Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Brides of Dracula (4 Stars)

After Hammer Studios had great success with their remake of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in 1958 they decided to make a sequel. While this sequel, made two years later in 1960, is doubtlessly a good film, so much has to be said about the false advertising. It starts with the film's title. Count Dracula himself doesn't appear in the film. He's mentioned on two occasions as a vampire who has been killed (in the 1958 film), and nobody expects him to return. The vampire in the film is Baron Meinster, so the film should be called "The Brides of Meinster". Somehow that doesn't sound as good, does it?

Then look at the film poster above. The blond-haired Baron Meinster is easily recognisable on the left, but who is the vampire on the right? He doesn't appear in the film. And who are all the women in the middle? Apart from Marianne (presumably the woman next to Baron Meinster) there were only two brides in the film. The artist exaggerated a bit.

Now to the plot. A young French woman, Marianne, is travelling from Paris to Transylvania to become a teacher at a girls' boarding school. On the way she stays the night at the castle of an old woman, Baroness Meinster. She sees that the baroness's son is being kept in chains. She frees him, not suspecting that he's a vampire. Marianne flees from the castle and meets Doctor Van Helsing, who has travelled to Transylvania to investigate the Meinster family. Marianne goes to the school to take up her teaching position while the doctor hunts for the vampire, who has now left the castle.

These are Baron Meinster's two brides, on the left Marianne's fellow teacher Gina, on the right an unnamed villager. Interestingly, Doctor Van Helsing decides not to kill them. After defeating the baron he leaves the two women unharmed. That's a good choice. I wouldn't have killed them either.

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