Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969)

UK, USA, 1969
95m
35mm film, Technicolor
mono, English
Production Start Date: 27 October 1969
Original Release Date: 15 May 1970 [London, UK – on a double bill with Crescendo (1970)]

A British/American horror film directed by Peter Sasdy. It was the fifth of Hammer’s Dracula series.

Plot Summary

Three jaded, middle-class and outwardly respectable Victorian hedonists, seek for a regular fix in the brothels of London’s East End. On one such trip they encounter the arrogant Lord Courtley who entices them to an antiques shop where he cajoles them into buying the ring, cloak and powdered blood of Dracula. In a deconsecrated church, Courtley revives the Count by mixing his own blood with the powder and drinking the resulting liquid. When Courtley starts to choke on the blood, the three men beat him to death and, after they leave, Dracula is reborn in Courtley’s body, swearing vengeance on the three murderers.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Peter Sasdy
© MCMLXIX [1969] Hammer Film Productions Limited
Warner Bros. presents a Hammer Film production
Produced by: Aida Young
Screenplay by: John Elder [real name: Anthony Hinds]
Director of Photography: Arthur Grant
Editor: Chris Barnes
Music Composed by: James Bernard
Sound Recordist: Ron Barron
Wardrobe Master: Brian Owen-Smith
Make-up Supervisor: Gerry Fletcher
Hairdressing Supervisor: Mary Bredin
Special Effects: Brian Johncock [real name: Brian Johnson]
Art Director: Scott MacGregor
Locations: Elstree Studios, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Cast
Christopher Lee (Count Dracula)
Linda Hayden (Alice Hargood)
Anthony Corlan (Paul Paxton)
Geoffrey Keen (William Hargood)
John Carson (Jonathan Secker)
Peter Sallis (Samuel Paxton)
Ralph Bates (Lord Courtley)
Isla Blair (Lucy Paxton)
Gwen Watford (Martha)
Roy Kinnear (Weller)
Martin Jarvis (Jeremy Secker)
Michael Ripper (Cobb)
Russell Hunter (Felix)
Shirley Jaffe (Hargood’s maid)
Keith Marsh (father)
Peter May (son)
Reginald Barratt (vicar)
Maddy Smith [real name: Madeline Smith] (Dolly)
Lai Ling (Chinese girl)
Malaika Martin (snake girl)
Amber Blare, Vicky Gillespie [bordello girls – uncredited]
June Palmer [prostitute – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Blodsmak – Swedish title
Una messa per Dracula – Italian title
Paholaisen lähettiläs – Finnish title
El poder de la sangre de Drácula – Spanish title
Wie schmeckt das Blut von Dracula? – German title

Links

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

Sequels
Scars of Dracula (1970)
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Press

In CinemaTV Today, Marjorie Bilbow wrote that it was “not as eerie as previous episodes in the saga, but packed with incident and dripping with rich red blood.” She praised the “strong cast of character actors to provide the required reactions of convincing terror,” and noted that “the romantic interest is kept in its place and is used to further the plot instead of being a tiresome intrusion.” 1Today’s Cinema no.9804 (15 May 1970)

References

Periodicals

  • Cahiers du Cinema no.225 (November/December 1970) p.63 – review
  • Cinema of the ’70s no.1 (2020) pp.49-68 – illustrated article (Straight on till ’79: A decade of Hammer horror by Ian Taylor)
  • Dark Terrors no.6 (March-June 1993) pp.14-15 – illustrated article
  • Dark Terrors no.9 (November 1994) pp.40-41 – illustrated credits, production notes
  • Films and Filming vol.16 no.10 (July 1970) pp.47-48 – credits, review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.208 no.27 (7 November 1969) p.13 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.213 no.1 (23 September 1970) p.12 – review
  • The House That Hammer Built no.7 (February 1998) pp.368-376 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Kine Weekly no.3266 (16 May 1970) p.10 – credits, review (by Graham Clarke)
  • Midi-Minuit Fantastique no.24 (Winter 1970/1971) pp.66-67 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.437 (June 1970) p.132 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Today’s Cinema no.9753 (24 November 1970) p.21 – credits
  • Today’s Cinema no.9756 (1 December 1969) p.8 – credits
  • Today’s Cinema no.9804 (15 May 1970) p.8 – credits, review (The new films by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • Variety 20 May 1970 p.26 – credits, review

Books

  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.212
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Darrell Buxton p.unpaginated
  • Cinematic Vampires by John L. Flynn pp.91, 93
  • Count Dracula Goes to the Movies: Stoker’s Novel Adapted (3rd Edition) by Lyndon W. Joslin pp.215-222
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.201-202; 205
  • Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations by James Craig Holte pp.62 – 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.173
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke pp.50
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.194-95, 195, 201, 220, 227, 260, 307, 321
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.256
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle Jr and Douglas C. Hart pp.140-141
  • Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.784-786 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Hammer Story by Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes pp.130-131 – illustrated article, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.386
  • Kine & TV Year Book 1971 p.115
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.479 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.145
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.675-676
  • Vampire Films of the 1970s: Dracula to Blacula and Every Fang Between by Gary A. Smith pp.11-13; 220 – illustrated production notes, synopsis; credits