DRACULA AND HIS VAMPIRE BRIDE (1973)
aka The Satanic Rites of Dracula
Article 3246 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-9-2010
Posting Date: 7-4-2010
Directed by Alan Gibson
Featuring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Michael Coles
Country: UK
What it is: Updated Vampire mayhem

A group of four VIPs are photographed taking part in Satanic rituals with a fifth unknown person. One of the VIPs is a scientist who develops a deadly strain of bubonic plague. Could Dracula be behind it all?

With this movie I finish off Hammer’s Dracula series, and the only reason I can’t say that it couldn’t have ended on a stranger note is that THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES was just around the corner. Still, this movie is a pretty odd amalgam at that; in fact, if it weren’t for the vampirism touches, this feels more like a Fu Manchu movie than a Dracula movie. In the end, I don’t know why Dracula needs both Satanic rituals AND a deadly bubonic plague virus to spread his evil, and the movie has that “everything but the kitchen sink” air about it. I do get the sense that they were starting to scrape the bottom of the “how to kill the vampire” barrel here, with a hawthorn tree and an indoor sprinkler system called into play to defeat the vampires. Dracula himself comes across as more of a super-villain rather than a creature of ancient evil, and the movie never really gels. Still, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are very good as usual, and despite the silliness factor the movie is entertaining enough.

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