For the US release of Hammer's fourth Dracula film (only the third to actually feature Christopher Lee, the Count sitting out Brides of Dracula), Warner Bros. used a one-sheet of a woman's neck with a sticking plaster on it, following the title Dracula Has Risen From the Grave with the single word 'Obviously.' The film itself, however, is anything but tongue-in-cheek, and played deadly straight with a conviction the series gradually lost over the years. It's probably the best-looking of all the Hammer Dracula sequels, and also the first where Christopher Lee actually speaks. As usual he's almost a background figure for much of the film, with the bulk of the film carried by Barry Andrews' atheist student romancing Veronica Carlson's niece of Rupert Davies' Monsignor, who inadvertently starts the blood flowing again when his attempt to exorcise Dracula's castle only results in the Count being revived from his icy grave by blood from a convenient cut. Finding himself cast out of his home and aided by Ewan Hooper's terrified priest (Renfield presumably being otherwise engaged), Dracula determines to take his revenge on Davies and his kin, stopping off en route for a light snack with Barbara Ewing's busty redheaded barmaid.
With a prologue that takes place before Dracula, Prince of Darkness and the main body of the film taking place a year later, it takes some liberties with the vampire mythology: the revived Dracula's first appearance is as a reflection, he has no problem removing crosses from willing girls' necks while a stake alone is no longer enough to kill him: you have to pray as well, which is a bit of a problem when your hero doesn't believe in God. Yet they're not as jarring as they might be, the latter resulting in one particularly memorably gory sequence. The change in director from Terence Fisher, sadly in decline at that time and unavailable due to a car crash, to Freddie Francis gives the film less of a production-line feel than most of the studio's Dracula series and, despite an awkward filter in some scenes and a distinctly jaundiced look for the Count, the film has a much more expansive look and feel almost unique in the series, with a striking and well-employed rooftop set courtesy of undervalued production designer Bernard Robinson and some relatively unfamiliar Pinewood standing sets rather than the overused backlot at Bray. He gets good performances too, with a particularly nice turn from Michael Ripper as an amiable innkeeper (as opposed to his usual miserable and terrified innkeepers).
Unfortunately while the PAL DVD boasts excellent colour and definition, some shots look oddly distorted, as if stretched, and the sound wanders in and out of synch far too often for comfort. On the plus side it does restore the censor cuts of about half a dozen gallons of blood spurting from Dracula's chest after he gets staked and includes the original trailer.
Not having seen this for a long time, to watch it again now in widescreen on a big TV was a real treat. Its certainly as good as Dracula Prince of Darkness, though not as good as the original, which for me is the best Hammer film as made.
The main reasons for its success are Freddie Francis direction, James Bernard for another classic score, and the films use of Christopher Lee. Unlike in the later sequels, in this film Lee has plenty to do and makes many appearances throughout the film. Interesting watching it for the first time on DVD it does look to me as though Christopher Lee was wearing a wig. Not that surprising since he was 46 years old when this was made.
The film has a genuinely gothic feel to it, and although not in the least bit scary by todays standards, there are nevertheless one or two creepy moments. Of the rest of the cast Rupert Davies as the Monsignor is perhaps the best, in fact I would of like to have seen more of his character in the film.
The only extra on the DVD is the original trailer. There are no commentaries or outtakes which is a pity.
Its a shame that Peter Cushing didn't appear in the first two sequels. His presence would have improved the film. Nevertheless this is probably equal 2nd best with Dracula Prince of Darkness and gets 3.5 stars from me.
on 15 June 2014
DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE is another great entry in Hammer Studio's fantastic Dracula series with the superb Christopher Lee reprising his role as Count Dracula. Lee doesn't have much screen time in the middle section, but when he does make an appearance he takes the field. His presence is menacing as ever, definitely one of the greatest actors of all times.
Also starring the beautiful Veronica Carlson and Rupert Davies as the Monsignor.
Directed this time by Freddie Francis instead of Terence Fisher, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE delivers the same great Gothic atmosphere as its predecessors, the costumes and sets are equally impressive and work well.
My only complaint about this third sequel to 1958's DRACULA (the second to star Christopher Lee) is that too much screen time in the first third is given to the romance between Barry Andrews (Paul) and Carlson (Maria). Davies' character could have been used a little more instead.
There are some of the best scenes of the series in DRACULA HAS RISEN, like the battle on the roof top filmed with a red filter - though rather short it looks just gorgeous! I also liked the beginning in the bell tower a lot and maybe the most intense and best finale of any in the series.
It was surprisingly rated G in the US, but it features some really bloody scenes, including a really well executed staking scene, which would definitely be an R today, while other effects appear rather dated (it was made in 1968).
While DRACULA HAS RISEN will not make anyone jump anymore today - it just isn't scary - I would choose this over ANY Dracula movie made nowadays anyway, especially with the likes of TWILIGHT out there.
RATING: 10 / 10
Reviewed version: 2009 Warner Bros. UK DVD
Feature running time: 89 mins. (uncut)
Rating: G (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 / 16:9 (anamorphic)
Audio: English, French, German (all 2.0 dual mono)
Subtitles: English, French, German, Dutch, Hebrew, Swedish, Greek, Hungarian, Arabic, English for the Hearing Impaired, German for the Hearing Impaired
Extras: Theatrical Trailer
Extras: Only the theatrical trailer (F)
on 3 October 2006
"Dracula Has Risen From The Grave", has to be one of the best Dracula movies of all time. The film has a rich gothic feeling to it, and Christopher Lee makes the most of his role. He doesn't have much to say, but his presence as the bloodthirsty count are among the finest on the silver screen. Tall, dark and menacing. You don't have to rely on expensive special effects when you have an actor like Chris Lee around. A rock solid production.
on 13 November 2013
This has always been my favourite of the Hammer Dracula films, & it seems to have all the elements for a classic story.
It follows on from events in 'Dracula - Prince of Darkness' (although the filming has now switched from Hammer's spiritual home in Bray to Elstree, where it would remain for the remainder of the series).
In an Eastern-European village at the turn of the 20th century, villagers refuse to attend Mass at the Catholic church because the shadow of Dracula's castle touches it. To bring an end to their fears, the Monsignor climbs to the castle to exorcise it...
I love this intro with the Monsignor climbing the mountain above the stricken village with a terrified local priest. He then makes a final bold attempt to 'exorcise' the castle by attaching a large crucifix to its front door... amid the usual thunder & lightning.
The priest flees in fright, falls & hits the rocks, the blood from his head-wound trickling through a crack in the ice in the direction of the corpse of you-know-who... which sets us up nicely for the once-again resurrected Dracula (with the priest now under his control) to resume his stranglehold on the village, as he seeks fresh victims.
Dracula is none-too-impressed with the unwanted cross on his door either, & is out for revenge!
Christopher Lee is characteristically mute for most of the film, but his very presence inspires menace every time he's on the screen. The music score is memorable & atmospheric, & the village & castle are well-realized, despite obvious budgetary restrictions. The forest itself feels foreboding too, & the sight of Dracula at the helm of his coach & horses by night is enough to strike terror into the hearts of anyone who's unfortunate enough to get in his way!
It's presented here too in widescreen format, although devoid of any extras.
on 24 January 2012
I rather like 'Dracula has risen from the grave'. Admittedly it is not as good as Hammer's original 1958 Dracula movie, but it is still, in my opinion, one of the studio's better Dracula sequels. The director, Freddie Francis, began his career as a cinematographer, and so it was probably his decision to make the interesting use of colour filters, which helps to enhance the film's atmosphere. The production designer on this film is Hammer regular Bernard Robinson, and his work here includes some very impressive sets, such as the exterior of Dracula's castle and the village church.
The cast includes several members of Hammer's unofficial repertory company. Christopher Lee has relatively little screen time in his eponymous role as the vampire count, but he is still very effective when he does appear. Veronica Carlson does her best with the part of Maria, an underwritten role in my view, but Veronica makes the character sympathetic and believable. Best of all there is Michael Ripper, who is excellent as Max, the genial innkeeper. The script, written by Anthony Hinds using the pen name of John Elder, will not win any prizes for the inventiveness of its plotting, but it is still a serviceable piece of writing.
In conclusion this film may not be as good as earlier Hammer triumphs like 'Curse of Frankenstein' (1957) and 'Dracula' (1958), but it is a lot better than later Hammer films such as 'Scars of Dracula' (1970). The Warner Brothers DVD is presented with mono sound, and an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. The DVD has a good quality print of the film, subdivided into twenty three chapters, but the only extra material is the original theatrical trailer.
on 20 February 2015
This film was Hammer's fourth Dracula film, released in 1968 and the third to star Christopher Lee as The Count. I have a bit of a love and hate opinion towards this film, because it is quite enjoyable, but very far from Hammer's best. It is supposed to be a Dracula film, but The Count takes a back seat for most of the film and it focuses instead on the two main love interests, Paul and Maria. Paul is played by Barry Andrews, who went on to appear in Blood On Satan's Claw in 1970 and Maria is played by Veronica Carlson, in her first Hammer film. She was one of the most beautiful women to have ever worked for Hammer, in my opinion. Dracula's nemesis is the Monsignor, played by Maigret's Rupert Davies, but he is hardly in the film for very long, either. However, it is a much superior film to Taste The Blood Of Dracula which followed, but not a patch on Hammer's previous Dracula films. As noted in a previous review, the picture and sound quality are quite acceptable, with good colours and detail, but the constantly out-of-synch soundtrack is very noticeable and is quite distracting. I give this three stars, because it is still enjoyable and watchable, even though The Count is not really the main character. If you want a much better Hammer Dracula film, then I recommend the original Dracula, Brides Of Dracula or Dracula Prince Of Darkness instead.
on 26 November 2015
This relates to the Warner Brothers U.S. Blu-Ray release, and is information based.
I can confirm that this is Region-free, and will play in U.K. Region B Blu-Ray players.
It is also remastered and 1080p upscaled.
on 13 July 2012
This third installment starring Christoper Lee is easily on a par with the first Dracula film.
For me Prince of Darkness was underwhelming, but Dracula Has Risen from the Grave corrects this.
Lee as the vampire is superb, he doesn't say much but it's what he does say that is chilling. He has a total hatred for everything.
What really makes this film is the fine acting mixed with different characters. The two priests, one very likeable and one going to the dark side. The boyfriend and his honesty. What a great tension filled scene when he tells the priest at dinner that he is an atheist. Talking about tension, the moment that Dracula bites into the hot blonde is filled with it. He failed once, will he fail again?
This is a wonderful film, a classic slice of British horror from a forgotten era. One of the best Dracula films Hammer ever done.
on 13 September 2012
i like this dracula film. rupert davies gives one of the best performances of his career and the scene he has in the tavern is one of the film's many highlights.
i feel christopher lee has more to do in this one and the fact that he has dialogue helps a great deal. veronica carlson is effective as the film's female lead. i detect on-screen chemistry between her and chrisopher lee in their scenes together. bringing up the rear, is old-hand and hammer regular michael ripper. a hammer film wouldn't be the same without him!
i like the music in this one, it is quite an erotic and thought-provoking piece that is used effectively throughout the film.
the direction and screenplay are well above average and i would go so far as to call "dracula has risen from the grave" one of the best hammer films from the company's time at elstree studios.