After such a fun film in the previous outing I’m sad to report that this film is the opposite. Full of unlikeable characters, uninteresting scenes and a really flat finale, this is the first of the Hammer Dracula films that I really didn’t enjoy. … Hooray! Let’s take a look!
Three gentlemen—William Hargood, Samuel Paxton and Jonathon Secker—have formed a circle ostensibly devoted to charitable work but in reality they indulge themselves in brothels. The trio are soon intrigued by an offer to take part in a Satanic ritual, but one that will have dramatic consequences…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Dracula on a nighttime stroll… because he can’t take a daytime one, obviously!
I enjoyed how Dracula was resurrected this time. It was very Castlevania II as someone named Lord Courtney (Ralph Bates) is looking to do it and recruits three wealthy gits to help him recover the ashes, cape and ring of Dracula (luckily they were all in the same second hand shop… No I’m not joking, that was actually it.) but when the three refuse to drink the dead count’s ashes mixed with Courtney’s blood (shocker…) so he drinks it himself then start convulsing so the three bastards panic and beat him to death! It was so weird, but they just got some objects and laid into him then left. Made me laugh because it was so unexpected.
Other than that though, it was pretty crap. Christopher Lee’s Dracula still has a few good moments by their ruined by the plot being so nonsensical.
Terrified, shocked and… not at all bothered. That’s quite a range of emotions for seeing the dark lord resurrected alright!
As the synopsis says the film’s central characters are a trio of wealthy … well, bastards who visit brothels and generally mistreat their families. Well, one definitely does anyway. William Hargood (Geoffrey Keen), Samuel Paxton (Peter Sallis) and Jonathon Secker (John Carson) are their names and frankly who was I supposed to route for? Eventually William’s daughter Alice (Linda Hayden) becomes something of a central sympathetic character but really… I just didn’t care by then. Most of the middle of the film is members of the trio’s family being either turned or killed, the main three definitely being killed. Some alright moments but again, I felt like most of them deserved it…
Dracula’s whole motivation is weird as well. He is restored to life via Courtney’s body and then become angry that his “loyal servant” was killed and goes out to kill the three people who did it. Why does he care that much? Did he really know Courtney? Bizarre. Then the ending! Man, what a damp squib. So Samuel’s son Paul Paxton (Anthony Corlan) is romantically involved with Alice and so the duo go to a nearby disgraced church and restore all the crosses, stain glass windows and puts a bunch of religious artefacts on the podium so when Dracula arrives he just… looks on in horror as he sees each cross and holy object then falls off of a platform and turns to dust. The hell was that? Paul and Alice then just walked out of the church…A suitably poor end to the film.
That’s one hell of a polished cross!
As you can tell Taste the Blood of Dracula was the first film in the run of Hammer Dracula films so far that I really didn’t get on with. Hard to actually like any characters, it wasn’t very interesting and the ending was pants. Oh well, what is this, number 5? Not a bad run so far then…