Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) (Blu-ray Review)

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: Alan Gibson
STARRING: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham
AVAILABLE FROM Warner Archive Collection

London’s become a small town for a handful of jaded psychedelic-era hipsters. But Johnny Alucard has a groovy new way for his pals to get their kicks. A certain ritual will be the living end, he insists. And if you still wonder where Johnny’s coming from, try spelling his last name backwards. Dracula is raised into the modern era in this Hammer Studios shocker that’s “quite well done” (John Stanley, Creature Features). Christopher Lee dons the cape for the sixth time and seeks out fresh victims. As archnemesis Van Helsing, fellow horror legend Peter Cushing clutches a vial of holy water and edges within throwing distance. Their harrowing battle royale is not to be missed. In fact, it’s the living end.

Hammer’s Dracula A.D. 1972 takes Christopher Lee’s Dracula and drops him off into the modern era for once. Or at least it was the modern era when it came out in 1972. Some hip cats looking for a good time head down to summon the devil but instead they get the Dracula. From then on some of them have to deal with being turned into Dracula’s helpers while the others and other people are hunted and killed. Balancing things out, however, is one of the girls being a descendant of Van Helsing and her father is none other than Peter Cushing once again playing Van Helsing, but not THE Van Helsing this time around. This one has a great deal of stuff in it that you usually get in Hammer films, but this one does at least feel a little different which I’m sure wasn’t a bad thing when it came out. It still has some typical Hammer pacing issues, but that’s still a little better here than usual.

Christopher Lee for me might be the ultimate Dracula and he seems to make the best of that role in every movie he’s in. This was the sixth time he had played the role for Hammer and he still had life in the role and seemed very fresh. This isn’t on a Prince of Darkness level, but it is still very good and has a nice mood and tone to go along with it. I only wish we had more in the way of extras, but you’ll dig everything else about this release. The transfer is very well done and that is probably all that will matter to most.


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