Brides of Dracula (1960)

“He was my son. Now he is only — a beast of the night.”

Brides of Dracula Poster

Synopsis:
A teacher (Yvonne Monlaur) on her way to begin a new position at a girls’ school is waylaid at the castle of a baroness (Martita Hunt) whose handsome, charming son (David Peel) is kept in chains. Peel convinces Monlaur to release him, and soon his identity as a ravenous vampire is revealed.

Genres:

Review:
In its follow-up to The Horror of Dracula (1958), Hammer Studios had to make do without the presence of Christopher Lee (who wanted to avoid being typecast, though he returned for later installments). David Peel — a devilishly handsome blonde — was cast as his pseudo-replacement, though the true heart of the story lies in Peel’s relationship with his mother, played (appropriately enough) by Martita Hunt of Great Expectations (1946) fame. The mystery of why Peel is being kept in chains — and the devastating consequences of his release by naive Monlaur — fuel the narrative, clearly echoing sentiments from the previous year’s Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). Hunt evokes much sympathy as a tormented mother whose existence is consumed by her son’s “lifestyle choices”, and Freda Jackson adds energetic color as a cackling servant who helps fill in details of Peel’s past. Cushing is also in fine form as Monlaur’s noble rescuer. This one is certainly worth a watch by fans of the series.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing
    Brides of Dracula Cushing
  • Martita Hunt as Baroness Meinster
    Brides of Dracula Hunt
  • Freda Jackson as Greta
    Brides of Dracula Jackson
  • Atmospheric cinematography
    Brides of Dracula Cinematography

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended as a worthy sequel.

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One Response to “Brides of Dracula (1960)”

  1. Not must-see.

    As it happens, I saw this again recently – and found it somewhat lackluster. Hammer Studios found itself in the position of grinding out a lot of similar product due to its early success in the horror genre. They kind of threw a lot of things up their flagpole – some of them waved and some didn’t.

    ‘BOD’ doesn’t really fly much in the breeze. It’s fascinating, at first, seeing Hunt in the mix here – but she’s ultimately short-changed in her role, and what becomes of her doesn’t really make much sense. Actually, sense in general is a bit wanting here.

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