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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (Un)dead groovy, man!
Seeing this film again on DVD brings back fond memories as this was one of the first horror films I ever saw.

Nowadays this film seems very tame indeed (it was made before The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Freddy & Jason etc) but it is still a lot of fun. For starters it has a terrific cast. Christopher Lee is of course Count Dracula and Peter...
Published on 13 Feb 2007 by Jeremy W. Newbould

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like, Taste the Blood of Dracula, kids!
For reasons known only to the author, Bram Stoker's Dracula never included the line "Sergeant, I'll bet you a pound to a pinch of s**t that there's a little piece of hash at that party, and if there is, I've got them.", but the early 70s saw that particular oversight put right. Dracula A.D. 1972 saw Hammer trying to pump new life into the old Count with a new creative...
Published on 15 Dec 2007 by Trevor Willsmer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like, Taste the Blood of Dracula, kids!, 15 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
For reasons known only to the author, Bram Stoker's Dracula never included the line "Sergeant, I'll bet you a pound to a pinch of s**t that there's a little piece of hash at that party, and if there is, I've got them.", but the early 70s saw that particular oversight put right. Dracula A.D. 1972 saw Hammer trying to pump new life into the old Count with a new creative team whose big idea was basically to rehash the plot of Taste the Blood of Dracula in the 1970s with Christopher Neame in the Ralph Bates role as Johnny Alucard, here conning a thrill-seeking group of with it kids (Michael Kitchen and Caroline Munro among them) into making a date with the Devil with a Black Mass at the deconsecrated church that not only holds Lawrence Van Helsing's body (Lawrence? Whatever happened to Abraham?) and Dracula's ashes. "Okay, okay. But if we do get to summon up the big daddy with the horns and the tail, he gets to bring his own liquor, his own bird and his own pot."

As with the Godzilla films, the main attraction is kept off the screen for most of the running time - top-billed Christopher Lee's role is probably smaller in this than any other in the series, four brief scenes probably totalling no more than ten minutes. Worse still, looking more like Peter Sellers than Transylvanian aristocracy, he brings nothing except continuity to the part: he does what is asked of him with professionalism, but that's about it. Instead the bulk of the film is carried by Neame's Malcolm McDowell wannabe, second-billed Peter Cushing as Van Helsing's grandson Lorimar, Stephanie Beacham and Michael Coles' open-minded cop ("There is a Satan." "Of course. Otherwise we wouldn't need a police force, would we?"). Yet despite the clumsily handled prologue and finale it's fairly entertaining even if it is completely derivative, perhaps even more entertaining now than when it was released because its hip and happening trappings are far funnier than the intentional comic relief - not least Johnny Alucard urging "Dig the music, kids!" during the black mass - and it's a lot better than Dracula 2000.

The DVD also includes the wonderfully over the top trailer - "Are you ready? He's ready. He's waiting to freak you out - right out of this world!" - but not the short making of documentary from when the picture was still called Dracula Today (other rejected titles included Dracula Chases the Mini Girls and Dracula Chelsea '72!).
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (Un)dead groovy, man!, 13 Feb 2007
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
Seeing this film again on DVD brings back fond memories as this was one of the first horror films I ever saw.

Nowadays this film seems very tame indeed (it was made before The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Freddy & Jason etc) but it is still a lot of fun. For starters it has a terrific cast. Christopher Lee is of course Count Dracula and Peter Cushing plays Lorimar Van Helsing, a modern day descendant of Lawrence Van Helsing. The Hammer Glamour is mainly provided by Stephanie Beacham (as Lorimar Van Helsing's grand daughter, Jessica) and the amazing Caroline Munro.

The movie begins with an all-action prologue with Lawrence Van Helsing (also played by Cushing) battling Dracula onboard a speeding horse-drawn coach in Hyde Park. The coach eventually crashes and Dracula is impaled on the spokes of a broken wheel (ouch!!!). Van Helsing also dies but not until he has witnessed the evil Count (no Carry On-Style gag intended there) reduced to a pile of dust. However, someone else has also witnessed the Count's demise...

The opening credits roll and we are then transported 100 years forward to the present day (well 1972, anyway). Dracula is resurrected by one of his disciples Johnny Alucard (hmmm... I wonder what you get if you spell that surname backwards?) in a black mass ceremony involving lots of blood and Dracula then sets out to wreak revenge on the Van Helsings by planning to make Jessica his vampire bride.

There are some wonderful set pieces in this film - the opening sequence is very well done and the showdown between Lorimar Van Helsing and Johnny Alucard is memorable. I have to say though that Dracula is dispatched quite easily at the film's climax (something which is not uncommon in the Hammer Dracula films) but before this happens Cushing and Lee at least get to indulge in a battle of wits with Cushing using a variety of "weapons" against the Count.

I know some Hammer fans are not over-enthusiastic about this film but I have always found it very enjoyable and it is good to see this film released on DVD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dracula AD 1972 - Fangtastic attempt at injecting new blood into a tired series, 21 Sep 2009
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
Some 14 years and five sequels on from `The Horror of Dracula', the original and best Hammer film starring Christopher Lee as the anaemic Count and Peter Cushing as his stake wielding nemesis Van Helsing, comes this rather interesting attempt at reviving the ailing series.

Following from the success of the original film, a whole series of sequels followed. The quality got steadily worse, until the absolute nadir was reached with camp and terrible `The Scars of Dracula', which preceded this film. None of the films repeated the pairing of Lee and Cushing, until this one.

Deciding to try and recapture some of the old magic, and trying to take the series in a new direction, the producers brought back the classic double act of Lee and Cushing, and took the brave decision to update the series from the eighteenth century Gothic settings that had made Hammer's name, and set it in contemporary London.

Largely, it works well. Dracula is an undead being, with unlimited lifespan, so why not? The presence of Van Helsing 100 years after his last appearance is easily and believably explained by his being the grandson of the original. Lee and Cushing are both, as usual, excellent value for money, and in their scenes together the old magic does show through a bit. Stephanie Beecham is pretty good as Van Helsing's granddaughter, who is unwittingly involved in the resurrection of you know who, and becomes the target of his vengeance on the Van Helsing line. And Michael Cole is excellent as the police officer investigating a series of strange killings in which all of the victim's blood has been drained from their bodies - sound familiar to anyone?

The bad points are that the depictions of `Swinging London' have dated terribly, and some of the actors playing the thrill seeking young people are a bit wooden. And Johnny Alucard's name isn't exactly a subtle clue...

In general, this is exactly what the producers had intended - 90 minutes of entertaining fun. It's always interesting seeing how Hammer are going to bring back the fanged one this time, and the scenes are nicely built up and well done here. The general plot is quite good, and certain scenes, especially Alucard's destruction, are highly entertaining. Not quite as good as the original, but not a bad attempt.

This DVD presents the film in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, with a mono soundtrack. The print has not undergone any restoration, but nonetheless is pretty good with a minimum of artefacts. DVD extras are sparse, consisting of the original theatrical trailer.

Recommended to any fans of the genre - just don't be put off by the very dated feel of contemporary London.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful clear print, 15 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
I remember seeing this when we were up in Leicester on a double glazing convention at the Holiday Inn in 1973. It was on as a double bill with Theatre of Blood at the Cinecentre (a sub-porno cinema with a lush bar) that was handy for the bookies, working girls and all-night blues dances. The film is a successful portrayal of the hippie ideology: sex drugs and Satanism. Only ‘Gimmie Shelter’ runs a close second in debunking the peace and love myth.

Stephanie Beecham is outstanding in the lead role and the highlight of the film as it reaches its climax is when Van Helsing painstakingly discovers that Mr ALUCARD may indeed be a wrong un.

Speaking of Leicester, this was the setting of the marvellous 1980s ‘Connie’ starring the glamorous Ms Beecham in a Dallas meets the midlands rag trade drama. It was supposed to be set in Nottingham but I recognised those Leicester bookies, boozers and red light districts. I still dig out my old VHS copy when the lady wife is away and Stephanie never fails to please.

Dorothy, (the good lady wife) cannot bear horror films (apart from Salon Kitty) so I watched this DVD sharing our black leather sofa with the voluptuous Marjorie from next door. Needless to say the mix of dolly birds and Lees’ erotic charge got us going and one thing led to another. So Marjorie and I had an early night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To me this is actually the best of all the Hammer Dracula movies, 17 July 2014
This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
To me this is actually the best of all the Hammer Dracula movies. It has a darkness about it that makes it the scariest of all of them. Especially the resurrection of Dracula in the church. Alucard's character is actually reciting the names of real (at least mythically) demons. Caroline Monro's (what a sexy woman!, wish she was in it till the end) demise is scary and erotic! And the opening scene in Hyde Park is also great. As well as the final fight in the church. If there had been a couple more scenes like that in the movie, it would of been thought of a lot better today. That's my only criticism. Apart from those three scenes, you don't see that much more of Dracula. Wish they had shot more scenes that were edited out. Be great to suddenly get a new 'Extended' edition! However, As far as I know they didn't. However, Stephanie Beecham is also a great looker, and she is another good reason to watch it. (And she's in it till the end!)

Those who say it shouldn't of been set in modern London, think about it. If Dracula (and vampires in general) actually existed for real, they wouldn't of just lived in Transylvania of the past. Unless someone killed them, (and Dracula always comes back) they would be here with us today. And it stands to reason they would go to big cities like London, where they could pick their prey amongst millions. Indeed, the Dracula of Bram Stokers actual novel travels to Whitby in England.

Anyway, like I said at the beginning. I love this movie. It's by far my favourite of all the Dracula films. Dark set pieces, Eerie music, Caroline Monro, Stephanie Beecham. Fantastic!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film, with an undeserved reputation, 7 Feb 2011
By 
Robert Webley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
Many reviews of this film complain about telling the Dracula story in (what was then) the present, saying that this story belongs in some distant past setting. This is exactly the same criticism that was levelled against Stoker's book when it was first published. He too had put Dracula in modern day London, and the critics didn't like it then either.
Sticking with Stoker's novel, the epilogue is an excerpt from Harker's journal saying that they would not tell the world their story, but keep all the journals in the safe until Mina's child was old enough to read them. So every Dracula film where everyone has heard of Dracula, and immediately knows how to fight off a vampire is totally going against Stoker's story. Only this film stays true to the original book, nobody knows who Dracula is, or even what vampires are. Even Alucard's name (so obvious to us) would not have been at all obvious in a world where the name Dracula was not known.
So, that's two reasons that this could be considered the film that is most faithful to Stoker's original vision.
There are other things to like in there too, Cushing and Lee reunited, Stephanie Beacham, the beautiful Caroline Munro, the excellent Stoneground (two of their CDs are available here on Amazon) Christopher Neame,
and did I mention Caroline Munro? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
And then there's the plot, which is often referred to as weak and formulaic, but I would argue that in the context of the time, it was in fact a very brave and edgy plot. It goes like this...

There's a bunch of easy going, happy go lucky hippies, then one charismatic man becomes their leader, and corrupts them so entirely that they become the epitome of evil, filled with unspeakable bloodlust.

To make a film with that plot, so soon after the Manson family shocked the world, I think deserves much more praise than it gets.
All in all, a great little film, far closer to Stoker's original vision than many others, fun, entertaining, and deserving of a better reputation than it has.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly starring Stephanie Beacham's knockers..., 9 Jan 2009
By 
Ian Armer (Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
I flat out apologise in advance for this review, but the BEST thing about Dracula A.D. 1972 is, frankly, the awe inspiring sight of the lovley Miss Beachams heaving cleavage in a variety of skimpy/see through tops. Yes, it's sexist, I'm sorry (sort of) but Hammer made a habit of 'this sort of thing' and obviously my low brow expectations were well and truly met. Of course, the equally lovely Caroline Munroe is in the mix as well, but she's dispatched rather early but not before having copious amounts of blood spilt over her - you guessed it - heaving cleavage.

Despite being rather 'cleavage heavy' (no pun intended) A.D. 1972 perversely works rather well even though it is stupid to the point of absurdity. 'Groovy' kids, led by Johnny Alucard, raise Dracula in a bizarre ritual of music you can dig and 70's (60's surely?) trippy, drug induced hypnosis in which everbody gets a little hot under the collar and - shock! - two people kiss! Ah well, the good Count is back from the dead and it is up to Lorimar Van Helsing to assist the Bluebottles in solving a spree of mutilations across..er..Chelsea.

The fact that this movie is exactly the same as every other Dracula film produced by Hammer means familiarity breeds contempt. Christopher Lee's Dracula is a lazy Count, doing little and striking enigmatic poses in his gothic church as Alucard and his cronies attempt to capture Van Helsing's granddaughter (luckily, the ever heaving Miss Beacham again!) so Dracula can kill her. Not much of a plot, sure, but the actual saving grace of the film is the casting of Peter Cushing and - incredibly - the 70's backdrop.

The film is well shot, pacy, quite well acted and has a few moments of bright red blood spurting fun before the inevitable cross disolve/back to ashes climax (Dracula fans will know what I mean). So NOT the utter disaster I was expecting, but just more of the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars for me, 18 Mar 2010
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula A.D. 1972 [DVD] (DVD)
I couldn't give this 4 stars. However I hadn't seen the film for decades and as a long standing fan of Hammmer films I purchased it, more as a way of completing my set of Hammer Dracula films.

But this was a surprise. Very much more entertaining than I remember and whilst its hardly an art film (OK not all!) it is actally far better filmed than I remembered from previous viewings. Its helped no end by the return of Peter Cushing. Taste the Blood of Dracula and Scars of Dracula in particular suffer badly in comparison because of his absence. Christopher Lee is also given a little more to do in this film, and the scene in the church where he first appears is perhaps the films high point.

It is a film of its time (or a little earlier as the Amazon reviewer points out) and that in itself is interesting. The fashions and cars on display will amaze some of the younger generation.

So overall this is worth getting if its cheap. Its not in the same class as the first of the Hammer Draculas and the first two sequels are both better, but it is fun and interesting to watch.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't knock it!, 7 July 2002
By 
G. Francis "darth_jurious" (Lincoln, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula Ad 1972 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Well, I've recently become a Chris Lee fan, and I caught this film on TV. Despite its reputation, I'd have to say that this is a really enjoyable lil film.
Lee is great, as is Cushing - two legendary and amazing actors. Though the plot is a lil weak and predictable, and the whole thing looks very dated, it just reminds you of how much films used to concentrate on being good fun - something I find amiss today in the pressurising film industry, where most films are out to just try and be the 'biggest ever'.
The music is terrible, but the sets are gorgeous, and Mr.Lee's Dracula is... well... the greatest! What a voice he has, and a stunning presence.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cushing and Lee reunited but in a Dracula movie set in 1972?, 13 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Dracula a.D. 1972 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"Dracula A.D. 1972" finally reunited Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as Dracula and Van Helsing, but besides the novelty of Hammer Studio setting this film in the "present" there is little to recommend this offering. The movie begins 100 years earlier, as the duo battle to the death. But after Dracula turns to dust and Van Helsin dies from his wounds, one of the vampire's minions comes along and scoops up the Count's ashes. A century later the minion's descendant Johnny Alucard (Christopher Neame) is running some swinging London club when he decides the time is ripe to use the ashes to revive the Count. Once corpses drained of their blood start popping up around town, Inspect Murray of Scotland Yard (Michael Coles) visits Lorrimer Van Helsing (the grandson of the Lawrence who died in the prologue) and his granddaughter Jessica (Stephanie Beacham), who does not trust anybody over 30 whether they are undead or whatever. In the end, Van Helsing will again find a new way of disposing of his ancient foe.
As it was the first time around, Cushing is the dominant presence in this film, not only because his Van Helsing is the hero but also because once again Lee's Dracula is reduced to a minor character. Even more detrimental to the finished film, screenwriter Don Houghton simply does not know what to do with the idea of Dracula running amuck in present-day London. Except for the club with the awful rock band Stoneground, the story would work just as well in 1872 London or Transylvania for that matter. Only Cushing's performance makes "Dracula A.D. 1972" worth watching.
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