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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
Price:£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 29 September 2017
Brilliant, we have seen it numerous times, always love it.
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on 10 June 2017
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on 30 January 2011
the wonder of the old days, the magic - almost of the silver screen, timeless no doubt dated yes! however there always seems to be time to view and thus recall times when simplistic horror was somethink to be admired - in all it's fun rather than sheer blood and guts, easy viewing of course. While I'm no big fan of horror movies, I find that I can still enjoy some years after first viewing the set on VHS and - or TV, the somewhat poor acting in many parts - without having to feel it has left me somewhat empty and wanting more. You get what you get in such old classic horror with some thrills that remind you that life is more about the comedy rather than those deep new ideas of getting your face torn off etc. What I mean simply is that these class movies are froma time when the idea of horror was all in the mind and that vamps and things were so real it gave us a chance to simply escape the norm....I can imagine 40 years ago people would have seen for the first time and been really put out by some of the scenes....wow! so light now, so much fun, simply great all round
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on 30 September 2007
Hammer's The Brides of Dracula (1960) was the first sequel their 1958 classic Horror of Dracula, and again stars Peter Cushing as ace vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing. Christopher Lee's Count Dracula is absent this time, for reasons nobody has ever really confirmed; depending on which rumours you believe, he asked for too much money, turned the film down to avoid typecasting, or might not have been asked to appear at all. However, Lee isn't really missed in a movie that instead features the little-known actor David Peel as Baron Meinster, a blood-sucking mummy's boy with a taste for farm girls and French schoolteachers...
One of the few Hammer horror movies to divide the opinion of fans, The Brides of Dracula has in its favour some really magnificent set designs, great photography, an unusual score from Malcolm Williamson, and top-notch performances from Cushing, Peel, and veteran actresses Martita Hunt and Freda Jackson. However, many commentators (amongst them one of the credited screenwriters, Jimmy Sangster) have drawn attention to the film's choppy narrative and various plot inconsistencies and contrivances, and the somewhat weak performance of the female lead, Yvonne Monlaur. Those criticisms do hold water, but they are scarcely noticeable once you are actually watching the movie; this is a dream-like, gothic fairytale, and one of director Terence Fisher's very best films.
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on 4 October 2015
This is a review of the technical aspects of the Blu-Ray disk, not the artistic qualities (which are high in my opinion -one of my three favorite Hammer productions).

I have a DVD of this film in the full-screen format (4:3), and the BD disk is so much better, but not perfect. The actual film aspect is, as you probably know, 1.66. The BD is suppose to be formatted to fit a 16:9 screen (or 1.78:1). It isn't. It's more like 1.85. Comparing it to my DVD, the Blu-Ray has been cropped a little at the bottom (and, strangely, not at all at the top on the scene that I froze for comparison), but there is substantially more image on the sides of the frame. In short, no matter what the Amazon web page says, I doubt very much that "Universal has remastered this to the CORRECT 16x9 2:1 LB of the original US release", because, otherwise, the film would fit the 16:9 screen without any black bars at top & bottom (my DVD proves that some image was cropped at the bottom!). However, the ratio used is far better than my 4:3 DVD, and, of course, much sharper.

It isn't perfect, but if you're a fan of the film, and you only have a full-screen DVD, then by all means, buy this BD version! As I said, it is far better than the DVD, in spite of the dubious ratio used.
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on 6 July 2016
The film is great - and is pretty much what you'd expect from classic Hammer. It's a Dracula-like vampire tale, beautifully filmed, with enough variations in the plot to keep it interesting. Peter Cushing is fantastic as ever, with Yvonne Monlaur very charming and likeable as the female lead. You'll enjoy the film - but be disappointed and feel a little ripped off at the bluray quality.

Let's be honest - the distributor is charging a premium price for Hammer blurays. They're expensive compared to other contemporary features, or other restored classics. These haven't been restored or, at least nowhere close to the degree as other horror classics from Universal or others. I don't care so much about the aspect ratio - but the grain is appalling and the colour seems a little off. Yes, I'd expect some grain in low light scenes, or where optical zoom might been used to magnify an image - but it can be corrected and averaged out (as Universal have done with other restorations). In this case little or no work appears to have been done, and the transfer appears to have been made from a poorer quality film copy. It really don't justify the "premium" pricing.

I don't think Hammer fans would begrudge the pricing if these classics were shown some love and given the proper bluray treatment they deserve. For me it seems as the distributor has little real concern for these classics or their fan-base, and is more concerned in making a quick buck. That being said, I was lucky enough to pick this up in Australian release of a boxed set comprising 17 of the lesser known Hammer films marked down to AUD65 (about 37 pounds) which makes the bluray quality issues a little less painful. If I'd paid the current 20 pound price for just this single film I'd be fuming.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 November 2015
As with all adaptations of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," the Hammer movie "Horror of Dracula" ended with Dracula dying. Hard to continue menacing the world when you're a pile of ashes.

So how could Hammer produce a Dracula sequel when the famed count is no more? Produce a barely-related movie called "Brides of Dracula," which does not have Dracula or his brides -- it simply has Van Helsing squaring off against a far less impressive vampire, with the sporadic assistance of a woman so stupid she is unable to remember what happened the previous day. As always, Peter Cushing is absolutely magnificent as Van Helsing, but the rest of the movie is a tedious, paint-by-numbers vampire movie.

Young Frenchwoman Marianne Danielle (Yvonne Monlaur) is on her way to teach in a remote Transylvanian girls' school, but ends up stranded in a remote mountain village. She accepts the invitation of the eccentric Baroness Meinster (Martita Hunt) to stay in her castle overnight, but immediately becomes entangled with the Baroness' son, who is imprisoned in a neighboring part of the castle. He convinces Marianne to free him, which she does... because she's an idiot who blindly does whatever attractive men tell her to do.

Surprise surprise, the young Baron (David Peel) is actually a vampire who immediately kills his mother, with the help of an insane servant who seems to think crazy laughter is the answer to every problem. Marianne is rescued by Van Helsing (Cushing) who whisks her off to her destination, before doubling back to the village to deal with their vampire problem. Unfortunately the Baron is already getting his own harem of white-gowned brides, just like Dracula -- and he's determined to make Marianne one of them. As she has the brains of a lobotomized squirrel, she has absolutely no problem marrying a man who murdered his own mother.

I can only imagine the disappointment of audiences who watches "Brides of Dracula" and discovered that it contained no Christopher Lee, no Dracula, and no brides of Dracula. There are brides, but they're not Dracula's brides. In fact, there is very little in this movie that actually ties it to the legendary story of Dracula, or even to the previous movie adaptation. Except for a couple of vague mentions of Dracula, the only connection is Van Helsing himself, and he is presented so generically that the character would be unchanged if he were renamed.

In fact, "generic" is perhaps the best term to describe the entire plot of this movie. Little about it is actually memorable or unique -- most of the story is made up of cliches rewarmed and recycled from "Horror of Dracula" -- aristocratic vampire preying on a little Romanian village (where most of the inhabitants sound extremely British), with a damsel he's targeting and a knowledgeable vampire hunter. The only unique aspect is the Baroness, a rather tragic figure whose relentless indulgence of her son leads to him becoming a monster, and in turn transforming her into one as well.

As usual, Peter Cushing gives a practically flawless performance as Van Helsing -- he comes across as warm and kind to everyone he comes across, and he easily dominates every scene without being overbearing. There's even a rather brutal scene where Van Helsing gets bitten, and uses some rather unorthodox treatments to avoid becoming a vampire.

Unfortunately, Van Helsing is not the only main character. Instead of Dracula, we have the Baron Meinster... so rather than an ancient, ruthless warlord, we have a spoiled rich brat whose mommy let him hang out with the bad kids until one of them turned him into a vampire. Not exactly threatening. He's very much a generic vampire without much actual presence, and doesn't seem to have any of the cunning necessary to actually DO anything.

To make matters worse, Marianne is one of the stupidest heroines I've ever seen in a movie -- not only does she constantly show a complete lack of common sense (when told the Baron is dangerously insane, she immediately tries to free him), but she somehow manages to forget everything she saw and heard after her first encounter with the Baron... including Van Helsing's whole explanation about what was going on. When the Baron pops up again, she looks mildly confused in an airheaded way, but is apparently happy to see him. Monlaur's bizarrely affected performance doesn't exactly help a character who seems destined to be a Darwin award.

"Brides of Dracula" has no Dracula, no brides of Dracula, and no point. The one saving grace is the presence of the ever-amazing Peter Cushing, but even his return as Van Helsing is not enough to save this poorly-plotted clucker.
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on 28 September 2013
Yes, the two-to-one aspect ratio is a bit extreme, but Hammer's magnificent THE BRIDES OF DRACULA looks phenomenal anyway, and it's amazing how most of the film's compositions seem to work (the credits are framed perfectly, for example). It may not be DRACULA '58, but BRIDES scores as a brilliant Technicolor gothic in its own right, with Cushing repeating his remarkable Van Helsing characterization and David Peel an effective "teenage Dracula" of sorts. Accomplished British thespians Martita Hunt, Freda Jackson (GREAT EXPECTATIONS) and Mona Washbourne (MY FAIR LADY) contribute immeasurably to the film's air of high quality.
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on 29 September 2013
Brides of Dracula is among my favourite Hammer films and it also is one of their most beautiful looking, with Terence Fisher at the height of his powers, crafting stylish films on a small budget. Brides of Dracula has a unique fairy tale look with castles bathed in candy colour lighting and I'm certain that this film was the main inspiration of Polanski's stylish Hammer parody Dance of the Vampires/The Fearless Vampire Killers.

I have the R1 Universal DVD as part of the The Hammer Horror Series box set, which boasts a fantastic transfer. Therefore I was looking forward to upgrading this to a Blu-ray, hoping it would yield great results in HD. Unfortunately the PQ of the Blu-ray is a disappointment on almost every front. Sure, it features a little more detail but for some inexplicable reason Final Cut Entertainment decided to reformat the original 1.66:1 ratio to something like 2.10:1 by cutting off a considerable amount of the image at the bottom. This unbalances many of the careful compositions, even cutting off characters chins in closeups. Why they thought that would be a great idea is beyond me because it doesn't make any sense. Adding to that, the print used is considerably more grainy than the one used for the R1 DVD and the colours are far warmer, frequently giving characters a tanned face colour when they looked suitably pale in the DVD.

What a shame as this was one of my most anticipated releases this year.
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on 11 May 2010
A double dose of 1960s' Hammer Horror, starring Peter Cushing....

"The Brides Of Dracula" (1960) is a Dracula film in name only as there's no sign of Christopher Lee as The Count in this one. Dracula may be dead but his disciples are very much alive (or should that be undead?) and well as the vampirical Baron Meinster (David Peel) is unwittingly set free by a young teacher called Marianne (Yvonne Monlaur) and starts creating havoc in a nearby girls' school. Luckily, expert vampire slayer Doctor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) arrives to try to put a stop to The Baron's dastardly deeds.

The plot may have more holes than a large wedge of gorgonzola (if The Baron can change into a bat why didn't he do this and just fly away when he was chained up in his castle?) but the action moves along so quickly that you don't really care. This film is brilliantly directed by Terence Fisher and has a sort of magical, fairy-tale atmosphere. There are some memorable set-pieces including a scene where Van Helsing has to treat a vampire bite on his neck in dramatic fashion using a branding iron and there is a spectacular climax featuring a burning windmill that may have inspired a similar scene in Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow". The cast is excellent with Peter Cushing in top form as Van Helsing, David Peel as Baron Meinster and Yvonne Monlaur (who also appeared in Hammer's "The Terror Of The Tongs") as the beautiful damsel in distress. Fine support is provided by Martita Hunt, Freda Jackson and Hammer movie-regular Michael Ripper and some comic relief is supplied by Miles Malleson as Doctor Tobler.

In "The Evil Of Frankenstein" (1964), Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) brings his original creature back to life and engages the help of a sideshow hypnotist called Zoltan to re-activate the creature's damaged brain. Of course, not everything goes to plan (as is usually the case in these type of films) and the creature, under Zoltan's control, goes on the rampage. Hammer's first two "Frankenstein" films were directed by Terence Fisher but this third entry in the series was helmed by Freddie Francis and, overall, the end result is not as good. Peter Cushing is great as usual as the obsessed Baron but the rest of the cast is pretty average. In this film, the creature was played by an ex-wrestler called Kiwi Kingston! The story is not as intriguing or as involving as some other Hammer "Frankenstein" films but it is still worth a look, especially if you are a Peter Cushing fan.
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