I have mentioned this before. Actually I have mentioned it time and time again. Hammer films are some of the best horror films ever made. Top notch story, acting, atmosphere, score, particle effects, you name it. They were the cream of the crop when it came to horror. Their use of the classic monsters was better than the original counterparts. Dracula was always a main draw for them. In fact the films featuring Dracula and his arch enemy Van Helsing were some of the best films the company made. Very different from their American counterparts, the Hammer films featured a higher emphasis on sexuality, and often much more graphic special effects. One of the early titles was The Brides of Dracula.
Brides of Dracula is the tale of Marianne Danielle. She is a teacher on her way to Transylvania. When her coach approaches a “Haunted” area he simply lets her out and leaves he at a small Inn. She meets Baroness Meinster who takes pity on her and even offers her a place to stay for the night. She is warned by the other towns people not to go, but follows the Baroness home anyway to her castle. She discovers the Baroness has a son, who she keeps chained up in a room in the castle. When Marianne is able to sneak into his room he asks her to free him. She of course agrees but comes to find out from the maid, Greta that he is chained up because he is a vampire, turned by Dracula himself. The Baroness keeps him chained up and brings him young women to feed on. Marianne flees into the night and is found by Van Helsing the following morning.
Turns out Van Helsing was summoned to the town by Father Stepnik, a local priest who has been leery of the Baroness and what goes on in her castle for some time now. Upon his arrival Van Helsing is alerted to a funeral happening for a young girl found dead in the woods in the castle area. He tries to get her father to not bury her, as he sees the bite marks on her throat. He warns the father that if she is burred it will finish the transformation and she will rise from the dead as a vampire. The father does not listen, and later that night what Van Helsing predicted comes true.
Van Helsing and Father Stepnik travel to the castle to discover that not only is the Baroness a vampire but that her son, the Barron has left the castle and has traveled to ask Marianne to be his bride, something that she accepts without thought. Van Helsing must now stop the Baron from making Marianne his bride and contended with the other vampire brides he has taken over the years.
This is a great movie. I saw it as a child and fell in love with it. It still holds up to this day. All of these Hammer films do. The acting, pacing, and overall tone are timeless. I had a great time watching it last night. These films were so far ahead of their time they are right on par, if not better than the current crop of horror films out there today. I was thrilled that Scream Factory has added this to their growing collection. They have done an amazing job. The transfer is breath taking to say the least. The picture is crisp and clear, and the audio is fantastic. Hammer had some of the best scores in terms of horror films and this is no exception. It sounds amazing coming from your speakers. Plus as its Scream Factory they even included special features.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!