Horror of Dracula

Valerie Gaunt in Horror of Dracula (dir. Terence Fisher, 1958).

The first Christopher Lee Dracula film from Hammer, and one of three that Fisher would direct. A bloody travesty of Stoker's novel, and wildly effective. Lee was born to play Dracula--he is Dracula. Cushing is perfect as Van Helsing too. Everything works here: the pacing, the color, the awkward comic relief. There's not nearly this much energy in the following year's The Mummy, though that one is fun just for its high camp value and its tomb that looks like a slightly dusty Victorian drawing room.

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