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Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Satanic Rites Of Dracula (1973)

When prominent members of the British government and aristocracy are suspected of being in a secret cult, British Intelligence assigns two men (Michael Coles, William Franklyn) to investigate the matter. But when they discover it involves the occult, they ask the help of Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who suspects his family's old nemesis Dracula (Christopher Lee) may be behind it all. Directed by Alan Gibson, Hammer brings Dracula into the 20th century. Here, instead of skulking in castles, he is a wealthy property developer living in a high rise! It's a weak effort. Cushing and Lee bring their welcome gravitas to their respective roles but the film plays out like a routine action doomsday thriller rather than a horror movie and one senses Cushing and Lee's discomfort. The film might have worked better as a parody and indeed, when first announced, it was going to be a comedy before they changed their minds after Lee protested. With Joanna Lumley (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS) and Freddie Jones.

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