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LEE IS THE ULTIMATE DRACULA
on 8 June 2014
DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS is the first sequel to 1958's Hammer classic Dracula and not only one of the best Hammer Dracula movies, but also one of the best Dracula/Vampire movies in general.
Needless to say that Christopher Lee gives another superb performance as the Count, relying only on body language, his presence and charisma and mimic, as again he does not speak a single word, which is very effective as it makes him more menacing. As usual he steals the show.
Unfortunately Peter Cushing does not reprise his role in PRINCE OF DARKNESS, but there are a number of good actors to make up for his absence, namely Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews, Charles Tingwell, Barbara Shelley and Suzan Farmer.
Great direction by Terence Fisher, who doesn't rely much on effects and gore, but on a good score. I especially like the way Dracula feeds by lifting his cape, the camera remains in a distance and the picture fades out. That is brilliant filmmaking without special effects, but very effective. The actual violence is only imagined.
The very few effects PRINCE OF DARKNESS has are very dated and won't shock anyone anymore. This definitely could be a PG today.
I prefer these Hammer Dracula's to any modern Dracula movie, even to 1992's Bram Stoker's DRACULA or INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE.
RATING: 10 / 10
Reviewed version: 2012 StudioCanal UK Blu-ray
Feature running time: 90 mins. (Unrated)
Rating: Unrated (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.36:1 / 16x9
Audio: English 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired
Extras: Commentaries, Behind the scenes, World of Hammer, Documentary, Restoration comparison, Trailers
Region: B (locked)
Picture quality: C (average picture quality, nothing spectacular)
Audio quality: B (remarkably good for 2.0 mono)
Extras: A (plenty of new extras)