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Dracula: Prince of Darkness (Hammer 1966, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley)

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Christopher Lee returns to the fold as the vampiric count, with the film taking up the threads of the earlier Hammer Dracula . After a reprise of the legend, two British couples travelling in the Carpathian mountains are ensnared by the Count’s faithful retainer Klove (Philip Latham) to spend the night at Castle Dracula. However, one will end up suspended over the Count’s tomb, his flowing blood bringing the Count back to life, while the two women are soon his slaves. Only Charles Kent (Francis Mathews) survives and, with the help of vampire hunter Father Sandor (Andrew Keir), finally corners the Count, who once again meets his end.

Lee’s red-eyed stare is suitably baleful and the fangs slightly more convincing than in the original. Although uttering no threats or curses (it’s rumoured Lee thought the dialogue rubbish and just refused to say his lines), his intentions, particularly to the two heroines, are clear.

production details
UK | Hammer | 90 minutes | 1966

Director: Terence Fisher
Script: Bram Stoker, Jimmy Sangster, Anthony Hinds,

cast
Christopher Lee as Count Dracula
Barbara Shelley as Helen Kent
Andrew Keir as Father Sandor
Francis Matthews as Charles Kent
Suzan Farmer as Diana Kent
Thorley Walters as Ludwig
Philip Latham as Klove
Charles Tingwell as Alan Kent
Walter Brown as Brother Mark
George Woodbridge as Landlord
Philip Ray as Priest
Joyce Hemson as Mother
John Maxim as Coach Driver
Jack Lambert as Brother Peter

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