DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968) Reviews and overview

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Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is a 1968 British supernatural horror film directed by Freddie Francis and produced by Aida Young.

The Hammer Film Productions movie stars Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barry Andrews, Barbara Ewing, Ewan Hooper and Michael Ripper.

A middle-European village is still in the throes of Dracula’s reign of terror (see Dracula: Prince of Darkness), where an altar boy discovers the body of a woman stuffed in the church’s bell. She is another victim of Dracula, and the village – which Dracula’s castle overlooks – is terrified.

A year after Dracula has been destroyed, a Monsignor (Davies) comes to the village on a routine visit only to find the altar boy is now a frightened mute. The villagers refuse to attend Mass at church because “the shadow of his castle touches it”. The Priest has apparently lost his faith. To bring to an end the villagers’ fears, the Monsignor climbs to the Castle to exorcise it.

The Priest cannot follow him up the mountain and the Monsignor continues alone. As the Monsignor exorcises the castle, attaching a large metal cross to its gate, a storm strikes, and the Priest tries to run, but falls and is knocked out, cutting his head on rock. His blood trickles into a frozen stream; through a crack in the melting ice, it trickles onto the lips of the preserved body of Count Dracula and brings it to life…


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” …Dracula is little more than a supporting player in the film, as Monsignor Ernst returns home, and DHRftG becomes a domestic soap opera […] Lee is as commanding as always, and Carlson makes a winsome damsel in distress. Director Francis and his cinematographer, Hammer stalwart Arthur Grant, use bold colors and strong shadows to create visual interest. At least there’s always something worth looking at.” Blu-ray.com

“Though in some ways I miss the presence of Cushing, there really is no role for him here, and the fact that the final battle with Dracula pits him against characters who are all too fallible and vulnerable (one is an atheist whose disbelief in God leaves him without the spiritual strength to effectively battle this fiend, and a priest whose lack of will makes him a too-easy prey; in fact, he’s Dracula’s helper for most of the movie). Christopher Lee is given dialogue this time, though it is kept to a minimum.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“There is some silly business framing the edges of the lens in sepia tone. However, Francis does give a surprising sexual element to the film […] The sets are particularly good – the exception being the frontispiece of the castle that looks like it is made of cardboard. Especially good are the rooftop sets, which are designed with a feel almost right out of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919)…” Moria

“The first and last ten minutes of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave works like gangbusters, but everything else in between is a bore. The biggest problem is that Lee is absent for too much of the movie. When he’s not on screen, the audience has to suffer through a bunch of stuffy Brits who parade around spouting endlessly about God knows what.” The Video Vacuum


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