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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Hammer's finest achievements - but not a great DVD
Brides of Dracula was the first of Hammer's many sequels to their breakthrough hit, and it's not just the best of the series but one of their very best pictures. There's no Christopher Lee this time round - in fact, there's no Dracula at all - but there's a lot of imagination at play here in a beautifully plotted story that sees Peter Cushing's Van Helsing coming up...
Published on 21 Dec 2007 by Trevor Willsmer

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cropping of original ratio ruins Blu-ray release
Brides of Dracula is among my favourite Hammer films and it also is one of their most beautiful looking, with Terence Fisher at the height of his powers of crafting stylish films on a small budget. Brides of Dracula has a unique fairy tale look with castles bathed in candy colour lighting and I'm certain that this film was the main inspiration of Polanski's stylish Hammer...
Published 15 months ago by B. Kossmehl


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cropping of original ratio ruins Blu-ray release, 29 Sep 2013
By 
B. Kossmehl (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960] (Blu-ray)
Brides of Dracula is among my favourite Hammer films and it also is one of their most beautiful looking, with Terence Fisher at the height of his powers of crafting stylish films on a small budget. Brides of Dracula has a unique fairy tale look with castles bathed in candy colour lighting and I'm certain that this film was the main inspiration of Polanski's stylish Hammer parody Dance of the Vampires/The Fearless Vampire Killers.

I have the R1 Universal DVD as part of the The Hammer Horror Series box set, which boasts a fantastic transfer, therefore I was looking forward to upgrading this to a Blu-ray, hoping it would yield great results in HD. Unfortunately the PQ of the Blu-ray is a disappointment on almost every front. Sure, it features a little more detail but for some inexplicable reason Final Cut Entertainment decided to reformat the original 1.66:1 ration to something like 2.10:1 by cutting a considerable amount off the image at the bottom. This unbalances many of the careful compositions, even cutting off characters chins in closeups. Why they thought that would be a great idea is beyond me because it doesn't make any sense. Adding to that, the print used is considerably more grainy than the one used for the R1 DVD and the colours are far warmer, frequently giving characters a tanned face colour when they looked suitably pale in the DVD.

What a shame as this was one of my most anticipated releases this year.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 4:3 inferior edition, 17 Oct 2007
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What an outrage. This company has released this title and Evil of Frankenstein as a 4:3 non amorphic release. Tho' still nice print quality, information has been lost at the sides of the picture. The films were released last year as part of the Universal R1 boxset as very nice anamorphic 16:9 transfers. However, many people have had problems with these double sided DVds not playing so it was heaven sent when we heard news that these two films were coming to R2. My advice is if you want R2 to purchase the German Koch media releases - these are anamorphic like the R1 releases and play in english (without subtitles) and German - currently available are Brides and the Curse of the Werewolf. Interestingly these British editions falsely claim on the back 'never been released before!'
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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Concern over the new blu Ray aspect ratio.August 25 2013, 24 Oct 2007
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
There has been advance warning that this blu ray is not in the correct ratio (ie blu ray dot com quoting the promotional material etc) . Despite the claims of the distributor to the contrary on the Amazon product description, the film should be in 1:66 ratio NOT 2 to 1 which will remove significant image material and destabilise the composition of the frame. If some cinemas masked the print to give it a "widescreen" feel they did it in defiance of the filmmakers intention. After all the fuss about the cropped DVD release a few years ago I find it impossible to believe a company is releasing yet another incorrectly cropped version for a "specialist" fan base audience on blu ray!!! I have cancelled my pre-order and I await, with great interest, to see what the reality will be and, if the film is incorrectly cropped yet again, how film fans respond. Why is it so difficult for companies to get such things right? Looking at the latest reviews on this page it does appear as if this new blu ray is a cropped print with sections of the frame missing but in other respects a decent transfer albeit rather "grainy".Presumably those reviewers received advance copies. I still feel that after years of waiting we deserve better and that those who do purchase this product should be made aware of the aspect ratio they are bring given - for better or worse. The production history of this film was troubled to say the least with the censor demanding major changes to the plot etc at the earliest stages - it's sad indeed that even in 21century it's still a cause for controversy over what should have been a much sort after blu ray transfer.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Hammer's finest achievements - but not a great DVD, 21 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Brides of Dracula was the first of Hammer's many sequels to their breakthrough hit, and it's not just the best of the series but one of their very best pictures. There's no Christopher Lee this time round - in fact, there's no Dracula at all - but there's a lot of imagination at play here in a beautifully plotted story that sees Peter Cushing's Van Helsing coming up against David Peel's Baron Meinster, a follower of Dracula's vampire cult, after Yvonne Monlaur's schoolteacher ill-advisedly releases him from the shackles his not-as-mad-as-she-looks mother keeps him in.

There's a lot going on beneath the stylish surface here - a psychiatrist could probably have a field day with the curious relationship between Peel and Martita Hunt ("We pray for death, both of us. At least, I hope he prays"), not to mention Van Helsing's visible discomfort in the company of women - but it never overwhelms the plot, and there's no shortage of memorable scenes, from the professor treating a rather nasty bite he just got to the servant silently offering pointers to a newly created vampire on its first outing as one of the undead. Reuniting most of the behind-the-cameras talent from their first Dracula film and throwing in a rather splendid climax in a burning windmill, this is definitely one of Hammer's finest hours. Sadly, though one of their best looking pictures, like the overcopped first Hammer Dracula the UK DVD of Brides is also a bit of a disappointment - no extras and in the wrong ratio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VAN HELSING RETURNS IN A GOOD VAMPIRE MOVIE, ALBEIT WITHOUT DRACULA. TITLE IS MISLEADING THOUGH., 18 Jun 2014
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THE MOVIE

This sequel to 1958's DRACULA does not feature Dracula at all, but rather focuses on a man named Baron Meinster, a member of the Cult of the Undead (or in other words your run-of-the-mill vampire). The title BRIDES OF DRACULA is misleading, as the "brides" ("sired" vampires) are not Dracula's but Baron Meinster's.
Peter Cushing reprises his role as Dr. Van Helsing returning to Transylvania to do research on vampirism. Needless to say that this great actor does a terrific and convincing job.
Generally the acting in this Hammer Production is top notch, starring David Peel as the Baron, Martita Hunt, Yvonne Monlaur and Freda Jackson.
Directed by Terence Fisher, director of the original DRACULA and PRINCE OF DARKNESS.
The effects - especially the bat - are very dated and just look bad, but since the movie was released in 1960 it would be unfair to judge it by that.
BRIDES OF DRACULA scores where most of the Hammer productions score: the sets are just marvelous, we have the Hammeresque atmosphere at work here and the costumes and setting in general are great.
The movie is re-rated 12 by the BBFC not 18 as the cover art wrongly displays.
BRIDES OF DRACULA is not the best sequel to the legendary 1958 classic, but by far not the worst. I did miss Lee as Dracula - Peel makes a descent Meinster, but he is no real substitute for the king of the vampires. It was never really stated why Lee didn't appear in BRIDES OF DRACULA, but he repeatedly needed to be convinced to play in later sequels, as he did not want to play Dracula again.

THE DVD

Reviewed version: 2007 Showbox/Universal UK DVD
Feature running time: 82 mins. (uncut)
Rating: Not rated (MPAA) / 12 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (non-anamorphic)
Audio: English 2.0
Subtitles: NONE
Chapters: 10
Extras: Theatrical trailer, Stills gallery
Region: 2

Picture: D
Audio: C
Extras: F
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER HAMMER CLASSIC, 18 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960] (Blu-ray)
This classic HAMMER movie is down as being the follow up to DRACULA and even says his BRIDES in the title but has nothing to do with the first movie and even says on the poster THE MOST EVIL DRACULA OF ALL yet he is not called this in the movie.Besides all of that about the movie itself well what we have is a HAMMER classic with PETER CUSHING is back as DOCTOR VAN HELSING on top form great sets and a climax thats as good as the one in the first movie in fact TIM BURTON payed tribute to this in the climax of his movie SLEEPY HOLLOW.Now about the disc the picture is good as is the sound i have an 8ft wide picture and it looks great.Now for the extras we have THE MAKING OF BRIDES O F DRACULA also A STILLS GALLERY and a nice trailer for the movie.I have read one or two reviews of people saying stuff like the movie is not in the right aspect ratio etc but if it is or not it is not that important if you are watching this movie on a tv as you are not watching the movie how it was made to be seen anyway these movies were made for the big screen and to see them the way they were made you have to see them this way.iT Is so so sad that people can now only review these great classic movies by what they see on there tv and not see there full impact on the big screen Anyway love this disc and movie so if you are a HAMMER fan buy it
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Format, 23 Oct 2007
I have been looking forward to this release for some time. The quality of the print is good and there are some nice stills, but I couldn't believe it when I found out it was full frame and not the correct widescreen format. These releases are for a particular fan base and the correct format is a basic requirement to me. Very disappointing, I hope they correct this in future releases.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hammer horror NOT well represented on Blu-ray, 2 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960] (Blu-ray)
The Brides of Dracula is one of the great early classics from the famed British studio but alas the blu-ray print is cropped top and bottom and is awash with grain, too much so which obscures a lot of the detail you'd expect from a high definition transfer. In comparison The Evil of Frankenstein blu-ray transfer is far better even if the film itself is inferior.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars FIRST MARRIAGE TO BLU RAY .. BUT BRIDES NOT LOOKING THEIR BEST!, 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960] (Blu-ray)
This review,and the star rating,is for the UK BR (Zone B) release and not for the movie itself (which is one of Hammer's greatest).
I held off getting this one due to the negative reviews which I'd read,but finally took the plunge when I requested it for a gift last month.
In a word - disappointed (although not unduly surprised, having read the reviews).
The grain is VERY heavy and intrusive; at times and on certain backgrounds the screen seemed to be pulsating with some form of sinister microbial lifeform! In fact this is the most distracting grain which I can recall seeing on any DVD or BR which I have recently viewed. It's almost as if the grain were actually magnified,if such a thing is possible - I'm sure some of the technical fans out there can explain if this is so.
This certainly spoilt my viewing of the film and to my mind there is no doubt that the R1 DVD offers a more pleasing viewing experience (and that's even before considering the question of aspect ratio).
This is no criticism of Final Cut who I'm sure did the best they could with the source material made available to them by Universal. I just hope that Universal will get round to releasing a Zone A BR and return to the original negative for this.I understand that the original still exists.If so, we can live in hope. Universal have shown that they can do a magnificent job when they are minded to,as with their Classic Monsters BR Box Set.
How's about a BR Box Set of the Hammer films to which Universal hold the rights (as released in their R1 DVD set) properly remastered and all in the correct aspect ratio this time?
Universal .. please!!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ripped off again!!, 19 Nov 2007
This is a fantastic film, well-deserving its cult status as one of Hammer's best-loved classics. The direction, production and acting are all first rate and it is a shining example of the best of the horror genre from the 1960s. It should get 5 stars, but...

Why do we consumers get constantly ripped off by the companies producing these DVDs (and before that, VHS tapes)? To release this film after the long wait in a format which completely wastes Terence Fisher's excellently atmospheric direction is not just a shame, it is an artistic crime.

The problem is that the companies don't care one little bit, as long as they make their money. Another problem is that enough consumers either are ignorant of these travesties or THEY don't really care either. Those who DO know and DO care should refuse to buy this DVD, or return it to the company who made it, complaining. Maybe then, they would listen. Maybe...

All I can say is thank heavens for Amazon and others enabling reviewers to warn potential customers about being ripped off. At least with a bit of knowledge as to what we SHOULD be getting but are ACTUALLY being given, people can make an informed decision about spending their money on a bad product or not. Rather than buy this and then have to re-purchase the inevitable "special edition" (i.e. what it should have been in the first place) I will cross my fingers, put up some garlic bulbs, say a prayer and wait.
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The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960]
The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960] by Terence Fisher (Blu-ray - 2013)
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