Saturday, December 3, 2011

Horror Classics Collection (The Curse of Frankenstein / Dracula Has Risen from the Grave / Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed / Horror of Dracula / The Mummy / Taste the Blood of Dracula) (1959)

This is a list that will help new fans of the Hammer hoorrors keep track of the series. First the Dracula series.

1) HORROR OF DRACULA (aka DRACULA) The first Dracula to feature Chris Lee as the count and Peter Cushing as Prof. Lawrence Van Helsing.

2) BRIDES OF DRACULA No Dracula here but Van Helsing returns to fight the Counts remaining deciples in this first sequel that is just as good as the first.

3) KISS OF DRACULA (aka KISS OF THE VAMPIRE) More stray vampires terrorize tourists. Good, but no Lee or Cushing. (aka KISS OF EVIL in Britain , KISS OF THE VAMPIRE in US theatres and was retitled KISS OF DRACULA for some US TV showings.)

4) DRACULA- PRINCE OF DARKNESS Lee returns to the role. This time the Count is revived by the devilish Mr. Klove. Dracula is silent in this film. Not one word is spoken by Lee.

5) DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE Starts with a prologue that takes place during DRACULA- PRINCE OF DARKNESS, then jumps to several months later when Priests accidentaly free Dracula from his watery grave during an exorcism. (We see Drac's reflection in the water. OOPS!!) One sequence is tinted in psychedelic colors.

6) TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA picks up right were the last left off.
A group of wealthy thrill seekers, led by Ralph Bates, resurrects the count.
There are two versions. The US cut on VHS was rated PG.
The US DVD is the uncut R rated version which has nudity.

7) SCARS OF DRACULA Dracula returns to his carpathian castle, where, aided by his henchman Klove, he stalks busty girls in sheer nighties. With a phalic dagger no less, and with Bob Todd, Benny Hills tall balding sidekick, who dresses as if he's from the 1500s (?!?). (Has nudity)

8) DRACULA A.D. 1972 During a coach chase both Van Helsing and Dracula are killed. 100 years later Dracula is revived and stalks sexy mini skirted girls and other mod types in 1970s London. Lorimer Van Helsing (Cushing again) , grandson of the original, shows up with his
beautiful granddaughter Jessica (Stephanie Beacham) to stop him. Some of the plot is lifted directly from

9) THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA (aka COUNT DRACULA AND HIS VAMPIRE BRIDE) Is a direct sequel to the last film. Dracula, back with no explanation, is now a wealthy London businessman who controls a wide spread satanic cult. They are attempting to wipe out the human race with a deadly viras.
Lorimer and Jessica Van Helsing lead Scotland yards new team of vampire hunters.
Joanna Lumley replaces Stephanie Beachum as Jessica. Dracula uses Hell's Angels to do his dirty work
and some of the plot is, again, lifted from TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA.
(The title was changed to THE RITES OF DRACULA for its US VHS release in the 80s. In North America this
movie is considered in public domain, even though Hammer still holds the copyright.)

10) LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES (aka THE SEVEN BROTHERS MEET DRACULA) Back to basics. In the early 1800s Dracula's vampire plague spreds to China. 100 years later a chinese village seeks out Lawrence VanHelsing and his son Leland for help against the growing army of the dead, led by 7 golden vampires and a high priest who is possessed by Dracula himself. (There are two distinctly different edits
of this film. The US DVD/VHS has both versions on it.)

The Frankenstein Saga..

1) THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (aka FRANKENSTEIN) Cushing is the selfish science student and Lee is his monster. Victor is portrayed as arrogant and villainous.

2) THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN is a direct sequel with Cushing returning to create a new creature.
He is much nicer, yet, still corrupt. He creates himself a new , lookalike, body. But this is never refered to
in the series again (!?!).

3) TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN (THE FACE IN THE TOMBSTONE MIRROR) is an unsold pilot for a Hammer/Screen
Gems Frankenstein series. Anton Diffring replaces Cushing as a goodhearted, but still criminal, Victor and stock shots from Universal's horrors are used in the opening credits (In public domain in the US.
Some of the plot was later reused in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED.)

4) THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN Cushing returns to his castle and discovers a previous creation (One we've never seen before) to still be alive. This time Victor is a good guy and some of the plot, and art direction, is lifted from Universal's Frankenstein Series. A US TV version had new scenes shot by Universal added to expand the running time. These scenes were not included in later TV showings and are not on any DVD/VHS.

5) FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN Victor survived the fire at the end of the last film, but it left his hands horribly scarred. His surgical techniques hindered, he attempts a new experiment. Transpant of the soul or mind from a man to a woman. Victor is arrogant but still, basically a generous good guy.

6) FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED Still crippled, the increasingly mad Victor blackmails a young couple into assisting him. Victor is depicted as completely evil and a cold blooded killer. A brief "semi-rape" scene
(Victor beats a girl up, tears her dress and kisses her) was cut from US theatrical versions. (The movie works better without it.) The US VHS/DVD is uncut.

7) HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN is just a remake of CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN with Ralph Bates replacing Cushing as
a blase' but evil Victor. David Prowse is the creature.

Cushing is Frankenstein again and now he runs an asylum full of loonies and potential spare parts. This was Cushings last performance as Victor and it is a brilliant descent into total madness. He is a kindly old man at times but also ruthless. He is still blackmailing people to get what he needs.

The Mummy series...

THE MUMMY Cushing is the archyologist who unnearths a curse and Kharis the Mummy played by a very scary Christopher Lee. Its really a remake of Universal's THE MUMMY'S TOMB with bits of THE MUMMY'S HAND, THE MUMMY'S CURSE, THE MUMMY'S GHOST and the original THE MUMMY thrown in. Similar to today's "re-imagining" remakes. Lee is quite good as the heartbroken Kharis, despite it being another silent part.

THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB Is another mummy (not Kharis) on the loose.
The US trailer and TV ads for this movie had a funny "beat-music" "jingle"!!!

THE MUMMY'S SHROUD a third egyptian is revived as a living mummy.

BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB has a very busty & sexy brunette female mummy tempting men,
and women as well, to their doom.

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