Tuesday, October 28, 2008


On the twenty-eighth day of Halloween, my boo love gave to me ... twenty-eight massacring papier-mâché bats!


Buxom English ladies, horny English cads, a church replete with corpse decor, a slumming Doctor Who, stuff burning up, a Benny Hill foil, and Christopher Lee totally phoning it in.

More details here.


Count Dracula (Lee) has returned from however he was killed in the previous installment. He resides in his spooky castle and is served by a creepy Igor-type named Klove (Patrick Troughton). The villagers are sick of his aristocratic bloodsucking shtick and launch an assault on the castle and burn it to the ground. Everything is destroyed, well except for Drac himself. One night, a local man on the lam wanders the forest and stumbles upon Vlad’s abode where Klove welcomes him and Dracula offers him a glass of suspicious-looking Hawaiian punch. When one of castle’s undead chicks seduces and beds the guy, Dracula goes berserk and pimp slaps his zombie ho vamp-style. The man attempts to escape and disappears after discovering the secret of his bloodshot-eyed host. His friends, a foppish dork and his breasty girlfriend, search for their friend and they too stumble upon Dracula’s castle. They are welcomed, seduced, offered more punch, and a bed for the night. When they too discover Dracula’s secret (um, his name is Dracula, get it?), they run around the castle, find their friend in less than mint condition, and face down the King of the Vampires with a stick and an incredible amount of luck.


Hammer Films is a British studio best known for a successful series of Gothic horror movies from the 50s until the 70s, when the company experienced a decline in audience. One of the most popular and successful franchises of the studio is their take on Dracula in movies starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. These movies are unique for exciting stories, set design and atmosphere, vibrant use of color, and streaks of sadistic violence. The Hammer Dracula isn’t a tormented soul, haunted romantic loner, or tragic character tortured by bloodlust; he is a sadistic, aristocratic villain with broader goals of subjugation and seduction, especially towards women. In Scars of Dracula, Dracula is a vicious maniac who kills women in fits of rage, massacres an entire village, and tortures his servants with hot pokers. His is a classically despicable antagonist in the best spirit of boo-hiss with a mean psychological layer to boot. That said, Scars of Dracula is possibly the weakest of the Hammer Draculas. The bare plot hobbles along at a snail’s pace, the characters have no depth or real motivation, and despite spirited efforts by Troughton and Lee, there’s barely a fright to be had. The set design is dull for a Hammer production with cheap castle models and slapped-together dungeons and castle rooms. The typical Hammer lighting scheme that enhances a moody suspense is nowhere to be found. Everything about the movie looks rushed, and maybe Hammer knew that time was running out for its star franchise. But Drac would be back in Dracula A.D. 1972 which would prove to be the true stake in Hammer’s vampire heart, and leave no scars.

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