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Dracula A.D. 1972
Vampires need to become cool "Hammer Films" thinks about it. So after an ultra classic opening we are in 1972 in a middle class party where breaks a group of hippies that occupy the home, plays, dances and have sex under tables, in front of the astonished owners. Irreverent and iconoclastic atmosphere that anticipates the parties of the "Rocky Horror Show" and "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls".
Hunted by the police the boys, bored, make a black mass in a cemetery and bring to life the Prince of Darkness.
A fast and funny beginning for this work of "Hammer" that retains two giants of the genre, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing (back together in a vampire story after more than a decade), putting in us the doubt that this is not, unfortunately, the revolution of the genre.
And, in fact, the sparkling start fades and gives way to a classic structure that sometimes bored and does not give us great surprises. Compared to the almost contemporary Karstein trilogy, "Dracula AD 1972" does not show even naked bodies that could please the audience, but is limited to a few mischievous shot.
Heavily criticized at its release, this Alan Gibson’s film still retains some charm thanks to the music of Mike Vickers member of "Manfred Mann" and thanks to a typical stylish direction of the films of the "Hammer".
According to Wikipedia, after the success of "Count Yorga, Vampire" of '' American International Pictures ", the" 20th Century Fox "commissioned to the "Hammer "two films about vampires to set in the modern era.
The English company great expert of the genre started shooting in the second half of 1971 in the Elstree Studios. The script written by Don Houghton television screenwriter who for "Hammer" writes, even "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (which makes with this a diptych), "The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires" and "Shatter", is inspired by the facts of the "Highgate Vampire".
In December 1969 a boy sleep in the cemetery of "Highgate" says he saw a supernatural figure. A case that with the usual tam-tam media enlarges to embrace vampirism citing the possible burial of a Wallachian noble black magic expert.
The link with the movie is just that, mentioned in the incipit. We are in London in 1872, and Van Helsing kills Dracula, but his servant takes the remains and buries him in a cemetery.
Let's move on to 1972 and one of the boys at the party that we described at the beginning is the old servant who convinces friends to do the satanic ritual that brings to life the Prince of Darkness. However, in the group there is a (grand, grand, grand)son of Van Helsing who warns the father of these strange facts. Also the Van Helsing of the last generation must fight against the old enemy.
Lee and Cushing returning to duel without bringing anything new to their style and although we love them, we must say that seeing the goal of the film we expected something never seen, that was not the usual red-eyed Lee and Cushing who struggle to kill his enemy.
The two, however, needless to say, do their work and maybe are the lifeline of this movie.
The two giants are supported by a cast of beautiful actresses. Stephanie Beacham famous for "Dynasty" and "Sister Kate", Caroline Munro that we have seen in several films of the "Hammer" and genre movies y as "Star Crash" and the singer and actress Marsha Hunt. Christopher Neame complete list of the actors playing the servant of Dracula, called in a rather original Johnny Alucard. Another thing certainly not so much innovative.