Sunday, May 2, 2010

Scars Of Dracula - 2.5/5

The previous sequels took their time to resurrect Dracula from the awful deaths he suffered at the end of each film before. Not Scars of Dracula, the sixth entry into Hammer's Dracula franchise. This time Dracula is resurrected within the first 2 minutes. These filmmakers didn't want to fuck around with coming up with unique ideas to bring him back. This time they have a bat (that looks so fake I swear I could see the damn strings holding it up) barf up some blood on his ashes which results in a quickly and cheaply done film dissolve into Dracula. This is the best resurrection sequence the filmmakers could think of? If it was that god damn easy to bring him back from the dead why didn't they just have a shitty looking bat barf on his ashes in previous films! This hack job of an opening just ruined my mood for the rest of the film.

After the lame resurrection of Dracula we then have an angry mob (more suited for a Frankenstein film) marching up to his castle to burn him to death once and all. Dracula doesn't take kindly to this and sends a group of fake looking bats back down to town to kill all the women and children. Jump to a neighboring town and we are introduced to a young brash womanizing man who gets accused of rape and while escaping police he winds up deep in Dracula territory. Finding his way to the castle he is greeted by Dracula and not surprisingly becomes his next victim. His worried brother and girlfriend track him down to the castle and come face to face with Christopher Lee himself.

One aspect I like about this sequel is that the character of Dracula is more like the character he was in the original film. He speaks far more and is the icy, yet polite host he was originally made out to be. I also like how Dracula is more violent and ferocious, even using knives to aid in his killing. Fans of blood will enjoy as director Roy Ward Baker makes this by far the bloodiest entry into the series. He even zooms the camera in on the bloody carnage giving me flashes of Lucio Fulci.

What I don't like about this sequel is that it has a cheap quality to it, making it feel more of a B-movie compared to the original films. Bad effects (bats anyone?) and cheap castle sets are just a few of the problems. The humor director Roy Ward Baker injects just comes off campy like he knew the Dracula formula had been done to death so he desperately tried to do something different. Oh did I forget to mention the lame resurrection of Dracula?

This sequel is a large step below the other films in the series and the Hammer's faltering financial situation shows up everywhere from the casting, to the plot and the effects. Despite being a disappointing entry into the series this far from the worst. The worst is yet to come...

Written By Eric Reifschneider

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