The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

DIRECTOR: Alan Gibson

CAST: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Coles, William Franklyn, Joanna Lumley, Freddie Jones, Richard Vernon, Barbara Yu Ling

In production, this mediocre updating of the Dracula myth was known as Dracula Is Alive and Dead and Well and Living in London. It was the second of Hammer's two attempts to bring the Count into the 1970s, and much less successful, sorely lacking in both suspense and atmosphere.

The story has detectives (Coles, Franklyn) uncovering an occult ring whose leader is bent on destroying society with a killer virus. When Professor Lorrimer van Helsing (Cushing) takes on the case, he soon discovers it is his old foe Dracula (Lee) behind the plot. The Count has returned to London in the guise of Mr Denham, a London property developer.

Although unlike its predecessor, the script did send Dracula into the outside contemporary world (where Dracula AD 1972 had him confined to the ruins of an old church), Hammer failed to make anything particularly interesting out of the premise. It was left to the usual solid performance by Peter Cushing to lift an otherwise tired film.





David L Rattigan 2005





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