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One Of The Very Best Hammer Horrors
on 6 December 2013
This film was first released in 1958. It was the first of Hammer's Dracula series and the second Hammer film to feature Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee together, though Cushing gets top billing here. I have always loved this film, it is a true horror classic and one of the greatest Hammer Horrors, if not the greatest. This edition is in my mind the best version of this film released to date in this country and features two different versions of the film - the earlier BFI restored version of the film and the 2013 version. The BFI version features no extra footage, whereas the 2013 version includes extra footage in the seduction of Mina and the death of Dracula scenes, both of which are of reasonable quality. This footage was originally censored by the BBFC in 1958 and was thought to be lost forever, until it appeared in a fire-damaged Japanese print recently. Despite the damage to this footage, the restoration has eliminated most of this and so it is now quite watchable. However, I do disagree with some of the other reviews, who claim the 2013 version is inferior, because of the new blue-tinting that has been added to some of the darker scenes. This is not distracting too much to the film, though some of the detail and brightness is lost in these scenes, but I do not believe that the overall picture quality of the new version is any better or any worse than any other version of this film. I still think this is a pretty much definitive edition of the film and probably the best that we will ever see here and it is the most complete that it has ever been. So, if you love Hammer, or classic horror in general, then this is a must-buy. An almost perfect DVD/Blu-Ray set and no Hammer collection would be complete without it. A true, all-time classic. Buy it now!