When you think about it, 'Dracula Has Risen From The Grave' could have been the name of every Hammer Dracula film, as every Hammer Dracula film relies absolutely on Dracula doing just that. Oh, and being destroyed at the end. Well, semi-destroyed, waiting to rise from the grave again. That said, we would have missed such splendid titles as ‘Taste The Blood Of Dracula’ and ‘The Satanic Rites Of Dracula’, so, overall, I’m happy.
That pointless digression leads us to the actual ‘Dracula Has Risen From The Grave’, a singularly snappy and rather cool offering from 1968. Apart from a bit of a sag in the middle, it fairly whips along, chucking in some gruesome murders, a bit of vampiric folklore, plenty of bosoms (courtesy of Barbara Ewing and Veronica Carlson) and a bloody ending in which the Prince of Darkness ends up impaled on a huge golden cross.
One of my favourite Hammer Dracula films, it’s full of energy, and, in using the Bray Studio ‘city’ set, takes the Count into an urban setting, albeit a nice chocolate box-y one. Christopher Lee has a few lines, but spends most of his time smirking, as if he can’t quite get over how naughty he is. He reminds me of my ten year old nephew, who is also a bit of a twat.
Slaying duties eventually fall to gawky Barry Andrews (the hapless Ralph from ‘Blood On Satan’s Claw), although he is hampered by the fact that, as an atheist, he is unable to say the prayers required to seal the deal. In the end, Dracula’s unwilling and increasingly disgusted acolyte, a Priest, breaks the spell long enough to say the necessary incantations and send the bloodthirsty bewigged bastard to Hell. Again. For a bit, at least.