- 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)
Dracula Prince Of Darkness [VHS] 
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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)...
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.........
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
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
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)
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.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to send a working replacement to you promptly."Dracula: Prince Of Darkness [Blu-ray + DVD] 
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After the massive disappointment of "Brides of Dracula" -- which had neither Dracula nor his brides -- Hammer Studios managed to woo back the great Christopher Lee to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by E. A Solinas
I can remember when I first saw the trailer for this in the cinema and how scary it was. Still brill after all these yearsPublished 3 months ago by Mr Richard Jones