Dracula A.D. 1972
Dracula jagt Mini-Mädchen
Josephine Douglas, Michael Carreras (executive) for Hammer
directed by Alan Gibson
starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Christopher Neame, Michael Coles, Marsha A.Hunt, Caroline Munro, Janet Key, William Ellis, Philip Miller, Michael Kitchen, David Andrews, Lally Bowers, Constance Luttrell, Michael Daly, Artro Morris, Jo Richardson, Penny Brahms, Brian John Smith, Stoneground
screenplay by Don Houghton, based on characters by Bram Stoker, music by Michael Vickers, songs by Stoneground, special effects by Les Bowie
Dracula, Hammer's Dracula, Dracula (Christopher Lee), Hammer's modern day Dracula, Van Helsing, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing)
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Just for kicks, Jessica Van Helsing (Stephanie Beacham) and her friends
are participting in a black mass, staged by one Johnny Alucard
(Christopher Neame), a black mass that ultimately culminates in the
sacrifice of one of them, Laura (Caroline Munro), and the resurrection of
Dracula himself (Christopher Lee) - yet the next day, Johnny claims it was
all just a prank, which Jessica and the others believe, until Laura and
another girl of the group show up dead.
Dracula however is not happy
about the choice of victims supplied by Johnny, basically because he wants
to get his hands on Jessica herself, because Jessica, you know, is a
descendant of famous vampire hunter Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), who
killed him 100 years ago. Thing is, there is still a vampire hunting Van
Helsing around, Jessica's granddad (also Peter Cushing), and when the
police investigates the recent vampire murders, Van Helsing is soon asked
to help out.
While Van Helsing and his inspector friend (Michael Coles)
are still looking for leads on Dracula though, Dracula finally succeeds in
having Jessica kidnapped, and he wants to make her his bride in another
black mass - but fortunately, Van Helsing is able to catch up with him
just in time, and fight it out with the vampire in a desecrated church, a
fight that ends with Dracula falling to his death in a pit full of stakes.
its premise sounds very much like Hammer's previous Taste the
Blood of Dracula, Dracula A.D.1972 is actually Hammer's
first attempt to bring one of their most successful characters Dracula
to modern times is about as clumsy and anachronistic as it is charming and
endearing: Sure, the cape-wearing vampire and his nemesis vampire hunter Van
Helsing make little sense in modern times, especially when played
by Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in their distinctive (and highly
effective) acting styles that make more sense in the Victorian era than
London of the 1970's. On the other hand though, making Dracula the
centerpiece of a hippie-black mass and having both the vampire and his
hunter interact with hip teens of the day comes across as rather funny (if
unintentionally so) and turns the film into a great piece of nostalgia.
Not a maserpiece, mind you, and maybe one of the lesser Hammer-Draculas,
but an entertaining piece of film nevertheless (if entertaining sometimes
for the wrong reasons).