Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)

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Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Terence Fisher
Starring: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir
Rated: UR/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory

Two couples traveling in eastern Europe decide to visit Karlsbad despite dire local warnings. Left outside the village by a coachman terrified at the approach of night, they find themselves in the local castle and are surprised at the hospitality extended by the sinister Klove. It turns out the owner, Count Dracula, dead for ten years, has been hoping for such a visit.

It is Hammer time again on Blu-ray and this time it comes in the form of the second Dracula film from Hammer to have the legendary Christopher Lee in the leading role as our prince of darkness. Lee hasn’t a single line in this film, but the man was a great Dracula. The looks he gives and his overall presence on the screen were one of the reasons people think so highly of classic Hammer films, especially this one. The film is a bit dated and that does somewhat hurt things for me as a horror fan while watching, but I can appreciate the film and see why it is loved as much as it is. You know as well as I do that we have a bunch of Lee’s Dracula films coming to Blu-ray as of late and to Scream Factory’s credit they did get one of the better ones that show why these movies were as popular as they were.

If we must point out some of the flaws, the film does also seem to have a weak hero this time around without Van Helsing, or at least without Peter Cushing. Still, pretty women come into the path and red piercing eyes of Dracula and it isn’t at all bad for what it is. The transfer for this film is also top-notch. I think the colors are sharp and details can be seen where they need to be seen. The blood just jumps off the screen and it really helps drive home the nature of a film like this. If you love Hammer and you love Dracula, then this will be a disc you want to own for sure. Also, if you owned the old Dracula: Prince of Darkness release you might as well hand it off because Scream has not only given us a better transfer, but we have more extras and TWO versions of the film as well.

Extras

– Two Versions! The UK Version And The U.S. Version
– NEW 4K Scan Of The Interpositive Of The US Version From The 20th Century Fox Vaults
– NEW Audio Commentary With Author Troy Howarth
– NEW Audio Commentary With Filmmaker Constantine Nasr And Writer/Producer Steve Haberman
– Audio Commentary With Cast Members Christopher Lee, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews, And Barbara Shelley
– World Of Hammer Episode “Dracula And The Undead”
– Back To Black – The Making Of Dracula: Prince Of Darkness
– Super 8mm Behind-The-Scenes Footage
– Theatrical Trailers
– Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 91%

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