Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)
Director: Don Sharp
Main Stars: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco, Suzan Farmer
Storyline: The story of the power of the madman monk Rasputin
Review (Spoils): Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lee) has the mental power to bend people to his will. When he uses his power to heal a woman and starts to gain the reputation from the villagers as a good guy eh starts to show his true colours. Rasputin uses his mind to brain wash women to become his slaves and bid his evil doing. To the point of their breaking point and their weakness.
Much like other Hammer Films this one is made up with beautiful gothic scenery and clothing. We have Christopher Lee at one of his best make-up setup as the mad monk. His acting stands out in this film and Rasputin should be a legendary character of his much like Dracula. The film tells the story of the drunken mad monk and how he uses his mind to control people to do his bidding so that he can live happily in wealth. The two damsels in this Hammer film are legendary scream queens Suzan Farmer and Barbara Shelley, we do not have the bosoms out like most Hammer films but at the same time we do have great acting as Shelley places the poor soul that the monk torments.
Rating: I will be honest I did not find it the strongest Hammer Film as it is lacking frights but the story and the acting alone is worth watching. Some of the story is lacking on how he gets the powers and the ending just kind of just ended but that is not much different other Hammer Films. I think we needed more cleavage and less mullets.
Village of the Damned (1960)
Director: Wolf Rilla
Main Stars: George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens
Storyline: In a small village all the children start to be born with blond hair and have glowing eyes that people fear.
Review (Spoils): In the small village of Midwich the whole place falls into a deep slumber/ time stops during the day with no explanation. Several months later all the ladies within the town is pregnant (which are capable of child birth), once the babies are born they all have platinum blond hair and glowing eyes that enthrall people to do their bidding. The story goes on as the freaky kids start to overcome the village and start domination over everyone.
We have lots of blond wigs, some flashing eyes, some creepy sci-fi type music, some classic actors and actresses George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens and some very bad tempered children. This film is a classic and a must see for any horror fan or sci-fi fan. The idea of one learning means they all understand as they share and communicate as one. Also the explanation of why this is all happening is never explained and that is what makes the movie is more of gem…too much information does ruin a film sometimes.
Rating: This is a sci-fi and horror classic; too bad they did a remake of it and ruined the whole damn thing. There is a sequel but it is not even close to this one.
Dracula : Prince of Darknes (1966)
Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Suzan Farmer, Philip Latham
Storyline: Two couples get stranded and a mysterious horse and coach picks them up. The coach arrives to Count Dracula’s castle where his loyal servant Klove hopes to resurrect the prince of darkness.
Review (spoils): Leading as a sequel to Hammer Films Horror of Dracula we have this fine gem. Two young couples get stranded in the gothic land near Count Dracula’s castle and his mad loyal servant Klove (Philip Latham) brings them to the castle as guests. Klove kills one of the gentleman and hangs him over the vampire’s coffin and slits his throat and the blood resurrects Dracula (Christopher Lee) once again. We have great acting and lots of red blood in this one. Dracula has no real lines in this film but he still at his greatness that Christopher Lee can do. We have throats slits, bites, stakes, fly eating and even the death of Dracula as they play the history of the free of running water (he dies in a collapse into the water underneath the castle). The Kolve character alone in this film is great as he plays the madman who wants the prince of darkness to rise again!
Rating: I would have to say this film is a good if not better than Horror of Dracula. The storyline is strong and yet again this is one of Hammer’s best.