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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2012
With "Dracula, Prince of Darkness", Terence Fisher continues his seemingly endless artistic decline that started with "Curse of the werewolf", peaked with the interminable "Phantom of opera", and continued with "The deadly necklace" and "The earth dies screaming". in this doomed 1961-1966 period, only "The Gorgon" shows a very convincing return to form.
As for "Prince of Darkness" the film is ruined (like "Phantom", "Curse..." and "...Dies screaming") by terrible pacing problems. Christopher Lee does not appear before minute 50 (in a 90-minute film) and the remaining actors are not good enough to make the viewer forget about an extremely boring screenplay: lost British tourists, go to a dinner to a castle despite being told avoid the castle at all costs, etc, etc...zzzz....
This is too bad as the post-credit sequence was very strong, with an Andrew Keir in top form.
From minute 45 onwards, the film moves properly, but falls again in oblivion when the tedious Thorley Walters tries to bring a light note to the proceedings.
Bar Lee and Keir, only ueber-babe Barbara Shelley is worth mentioning in the cast.
With regards to extras, the audio commentary shows how pompous Lee can be, literally preventing his fellow cast mates to open their mouth. The documentary is as always very thorough (and it is nice to see Francis Matthews and Barbara Shelley several decades after the film was made). But it is too bad that the documentary "The many faces of Christopher Lee" dating 1995 and which was available on the DVD, is nowhere to be found on the BluRay.
Bottom line: If, like me, you consider the 1958 "Dracula" as a cinematic masterpiece, then you will be horrified by this belated and lazy sequel. Avoid.
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on 8 December 2014
The story starts with the final scene of the 1958 original, where Count Dracula is transformed into ashes. Christopher Lee reprises his role as Count Dracula once again, as two couples travelling through Eastern Europe, find themselves stranded by the side of the road, after their coach driver dumps them, and drives off. In the distance they spot a castle, a driverless carriage appears, and after getting in, it proceeds to take them to the castle. After arriving they are met by the mysterious Klove, a servant of the castle.

This is the direct sequel to Dracula, which was Hammer's first outing with the Dracula films, also starring Peter Cushing. This genre would go on untill the 70's, which Hammer would become world famous for. For anyone who grew up with these films in the 60's, this one is a must buy. Or for anyone who hasn't yet watched a 'Hammer Horror', and hasn't seen any of the old style of horror films, then watch this.

Hammer only made a few films in the CinemaScope format, and this is one of them. The film has been transferred in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Colours are natural, and this blu ray looks good. The sound is in 2.0

Final word: Before buying this, I already owned this film on dvd, and I can say that this blu ray release has far better Picture Quality than the dvd.

Recommended, especially if you are a fan of Hammer Horrors.
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on 26 April 2012
I have to commend Hammer and Studio Canal for listening to the feedback and taking decisive action regarding the earlier issues with this release. After fixing the sound issues they have also negated some of the DNR overkill in the opening sequence. It is an excellent release which they have done a very good job of, given the constraints of the source material. I always would prefer some kind of viewing notes booklet with any movie release and would have given it five stars if there had been one, but in terms of extras etc this is pretty comprehensive. Well done
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on 26 February 2013
The first Hammer Dracula film to hit blu-ray will not disappoint. The film was shot in techniscope which is always problematic transferring to digital but this disc is a good as it can be. The film was a major revealation on blu-ray after seeing it on DVD for so many years. The colors and sharpness (especially on close-ups) is startling! A must have for Hammer and Dracula fans!
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on 6 February 2013
I Grew up watching Hammer's Dracula films
so when i found out that DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS was being released on blu-ray and dvd combo i knew i had to buy it
the first thing i watched was the new Documentary Back to black- 30mins fantastic Doco
has interviews with Hammer films Biographers aswell as new interviews with Barbara shelley & Francis mathews
the Doco is excellent Francis & Barbara talk about there experience in the film
it's very unfortunate Christopher lee wasn't interviewed or susan farmer
the other extras are the same as the region 1 Anchor bay release from over 10years ago now
the audio commentary is nothing new that was recorded on the Anchor bay release
aswell as the behind the scenes footage that's on the Anchor bay release aswell

now regarding the picture & sound quality of this dvd & blu-ray release
i've watched both and compared the quality, the region 2 dvd is the same as the original region 2 dvd release from over 5 years ago
the new HD transfer looks excellent very nice sharp & clear picture Hardly no Grain or Dirt
much better than the old Digital remaster transfer
the sound quality has also been boosted with new 2.0 master stereo mix which again sounds better than the old DVD mono
so time to upgrade buy this new Blu-ray/dvd set
5 stars for the new blu-ray reissue, 2 stars for the dvd
based incredible HD picture quality & better sound mix quality
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on 13 December 2014
The second of the Hammer Dracula films & in my view second only to the first Dracula film in quality. The only downside is that Peter Cushing did not reprise his role as Van Helsing but Christopher Lee was fantastic as Dracula. The quality of the blu-ray was excellent. Well worth buying.
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on 29 December 2010
The films not aged as well as some others. Lee's performance is strong and works well without dialog. But overall I found the movie somewhat bland and dissapointing. The script perhaps being the main culprit. But Barbara Shelley's under used. Dabble if u dare.
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on 2 April 2015
This was the first Dracula film i got to see back in the early 70s, when the bbc screened it. and it still holds up even today. Christopher Lee is back as the count, what stands out for me is his acting, as he does not speak at all in the film.The film starts of with a pts repeat of what happened at the end of the Horror of Dracula. The story begins with two couples on holiday been warned to stay away from Castle Dracula, from Father Sandor played by Andrew Keir,well do they take his advice ...PQ is ok on this blu ray, plus extras are good too.
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on 18 February 2015
Please note that this review is for the DVD version and not the Blu-Ray, which I haven't seen. This film was the third in Hammer's Dracula series and the second to star the great Christopher Lee as The Count. Basically, the plot involves four English travellers who become stranded in Transylvania and end up spending the night at Dracula's castle, even though they were warned to avoid the place by a local monk. I have always loved this film and I never tire of watching it. I consider it to be one of the finest Hammer Horror films and also one of the best Dracula films that they made. It is a pity that Christopher Lee has no lines in the film, but reportedly this was because the dialogue he was given was so poor that he refused to speak it! The overall picture and sound quality is reasonably good, when you consider that this film was made in 1965. It is also worth nothing that, unlike the original cinema and VHS video versions, this appears to be uncut, including some extra gore in the resurrection scene, a more bloodier staking and the scene where Dracula seduces Diana is also longer too. This film is well worth buying, though it is a shame that the DVD price appears to have increased dramatically. I give this four stars, because it is excellent viewing and a worthy sequel. Only the original Dracula and Brides Of Dracula can match it, in my opinion. A true classic.
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on 9 June 2015
As far as sequels go, this is a pretty good one. And as far as Hammer goes, this is a pretty good one. In fact, there is really nothing much to dislike about this film at all. We are treated to a snapshot of the ending of the first Dracula film (including THAT melting body effect that even 60 years on is pretty cool) and are nicely set up to enjoy a totally predictable film.

You think.

But there are a few elements to this movie that remind that Hammer could, on some occasions, still create a bit of a shock. The first victim's unceremonious death and subsequent dangling from a hook upside down must have had the movie goers of the 1960s squirming in their seats.

But for all the good the film does it does feel a little contrived. Bringing a dead baddy back is a great idea, provided the baddy doesn't then get wasted again. Because he then stops being a baddy and becomes something more of an annoyance. All you need to do is plonk him in some water and game over. Or grasp two reasonably straight things and make a rudimentary crucifix and you can hold back the legions of the damned.

This film tries hard and in places it is really enjoyable, but overall it lacked a lot of the punch of its predecessors.

However, it's Hammer, it's British and it's recommended viewing.
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