Thursday, August 30, 2012
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA
A young French woman, Marianne (Yvonne Monlaur), on her way to a girls school to join the teaching staff, spends the night in the castle of a lonely old woman, Baroness Meinster (Martita Hunt), who tells her that her son, the baron (David Peel), lives by himself in another part of the castle. Marianne finds him and is shocked to see that he is in leg irons. Freeing him, she unleashes a wave of vampirism that engulfs the girl's school and brings in that legendary vampire hunter, Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing). This sequel to Horror of Dracula has its moments but suffers from the fact that there is no actual Dracula -- or Christopher Lee, who played the count in the first film -- in the story. Nonetheless Peel makes an impression as this substitute bloodsucker, and Freda Jackson scores as the housekeeper, Greta, who looked to the baron's needs for years and goes literally mad when he finally escapes; Hunt is also good as his mother. Cushing, of course, is excellent. Nothing terribly provocative happens at the girls school, but director Fisher still handles it with his usual dramatic flair.
Verdict: Entertaining if minor Hammer horror flick. **1/2.