Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, dir. Alan Gibson)

Dracula seeks revenge on the modern-day Van Helsings. This series reboot revisits plot elements from Taste The Blood Of and … Has Risen but sets them in then-contemporary Chelsea. The swinging London stuff was dated in ’72, but this is still a brisk romp with a time-capsule attraction and some grittier asides.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968, dir. Freddie Francis)

A revived Count seeks revenge on the priest whose exorcism has barred him from his castle. Continuing from Dracula: Prince of Darkness, this series entry doesn’t offer much that’s new, but Francis’s direction is fun, and a dull second act leads to a lively climax.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula [AKA Horror of Dracula] (1958, dir. Terence Fisher)

Vampire hunters tackle an ancient evil. Innovative, brisk and for-its-time revolutionary version of the gothic horror classic, here telescoped admirably into a pacy visual thriller. Played straight, fluidly directed and still influential. Recommended. Eight sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970, dir. Peter Sasdy)

Three debauched Victorian gentlemen agree to a satanic ritual. Middling series entry (following directly from Dracula Has Risen From The Grave) balancing Stoker and Dennis Wheatley. Slipshod storytelling and a struggle to innovate doesn’t help, though the movie’s enlivened by a decent cast of character actors and some new talent.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966, dir. Terence Fisher)

English tourists find themselves at a remote Carpathian castle against locals’ advice. Brisk direct sequel to Hammer’s 1958 Dracula, without Cushing this time, but instead using bits of the Stoker (like the Renfield subplot) not co-opted first time. Some effective direction and visual imagery, plus sly humour from Philip Latham as manservant Klove.

Here’s the trailer.

The Mummy (1959, dir. Terence Fisher)

A group of English archaeologists are targeted for revenge killings by an Egyptian priest. Dated, stage-bound, though still enjoyable minor Hammer horror movie, assembling its script from across the Universal flicks. Interestingly, the villain’s motives now appear perfectly reasonable, even if his methods are extreme.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957, dir. Terence Fisher)

A condemned nobleman scientist confesses his experiments in human reanimation. Sensational in its time, this first Hammer gothic literature adaptation not only offers a template for two decades of productions, but still works in dramatic and genre terms, with direction, lead performance, and art direction all standouts.

The Devil Rides Out (a.k.a The Devil’s Bride 1968, Dir. Terence Fisher)

Superior Devil Worshipers vs Good Guys Hammer Horror from stalwart director Fisher. Some fantastic scenes, interwoven with truly odd but brilliant dialogue and an unforgettable appearance from Old Nick. Easily one of the best Hammer films!

Hugo (2011, dir. Martin Scorsese)

A boy lives in a railway station clock. Splendid family adventure, as well as a love letter to early cinema. Scorsese enjoying playing in a new genre and with some fresh cinematic toys, not least the remarkable use of 3D. Hugely recommended.

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973, dir. Alan Gibson)

In modern-day London, Dracula is behind an establishment conspiracy to unleash a plague epidemic. Modish late series entry, with loads of ideas, and an approach drawing on SF and a Bond villain plot. Fun, within its limitations, and impeccably played.