The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974, dir. Roy Ward Baker [and Chang Cheh])

In 1904 China, a visiting Van Helsing helps combat a Dracula-led vampiric uprising. The last pic of the Hammer cycle innovates through genre mash-up (and a deal with Shaw Brothers). It’s messy, but fun: martial arts showcasing, twists on undead lore, plus some location spectacle all helps.

Here’s the trailer.

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 [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.

Carry On Screaming! (1966, dir. Gerald Thomas)

A missing person case leads a detective to a mysterious house and its alluring resident. Generally effective and accurate parody of Hammer’s gothic adaptations (touching on Frankenstein, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll/Hyde and Mummy pics), with wax museum antics thrown in. Guesting stars Harry H Corbett and Fenella Fielding add some variety too.

Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb (1971, dir. Seth Holt [and Michael Carreras])

The daughter of an Egyptologist is being groomed as a reincarnation of a deity. Claustrophobic adaptation of Stoker’s The Jewel of the Seven Stars. Alternately tatty, mod, and mesmerising, the film has effective elements and a fun cast, while working with clearly restricted resources.

Here’s the trailer.

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!