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Dracula A.D. 1972

Posted by dfordoom on 2006.04.17 at 07:13
In 1972 Hammer Films decided they needed to modernise their Dracula series, to bring the Count into the modern world. The result was Dracula A.D. 1972, and of course within ten years it seemed terribly dated in a way that the earlier Hammer Dracula films don’t. They were half right, though – the Dracula thing was starting to get very weary. Unfortunately Dracula A.D. 1972 tries too hard to be hip and swinging and way-out. It also takes too long for anything to happen, and when it does happen it isn’t really worth the wait. Peter Cushing does his best. Christopher Lee has too little to do. The crazy way-out young people look too old and too tame. Surprisingly, there’s hardly a hint of sex and no nudity – this was the 70s, and that would have been a fairly obvious way to inject some interest into a rather tired idea. Compared to some of the other vampire movies around at about the same time, like Daughters of Darkness and Vampyres, the lack of sex makes Dracula A.D. 1972 seem a bit like an ageing suburbanite desperately trying to be outrageous and happening and out there but being too uptight to actually do anything.

It does have one or two good moments – I liked the graves heaving early on. Overall though it’s pretty stodgy and it doesn’t even have much camp appeal. Hammer were making some excellent and interesting movies at this time (like Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde and The Vampire Lovers) but Dracula A.D. 1972 wasn’t one of them.

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cross-posted to my personal journal and into_the_fog


Hands of the Ripper

Posted by dfordoom on 2006.04.16 at 22:01
Hands of the Ripper is one of several extremely good and very original movies put out by Hammer Films in 1970-71. Others being The Vampire Lovers, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, Twins of Evil and Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (which is perhaps the most interesting of the lot). Yet another noteworthy 1971 Hammer movie is Hands of the Ripper, directed by Peter Sasdy. It’s another fascinatingly original reworking of a clichéd idea, this time Jack the Ripper. It has a strong cast, headed by Eric Porter as a turn-of-the-century medico who is an early disciple of Freud and wants to use Freud’s ideas to cure violent criminals. Derek Godfrey is very good as a slightly sinister Member of Parliament who may or may not have some involvement in a violent murder. Angharad Rees plays Anna, a somewhat disturbed young woman who may also be involved somehow.

The plot is intelligent, the story moves along at a good pace, the acting is good, and there’s some excellent cinematography which towards the end even gets a bit arty and gets away with it. This is a clever and original horror movie.

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The Nanny

Posted by dfordoom on 2006.04.16 at 05:22
A Hammer film starring Bette Davis is something you don’t really expect to see. But The Nanny, made in 1965, is such a film. It isn’t really a typical Hammer film at all – it doesn’t have the typically gothic Hammer trappings, and it’s in black-and-white. It is, however, scripted by Jimmy Sangster, who not only wrote an enormous number of films for Hammer but also wrote some of the best movies. The Nanny is in fact an exercise in psychological horror. And it’s a very fine movie indeed. A little girl has died under mysterious circumstances, and it appears that her brother was responsible for her death. Ten-year-old Joey has been spent two years in a home for disturbed children and now he’s coming home. And the child’s nanny (played by Bette Davis) is there to welcome him home, but young Joey and Nanny don’t get on. I won’t say anything more about the plot for fear of revealing spoilers. Davis is excellent, the young actor playing Joey is extremely good, and Pamela Franklin is outstanding as a 14-year-old girl who lives in the apartment upstairs and who befriends Joey. Wendy Craig is also good as Joey’s rather hysterical mother. Seth Holt’s direction is superb and contributes very effectively to the increasingly tense atmosphere of the movie. An excellent movie.

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cross-posted to movie_greats


Rasputin, The Mad Monk (1966)

Posted by dfordoom on 2006.04.15 at 20:58
Christopher Lee is best known for his portrayals of the vampire count in the many Hammer Dracula movies, but his finest moment came in a comparatively little known 1966 Hammer movie, Rasputin, The Mad Monk. This is Christopher Lee as you’ve never seen him before – it’s an extraordinarily dynamic and extravagant performance, a completely over-the-top performance. I’m not really a Christopher Lee fan, but as Rasputin he’s sensational. This is a movie that is cheerfully untroubled by historical accuracy. Lee’s Rasputin is evil, certainly, but he’s so full of life you can’t help feeling some sympathy for him. Early on he tells his superior at the monastery that he likes to commit big sins so that God will have something worthwhile to forgive him for.

The other actors are totally overshadowed by Lee, but Barbara Shelley is good as lady-in-waiting to the Czarina who is ruthlessly used by Rasputin. Director Don Sharp does a solid job and keeps the film rolling along at a good pace. Rasputin, the Mad Monk is worth seeing, in fact it’s worthy buying on DVD, just for Christopher Lee. Not a movie to take very seriously, but it delivers plenty of entertainment.

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"Vampire Circus" music video!

Posted by mrbnatural on 2006.01.17 at 17:07
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
X-posted to a few different Hammer/horror communities. :D

[AUDIO] "Kein Zurück" by Wolfsheim
[VIDEO] Vampire Circus (1972)
[CREDIT] mrbnatural, or iconzicons

- bizarro, erotic and creepy shit.
- sexy 70's guys in diamond studded chokers.
- seeing cute little boys get seduced & eaten.

CAUTION: Video contains graphic nudity & sexual content! Not to mention impalings! VERY VERY NOT WORK SAFE!


Comment, and we will upload it again! No problem, mate!

Dr. West
Posted by pharmapologist on 2005.12.20 at 02:01
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: "Huka Blues" -- ECW Soundtrack Vol. 1
Thank you for creating this group. My name's Chris, I live near Detroit, MI, and I'm a huge Hammer fan.

It's all about Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter.

Nuff Said!

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