London's become a small town for a handful of jaded psychedelic-era hipsters. But Johnny Alucard has a groovy new way for his pals to get their kicks. A certain ritual will be the living end, he insists. And if you still w... more »onder where Johnny's coming from, try spelling his last name backwards. Dracula is raised into the modern era in this Hammer Studios shocker that's "quite well done" (John Stanley, Creature Features). Christopher Lee dons the cape for the sixth time and seeks out fresh victims. As archnemesis Van Helsing, fellow horror legend Peter Cushing clutches a vial of holy water and edges within throwing distance. Their harrowing battle royale is not to be missed. In fact, it's the living end. Director: Alan Gibson Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Stephanie Beacham« less
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 03/31/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Dracula A.D. 1972," starring Christopher Lee as the titular vampire, is one bizarre film. It starts with a prologue set in the 1800s: Lee's Dracula is shown in battle with his nemesis Van Helsing (Peter Cushing). As the title indicates, the main body of the film brings Dracula into the 1970s, where he battles Van Helsing's descendant (also played by Cushing). Also along for the horror is a young Stephanie Beacham as the second Van Helsing's lovely granddaughter.The film tries to blend traditional vampiric horror with 70s style youth culture: thus the elements of sex (discretely), drugs, and rock 'n' roll permeate the film. To early 21st century viewers, the swingin' music, outrageous mod clothes, hairdos, and wannabe hip slang ("Weird, man. Way out") of the young cast may come off as more campy than anything else, but it does make the film fun.Lee is compelling as Dracula: articulate and elegant, yet feral. Unfortunately, his screen time is sparse; his amounts to little more than a small supporting role. The real star of the film is Cushing as the 20th century Van Helsing. The classy Cushing projects real intelligence and ability as his character. He brings total conviction to every scene, and has solid chemistry with Beacham (although I think his hands come a little too close to her bosom in a couple of scenes--watch it, "Grandpa"!). "Dracula A.D. 1972" may be far from the best of the many Dracula films, but Cushing and Lee make it worthwhile."
A terribly underappreciated gem!
D. P. Hutchens | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I find it amusing that many fans absolutely gush over "Taste the Blood of Dracula," yet completely dump on this one, when they're basically the same film. A group of friends, bored with their lives, decide that performing a black mass ritual that will literally raise Hell sounds like a fun new way to get kicks, and just happen to resurrect a thoroughly pissed-off Count Dracula in the process. That's the premise of both movies, and both movies carry it off nicely.
"Dracula A.D. 1972" admittedly contains some awkward moments, most notably the absurd and insulting scene in which the brilliant Prof. Van Helsing has to write the name 'Alucard' down on paper and study it before making the all-too-terribly-obvious connection to his family's arch-nemesis, but these are nit-picks. It's a beautifully-photographed, slickly-produced and generally well-acted piece, featuring both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee at the height of their game. The '70s pop soundtrack, much-maligned, is actually quite effective and suits the movie. It's fast-paced, entertaining fun, and isn't that all any genre film really needs to be?
If you love Hammer Horror as I do, appreciate the work of the legendary Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and/or just have a nostalgic appreciation for movies of this very bygone era, please ignore the bad press and give this classic film a chance."
Was Mike Myers watching this when he thought up Austin?
John Smith | Parts Unknown | 02/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Very interesting entry in the Hammer Dracula series...by this time, they were generally running out of ideas, and decided to put the Count in a contemporary setting. But they went way overboard with the "mod" 70's hippie scenes...these are right out of "Austin Powers", and that character would have fit right in helping Van Helsing fight off Dracula. Aside from that, Cushing and Lee have typical powerful performances which carry the film. And the incredible women, like Munro sure are easy on the eyes. Dracula vs. Powers could have been the title to this, but the film moves at a good pace if you can stomach 37 year old hippies trying to act like teenagers. It is a lot less boring and slow moving than some of the other Hammer Dracula films. All in all, a film well worth watching if you love Hammer or basic cheesiness."
London Stake House.
Robert S. Clay Jr. | St. Louis, MO., USA | 06/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Changes in directors, budgets, and vision at Hammer Studios had its effect. This is an odd entry in the Dracula series. It blends familiar gothic elements with a "modern" setting. After a pulse-pounding prologue, showing the Victorian-era Dracula impaled on a broken carriage wheel, the action fast-forwards 100 years to 1972. Bored with sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, a motley crew of aging British hippies resurrect Dracula in a de-sanctified church. Dracula decides to settle old debts by taking Van Helsing's granddaughter as his bloody bride. This is a fine opportunity to see legendary Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee perpetuate their long running battle of good vs. evil. Mist-shrouded scenes of Dracula in the ruins of the profaned church are visually effective. Lee's towering, menacing presence in the flowing black cape adds to the fun. His feral lust for the blood of young women is frankly sexual. Instead of typical Hammer heaving bosoms in Victorian bodices, we have substantial cleavage in '70s gauche courtesy of Stephanie Beacham, Caroline Munro, et al. Sex and the vampire are never far apart, regardless of the era. The penetration is of the fangs in the neck variety, but we get the idea. Peter Cushing looks emaciated and gaunt. As Van Helsing, he uses superior cunning to foil Dracula's supernatural power. Their climactic confrontation recalls the showdown from "Horror of Dracula." Some groaning humor lightens the mood. Johnny Alucard is Dracula's mod disciple. His name spelled backwards is significant. A street scene focuses briefly on a restaurant called "London Steak House." The film falls short of classic Hammer standards. Even so, Hammer Horror Heads and classic horror collectors will be pleased with this flick. ;-)"
"he's waiting to freak you out!"
Paul Beauparlant | east coast USA | 06/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"that tag line above is taken from the theatrical trailer that comes with this DVD. actually the trailer itself is a very nice appetizer for the movie and I'm glad it was included with the disc. the film itself begins with a flashback to the year 1872, one hundred years before the main body of the story begins. from the first frames of dry leaves blowing along a carriage path in London's Hyde Park a careening coach appears in view with a struggle aboard involving the evil Count Dracula vs. the honorable Professor Van Helsing. when the carriage capsizes the Count is left fatally wounded with a pierced wagon wheel spoke entering his heart. The Professor dies in the accident but as the Count is reduced to ash a young assistant comes along to scoop up an amount of the ashes which he buries in a churchyard not far away. we are then taken to modern times (1972)and a party at a posh London home. the party is highlighted by the rock group Stoneground but apparently some hippy flotsam and jetsam have slithered onto the scene much to the distaste of the lady of the house! these slithering but groovy young people that have made themselves welcome at the party include Jessica Van Helsing the great granddaughter of the Professor. Also part of the group is Johnny Alucard(Dracula spelled backwards), a descendent of the assistant who had gathered the Counts' ashes 100 years earlier. As an aside, it was a treat to see Sal Valentino, the leader of Stoneground singing Alligator Man at the party. Sal used to be in the Beau Brummels. He kind of sounds like Dr. John when he sings. But anyway, after the party is shut down by the men in uniform via complaints from the Grande Dame, the crew dash off for drinks at a coffee bar called The Cavern. It is here that Johnny tries to lure his friends into a ritualistic 'black mass' that he will conduct that night, much to everyone's nervous apprehension. Everyone that is except Laura from the group played by Caroline Munro who finds it all quite exciting and cheerily suggests "it could be a giggle". well, later that night as they all gather inside a darkened candle-lit gothic church set for demolition(de-sanctified) Johnny begins his black magic, casting a deep spell upon them and building up to an unholy sacrifice. Laura volunteers and to everyone's horror is soon dabbled with blood and ashes from the 100 year old Count. Everything goes very badly very quickly and the friends flee from the scene too scared to answer Laura's cry's for help. Johnny, you see, has taken his heritage to heart and to rise 'the master' up from the unsacred ground is his mission, and poor Laura is his pawn. And yes, the master does emerge from the depths and eyes the present of Laura that Johnny has prepared for him. A word here about the performance of Christopher Lee as Dracula. Watching the actor's very expressive face was wonderful to watch. Merging from calm and steady to bloodthirsty lust to frightening aggression and even later as he falls under attack and is fearing for his life(or, unlife, i suppose)is a study of the actors repetoire of facial expertise. The next day all the friends meet again at The Cavern very worried about the absence of Laura. Johnny assures them she's just out of town. No one buys it and sure enough Laura is found dead outside the grounds of the old church. The Inspector from Scotland Yard eyes the corpse of a girl with seemingly all the blood drained out of her. He seeks out someone he believes can help with this gruesome murder, the grandson of Professor Van Helsing(Peter Cushing). Van Helsing gets on the case right away and is especially concerned as the dead girl was in his granddaughters circle of friends. I think i'll leave it at that and conclude by saying this is an excellent thriller from the early 1970's."