Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave - 3/5

Like any good vampire you can't keep Dracula down for the count (sorry, I had to do that pun). As one can easily tell from the title we find out Dracula LIVES in this fourth entry into Hammer's classic Dracula series. For this we can thank the Catholic church as a bishop and a priest head up to Dracula's castle to rid the world of evil forever. Why would they do this since the countryside has been terror free for over a year? The reason is, get this, Dracula's castle literally casts a shadow over a small villages church hence no one goes because the shadow is "evil". I'm sorry but I found that a rather weak cause for two priests to go up to go up to the castle.

While there a bishop hangs a cross on Dracula's door, says a prayer, and a storm brews in good Gothic fashion and makes the other priest fall and cut his head open. The kicker is that his blood just happens to flow directly into Dracula's mouth threw a crack in the ice, the watery grave he became trapped in at the end of the last film. I mean, really, what are the chances the blood would flow directly in his mouth? The bishop leaves without or wounded priest and heads back to town while in the mean time Dracula awakens, takes the wounded priest as a slave, and not surprisingly gets extremely pissed off at the cross hanging on his castle's door. He demands revenge and hence him and his new slave head to the bishop's nearby town.

In the new town we are introduced to our two main characters, the first being a young man looking exactly like Roger Daltry of The Who working in a bakery SHIRTLESS of all things. Who goes shirtless in a bakery, really? I guess hammer films are full of gorgeous women so it's only fair once in a while women get some eye candy. Our other main character is the Bishop's niece, a beautiful women who is dating our baker. To quote the great William Peterson line of To Live and Die in L.A.: You want bread? Fuck a baker! Sorry I couldn't help myself.

Dracula in good revenge fashion decides to take the bishop's niece as his new bride and it's up to our Roger Daltry look-alike to stop the evil fiend.

The best thing about this sequel is the dark Gothic look to it grandly achieved by new comer director to the series Freddie Francis. He is also a little more experimental behind the camera giving us more interesting camera work compared to Terence Fischer, director of the first 3 films. However Freddie can be a little too experimental as in many scenes featuring Dracula he decided to give the film a filter resulting in a rust color halo around the outside of the frame. It's supposed to give the sequences "atmosphere" but it ended up being annoying and it is extremely noticeable when the camera pans and moves. Bad idea Freddie! Another problem is Dracula himself as like the last film, he is becoming more of a one dimensional character despite the fact they play him off being more evil. I did like how they made him talk this time though. Christopher Lee has a wonderful voice and they need to utilize it more in these films.

Other than those faults and a weak plot, the film still was a good time. The acting is great and so is the score. A definite must for fans of the series though others might get tired with Dracula at this point.

Written By Eric Reifschneider

1 comment:

  1. i would have never seen this type of ans.for my question. i hte this ans .