Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)



Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is a 1968 British horror
film directed by Freddie Francis for Hammer Films. It stars
Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, with support from Rupert
Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barry Andrews, Barbara Ewing,
Ewan Hooper and Michael Ripper.



The world of the film is arguably far darker and more ambiguous
than the world created by director Terence Fisher for the previous
three films in the Dracula series.



>>Plot summary:

The film opens in a middle-European village still in the throes of
Dracula's reign of terror (see Dracula: Prince of Darkness), where
an altar boy discovers the body of a woman stuffed in the church's
bell. She is another victim of Dracula, and the village - which
Dracula's castle overlooks - is terrified.



A year after Dracula has been destroyed, a Monsignor (Davies)
comes to the village on a routine visit only to find the altar boy is
now a frightened mute. The villagers refuse to attend Mass at
church because "the shadow of his castle touches it". The Priest has
apparently lost his faith. To bring to an end the villagers' fears, the
Monsignor climbs to the Castle to exorcise it.



The Priest cannot follow him up the mountain and the Monsignor
continues alone. As the Monsignor exorcises the castle, attaching
a large metal cross to its gate, a storm strikes, and the Priest tries
to run, but falls and is knocked out, cutting his head on rock. His
blood trickles into a frozen stream; through a crack in the melting
ice it trickles on to the lips of the preserved body of Count
Dracula and brings it to life.



The Monsignor goes back to the village believing that the Priest
had already safely returned, and assures the villagers that the
castle is sanctified to protect them from Dracula's evil. He returns
to his home city of Kleinenberg.



Unknown to the Monsignor, the Priest is under the control of the
resurrected Count. Furious that the cross prevents him from
entering his castle, Dracula demands that the enslaved Priest says
who is responsible. The Priest leads Dracula in pursuit of the
Monsignor and he discovers a new victim for Dracula's revenge -
the Monsignor's beautiful niece, Maria (Carlson). First, Dracula
bites and enslaves Zena the tavern girl (Ewing). Zena almost
succeeds in bringing Maria under Dracula's power, despite her
jealousy. However, Maria's boyfriend Paul (Andrews) works in
the bakery beneath the tavern, and he rescues her.



Dracula punishes the tavern girl for her "failure" by biting and
killing her. The Priest is summoned to burn her corpse in the
fire of the bakery oven; and he helps Dracula find Maria.
Dracula comes into her bedroom at night over the rooftops.
The scene where he bites her is intense and ends with her hand
pushing away her china doll.



The Monsignor sees the signs of vampirism in his neice and
follows the fleeing figure, but is knocked insensible on the
rooftop by the Priest. In his dying state he recruits Paul to
help. Paul is an atheist but his love for Maria drives him.
Unwittingly he enlists the Priest's help who, unable to break
free from Dracula's influence, tries to attack Paul. Paul forces
the Priest to lead him to Dracula's lair beyond the tavern
bakery. They stake Dracula through the heart; the faithless
Priest and the atheist Paul cannot complete the rite and
Dracula removes the stake himself. He draws Maria to him
on the rooftop, and they are pursued by Paul and the Priest.



Dracula carries Maria to his castle, orders her to remove the
metal cross. She tumbles it over the parapet to the ravine
below. Paul faces the Count outside the castle and during
the struggle Dracula drops over the parapet and lands on
his back, impaled on the cross. He fights to free himself,
weeping tears of blood, but the Priest recites the Lord's
Prayer and Count Dracula perishes, and dissolves into dust.
Reunited with Maria and his religion, Paul crosses himself
over the spectacle.



>>Cast:

-Christopher Lee (Count Dracula)
-Rupert Davies (Monsignor Ernest Muller)
-Veronica Carlson (Maria Muller)
-Barry Andrews (Paul)
-Barbara Ewing (Zena)
-Ewan Hooper (Priest)
-Michael Ripper (Max)
-John D. Collins (Student)
-George A. Cooper (Landlord)



>>Production:

This was the first of the Hammer Dracula films to be shot at
Elstree Studios in London. Notably missing are the approach road,
coach path and moat seen in front of Castle Dracula in 1958's
Dracula and 1966's Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Those films were
made at Bray Studios.



The film was photographed by Arthur Grant using colored filters
belonging to director Freddie Francis, also a cameraman by trade,
who used them when photographing The Innocents (1961).
Whenever Dracula (or his castle) is in a scene, the frame edges are
tinged crimson, amber and yellow.



In Australia, the film was the first Hammer Dracula to be passed by
the censors; the previous films Dracula (1958) and Dracula: Prince
of Darkness (1966) were banned. The film was slightly censored and
ran for a three-week season at Sydney's Capitol theatre in January
1970. In the US, the film was rated G.

Fonts: Wikipedia

2 comments:

Will Errickson said...

Great review of a cool Hammer flick. I enjoy your site, especially the "Bat Music" playlist!

MANDRA said...

Thank you so much Will Errickson for your comment!

Greetings my friend!