Wednesday, October 20, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 20 - Movie 2

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) continues Hammer's series of Dracula films picking up right where the last one left off with a salesman (Roy Kinnear - best known as Mr. Salt in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) stumbling onto the scene of Dracula's demise from the previous film. He then collects Dracula's remains for his own purposes. Our story moves on to a trio ofrespectable gentlemen who are secretly thrillseekers who feel they've experienced everything, until they encounter black magic practitioner Lord Courtley (Ralph Bates) whom they employ to show them something new. Courtley persuades them to buy Dracula's cape, clasp, ring and a vial of his dried blood for a ceremony. During the ceremony, Courtley reactivates Dracula's blood with his own, but the three men refuse to drink it. Courtley does and begins convulsing in agony. He pleads for help from the three men, but they beat him to death instead. Dracula (Christopher Lee) is resurrected from Courtley's remains and vows vengeance on the the three gentlemen which he does through their adult children.

Taste the Blood of Dracula does infuse a bit of variety into the series with its rather unique premise, and up until Dracula's resurrection it's fully engaging. After that, the pacing gets a bit bogged down and scenes feel repetitive. Most of our time is spent with the three gentlemen living in fear and shame over what they've done to Courtley before they get picked off one by one. These scenes are interspersed with scenes of the young romances going on between the three men's various adult offspring. When Dracula begins his revenge, it's pretty lackluster. Dracula uses his will to get one of the daughters to kill her father with a shovel. The other two murders are also pretty mundane, even though one involved a vampire driving a stake into her own human father. Dracula does not do anything himself except stand around looking menacing and bite one girl on the neck. His destruction at the end of the movie is also the weakest in the series. Michael Ripper also appears as a police inspector who is unmotivated to perform his duties and does absolutely nothing for the movie either.



Anonymous said...

You actually made this one sound pretty good! I might give it a try.

John Rozum said...

If I had watched this the way I normally would have -- by itself and not in a Dracula intense movie week, I would have liked it a lot more than I suggested. I think the sameness of the movies is getting to me a bit and its hard to be as optimistically objective as i'd like to be.