Rent The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

3.0 of 5 from 56 ratings
1h 23min
Rent The Satanic Rites of Dracula (aka Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
A dying man's report of a ritual black mass stirs Britain's security chief into action, and a mansion filled with young vampire girls is soon discovered. And this is but the first twist in a labyrinth of horror. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee pair up for the final Hammer Dracula in this follow-up to 'Dracula A.D.' (1972). In this go-round, the Count (Christopher Lee) follows a more pulpish, super-villainous playbook, posing as a millionaire industrialist alive and well and living in London while secretly brewing up a batch of super-plague in a quest to destroy the world.
Mixing Satanists, spies and sci-fi, the film makes viewers glad that Peter Cushing is on hand to solidly anchor the more outre elements as the effortlessly expositioning Dr. Van Helsing. Lee, in turn, has more dialogue as Dracula than was the norm, and rachets up the evil to the nth dgree. Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) co-stars.
Actors:
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Directors:
Alan Gibson
Producers:
Roy Skeggs
Writers:
Don Houghton
Aka:
Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride
Studio:
Hammer Films
Genres:
British Films, Classics, Horror
Countries:
UK
BBFC:
Release Date:
Not available for rental
Run Time:
83 minutes
Languages:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 1
Formats:
NTSC
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
14/10/2019
Run Time:
88 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Technicolor
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Theatrical Trailer

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Reviews (1) of The Satanic Rites of Dracula

Christopher Lee's last Hammer Dracula - The Satanic Rites of Dracula review by NP

Spoiler Alert
Updated 10/11/2021

At the time of writing, Sir Christopher Lee has recently passed away at the age of 93.

This is the final film he made for Hammer as Dracula, the role that brought him to the attention of so many. Derided by many over the years, not least by its leading actor, and released at a time when interest in Hammer productions had waned considerably, this once more reunited Lee with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing.

This was one of the films horror films I ever saw, and I am happy to say I loved it then (when it was shown on television in the late 70s) and I love it now. This is the second time Hammer made a picture featuring Dracula in the modern day, and this time they got it absolutely right. The Count had been secretly recruiting people to his cult for a while by the time the story starts, so he is already in a position of power. Living as the reclusive DD Denham, he is very rarely known to leave his tower-block office empire. What better place for a modern day vampire to exist, hiding in plain sight?

Van Helsing (and daughter Jessica, now played by Joanna Lumley) is brought in by the police when it appears that Denham doesn’t show up in photographs, suggesting something sinister. At first Van Helsing is treated with scepticism, but this changes when it appears The Count, sick of his undead unlife, is planning to sweep a plague across all of the Earth.

I love that anyone who comes in to contact with Count’s plan dies (Freddie Jones’ Professor Keeley is the most memorable); I love that he doesn’t dirty his hands with the mundanities of his mission, rather leaving all that to the various political members of his cult. I love that an effort has actually been made to integrate Dracula into society – even when he is not in the story, he directly influences everything that happens. Equally, his victims are confined to Pelham House, which is not a shambling church or sprawling castle. His seduction/attack on Valerie Van Ost’s Jane takes place in a seedy backroom prison, lit only by a swinging bulb. Into that scene Dracula enters, backlit and surrounded by mist, and his impressive frame lights up the dilapidated chamber and Alan Gibson’s fine direction encourages the allurement to be an almost hallucinatory experience.

The ending, and Dracula’s final despatch, has also been slated by ‘fans’, but again, I like it. No elaborate theatrics (that is left to Michael Cole’s Inspector Murray’s spectacular rescue of Jessica), just two deadly, veteran rivals, slugging it out alone. The hawthorn bush is added to the list of ‘all things deadly to a vampire’ (it provided Christ with His crown of thorns after all), and that together with a stake through the heart and Hammer’s Dracula is gone for good. This final, and significant film, is the only one of the series – and possibly Lee’s only picture – that doesn’t currently enjoy an official DVD release. There are low quality efforts available, but this surely deserves a release more worthy, allowing more people to re-value it.

*Since writing this review, the film has finally been officially released in a cleaned up version. Hooray!

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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