SYNOPSIS | REVIEW | PRODUCTION NOTES | TRIVIA | PRESS | QUOTES | KIM NEWMAN ARCHIVE | MEDIA
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
of Origin: UK
EDITING AND POST-PRODUCTION
MAKE UP AND
DESIGN AND SET
Dracula is now passing himself off as D.D. Denham, a property developer operating out of offices built on the site of the now demolished St Bartolph's church. Meanwhile, government security agency SI7 is investigating the mysterious PERGE (Psychical Examination and Research Group) and the presence at its headquarters, Pelham House, of prominent industrialists, politicians and scientists. When one of their agents gets out of Pelham House, albeit fatally wounded, with tales of Satanic rituals, Special Branch officer Murray calls in Lorrimer Van Helsing as a consultant. Together they learn that one of the men, Professor Julian Keeley has developed the aforementioned strain of bubonic plague for Denham, whom Van Helsing of course reveals to be Dracula. Van Helsing deduces that Dracula has finally grown tired of his endless cycle of deaths and rebirths and plans to destroy every human on the planet...
Satanic Rites of Dracula is an unholy hybrid of Hammer Horror, James Bond and The Avengers, but without the wit, panache or style of any of them. Houghton's script throws in some clever twists on vampire lore (the vampire brides in Dracula's basement are killed by a sprinkler system!) but his best ideas are simply thrown away - the notion that Dracula, a parasitic bloodsucker, is a property developer has a certain subversive charm, but Houghton abandons this neat idea in his rush to get into the action movie shenanigans. Lee and Cushing are visibly upset throughout, their performances being easily the worst of his time at Hammer, though as they're given so little to do one can hardly blame them if he simply didn't bother.
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CinemaTV Today no.10007
(18 November 1972) p.10 (UK)
Dark Terrors no.17 (2000)
Flesh and Blood no.3
(1994) p.38 (UK)
Hollywood Reporter vol.224
no.5 (1 December 1972) p.17 (USA)
The House That Hammer Built no.8
(April 1998) pp.449 - 456 (UK)
Monsters From the Vault
no.2 p.12 (USA)
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.41
no.482 (March 1974) p.51 (UK)
Photon no.27 (1976)
Samhain no.62 p.32
Variety 6 December 1978
Video Junkie no.1
Video Watchdog 19 p.7
Creature Features Strikes Again p.334
Elliot's Guide to Films on Video
(3rd edition) p.701
Hoffman's Guide to SF, Fantasy and
Horror Movies 1991 - 1992 p.176
The Illustrated Vampire Movie
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Last Updated: 1 January, 2009
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