Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) Review

8 out of 10 Skulls
Written by: TerrorCorner   

When a horror fan hears the words, "Hammer Horror film", they'll probably automaticaly think of Christopher Lee, and Count Dracula.  "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" is the fourth of the famous Hammer Horror Dracula series, and is a direct sequal to "Dracula: Prince of Darkness".

A year after Count Dracula's reign of terror over a small European village has supposedly ended, a visiting Monsignor, notices that the villagers are still afraid, and unwilling to attend Mass because "the shadow of his castle touches" the church.  To set their mind at ease, the Monsignor, and the local priest go to the castle to perform an exorcism- barring the castle door with a huge metal cross.  In the process, they unwittingly resurrect the undead count.  Enslaving the local priest, Dracula begins a campaign of revenge against the Monsignor for sealing him out of his own castle.

Like most of the Hammer Horror films, this one is cheesey fun.

Christopher Lee is once again great as Dracula, though it's a shame to not see him pitted against Peter Cushing's Van Helsing.  The scenes where he's about to chomp on the beautiful victims are intense and you can feel the sexuality radiating from the screen.  Rupert Davies as the Monsignor was enjoyable as well.  I could almost imagine him as a real Monsignor.  A nicely theatrical peformance was given by Barry Andrews as Paul, the atheist hero.  Watching the beautiful Veronica Carlson and Barbara Ewing, was a joy.  Barabara Ewing was especially captivating as the sexy tavern girl, Zena.

The best peformance though was actually from a supporting character.  Ewan Hopper as the un-named priest was amazing.  He ran the gamut from fear of the castle's shadow to desolation as Dracula's slave to determination at the end of the final battle.  Watching him portray a character unable to fight Dracula's control, and hating each horrible act he's forced to commit was a great viewing experience.  I cared more about this poor, lost soul than I did about the other characters.

The sets aren't as lavish as previous entries in the series, but they're still interesting and great- especially the scenes on the rooftops.  As with the others, there isn't a lot of blood shown in this movie- except for the final battle, when we see the metal cross that barred the castle door dripping with blood.  What blood is shown during this movie is still stylish and elegant.

While this movie might not be scary, it is still a decent watch, and enjoyable with popcorn and a darkened room.  Fans of the classic Hammer Horror films will probably enjoy this movie.

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