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.

Tales From The Crypt (1972, dir. Freddie Francis)

Five strangers are presented with glimpses of their transgressions. Strong Amicus portmanteau horror film in the EC Comics tradition, with an early 70s cast of British character actors to die for. Straightforward morality tales with nasty ideas lurking, plus a loose The Monkey’s Paw adaptation for good measure.

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 Abominable Snowman (1957, dir. Val Guest)

A scientific expedition to the Himalayas becomes a hunt for the fabled Yeti. Marvellous fantasy-horror hybrid, expanded (and simplified somewhat) from Nigel Kneale’s BBC drama The Creature. Lots of ideas played with, great production values, and lovely widescreen – Regalscope AKA Hammerscope – cinematography and staging.

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.

Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974, dir. Terence Fisher)

Frankenstein, hiding out in a lunatic asylum, takes on a young disciple. The last of the Hammer series is an okay entry, hampered by over-familiarity and a poorly-designed creature, but with some nifty moments and Cushing’s typically meticulous performance.

Star Wars [AKA Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope] (1977, dir. George Lucas)

An orphaned farmhand finds he is the chosen one to lead an intergalactic rebellion. Splendid and modest SF/fairy story hybrid, unfairly weighed down by later expectations. In its own terms, a sprightly and successful adventure, nothing more.

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.