Alan Gibson, 1972
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, Christopher Neame, Caroline Munro
Peter Cushing is finally back! Now, listen carefully. Basically every review of this film writes it off as terrible, boring, cheesy, with a horrible soundtrack and a ridiculous lack of continuity. I don't know what movie those people saw, because this is easily one of the best entries in the Hammer Dracula series. Though it lacks the somber mood and gothic atmosphere of the beginning of the series, it is ridiculously fun and has more of a sense of humor than probably any other Hammer Horror effort. I might have to give in and admit that this is my very favorite, even though Peter Cushing doesn't slap any hysterical women (or men).
Dracula A.D. 1972 concerns Van Helsing’s descendants - Grandpa Van Helsing (played with aplomb by Peter Cushing) and hot ‘70s babe Jessica Van Helsing - who are plagued by a descendent of Dracula’s servants. Johnny Alucard (the tremendously awesome Christopher Neame) is intent on resurrecting his family’s master. Dracula, in turn, is determined to rid the world of Van Helsings once and for all by killing the good doctor (or anthropologist, whatever he is) and sinking his fangs into Jessica’s ample bosom.
This film is full of some amazing and hilarious set pieces. There are hot girls, ridiculous clothes, swingin' '70s drug lingo and bored teenagers desperate for a laugh. Don't forget about the completely random Stoneground performance in the beginning of the film where a group of kids crashes an upper class dinner party and time themselves to see how long they can linger before the bobbies arrive. It's a shame they forget the couple under the dining room table still having sex. The best moment in the film involves Dracula's resurrection, which is surely one of the most awesome Black Mass scenes in all of satanic cinema. Johnny Alucard is one of the swankiest villains/henchmen outside of a James Bond film. And who doesn’t want to see Dracula stalk through “modern” London to a disco beat? “Dig the music, kids.” Oh, and I almost forgot - there are morals, kids, so this film is fun for the whole family. Except the gratuitous cleavage and occasional blood spilling.
Fortunately this film is still in print, though Warner Home Video did put out the cheapest DVD imaginable. Though there are no special features, there is a swingin’ trailer.