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Not Bram Stoker's Original
on 30 April 2011
OK, it's got Christopher Lee with a moustache and able to use proper dialogue for once as Dracula, rather than being limited to a victorious snarl or a defeated scream as is more usual from the Hammer series - and he gets younger looking and healthier the more he drinks people but starts to decline to looking older and frailer when starved. Thereafter any claim to being faithful to Stoker ends.
Klaus Kinsky is wasted as the lunatic Renfield without speaking one word throughout, and someone off screen screams for him: Renfield's only vocals. The story is terrible mixed up and far less like the novel than the first two Hammer films, so I was left with a great sense of disappointment for a lost opportunity.
So much is left out, no fatal sea voyage to England, no Whitby, no dialogue from Renfield, no worthwhile attempts to save Lucy, and the staking scenes are feeble. There is no real sympathy generated for the characters, no dread or atmosphere or tension or effective horror worth the mention and only Herbert Lom, with a little help from Christopher Lee, has much to say. For goodness sake - where is the fear?
Sadly, no film to date is faithful to Stoker's Dracula, by far the best effort being a TV mini-series "Dracula" with Louis Jordan as Dracula, Frank Finlay as Van Helsing, Jack Shepherd excellent as Renfield and Judy Bowker as Mina which I strongly recommend. Otherwise, if you want a better vampire film try Roman Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Killers".
Unless you are making a collection of Dracula or Christopher Lee films, this is unexceptional and an inaccurate hack job that should have poor Bram Stoker spinning in his grave, so I would not recommend you spending good money on a weak film and am generous at marking it 5/10.