Monday, January 25, 2010

Dracula A.D. 1972: Too Groovy For Words.

I might be a tad biased in this review since throughout it's duration I was simultaneously dancing to those swinging tunes! I'm sorry I just couldn't help myself. How can you not love a time capsuled look at the swingin' 70s whilst Dracula is on the loose? Sure Christopher Lee doesn't have a ton of screen time- but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself. I may be new at Hammer films- but I know what I like- and I like these groovy tunes and cheese ball action scenes!

In 1872 Dracula and Van Helsing were battling on top of a stagecoach. Once things started getting heated, the coach crashed into a tree and one of the wheels got Dracula right where it hurts the most. In the heart! Helsing died of other wounds- and while people were busy cleaning up the wreckage, a very slimy looking side kick scooped up Dracula's ring and his ashes then later sprinkled them in the ground near Van Helsing's grave site. Curiouser and curiouser. 100 years later and we're right back where we want to be. The 70s baby! A couple of hippie hooligans have highjacked a stuffy party to dance and frolic- and we notice that that slimy looking side kick is back! After the party he suggests the gang get together some night and have a good old fashioned black mass. Conjuring up the devil? Count me in! During the ritual things get a little...bloody and a little too serious and the group flees. In the meantime, Dracula rises again and sets his sights on Van Helsing's descendent Jessica! Looks like the ultimate battle between good and evil is back again for another round. Here here!

Now if there's one thing I couldn't shake from this movie, it was the slimy feeling that I got from that slimy sidekick- whose name is cleverly Johnny Alucard (Yes that would be Dracula un-cleverly scrambled)

Bleck. Doesn't he freak anyone else out? I know the 70s was all about grooviness and free love- but this guy gets no free love of mine I can promise you that. Whichever person in the group invited him to hang out- was sorely mistaken and the group gets a collaborative way to go moment for agreeing to attend his black mass. Of course my mind changed when I saw this masterful display of beautiful, thick as paint blood!!

No I couldn't decide which one I liked better- I just know that I love it! That girl was also an idiot. Way too excited about being the sacrifice- and when everyone was fleeing she just stood there screaming about having blood all over her. Wipe it off and run bitch! She also kind of looked like Audrina from the Hills!
Anyone else see the resemblance? Well fine. But she's still an idiot. And while we're on the subject of look-a-likes....

Robin Tunney anyone?

Anywho I happened to really enjoy this movie and it wasn't just because of those groovy tunes- although it is largely due to that. I guess I just really enjoyed how different it is from your typical Dracula horror movie. I was starting to get sick of the classic Bram Stoker tale and really "dug" how Dracula got to come back at such an iconic time in history! And while I did yearn for the re-appearance of some of Dracula's female victims- seeing Johnny Alucard's vampire styled apartment complete with coffin that doubles as a dresser, and then of course the black bath tub really made up for it.

There are many things I can imagine a true Dracula fan or even a Hammer fan would want more from in terms of this film- but if you look at it as just a film on it's own, I'd say it does a swell job of entertaining. The actual horror or fear aspect may be low but there's no denying that the movie has style! Plus it's funny and cheesy as all hell. And even though Christopher Lee has very little actual screen time- his short moments of glory are still fun to watch. Which reminds me...

It looks like Dracula forgot to pack his Visine along for the trip!

Lucky for him I always carry a spare bottle in my pocket.

Well I guess that's all I really have to say. There's no masterpiece here that's for sure- but you still have to admire what these films do on the little budget they had. Yes the blood is a little too thick and red (just the way I like it), the acting isn't great, and the actual scenes involving Dracula are sort of anti-climatic- but where else can you find a Dracula movie set in the 70s? Like I said, it's just too groovy for words. Check this out for a bit of great entertainment- and especially if you are in the mood to dance...on the couch while watching this movie. Trust me, it's a good time.

Did I mention how much I LOVE this hairstyle?

Good because I really hate it. Makes me a little nauseous actually.

I also need to download that Stoneground Alligator song. Which is the 2nd song in the clip. Groovy!


Franco Macabro said...

I really dont like this one. I didnt think Dracula mixed well with the swinging 70s London. This was during the time when Hammer wanted to modernize Dracula so they did this one and The Satanic Brides of Dracula, both of which put Dracula in a modern day setting, very unsuccessfully!

Plus, they did the same exact story they did in Taste the Blood of Dracula, a far superior picture, in my opinion.

Aaron said...

I thought this one was interesting because of it's approach on the Dracula mythos, but overall I was kinda bored with it. The music actually took me out of the film, especially the scenes where Cushing is running around and the Blaxploitation music is playing in the background. It wasn't bad, I just wasn't crazy about it.

The Mike said...

Stephanie Beacham + Caroline Munro = The Mike drools.

That's really all I've got. Sorry.

James Gracey said...

I liked this. Aside from the impossibly groovy music and the utterly funky hipsters screwing around in things that don't concern them - namely the occult - it is one of the better Dracula instalments... Seriously! I watched Taste the Blood of Dracula recently and to my horror I had to admit that it actually wasn't very good... Sorry Film Connoisseur!

B-Sol said...

Love, love, LOVE the Hammer Dracula series! By this point it had gone completely wacko, too. Dracula gets less and screen time and less and less dialogue, but they're still a lot of fun.

Aleata Illusion(GoreGoreDancer) said...

Haha,fantastic!I also would just like to mention that your kitty cats are absolutely adorable!

Anonymous said...

I will have to try this one again. I did not like this one too much really but have to review it as I want to do all the hammer dracula Fu\ilms after having (almost) reviewed all the frankenstein films.I stopped it and watched Scars of Dracula, the film right before it and I recommend you give scars a shot. I reviewed it and want to do the last two before going back to beginning (and to the best) of the Hammer Dracs.

Billy Dan

viagra online said...

really not, at least this Dracula want to invite me to fondue party, groovy, no way this Dracula inspire me so fear as a little puppet, besides look it that eyes.

Anonymous said...

Andre, how about reveiwing "Frankenstein Created Woman" (1967) its easily the best of all the hammer horror films and has a quite astonishing re-watchability factor.

Anonymous said...

Andre, i just thought of another couple of Cushing and Lee classics that you could reveiw and that have that same elusive re-watchability quality: Horror Express and The Creeping Flesh, filmed in December of `71 and February of `72 respectively, its best to watch them on the same evening in a double feature in the order in which they were made, they are both quite superb cult- classics par-excellence and it would great to hear your opinion on them.