Dracula A.D. 1972 Blu Ray Review (Warner Archive Collection)
Dracula A.D. 1972 is a 1972 horror film directed by Alan Gibson (The Satanic Rites of Dracula, Hammer House of Horror, Goodbye Gemini, & Tales of the Unexpected). It was produced by Hammer Film Productions. It was the seventh Hammer film featuring Dracula & the sixth to star Christopher Lee. It was the return of Peter Cushing as Van Helsing for the first time since 1960. The film was inspired by the events surrounding the Highgate Vampire case. It followed by The Satanic Rites of Dracula. A group of young hippies that includes Jessica Van Helsing (played by: Stephanie Beacham from The Devil’s Widow, The Nightcomers, Schizo, & Horror Planet), the granddaughter of Lorrimer Van Helsing (played by: Peter Cushing from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, The Curse of Frankenstein, Shock Waves, & The Beast Must Die) & Johnny Alucard (played by: Christopher Neame from Lust for a Vampire, Transformations, Licence to Kill, & Steel Dawn) attend a black magic ceremony in the now abandoned St. Bartolph’s.
Johnny performs a bloody ritual on Laura Bellows (played by: Caroline Munro from The Spy Who Loved Me, Maniac, The Last Horror Film, & Slaughter High) which causes the rest of the group to leave. Dracula (played by: Christopher Lee from Dracula franchise, Star Wars franchise, The Lord of the Rings franchise, & The Wicker Man) is resurrected & already starts causing chaos! Inspector Murray (played by: Michael Coles from Slade in Flame, I Want What I Want, & The Satanic Rites of Dracula) investigates the situation & ends up interviewing Lorrimer Van Helsing. After hearing the gruesome details, he believes that his rival is back & working with someone. Johnny lures Gaynor Keating (Marsha Hunt from The Sender, Howling II, & Never Say Never Again) to St. Bartolph’s. Dracula repays his disciple by making him a vampire. He goes after Jessica’s boyfriend Bob (played by: Philip Miller) to get the attention of his desired victim. Lorrimer tracks down the newly made vampire & tries to help his granddaughter. This leads to a confrontation with his nemesis Count Dracula! It’s a battle to the death, who will win this bloody war????
Dracula A.D. 1972 did something completely different for the horror franchise. It took the classic Count Dracula character & put him in the modern world. It was a unique twist to a familiar concept. Christopher Lee against Peter Cushing is always worth the price of admission & this film doesn’t disappoint when it comes to that. Both horror icons have great performances here in roles they made their own over the years. It also has a solid supporting cast which includes Stephanie Beacham, Caroline Munro, & Christopher Neame. This is one of most entertaining & fun experiences when it comes to the legacy of Dracula. Hammer knew how to make a horror film & this production was one of their better efforts in the later years. It had a nice atmosphere & soundtrack to go with the modern vibe at the time. I am glad that more Christopher Lee Dracula films & Hammer collaborations are finally getting proper home video treatment. HIGHLY recommended for Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hammer, & Dracula fans!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Archive! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer from a new 2K scan is definitely the best this film has ever looked on home video! The color correction & restoration for this is very impressive. It’s almost like seeing it for very first time! The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is a major improvement from all the previous releases. The dialogue is very clean & the music here sounds amazing in my home set up, Dracula A.D. 1972 will feel like a whole new experience with these upgrades. It also has English SDH subtitles. The only extra on this disc is the “Theatrical Trailer”, it’s been remastered in high definition. It’s available everywhere right now including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!
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