1969, Peter Sasdy, 91 mins.
Dracula is reborn in Victorian London.
One of Hammer’s most interesting films; less a Dracula movie than a study of Victorian repression and hypocrisy which has the Count rather awkwardly shoe-horned in. The first half is quite marvellous as we follow the descent of three thrill-seeking Victorians into blood-drinking Satanism, instigated by rather arch acolyte Ralph Bates whom they subsequently beat to death in an abandoned church. The performances of Geoffrey Keen, Peter Sallis, and John Carson are excellent and Peter Sasdy creates a memorable atmosphere of decadence. Unfortunately, the second half drifts rapidly into incoherence as Christopher Lee turns up, looking bored, and is given virtually nothing to do while the children of the thrill-seekers kill their fathers. The baffling climax, during which Dracula is destroyed after having a funny turn as the church is mysteriously re-consecrated, is an unworthy end to an interesting film.