Dracula Has Risen From The Grave Review

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, or more accurately, Dracula Has Risen From The Ice, is the next film in Hammer’s Dracula series and sees Christopher Lee return once again, though at least this time he mutters a few words and sees to actually give a crap, plus the story actually isn’t that cliché either! Intrigued? Read on!

Synopsis:

Monsignor Ernest Mueller comes to the village on a routine visit only to find the altar boy is a frightened mute and the priest has lost his faith. The villagers refuse to attend Mass at the church because the shadow of Dracula’s castle touches it. To bring to an end the villagers’ fears, Mueller climbs to the castle to exorcise it but only brings about the resurrection of Dracula himself…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Dracula holding up a stake?! Read on to find out why!

I really enjoyed this one, much to my surprise. So Monsignor (a title in the church, apparently) Ernest Mueller (Rupert Davies) tries to quell the fears of a small village by excorcising and sealing Dracula’s castle with a big cross but while doing so the now Godless (and forever nameless) Priest (Ewan Hooper) slips, hits his head on a rock and his blood just happens to trickle down into the ice-covered lake, into a small crack and directly into Dracula’s mouth, reviving the Count from the icy tomb we saw him end up in last time. Convoluted? Oh yeah. No doubt. Good laugh though! It’s clear to me as these films go on that it was probably this film series that inspired Castlevania’s plot of frequent Dracula resurrections…

Anyway, Dracula is peeved that he can’t enter his own castle so uses his power over the Priest (something to do with his blood being the thing that revived him I guess!) to get taken to the Mueller’s home is in hopes of revenge. We see Ernest has a niece named Maria (Veronica Carlson), and she has a new boyfriend called Paul (Barry Andrews) who would you believe it, is an atheist. We don’t get much time for family drama as Dracula soon arrives alongside his enthralled Priest and harrows Maria, being driven off by Paul once but succeeding in biting her the second time. Dracula soon wounds Mueller as well, who later passes on his holy equipment to Paul and tells him how to defeat the Vampires and potentially save Maria before he dies. Paul enlists a local Priest to help, not knowing it’s the Priest who is under Dracula’s control, but he manages to fight him off and convince him to help him stake the Dark Lord. Sadly for him his atheism and the Priest’s lack of faith means Dracula just gets up, pulls the stake out of his chest and throws it across the room like he’s pissed off at the alarm first thing in the morning. It was a great scene.

Dracula escapes with Maria and gets her to remove the cross from his castle, which when thrown lands perfectly upright in the cavern below. I assume you can see where this is going! After a quick scuffle with Paul Dracula is thrown off the edge and impaled on the cross, soon turning to dust once again. The Priest performs the Lord’s Prayer, showing he has regained his faith, while Paul crosses his chest as he’s reunited with a now free Maria, showing he’s found religion, which given what he’d just been through I don’t blame him really…

The Bad:

She is supposed to be under Dracula’s control here, she’s not THAT bad at acting… Just.

Not a lot, really… I mean beyond the often cheesy and sometimes downright bad acting, but no-one watches old Hammer Horror films expecting Oscar worthy performances!

Overall Thoughts:

So an Atheist and a Priest walk into a bar…. I mean, walk into an abandoned church… With Dracula in it. … You know what? It’s not much of a joke now I think about it…

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave not only has a great title but it was actually a really fun film. The plot at least wasn’t a cliché-ridden rehash (though obviously given the subject matter there were a few clichés…) and it still has the B movie charm going for it to cover some of the suspect acting. Even Christopher Lee seems to be back giving some effort in his performance as Dracula. Recommended if you want a Dracula film that isn’t in any way based on the original book…

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