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Dracula Prince Of Darkness [VHS] [1966]

3.9 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by minipack.
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£16.95 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by minipack.

Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer
  • Directors: Terence Fisher
  • Writers: Anthony Hinds, Bram Stoker, Jimmy Sangster
  • Producers: Anthony Nelson Keys
  • Format: VHS
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CLVS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,279 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In this sequel to 'Dracula' (1958), four English tourists are holidaying in the Carpathians when they meet the unconventional Father Sandor (Andrew Keir) at an inn. He warns them to avoid the local castle if they value their lives, but the next day the quartet find themselves stranded in the mountains after their driver abandons them. When a driverless carriage arrives they board it, intending to travel to the nearest village. However, the carriage instead takes them to the very castle which Sandor warned them against, where they are welcomed by Klove (Philip Latham), sinister manservant of Count Dracula (Christopher Lee)...

From Amazon.co.uk

As the third in what became a series of eight, Prince of Darkness was distinguished among the Hammer Dracula movies for several reasons. It was the third and last directed by Terence Fisher and his familiarity with the mythos and studio practices meant the rushed production still came out looking spectacular in places. Moving into the tail end of the 1960s, Hammer looked for ways of cost cutting: the film's dramatic finale on a frozen river takes place on a two-for-one set being used simultaneously for another shoot. This was also the series entry that included a substitute for the Renfield character missing from the first movie. Thorley Walters as Ludwig is a colourful cameo and that's also all that can be said of Christopher Lee. Despite top billing, the mute monster occupies but a fraction of the overall on-screen time. The real frights come from gaunt butler Klove who scares the life (literally) out of hapless travellers Alan, Charles, Helen and Diana. Surely their fate would ensure no-one else took the mountain pass to Carlsbad? But only two years later, audiences discovered Dracula Has Risen from the Grave.

On the DVD: apart from scene access there's nothing making use of the DVD format here. The 2.55:1 presentation is certainly welcome, and the mono audio somehow feels appropriate. --Paul Tonks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I have just done a like-for-like comparison with my really old Anchor Bay DVD copy and though on that the sound has a kind of divorced pro-synced look and sound, the blu-ray is definitely out of sync and badly so at certain points.
Also DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) has been applied quite aggressively in some places. Notably in the flashback to the original Hammer Dracula at the beginning. I was quite horrified when I first put the disc in. It has a real painting-by-numbers look about it, with all the tones flattened out. I suspect some idiot who hasn't a clue what they were doing thought all that smoke over the image was wrong. Admittedly the rest of the film visually gets better after that truly awful opening.
It beggars belief a lot of the website reviews have not picked up on this really sub-standard release. Plus even the Hammer restoration website tried to tell us everything was alright.
I suggest we all reject this release so something will be done.
What a shame after the superb Quartermass and the Pit blu-ray.
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Various reviews have surfaced online that report noticeable audio sync issues on both the blu ray and DVD copies in this set. I have cancelled my pre-order until such time that this issue is fixed and either a re-release happens or a replacement disc is announced. Very disappointing news for Hammer fans who have looked forward to a decent home video release of this film.
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Format: Blu-ray
Well I got the replacement discs today and it's a vast improvement. The sound issues have been corrected, the pretitle sequence has been totally redone. I0000% better. Still not happy at the amount of DNR in the main film but it's still the best version to date until we see what any USA company does.
Impressed with the fact that Studio Canal listened to the complaints. Hopefully there will be no more problems with the widescreen hammer films and leave the grain alone.........

Roger Shore
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
THE MOVIE

DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS is the first sequel to 1958's Hammer classic Dracula and not only one of the best Hammer Dracula movies, but also one of the best Dracula/Vampire movies in general.
Needless to say that Christopher Lee gives another superb performance as the Count, relying only on body language, his presence and charisma and mimic, as again he does not speak a single word, which is very effective as it makes him more menacing. As usual he steals the show.
Unfortunately Peter Cushing does not reprise his role in PRINCE OF DARKNESS, but there are a number of good actors to make up for his absence, namely Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews, Charles Tingwell, Barbara Shelley and Suzan Farmer.
Great direction by Terence Fisher, who doesn't rely much on effects and gore, but on a good score. I especially like the way Dracula feeds by lifting his cape, the camera remains in a distance and the picture fades out. That is brilliant filmmaking without special effects, but very effective. The actual violence is only imagined.
The very few effects PRINCE OF DARKNESS has are very dated and won't shock anyone anymore. This definitely could be a PG today.
I prefer these Hammer Dracula's to any modern Dracula movie, even to 1992's Bram Stoker's DRACULA or INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE.

RATING: 10 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2012 StudioCanal UK Blu-ray
Feature running time: 90 mins. (Unrated)
Rating: Unrated (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.36:1 / 16x9
Audio: English 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired
Chapters: 12
Extras: Commentaries, Behind the scenes, World of Hammer, Documentary, Restoration comparison, Trailers
Region: B (locked)

Picture quality: C (average picture quality, nothing spectacular)
Audio quality: B (remarkably good for 2.0 mono)
Extras: A (plenty of new extras)
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I've watched the first twenty or so minutes of this and, for the most part, the audio track is wildly out of synch with the visuals. It's apparent even in the first dialogue-free scenes when a falling trapdoor produces a bang almost a second too late. The scenes in the pub are a frame or two adrift but, by the time the travellers reach Castle Dracula, things are so out of synch it's like watching a dubbed foreign film. The problem is the same on both the Blu-ray disc and the DVD, so the fault is in the master.

I really want these Hammer Blu-rays to succeed, but this particular product is substandard. Was no quality control done at all? Studio Canal need to do the decent thing: recall and replace these discs. They also need to put in place procedures to make sure future titles are unaffected.

UPDATE (7/3/12): Hammer/Studio Canal have announced a replacement scheme. Once I have received the corrected disc I shall alter this review accordingly, presuming that the fault has been fixed.
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Notice from StudioCanal UK regarding faulty Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu-ray/DVD Double-Play discs:

"We recently discovered a small audio synch issue within a couple of scenes of the Dracula Prince Of Darkness discs that were released on the 5th of March.

This problem occurred at the authoring stage where a fix was not implemented despite being supplied.

With this in mind we will be replacing any discs that have this issue present.

Please send your proof of payment and your address to enquiries@vdcgroup.com and we will endeavour to send a working replacement to you promptly."Dracula: Prince Of Darkness [Blu-ray + DVD] [1966]
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