Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Christopher Lee as Dracula
DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968). Director: Freddie Francis.

In this sequel to Dracula Prince of Darkness, the blood-lusting count (Christopher Lee) is freed from his icy prison but discovers that Monsignor Mueller (Rupert Davis) has placed a big cross against the door to his castle as part of his efforts of purification. Enraged, the count mind-controls a pliable priest (Ewan Hooper) and enlists his aid in getting revenge. Dracula sets his sights on the monsignor's pretty niece, Maria (Veronica Carlson), who has a boyfriend, Paul (Barry Andrews), who shocks the monsignor and her mother (Marion Mathie) by admitting he's an atheist [this development takes a predictable route in some ways but not in others]. The busty barmaid Zena (Barbara Ewing) has a yen for Paul but instead winds up the lover of Dracula. [The scene in which the count stalks her just before dawn is well handled except it appears to be daylight already!] The main problem with Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is that it follows the excellent Prince of Darkness [directed by Terence Fisher] and must suffer by comparison. Otherwise, it's effective enough on its own terms and boasts some very good acting from all the principals. Lee is given some dialogue this time around, but only interacts with others when he is controlling or attacking them.

Verdict: Not the best of the Count, but not bad. **1/2.

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