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on 26 September 2005
Though not considered one of the best by Hammer fans, Scars of Dracula is still an enjoyable vampire film. It is dark and violent and at times twisted. Lee himself has said on more than one occasion that this was his least favorite in the series, because of the violent nature of the film, and the acts of torture his character was directed to perform. Yet, it is still very much the Hammer-style film, with luscious, colorful sets, ghothic atmoshere, and great performances by all the actors involved. And in a way, Lee's Dracula here is more frightening than some of his other incarnations, because of his twisted, satanic ways. He gives a feeling that Dracula could indeed originate from the lower regions of hell.
It would've been a better film with the reappearance of a Van Helsing type vampire hunter, like Cushing, or Andrew Keir (Dracula: Prince of Darkness), as the kill-scene is my least favorite of all the Lee/Dracula films. But the DVD itself is beautiful, the picture quality near perfect, the sound clear and crisp. And it is a well put together film.
The extras from Anchorbay, as usual, are far superior to anything anyone else (with the exception of Criterion, perhaps) includes with their DVDs. There's an audio commentary with Lee and director Roy Ward Baker. You get trailers, a poster gallery, and with the limited edition two disc set, you also get a neat and personal interview with Lee called "The Many Faces of Christopher Lee", and two totally cool music videos that Lee participated in. Anchorbay, as always, has treated the Hammer Horror fan with an exceptionally good product.
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The budgets were hitting rock bottom and the formula getting tired by the time Hammer persuaded Christopher Lee to don the cape yet again for 1970's Scars of Dracula, their second Dracula outing of the year after the superior Taste the Blood of Dracula. Not particularly bad though awfully overfamiliar, this has the feel of everyone clocking on to work at a treadmill as yet another unwary (and in this case accidental) traveller finds himself shunned by tight-lipped superstitious locals (well, Michael Ripper and a couple of extras) and soon regretting taking advantage of the Count's hospitality in the first half while in the second half his brother (a young and miscast Dennis Waterman) and romantic interest Jenny Hanley go through much of the same routine in the second as they go in search of him. There's an effectively nasty surprise waiting for the villagers in the church after their early attempt to burn the Count out of house and home and there's an engagingly matter of fact just-another-day-at-work sequence where Patrick Troughton's servant discards the remnants of one of his master's unwanted brides with a hacksaw and an acid bath but this is more notable for upping the violence than improving the quality.

Unlike the US Anchor Bay DVD, this UK release only offers the trailer as an extra.
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on 8 October 2011
I really like Hammer films. I wanted to like this, since seeing it in my youth i recall variable bloody portions of it. As a whole piece of work, and it is work sitting through this, the whole is not the sum of its parts. The whole is a cheap mess and i deplore myself for saying such things about the marvelous Hammer studios..

Chris Lee scowls, as well he might with an appallingly feeble script. There are other people in it, none of them acting likeable, against a backdrop of very cheap sets cheaply shot. Whereas in the past Hammer could arrange a set to its best advantage, Scars of Drac simply seems cobbled together and i've seen some cobbling in my time and this is indeed, cobblers.

The superior wacky 'Drac 1972' is in fact more entertaining and has a cult following, a strange cult, wearing kaftans & jigging about to images of caroline munro saturated in kensington gore..Scars of drac however is as lamentable a construction in set design, acting range & weak production values as anything dredged from the late Hammer period can be. But at least Chris Lee gets to mutter some dialogue.

Upon re-watching this once again i am in fact convinced that it has some peculiar effect, what with the blood letting & the gory details. Palatable, but not a wine to be consumed with food. Perhaps a bit earthy, maybe the vintage is corked...
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on 18 July 2002
Well, after several previous outings as the Count, Lee again resumes his role in this installment, 'The Scars of Dracula', the last of the 'Gothic' Dracula films in which he would star, if I'm correct.
Though a fairly lenient fan of the Dracula genre, I did find unforgivable problems with this picture - for one, I could never take the giant rubber bat seriously; secondly, the plot seemed almost spoof-like, and again lowered the tone, and thirdly, there were some appalling characters which didn't make the picture feel like a traditional Hammer horror at all - namely the stupid pair of Policemen.
On the up side, there's, of course, the fantastic Christopher Lee, who gets plenty of screen time, and plenty more lines than usual. His presence is stunning, although I found Dracula's death scene a little over-rated. Most of the actors are fairly good, and most of the settings are decent enough.
If you want a good Hammer horror with the legendary Mr.Lee as Dracula, I recommend any of this film's predacessors, and even Dracula AD 1972 - unfortunately, this one is one of my least favourites of the Dracula franchise starring Mr.Lee. Just one too many flaws for my liking.
But, either way, you can't go wrong with Christopher Lee!
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on 24 June 2016
Mr lee reprises'. His role as our best count drac.i think his role is more evil more sadistic in this film than the others up to this date I am referring to his punishment on his weak minder crove
Played by Patrick toughton. bit more gory as well. But I think the film is great.

I normally upgrade these drac films to blu ray but that version hasn't been released. Yet
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on 19 August 2013
I loved it.I'm a masive fan of Christopher Lee as Dracula and a fan of Hammer horror films.I actually got this one as a very young and very poshly spoken ( ! )Dennis Waterman is in it and I am very big fan of his.The story is similar really as all the other Hammer Dracula films but still worth watching.
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on 17 December 2014
I'm giving this top marks for the price and delivery. The film itself is wonderfully awful. I am a big fan of the Hammer Horrors, but Christopher Lee looks like he wanted to be somewhere else. The acting by Jenny Hanley and Dennis Waterman is as wooden as it comes. It will add to my collection but I doubt it will be get much viewing time.
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on 10 October 2015
Questionable entry in the Hammer canon. It features chronic fake looking sets, Dennis Waterman wrestling manfully both with a cut-glass accent and a giant rubber bat, Patrick Troughton sporting incredible werewolf-like facial hair, Christopher Lee hamming it up as usual, and the usual frightened villager turn that Michael Ripper played over and over.
Anouska Hempel and Jenny Hanley provide the glamour although the former does not have enough screen time imo.
Quite a weak storyline i feel and the obviously painted backgrounds were a bit off-putting for me.
Not one i'd rush to return to.
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on 21 June 2015
You'all here folks, plenty of creepy castle, escape through the bedroom window by tied sheets and sheer drop into the icey ravine below, the plastic bat, a huffing and puffing Patrick Troughton as Dracula's manservant, the combative pub landlord placing his coquettish daughter under strict protective custody, fangs, bloodshot eyes, the cross and first class creepy background music. I can't agree this is a let down. Who is comparing? I love all of these cliche ridden films in the Hammer Dracula or Frankenstein series starring either Lee or Cushing and sometimes both!

Don't mention the castle...
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on 31 October 2003
How to explain "Scars of Dracula"? This 1970 film directed by Roy Ward Baker was made by Hammer Studios and stars Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, but has nothing to do with the previous films in the series. When last we saw the count at the end of "Taste the Blood of Dracula" his ashes where in Victorian London. Now the ashes are near his castle in Transylvania and the time appears to be about a century earlier. Go figure. As soon as the count is restored when a giant bat spews blood on his ashes, you know this film is in trouble. We have the villagers going to burn down the castle while Dracula sends a horde of vampire bats to rip their wives and children apart. Years later the movie's main trio of victims arrive upon the scene: good guy Simon Carlson (Dennis Waterman) and charming rogue Paul Carlson (Christopher Matthews) are both in love with Sarah Fransen (Jenny Hanley). Soon not only the Count but his hunchbacked servant Klove (Patrick Troughton) are after the lovely Sarah as well. This time around Dracula is more into physical torture than before and while the eroticism that characterized Hammer's vampire films at this time is present the emphasis is much more on supposedly gory special effects. However, in the end there is yet another totally new way of disposing of Dracula. While I applaud the fact that the script gives Dracula actual lines and gets away from the animalistic version of the Count we get in several Hammer films, there is nothing new here worth pursuing. Even the production values, something of a hallmark with Hammer's films, are notably lacking. Even the title, "Scars of Dracula," is really lame. Fans of Hammer/Dracula/Lee will only watch this one out of a need for a sense of completeness.
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