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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2011
Only then will this bondage of hell be lifted from the world.

The Brides of Dracula is directed by Terence Fisher and collectively written by Peter Bryan, Edward Percy, Jimmy Sangster and Anthony Hinds. It stars Peter Cushing, Martita Hunt, Yvonne Monlaur and David Peel. Music is by Malcolm Williamson and cinematography by Jack Asher.

"Transylvania, land of dark forests, dread mountains and black unfathomed lakes, still the home of magic and devilry as the nineteenth century draws to its close. Count Dracula, monarch of all vampires is dead, but his disciples live on to spread the cult and corrupt the world"

The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula had given Hammer Film Productions enormous success in 1957 and 1958 respectively, it was success that transformed the British film industry's fortunes and put British horror on the map from there on in. The Brides of Dracula is the first of what would eventually be 8 sequels to Dracula, but before it could flourish it had to overcome a major obstacle. Christopher Lee, who had made such an impact as the blood sucking count in the first film, would not return. It's believed a combination of two things prevented Lee's return, firstly he was wary of typecasting and wanted to nail down some other acting roles first, and secondly Hammer didn't want to pay an iflated fee for his services now that he was a name actor.

Is Lee's absence felt? Yes it is. For although in the main, with some nifty writing and a solid plot-the makers have managed to swerve not having Dracula the character in their movie, David Peel's performance as Baron Meinster is weak. Which is a shame because all else around him is gloriously lush. There's a little contrivance dropped in, and a logic plot hole the size of a coffin that involves the Baron being chained up by the ankle (erm, he can turn into a bat can't he?!), but yes, this is a top production that pulses with Gothic atmosphere and features some excellent, and memorable, scenes. With Fisher's direction full of classy shots and Asher's Technicolor photography deliciously ornate, it's one of Hammer's best vampire based movies.

Cushing again is the star, and tantalisingly we are made to wait here for the appearance of his vampire slaying Van Helsing. When we used to watch Hammer films as kids we were always reassured once Cushing showed up, the actor had a class and elegance about him that made us feel safe when the horror began to unfold! Hunt is twitchy and regal in equal measure as Baroness Meinster, Monlaur is pretty and adds some continental flavour to the stew and Freda Jackson is just scary! Were it not for Peel's foppish and fey approach to villainy, it would be well cast across the board. Bernard Robinson's production design is one of Hammer's best (Castle Meinster, The Running Boar Inn, The Windmill) and Williamson's music is in turns ominous and evocative.

From the eye scorching blood red opening titles, to the stunning and ingenious finale (the final shot is a doozy), The Brides of Dracula is a damn enjoyable Hammer Horror picture that's the equal of the first film. 8/10
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on 6 December 2011
I bought this DVD because this wass one of the few Hammer films I hadn't yet seen.
Boy had I missed out.
It's a brilliant film full of OTT charachers, wonderful looking sets and dramatic music. The only thing that lets it down it the hilarious-looking rubber bats.
Don't let the title mislead you, it has nothing to do with the other Dracula films - the presence of Van Helsing is the only conection - but it is a perfectly paced, exciting and suspensful slice of vintage Hammer and a great vampire film.
I don't care about "aspect ratio" and whether or not a film is widescreen, I'm just drawn to what is on the screen - and this is a very colourful film with a sterling performance from Peter Cushing.
I thoroughly recommend it.
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on 22 October 2007
This was the first Hammer film I ever saw. I'd been trying to find it on DVD for ages after seeing it on numerous occasions on Sky and well worth the wait!! This is British cinema at it's creepiest and atmospheric, an absolute masterpiece with a fantastic pace.

It's all too easy in this day and age to be cynical and laugh at these films but it says something when nearly 50 years on this film is given the recognition it deserves and is finally released to buy. If you love vintage old horror films, it really doesn't get much better than this. All the characters are great but one man has to be singled out and that is the legend which is Peter Cushing, one of this country's greatest actors, as the formiddable Van Helsing. As another reviewer quoted, 'Who is it who is not afraid?' , 'Only God has no fear!' Genius!!
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on 2 September 2013
BUYER BEWARE: The image is excellent. However my Blu-ray had some *terrible* lip Sync errors. Most noticeable on Freda Jackson's dialogue at about 28 minutes into the disc. Then variable lip sync errors throughout. What a shame it passed Q.C with these sorts of errors!
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on 17 March 2015
OK I've read all the postings about picture ratios' for the most part you don't notice, the picture quality is great , so is the film. Glad I got it.
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on 22 February 2012
this is in my opinion one of hammers best films and cushing is real class.lee does not appear as dracula but the guy playing baron meinster a follower of dracula does a really great job.the final scene at the windmill is in my top two death scenes in the dracula series.this movie has the gothic atmosphere that is lost in the seventies movies.If you have never seen a hammer movie this is a good one to start with.
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on 29 August 2013
The movie doesn't have subtitles for hearing impaired. It's incredible that in century XXI, using BD the movies still are selling w/o subtitles in english for hearing impaired
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on 19 November 2011
Well to blunt, as above! And cut.. If you manage to get to the German Amazon site, there is the same film, uncut, widescreen, called' Dracula and his Brides.. Recommend that.. Its in PAL..
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on 11 November 2010
As a big fan of hammer horror I must admit my shame that I couldn't bring this film to mind until I started watching and then remember "Brides of Dracula" from a late night TV showing a number of years ago.

PLOT:
A student teacher stumbles her way into a delicate balance of good and evil which is destroyed when she releases a young Baron being held prisioner by his mother and discovers his horrible secret.

VIDEO:
considering the age and condition of some it's contemporaies, Brides has a beautiful clean and fresh looking print and this came as a very pleasant surprise. As many others have commented, this is a 4:3 pan & scan print of a widescreen film. However, thanks to old fashioned filming techniques of centralising the action, there is only one or two incidents where the true nature of the print is revealed.

AUDIO:
Lovely clear audio track that pumps through the speakers with no complaints at all. Music, effects and dialogue all perfectly mixed and reproduced.

SUMMARY:
Although I was disapointed by the lack of a widescreen print, there was nothing to dislike about this film at all - a fine print even if it is ever so slightly cropped and certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of another wise excellent slice of Hammer Horror.
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on 19 October 2009
Incorrect ratio, in as much the image is so tight, the lower portion of the composition is trimmed away. A ratio of 2.00:1, rather than anywhere near 1.66 or 1.77 or even if they felt like slightly widescreening the hell out of it usa style, 1.85. But not this. Like Curse of the Werewolf, a top notch Hammer flick worthy of at least 4 stars, given a 'make do and mend' british release of 'all we had to hand'. For all that a solid image is in here, vivid. German release is an improvement.
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