Dracula: Prince Of Darkness
| 90 MINS | COLOUR | HAMMER |
Dracula died ten years ago, but the locals still stake the dead through the heart and bury them in unhallowed ground. Father Sandor, Abbot of Kleinberg monastery, tries to persuade the locals to stop their superstitious ways, and he manages to curtail the proceedings at one such burial.
Stopping at a local inn, he meets two couples who are holidaying. The Kents, Charles and his brother Alan, with their wives, Diana and Helen. Father Sandor warns them not to go anywhere near the castle at Carlsbad.
When the carriage driver refuses to take the four to Carlsbad and stops the carriage because of the dark, they contemplate staying at the castle. Instead they find a small shack in which to stay. Just then a driverless carriage arrives. They decide to use the carriage to go to Carlsbad, but the horses prove impossible to control, and they are taken to the castle Father Sandor expressly warned them about.
At the castle it seems as if they were expected. They are met by the manservant Klove, and dinner is ready and rooms are prepared for the two couples.
When Helen is awakened by a noise, Alan goes to investigate. He is stabbed by Klove, and his body is suspended over a coffin containing the dust of Dracula's remains. In the coffin Dracula's form takes shape. Helen Kent coerced by Klove becomes Dracula's newest victim
At daybreak Charles and Diana find Alan and Helen missing. While Diana waits at a nearby cottage, Charles returns to the castle to search for the missing couple. Klove goes to the cottage with a carriage and relates a story about Charles wanting her to go back to the castle.
Diana now back at the castle is subject to an attack from Helen, who is now a vampire. Dracula stops Helen from biting Diana, but Charles interrupting thwarts Dracula by making a cross out of a sword.
Escaping into the forest, the couple collapse at Father Sandor's feet. Father Sandor knows that Dracula will try to follow Diana, and only his knowledge may be able to save them.
Father Sandor takes Charles and Helen to his monastery. As Diana sleeps, Sandor tells Charles about Dracula.
Klove brings two coffins bearing Dracula and Helen to the monastery. Helen manages to bite Diana, but Father Sandor sterilises the bite with the heat from an oil lamp. Helen is captured and staked, and in a melee Dracula manages to escape with the unconscious Diana.
Charles and Father Sandor arm themselves and follow on horseback. They get in front of Dracula's wagon and stop it. Klove is shot, but the horses gallop off to the castle. Diana is rescued and the coffin containing Dracula is thrown onto the icy moat. Shots fired by both Diana and Father Sandor break the ice and Dracula sinks into the freezing waters...
Britishhorrorfilms: Dracula - Prince Of Darkness has to rank as one of the best.
Spookyisles: The filmís only weak point is the dispatch of Dracula himself which seems a bit unimaginative when compared to Meinsterís inventive dispatch in Brides of Dracula.
Timeout: Full of the sensual mysteriousness which Hammer used to achieve so effortlessly during their long occupation of Bray Studios.
Klove : You see, sir, my master is dead but instructions were left that the castle should always be ready to receive guests. I am merely carrying out his wishes.