The Satanic Rites of Dracula Review
Synopsis:In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism...
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) is 87 minutes long UK horror film that was shot in several locations in London, England, UK and is also known as Count Dracula And His Vampire Bride (1973). It is the eighth film in the Hammer Film‘s Dracula series and is the eighth and last film where Christopher Lee plays Dracula. Director Alan Gibson (Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), A Woman Called Golda (1982), Churchill and the Generals (1979)) failed upon executing a worthy movie with Van Helsing and Dracula. I feel Alan’s pain because I can tell he had to work with a weak script, but he should not have accepted it if he knew it was going to be a failure. The movie contains nudity, a satanic baptism of blood ceremony, violence, frightening images and supernatural force.
The Satanic Rites of Dracula starts in London in the 1970s where police in Scotland Yard are investigating an assumed case of vampirism. They request the help of Van Helsing (Peter Cushing - Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Horror of Dracula (1958), Top Secret! (1984), The Mummy (1959)) who is a vampire researcher/hunter. Van Helsing discovers that Count Dracula (Christopher Lee - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)) disguised himself as a property developer. Count Dracula is immortal and is planning on how to spread a fatal virus across the world.
I was appalled while seeing this movie and that is because it was terrible at trying to update a character. I smiled and chuckled because I could not believe what I saw - the movie is not what a Dracula movie should be. The ancient vampires that we are so used to seeing are now transformed or seen as a super-villain. Imagine a Dracula movie where henchmen are riding around on motorcycles killing and kidnapping people; a deadly serum, mystical oriental women, and other mind boggling things that should not be in a Dracula movie. Dracula chose for his vampires to stay in a church which I thought was supposed to be deadly to vampires or off limits but somehow is not fatal to vampires in this film.
Peter Cushing did a marvelous job playing Van Helsing, whose family males are all born at the age of seventy. I was repeatedly talking back to the movie because there were so many things that do not belong in the film. Dracula’s basement has numerous pieces of wood/lumber which can be fatal to vampires if you use them to stake vampires in the heart - luckily the stakes are in hand reach. We heard the word “garlic” was mentioned a lot but for some odd reason, no one used it, and I am not sure why. I am tired crushing this film because I can go on and on on the negatives about this movie. With all said, I give this movie a three because some of the scenes were good as well as Peter Cushing’s performance.
About The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
Original Title: Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride
Runtime: 87 minutes
Total Avg. Votes: 9
Writers: Don Houghton
Director: Alan Gibson