Coming to Bluray from writer Richard Matheson and producer Dan Curtis comes the beautifully remastered story of the one and only Dan Curtis’ DRACULA.
This film tells the story of Count Dracula (Jack Palance); a century’s old being plans to move to England. First he encounters Jonathan Harker (Murray Brown) who travelled to Transylvania to find the Count property to buy. Once the seal is on the paperwork, Dracula imprisons Harker in the vampire ridden castle.
Dracula has his sites set on Lucy Westenra (Fiona Lewis) as he falls for his little concubine. When Lucy’s fiancé Arthur Holmwood (Simon Ward) sees a change he calls in Dr. Van Helsing (Nigel Davenport) to help capture the blood drinking creature. Even Mina (Penelope Horner) is in danger when Jonathan returns!
Dracula must be stopped before they all perish!
FINAL WORD: Palance as Dracula really does a number with the famous blood sucker. With a sullen face, dark eyes and a voice that drips with pain his performance is spot on. Born Vladimir Palahniuk, this actors career spanned from 1959 until his passing in 2006, Palance certainly made a name for himself. There was a big resurgence in his career in 1991 playing the role of Curly the cowboy in the film CITY SLICKERS.
Brown as Harker gets a chance to go full on vampire! His acting career seemed full of the toothy creatures as he appeared in the 1974 film VAMPYRES and the television series SHADOWS filled with scary stories for children.
Lewis as Lucy is a part of the story that most people don’t know about. Modern viewers are use to seeing Mina as the love interest that drives Dracula. In this film it is Lucy that pushed the Count to his love limits. Lewis has also had her share of films dealing with Dracula with the 1967 film FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS.
Ward as Arthur has a bit of the creepy vampire look to him as well. But in this role he is after the bloodsucker that is ruining his life. Along with Davenport as Van Helsing, these two stake drivers band together with Horner as Mina to put an end to the love lorned dark Count’s escapades.
The DVD includes special features such as an interview with Jack Palance, and interview with director/producer Dan Curtis, outtakes, television cuts, Spanish and French audio tracks, and a trailer.
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Other cast include: Pamela Brown as Mrs. Westenra, Barbara Lindley as Dracula’s wife, Sarah Douglas as Dracula’s wife, George Pravda as the Innkeeper, Reg Lye as the Zookeeper, Fred Stone as the Priest, and Roy Spencer as Whitby.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give Dan Curtis’ DRACULA four tubs of popcorn out of five. CBS first televised the film in 1974 scaring television watchers with the intensity Palance brought to the world’s most famous vampire. Then thought to be the most frightening version of Dracula, the Los Angeles Times called it, “the definitive Count Dracula – as flesh-crawling an experience as you’ve ever had”.
I enjoyed the purity of the story with its memorable 70’s creepy music, Palance giving a dark and sullen version of the Count and a cast that plays their role to the hilt. As a fan of older films this one lines right up with one of my favorites.
In the end – he is the creature that everyone fears!