Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee throws in the cape, 15 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Satanic Rites of Dracula [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (aka Dracula's Vampire Bride) was the swansong of the Hammer-Christopher Lee Dracs, and while not a classic it is a much more interesting attempt to do something new with the material in a modern-day setting than it's predecessor, Dracula AD 1972. Here Dracula is a reclusive Howard Hughes-like tycoon weary of immortality but determined to take the world with him when he goes by unleashing a new and improved Black Death, developed with the help of key government figures who think it's just a bargaining chip to create a new world order. Pitted against him are a couple of British secret service agents whose own boss is one of Dracula's Four Horsemen of the new Apocalypse, a special branch officer and the grandson of Van Helsing and his own granddaughter. The low budget is apparent, but the ideas go some way to compensate (certainly Drac's plan is a more convincing Armageddon than anything Damien Thorn planned in The Final Conflict) and Alan Gibson's direction, though not always successful, shows some imagination.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Oct 2014 12:22:41 BDT
So many writers state that this film feels like it was taken from an unproduced Don Houghton Doctor Who script, or that it could almost be an episode of The Avengers. For me though, with its copious gunplay and high-level conspiracy plot, it most resembles a vampire-themed episode of The Professionals with Cushing in the Gordon Jackson part.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2014 14:32:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Oct 2014 14:36:01 BDT
That actually makes perfect sense. The film should have given Christopher Lee guest star billing - and I now have visions of Peter Cushing in an anorak leaning on a car bonnet:

http://www.mark-1.co.uk/Professionals/images/title-sequences/org_seq2.jpg

Oddly enough only the other day I was watching a documentary on Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons [DVD] where the writer commented on how interchangeable his scripts for Doctor Who and the Avengers were - and the same could probably be said for his scripts for Jason King and Adam Adamant Lives as well.

And talking of the good Doctor, I'm sure I'm not the only one to think the Mummy on the Orient Express episode of NuWho was an, er, homage to Cushing and Lee's seminal work on Horror Express?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2014 22:00:24 BDT
That's some bad anorak Harry.

Horror Express - ahead of its time when you consider Alien and The Thing, and far more layered than it first appears, surely. Possibly my very favourite of all the Lee / Cushing teamings, and easily the one I return to most often...it mops the floor with just about everything else they did together in the 1970s anyway, including the film under review.

I know that an episode of The Outer Limits is meant to have inspired The Terminator, but quite frankly I see some basis in The Day of the Daleks too...

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2014 12:06:23 BDT
Horror Express would be probably be one of my desert island movie picks (provided I was allowed to take more than five): you'd have to wait until Lifeforce to get something so profoundly off the wall and joyously entertaining that somehow snuck its way into the mainstream. And all because the producers needed something to do with the train they bought for Pancho Villa [1971] [DVD] and the few days filming that Telly Savalas owed them.

I'll see your Day of the Daleks and raise you Pyramids of Mars and Stargate.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2014 20:58:24 BDT
'Why don't you tell me about all of the filth that's been going on around here?'

I'll see your Pyramids of Mars and raise you a Deadly Assassin and Star Trek VI.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Oct 2014 14:46:38 BDT
Ah yes, the one where the Doctor plugs into The Matrix [Blu-ray] [1999] [Region Free].
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Review Details

Item

3.2 out of 5 stars (47 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
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3 star:
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Reviewer

Trevor Willsmer
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: London, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 44