OK so I am a massive Hammer Horror fan. When I was ten years old BBC ran a Hammer Horror season and I was hooked on them from that day. There is not just one thing about Hammer Horror which really gets me going its lots of things. Its the casting, the amazing sets, the posters, the gorgeous women, the costumes and the all around chilling atmosphere these movies contain.
Hammer Horror kinda remind me of the Carry On series in the way they use the same key cast members for each film, they are British made and the fact they used the same studios as well which was Pinewood.
There are soo many Hammer Horror films I love and hopefully I will get around to reviewing more as Lost Entertainment goes on but today its Dracula 1972 AD which celebrates its 40th Birthday this year.
So the movie begins with an awesome battle between Van Helsing and Count Dracula on a moving horse carriage where it ends up in a crash and poor old count Drac gets impaled by a broken wheel. They both die and a shifty looking bloke removes Draculas ring and collects the ashes of his corpse into a test tube thing. Next at Van Helsings funeral the dodgy bloke looks on with a cheeky look on his face... the rascal! Then the camera pans up and this happens.
We then get the opening titles which apart from blaring out some funky seventies music straight out of a bad porn film we get shown planes, buses, fly overs and cranes as if to say "look how advanced we really are its 1972 woo hoo".
From there we are taken to a posh party full of hippies who are annoying the posh hosts by being too wild. In all fairness they are not doing anything wild and the hosts should be thankful it was this boring lot that showed up instead of some Hells Angels or something. The shifty bloke who grabbed the counts ashes is at the party? Its a hundred years later? He still looks the same? Its not explained how or why this has happened and it doesent through the course of the movie. He knocks a little expensive figurine over and leaves. I would alos like to note that band in this scene are so crap it makes them hilarious.
After they get cleared off by the plod they are all gathered in a hip Chelsea coffee shop named the Cavern. Its here where "Johnny" (the bloke who can survive a hundred years without looking a day older than Peter Pan) suggests they should all do a satanic ritual or as he describes it "a date with the devil". After not much persuasion they all agree. I would also like to note that Caroline Munro from the Spy who loved me and Sinbad is one of the chicks at the table. She is so fucking hot!
So the group all end up going to a church to do the literal Hell raising but this isn't any church oh no but the church where Lawrence Van Helsing is buried. It turns out that one of the girls in the group is Jessica Van Helsing the great Granddaughter of the vampire slayer and what a coincidence today marks the 100th year anniversary of his death and Count Draculas demise. When Jessicas boyfriend Bob spots the tomb stone in the church yard he is furious and wants to hive Johnny right a old cockney slap. Johnny denies all knowledge and the ritual begins.
They all sit in a circle with a chalk pentagram on the floor as a recording of some dodgy drum beats is played on a tape in the background. Johnny is at the church altar demanding power from all the usual suspects from the world of devils, goblins, vampires and demons. He demands that Jessica join him as she has been chosen but Jessica doesent want to so Caroline Munro takes her place and lays on a table as Johnny cuts his wrists with a flick knife and mixes the blood in a goblet along with Draculas ashes.
He then pours the whole lot over Munros tits and with that everyone (including the men) do a runner from the church leaving poor Munro alone with the gothic nut nut... great fucking mates them lot are!
Dracula rises from the ground outside and comes into the church and necks Munro to death (I would have banged her first but then I have to remind my self that this is Dracula 1972ad not Confessions of a Satanist). Johnny tells Dracula he saved him but Dracula puts his hand out with his ring still on it and says "it was my will" cool as fuck. I believe the smoke Dracula rose from may have been skunk weed because he looks baked as fuck.
"I was gunna suck your blood but then I got high"
So the next day the group are back down the coffee shop calling Johnny all sorts of dreadful things when he shows up and tells them how it was all one big joke and goes far enough to show them how a blood capsule works but no ones convinced especially not the black girl who is played by the really shit actress Marsha Hunt (who has kids with Mick Jagger so I hear) who cant say Watford properly.
Its around this point I believe that Peter Cushing return to the franchise this time as Jessicas grand father the ever so serious Dr Van Helsing Jr. I would also like to point out he has the coolest painting of Christopher Lees incarnation of Dracula in his study.
I want one of these paintings to go in my art gallery which will also feature Vigo from Ghostbusters 2 so you can stick your PIcasso paintings up your arse!
Mean while a kid with a West Ham Utd jumper on finds Munros corpse in the church yard and even though she is dead and covered with loads of rubble she still looks hot. I think I need mental help but then again so did Tony Soprano and he was GQ man of the year once!
The police show up and talk to Dr Van Helsing for ages about vampires then at end of the conversation are like oh yeah your grand daughter is involved can we have a word. After she has been shaken down by the fuzz Van Helsing asks her what Johnnys surname is and she reveals its Alucard.
Back at Johnnys flat he is smoking weed and getting it on with the black chick and then he ends up feeding her to Dracula but Dracula isnt pleased one bit. He wants Jessica Van Helsing not this bitch. Johnny demands Dracula give him the power and he will serve his wish.
Dracula gives him the power but what I dont understand the Johnny Alucard character. Is he the same guy from a hundred years ago? Its not explained. Anyway with his new found power Johnny decides to kill some woman who has nothing to do with anything doing her dry cleaning. You can tell its the 70s as this woman is smoking a fag in the dry cleaners. Back then you could smoke everywhere pubs, offices, Mcdonalds and baby wards probably.
Back at Van Helsings the old doctor is doing some brainy detective work which kinda looks like this
I couldn't get a screen grab so I improvised using paint.
I guess all those years of playing Sherlock Holmes and now Peter Cushing is now known as Brains! well done you solved a puzzle that really didn't need to be solved in a dimly lit study with a pen and paper. Mind you audiences where stupid back then so who cares.
Mean while Jessica goes back to the cavern with trusty old boyfriend Joe much to the really old lady in the hallway of her residence dismay.
But trusty old Joe is now with Johnny backwards Dracula and it was all a ploy so that they could take her to Dracula. Joe tries to eat her but Johnny stops him as she is not for them. While I am on the subject the cleavage shots in this movie so far have been fucking top notch!
With Jessica missing doctor Van Helsing runs around London aimlessly just so we can get shots of Peter Cushing running around busy streets to convey to us that he is actually looking for her just incase we don't believe him. Well his daft marathon hits a jack pot when one of the girls in the group stops him to give him Johnny backwards Dracula's address. She went there for kicks once and said it got weird what ever that means. Maybe he tried inserting some snooker balls up her anus while pouring blood all over her or something. He does have a snooker table you know! This character is just pure mystery isn't he! We don't know if he is a hundred years old but we do know one thing.. he likes vampires and snooker.
When Johnny returns home he is greeted by Van Helsing who wants to know where his granddaughter is being held. Van Helsing then picks up what looks like a black dildo and asks Johnny what is it for? Johnny replies "a wedding you fool!". I have been to a few weddings in my time but all I can say is if even if this one wasn't a free bar I would still go just to see what significance a big black didlo has to do with anything at a wedding.
Johnny and Van Helsing have a cool battle in the flat as the daylight starts coming through and by reflecting a mirror in Johnny's face Van Helsing makes him retreat into the bathroom which conveniently has a glass ceiling and Johnny dies in the bath refusing to tell Van Helsing where Jessica is.
It doesn't matter that Johnny backwards Dracula never told him because he ends up finding her anyway in that same church from earlier. When Van Helsing gets there Jessica is under Draculas spell and cant wake up.
Dracula and Van Helsing have one final showdown where the Count gets stabbed in the heart with Johnny's flick knife but Jessica who is still under the spell pulls it out to her grandfathers dismay. The pair carry on the battle in the church yard and Dracula trips and lands in an open grave full of strategically placed stakes which impale him. Van Helsing jams a spade in Dracula's back pushing him further down on the stakes finally killing him. Van Helsing and Jessica then leave the cemetery as the funky porn music rolls and so do the credits.
Dracula 1972 is no way the best of these movies but it is one of the most unique. They took the 19th century villain and brought him to a then modern London and did their best to tell a decent story of how it happened. There are a few plot holes but fuck it this movie is just for kicks really. If you want to watch a decent Dracula movie try the Horror of Dracula or Brides of Dracula in this series. The reason I am fond of this movie is because I saw it as a kid and I just think its jokes to be honest.
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are the two of the greatest on screen rivals not just in horror film history but film history it self. With Christopher Lee with his sheer size and satanically dark screen presence and Peter Cushing the badass gentleman it was a match made in heaven (or in horrors case hell). The chemistry between the two goes unparalleled and even to this day which is 40 years later no one has been able to replace the duo and I don't think anyone ever will.