Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dracula Has Risen From the Grave|
Actors: Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews
Director: Freddie Francis
Genres: Indie & Art House, Science Fiction & Fantasy
When the niece of a prominent clergyman becomes Dracula's victim, the monsignor vows to put a stop to Dracula's deadly ways.
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You just can't keep a good man down!
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seems like people either love or hate this particular entry into the Hammer Dracula line of films. I, myself, enjoyed it very much, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the vampire genre.Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1969) has Christopher Lee reprising his role as the ultimate blood-sucking creature of the night, which is kind of strange as in the last film, Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966), he was destroyed...or so we thought. The film takes place a year after the last film, as Monsignor Ernest Muller (Rupert Davies) visits the small village near Dracula's no empty castle to see how things are getting along. Well, things aren't getting along too well as the Monsignor finds the church empty and in a rather poor state of housekeeping. Finding the priest at the local bar, he learns that the villagers believe that while Dracula may be dead, his castle projects an aura of evil, casting a malignant shadow of evil on the town. The Monsignor decides the only course of action is to trek up to the castle, say a prayer of exorcism, and place a fairly large cross at the doorway, expelling the curse forever. Taking the priest with him, the two begin a long and arduous journey up the mountain, but, as they near the castle, the priest balks from fear, and the Monsignor continues on alone. He reaches the castle, says the prayer, and places the cross (the result of both actions cause a rather freakish lighting storm...good thing he rid himself of that big, metal cross). Meanwhile, the priest, who remained behind, starts freaking out, and begins to stumble down the mountain, trips, cracks his head open, and lands on and cracks a pool of ice, one which contains the body of Dracula, and begins to bleed onto the ice, to which the blood revives the dark, yet frozen, one. Upon waking, Dracula takes the weak-willed priest into his service, and returns to his castle only to find his entry spoiled by the cross affixed to the doors. This angers him, as his house has been defiled, and being a creature of evil, seeks revenge on whoever did this. Good thing he's got the priest to fill him in on the details...The Monsignor leaves the village to return to his home, which he shares with his sister and her daughter, Maria (Veronica Carlson), soon followed by Dracula and his new little buddy. We also get to meet Maria's boyfriend, Paul (Barry Andrews), who works in a local bakery/bar/hotel (interesting combination, to be sure), but is only doing so until he can complete his education, and move on to bigger and better things. Anyhow, Dracula moves into the sub-basement (the sewers) below the bakery/bar/hotel, setting up his coffin and such, and begins with his plans to exact vengeance on the Monsignor and his house. He learns of the Monsignor's niece, and sees a perfect opportunity to carry out his goal...does he exact his revenge? Can anyone stop this monster once and for all?Directed by Freddie Francis, who won academy awards for cinematography for his work on Sons and Lovers (1960) and Glory (1989), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is certainly stylish, oozing with atmosphere and providing a good deal of suspense. Christopher Lee provides an excellent performance, despite his overall lack of dialogue. The settings are very suitable for this kind of film, enhancing the performances, and certainly add to the overall presence of oppressive evil throughout. Not really embraced by the critics when it first came out, with claims that the gore was a bit much, now it seems rather understated to the 21st century viewer. The film does proceed slowly, but the pacing seems methodical, all building up to the thrilling climax.Warner Brothers provides a crisp, clean looking wide screen print here, but very little along the lines of special features, including only a theatrical trailer for the film. I am appreciative that this film finally made it to DVD, as Warner Brothers, in general, is pretty stingy about releasing their catalog of films to this format, and even stingier when it comes to enhancing their releases with special features, falling back mainly on recycling ones released for the laserdisc format. If you are interesting in seeing the other films in this series, look for Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), Scars of Dracula (1970), Dracula AD 1972 (1972), and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973).Cookieman108"
An atmospheric period horror piece
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 07/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Dracula Has Risen from the Grave" opens to the sounds of James Bernard's evocative, ominous main musical theme. Directed by Freddie Francis, the film stars horror icon Christopher Lee in one of his many portrayals of cinema's most celebrated vampire. This version features a lean, effective screenplay by John Elder.The film opens in a small, pre-industrial village that had previously been terrorized by Dracula, who is presumed to have been destroyed. As the title of the film indicates, however, Dracula soon rises from his grave to begin a new campaign of bloodsucking villainy. His foes in this film are a Catholic monsignor and the boyfriend of the monsignor's lovely niece.Bernard's solid score is complemented by good art direction. Francis makes effective use of forest and rooftop settings as Dracula pursues his ends. Lee gets solid support from the rest of the cast. Barry Andrews makes a particularly appealing young hero as Paul, the boyfriend of the monsignor's niece. I also was impressed by Barbara Ewing's performance as Paul's sexy co-worker.There is a pronounced sexual feel to vampirism in this film (as in the other Lee Dracula films I have seen), so there is a delicious irony to the fact that one of Dracula's key foes here is a Catholic monsignor, and thus presumably celibate. Also, a religous controversy among Dracula's foes makes for an interesting contrast to their battle against the undead villain. Overall, a well made and solidly entertaining film."
Looking FANG-tastic despite its flaws
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 04/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's about time Warner got around to releasing more of their Hammer films on DVD! As someone who has been waiting patiently for years to see a great print of this film, I find it hard (though not impossible) to find any faults with this release. Like WB's previous releases of Horror of Dracula, Curse of Frankenstein and The Mummy, pretty much the only extra here is a theatrical trailer.As for the film, I've always felt it was a bit underrated. DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, the previous entry in the series, has been revered for reasons I've never fully understood. It's incredibly slow-moving, is almost entirely set in one location, and Christopher Lee doesn't even speak! At all! At least DRACULA HAS RISEN has a bit more going on, so to speak. OK, there's too much religious "symbolism", which doesn't hold (holy) water upon even minor scrutiny. Sure, Drac just took a HUGE wooden stake to the heart...but ya gotta PRAY over it for it to work? Huh? The early scene in the church is creepy however; so much so, that not much else that follows it seems scary.On the plus side, there's the fetching Veronica Carlson, some fabulous sets (love those rooftop scenes!), and the ever-imposing Mr. Lee doing his blood-red-eye thing. Director Freddie Francis has been elsewhere maligned as being no Terence Fisher (Hammer's most prolific and arguably gifted craftsman). But Francis holds his own here, despite his over-reliance on filters and the occasional out-of-focus zoom.So, what we have here is this: A first-rate transfer of a solid entry in Hammer's Dracula series. Oh, and for the uninitiated, here's the complete series in order:
HORROR OF DRACULA, BRIDES OF DRACULA, DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, SCARS OF DRACULA, DRACULA A.D. 1972, THE SATANTIC RITES OF DRACULA, THE LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES.And yes, I know BRIDES and LEGEND don't feature Christopher Lee. They still have Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and are part of the series."
The first Hammer film I saw
Vernon Scott Jorgenson | Austin, TX United States | 10/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was like 10/11 and it was on one of the old cable "superstations." I had always loved old monster movies, but this was like Dracula on speed for me as a kid. As I've grown, I have amassed a large Hammer film library and was delighted to see this out on DVD. It's easily one of my favorites. For the newcomer to Hammer films, they all move fairly 'liesurely' (read, 'slow') and are driven by lots of exposition. But, to me, that plus the settings, cinematography and high-class acting really gives the Hammer films a special class that other horror films severely lack. I recommend this one highly."