Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Brides of Dracula, The (1960)

Brides of Dracula, The (1960)

While Christopher Lee worried about typecasting, Hammer went ahead anyway with this sequel in name only to its huge 1958 hit Dracula.

Anaemic David Peel as Baron Meinster is a poor substitute for Lee’s more full-blooded undead Count, but that’s the only point of contention in a classic Terence Fisher-directed shocker in rich, delirious Technicolor. Fisher made a large number of films for Hammer, but this may well be his very best.

There is a slight peculiarity in that, despite the title, Count Dracula doesn’t appear and nor does the awesome Christopher Lee. But Peter Cushing is present and correct as Dr Van Helsing, this time battling an outbreak of vampirism in a school for young ladies caused by the insufficiently chained-up Baron.

The pace is headlong, the acting excellent – Martita Hunt stands out as the baron’s mother – and the visual style is simply thrilling. As ever, Cushing gives his all, taking the whole thing seriously and excelling himself towards the end when he has to face his own greatest fear.

The marvellous atmosphere drips with a lingering Gothic ghoulishness, the sexuality is remarkably upfront for its time, and the climax set in the shadow of a moonlit windmill is the stuff of fairy-tale nightmare.

bridesofdracula_001

Dr Van Helsing
Peter Cushing
Greta
Freda Jackson
Baroness Meinster
Martita Hunt
Baron Meinster
David Peel
Marianne
Yvonne Monlaur
Dr Tobler
Miles Malleson
Herr Lang
Henry Oscar
Frau Lang
Mona Washbourne
Gina
Andrée Melly
Hans
Victor Brooks

Director
Terence Fisher