Film Screening 6th June, 2008

Poster for Dracula Has Risen From The Grave

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave 

8:00 PM, 6th June, 2008

  • M
  • 92 mins
  • Unknown
  • Freddie Francis
  • Anthony Hinds
  • Christopher Lee, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Rupert Davies

Twelve months after Dracula's (Lee) last defeat, the Monsignor who led the crusade against the vampire returns to the village near Dracula's Castle. The village is still in the grip of fear, so the Monsignor consecrates the castle in an effort to prevent the return of the dark one. Alas, this chain of events actually awakens Dracula and he isn't happy that he can't go home.

Dracula follows the Monsignor back to his city and sets about his revenge by seducing the virtuous niece of the priest. With the aid of the niece's lover, an atheist scholar, the Monsignor must again defeat the legendary vampire lord.

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is Hammer Horror at its finest. The film retreads many of the same concepts contained in the original story of Dracula ((ndash)) power, seduction, romance and faith ((ndash)) and while this story adds nothing new to the well-established folklore, it trots out a brooding gothic tale better than any Dracula movie before it. Christopher Lee was born to play Dracula and his performance here is flawless. The other man who threatens to steal the show is cinematographer Arthur Grant, whose magnificent gothic images could virtually tell the story without words. It is tragic that there no longer seems to be a place for this kind of horror at the multiplex.

Adam Gould

Poster for Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 

9:41 PM, 6th June, 2008

  • M
  • 101 mins
  • Unknown
  • Terence Fisher
  • Bert Batt
  • Peter Cushing, Freddie Jones, George Pravda, Maxine Audley

The maniacal Doctor Frankenstein returns in this fifth Hammer Horror outing for the character. It has been five years since Frankenstein was last run out of his home town while researching the ability to transplant a brain from one body to another. Frankenstein was successful in his transplant experiments, but failed to find a way to preserve the brain for any length of time between bodies. His colleague, Dr Frederik Brandt, had been successful in developing such a technique for tissue preservation but went howling mad from the pressures of the research. Frankenstein has tracked Dr Brandt down to an asylum and, with the aid of a young doctor he is blackmailing, he plans on restoring his colleague's sanity and finally discovering his secret.

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is fairly typical of Hammer's Frankenstein films. It thrives more on the science fiction aspect of the story than the horror aspect and hooks the audience with its fantastic concepts, and a few squirmy surgery scenes, rather than the Gothic style that Hammer are probably better known for (as seen in their Dracula films, Captain Kronos and the like.) Though hardly a surprise, Peter Cushing steals the show with his intellectually superior, scenery-chewing characterisation of the murderous scientist Frankenstein.

Adam Gould