Horror of Dracula (1958)
Director: Jimmy Sangster
Main Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Striblin, Carol Marsh
Storyline: Dracula wants revenge on the Harker family and hunt them down including haunting his fiancée Lucy Holmwood. Only Dr. Van Helsing can stop him!
Review (Spoils): This screams classic Hammer and it is! We have Peter Cushing playing the classic Dr. Van Helsing trying to track down and destroy his arch nemesis Dracula, who is played by none other than Christopher Lee. Christopher Lee makes Dracula actually be frightening and not slick. We have the first of the many times Christopher Lee plays the character and it is the best. We have the fangs, blood and the red eyes. This is the way Dracula is remember and portrayed. We have true eroticism in the film that follows Dracula and many other Hammer films. We got blood, we have bosoms, blood dripping coffins, lots of burning flesh from crosses and one of the best of Hammer horror.
Rating: This is the best Dracula out there, this movie rules when it comes to horror or Hammer films overall. You cannot go wrong with this film Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are top notch in this film and created some of the most classic characters in horror.
Director: Tod Browning
Main Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, John Harker
Storyline: The Count Dracula goes to London England to haunt the area and capture the young Mina to become one of his female spawn. The battle between Van Helsing and Dracula begins.
Review: I have seen this film so many times but lately I watched this on the big screen as it was playing due to the Halloween season. I love this movie even more now! Universal films bring us the story of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) who ventures from Transylvania to England to torment a young woman.This is the first film of Bela Lugosi playing the Count and he does and amazing job with the classic accent (which has been stolen many times over).
Tod Browning focuses on the eyes of Bela Lugosi to show the power that Dracula has with his intense gaze.The castle is huge and beautiful and the scene where Dracula walks through the cobwebs on the long high staircase leads you to the mystery of the dark vampire. The lighting for this black and white film brings the undead to life on the screen.
Mina (Helen Chandler ) the leading female of the film is innocent and beautiful and fits the role perfect to become Dracula’s leading victim. She plays the character up to become something more full of life after dark after her nasty encounter with Dracula. She did a very good job.
But the leading star of this film is the Renfield (Dwight Frye) character. The crazy and madman spawn that helped Dracula get to London. Dwight Frye steals the show with his acting and plays the looney who loves to eat spiders, flies and maybe even hurt little children (if you read into the hints in the lines he presents). Renfield is even scarier than Dracula himself.
Rating: This was at one time one of the Universal films that I want sigh sure whatever but after seeing it more and more I notice that I love it. Open a pint (of blood if you may) for the first main Dracula appearance on film and enjoy this classic horror film.