Scars of Dracula (1970)

UK,
96m, 2,596 metres
35mm, Technicolor, 1.85:1
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Roy Ward Baker. It was the sixth film in Hammer's series. Production began on 7 May 1969 and the film was released in the UK on 8 November 1970.

Plot Summary

Paul stumbles upon the burnt out Castle Dracula and spends the night there, despite the warnings of a local innkeeper. Naturally, Paul falls prey to Dracula and his vampire bride with whom he shares both his ruined castle and a strange, parasitic relationship. Eventually, Paul's lover Sarah, his long suffering brother Simon and the obligatory soul searching priest converge on the castle.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Roy Ward Baker
© MCMLXX [1970] EMI Film Productions Limited
EMI Film Productions Limited present a Hammer production
Distributed by: Anglo-EMI Film Distributors Ltd. and released through MGM-EMI Film Distributors Ltd.
Produced by: Aida Young
Screenplay by: John Elder [real name: Anthony Hinds]
Based on the Character Created by: Bram Stoker
Director of Photography: Moray Grant
Editor: James Needs
Music Composed by: James Bernard
Sound Recordist: Ron Barron
Wardrobe Mistress: Laura Nightingale
Make-up Supervisor: Wally Schneiderman
Hairdressing Supervisor: Pearl Tipaldi
Special Effects: Roger Dicken
Art Director: Scott MacGregor
Made at EMI/MGM Elstree Studios, England

Cast
Christopher Lee (Dracula)
Dennis Waterman (Simon Carlson)
Jenny Hanley (Sarah Framsen)
Christopher Matthews (Paul Carlson)
Patrick Troughton (Klove)
Michael Gwynn (priest)
Michael Ripper (landlord)
Wendy Hamilton (Julie)
Anouska Hempel (Tania)
Delia Lindsay (Alice)
Bob Todd (burgomaster)
Toke Townley (elderly waggoner)
David Leland (first officer)
Richard Durden (second officer)
Morris Bush (farmer)
Margo Boht (landlord's wife [Maria])
Clive Barrie (fat young man)
Olga Anthony [girl at party] *
George Innes [servant] *

Cast Gallery

Alternative Titles

Blizny Drakuli – Poland
Las cicatrices de Drácula – Spain
Les Cicatrices de Dracula – France
Dracula – Nächte des Entsetzens – Germany
Draculas märke – Sweden
Il marchio di Dracula – Italy

Sequel to
Dracula (1958)
The Brides of Dracula (1960)
Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)


Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
The Legend of the 7 Golden (1974)

Extracts included in
Fright Night (1985)
The World of Hammer: Dracula & the Undead (1994)
The World of Hammer: Hammer Stars: Christopher Lee (1994)

Press

1970
Films and Filming vol.17 no.3 (December 1970) p.56
Despite the impressive presence of Christopher Lee as a passionate and sadistic Dracula, this is run of the mill vampire material for addicts, with the customary castle hung with yards of red plush, the uncouth retainer, taciturn villagers and a timorous clergyman. For once, the title seems to have some relevance to the content. There is considerable emphasis on physical violence with closeups of lacerated flesh or faces pitted with bleeding holes – the work of a vampire bat of jerky clockwork appearance. These scenes of attack and injury are heavily influenced by similar scenes in The Birds. – from a review by Margaret Tarratt

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.442 (November 1970) p.233
Although one of the weaker films in the Hammer Dracula cycle, The Scars of Dracula confirms an impression that John Elder has begun to go back to Bram Stoker's original novel for his inspiration. Here much of the action that is interesting takes place in a high turret room in Dracula's castle, modelled on the one in which Jonathan Harker is imprisoned in the original, and Dracula becomes again an icily impeccable host instead of the hissing animal to which he is often reduced. Elder even goes so far as to include one of the most effective moments from the novel, in which Dracula creeps up the wall of his castle, face down like a huge lizard. But despite these tantalising fragments and a splendid climax, most of the film is padded out with very dull and by now routine filler material, besides some rather unnecessary sadism. Even the normally powerful resurrection sequence is dealt with hastily before the credits, so that there is far too little of Christopher Lee and far too much of the various young leads. Roy Ward Baker can do little with this except mark time, and the result is a mostly boring film which nevertheless contains within it some proof of the kind of Gothic cinema Hammer can and should be creating. – from an uncredited review

Today's Cinema no.9850 (23 October 1970) p.8
I fear the Count must have been drinking blood of the wrong group, otherwise he would never stoop so low as to stab a woman to death or burn a disobedient servant with a red hot sword. Such crude antics are for common criminals, not for well-born vampires with mesmeric powers and the manners of a gentleman. And as for those : when they aren't making a sickening mess of their victims' faces, they are too ludicrously unreal even to be amusing. […] A desultory story that relies on a few extremely gruesome and bloody scenes for its shock and includes very little of the eerie and supernatural. A run of the mill offering from a review by Marjorie Bilbow

1971
Cinefantastique vol.1 no.4 (1971) p.29
The Scars of Dracula, newest in a seemingly endless series of Hammer adaptations of Stoker's characters and situations, is an attempt to lift the series, in plot and style, above some of its current handicaps. […] Roy Ward Baker's direction is not as atmospheric as it was in, say, The Vampire Lovers, and the film suffers from cheap set design and the obvious low budget. Christopher Lee regains some of his earlier force as Dracula and aids the film immeasurably. Jenny Hanley, recently voted the sexiest girl in the world by a British newspaper is a surprisingly able young actress. The supporting performances are, in fact, worth noting this time out – for a change – particularly Dennis Waterman as Simon. Anoushka Hemple [sic] is fetching and sultry as Dracula's mistress. I would very much like to see a dynamic Dracula such as the character presented in the first two films of the series, combined with astute plotting, a solid good/evil conflict and care in production. Meanwhile, Scars of Dracula is, for all its flaws, a step in the right direction. – from an illustrated review by John R. Duvoli

References

Periodicals

  • Castle of Frankenstein no.17 p.4
  • Cinefantastique vol.1 no.4 (1971) p.29 – illustrated credits, review (by John R. Duvoli)
  • Cinema of the '70s no.1 (2020) pp.49-68 – illustrated article (Straight on till '79: A decade of Hammer horror by Ian Taylor)
  • Fangoria no.207 (October 2001) p.68 – illustrated DVD review
  • Filmfacts vol.14 no.11 (1971) p.264 (USA) – credits, reprinted reviews
  • Films and Filming vol.17 no.3 (December 1970) p.56 (UK) – credits, review
  • The House That Hammer Built no.7 (February 1998) pp.391-396 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Kine Weekly vol.633 no.3257 (14 March 1970) pp.3, 20 – note (Hammer's first two with all-British finance from EMI-ABPC)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.442 (November 1970) p.233 (UK) – credits, synopsis, review
  • Music From the Movies no.29 (October 2000) pp.59-60 – soundtrack review
  • Today's Cinema no.9805 (19 May 1970) p.8 (UK) – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9850 (23 October 1970) p.8 – review
  • Variety 28 October 1970 p.26 (USA) – credits, review
  • Video Junkie no.1 p.19 – review
  • Video Watchdog no.45 (1998) p.7 – note (A Better Republic by Tim Lucas)

Books

  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.225-226
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Darrell Buxton p.unpaginated – note
  • The Christopher Lee Filmography by Tom Johnson and Mark A. Miller pp.220-223
  • Cinematic Vampires by John L. Flynn pp.93-94
  • Count Dracula Goes to the Movies: Stoker's Novel Adapted (3rd Edition) by Lyndon W. Joslin pp.223-226
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.336 – credits, review
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.202-203; 205
  • The Cult Films of Christopher Lee by Jonathan Sothcott pp.172-181
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke p.50
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle Jr and Douglas C. Hart pp.148-149
  • Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations by James Craig Holte pp.62-63 – note
  • Dracula in Visual Media: Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1921-2010 by John Edgar Browning and Caroline Joan (Kay) Picart p.153
  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video (3rd edition) p.705 – credits, review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.201-202
  • Film Review 1971-72 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.234
  • Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.720-722 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Hammer Story p.139 – illustrated article, review (by Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes)
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.340 – credits
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.66-67 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.195 – credits, review
  • The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide by Stephen Jones pp.90-91 – credits, review
  • Lord of Misrule (new edition) by Christopher Lee p.301
  • by Walt Lee p.420 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.145-147
  • Ten Years of Terror pp.46-48 – illustrated credits, review (by Kim Newman)
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.191
  • Vampire Films of the 1970s: Dracula to Blacula and Every Fang Between by Gary A. Smith pp.14-15; 218 – review; credits