Dracula AD 1972: Wikis

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Dracula A.D.1972

Region 1 DVD cover artwork by Tom Chantrell
Directed by Alan Gibson
Produced by Josephine Douglas
Written by Don Houghton
Starring Christopher Lee
Peter Cushing
Music by Mike Vickers
Cinematography Dick Bush
Editing by James Needs
Distributed by Hammer Studios
Release date(s) September 27, 1972
Running time 96 min.
Language English
Preceded by Scars of Dracula
Followed by The Satanic Rites of Dracula

Dracula A.D. 1972 is a 1972 Hammer Horror film directed by Alan Gibson, written by Don Houghton and starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Stephanie Beacham. Unlike earlier films in the Hammer Dracula series, Dracula A.D. 1972 has a present-day (1970s) setting, in an attempt to update the Dracula story for contemporary audiences — Dracula is brought back to life in modern London and preys on a group of young party-goers that includes the descendant of his nemesis, Van Helsing.

It is the seventh Hammer film featuring Dracula, and the sixth to star Christopher Lee in the title role. It also sees the return of Peter Cushing as Van Helsing for the first time since 1960's The Brides of Dracula. The film has a number of different titles, including Dracula '72 (UK working title) and Dracula Chelsea '72 (UK working title), Dracula jagt Mini-Mädchen (Dracula Chases the Mini-girls), its German title, and Dracula '73, the title it was given when released a year later in France.

It was followed by the final film in Hammer's Dracula series, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, which similarly has a modern setting and features some of the same characters.

Contents

Production

Following the success of the modern-day vampire film Count Yorga, Vampire, Warner Bros commissioned two Hammer Dracula films set in the present day, which were to become Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Satanic Rites of Dracula. Dracula A.D. 1972 began production in September 1971 as Dracula Today and was filmed in Chelsea and Hertfordshire. The film was inspired by the events surrounding the Highgate Vampire case.[1]

While the two present-day Dracula films star both Lee and Cushing, they do not correspond to the chronology established in the Victorian/Edwardian era films; the first Hammer Dracula film, Dracula, is set in the 1880s, whereas the flashback sequence of the last battle between Van Helsing and Dracula in Dracula A.D. 1972 is set in 1872 - long before the first meeting of Van Helsing and Dracula in the original film.

Dracula A.D. 1972 was marketed with the tagline "Past, present or future, never count out the Count!". When it was released in the USA, a brief clip was played before the film in which actor Barry Atwater (the vampire Janos Skorzeny in The Night Stalker) rises from a coffin and swears the entire audience in as members of the Count Dracula Society.

Plot synopsis

In a prologue set in 1872, Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) and his sworn enemy Lawrence Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) battle on the top of a runaway coach. It crashes and Dracula is impaled by one of the wheels. Van Helsing dies from his wounds. At that moment a follower of Dracula (Christopher Neame) arrives, collects Dracula's remains and, a few days later, buries them near Van Helsing's grave at St Bartolph's Church.

(This opening sequence was not in the previous film Scars of Dracula, but is completely new and not part of the Hammer Horror Dracula chronology up to this point.)

One hundred years later, we are introduced to a group of young hippies that includes Jessica Van Helsing (Stephanie Beacham), granddaughter of Lorrimer Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), a descendant of Dracula's old nemesis and an expert on the occult, and Johnny Alucard (Christopher Neame), who closely resembles the disciple of Dracula seen in 1872. Alucard persuades Jessica and the others to attend a black magic ceremony in the now abandoned, deconsecrated St Bartolph's, where he performs a bloody ritual involving one of their group, Laura Bellows (Caroline Munro). Jessica and the others flee in horror, after which Dracula is resurrected and kills Laura.

Jessica Van Helsing and Count Dracula

Laura’s body is discovered, drained of blood, and a police investigation begins, headed by an Inspector Murray (Michael Coles). Murray suspects an occult element and interviews Lorrimer Van Helsing, who is shocked to learn the details of Laura’s death. He realises that Johnny Alucard (whose name is Dracula written backwards) is a disciple of Dracula, and that Dracula must have returned.

In the meantime, Alucard brings another of Jessica’s friends, Gaynor Keating (Marsha Hunt), to St Bartolph’s, where she is killed by Dracula and Alucard is himself turned into a vampire. The vampire Alucard kills a passer-by and lures Jessica’s boyfriend, Bob (Philip Miller), to a café they frequent, where he turns him into a vampire as well. While Lorrimer is out, Bob goes to the Van Helsing house and persuades Jessica to come to the café, where he and Alucard capture her and take her to Dracula.

Lorrimer discovers Jessica is missing, tracks down Alucard’s flat and kills him. He finds Bob's dead body and discovers Jessica in a trance at St Bartolph’s, where Dracula plans to take his revenge on the Van Helsing family by turning her into a vampire. Van Helsing sets a trap for Dracula and waits for him to return at nightfall. After a struggle, Dracula is killed by a stake through the heart and Lorrimer rescues Jessica.

Reception

Critical reaction to Dracula AD 1972 has been mixed to negative. Upon the film's release, Roger Ebert gave the film only one star out of four.[2] Dennis Prince of DVD Verdict said, "Dracula A.D. 1972 is definitely one of the weakest installments in Hammer's horror catalog and will likely only have strong appeal to Dracula completists."[3] Eccentric Cinema wrote, " One can have a fun time with this movie — mostly because of its faults. It's cheese all right, professionally made cheese that's much better acted and staged than it really has any right to be."[4]

The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review called the film "a major disappointment" and "the low-point of the whole Hammer Dracula series" despite "minor positive aspects".[5] George R. Reis of DVD Drive-In wrote, "Considered a low point in Hammer’s roster, Dracula A.D. 1972 is hardly that. ... [T]he film has a number of things going for it. ... Cushing’s exceptional Van Helsing pretty much carries the film. ... Christopher Neame is charismatically evil as Johnny Alucard [and] his stirring fight scene with Van Helsing is a highlight. ... How can Hammer fans not like this stuff?"[6]

Cast

  • Christopher Lee as Count Dracula
  • Peter Cushing as Lorrimer Van Helsing/Lawrence Van Helsing
  • Stephanie Beacham as Jessica Van Helsing
  • Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard
  • Michael Coles as Inspector Murray
  • Marsha Hunt as Gaynor Keating
  • Caroline Munro as Laura Bellows
  • Janet Key as Anna Bryant
  • William Ellis as Joe Mitcham
  • Philip Miller as Bob
  • Michael Kitchen as Greg
  • David Andrews as Detective Sergeant
  • Lally Bowers as Matron Party Hostess
  • Constance Luttrell as Mrs. Donnelly
  • Michael Daly as Charles
  • Artro Morris as Police Surgeon
  • Jo Richardson as Crying Matron
  • Penny Brahms as Hippy Girl
  • Flanagan as Go Go Dancer (uncredited)
  • Brian John Smith as Hippy Boy
  • Stoneground as Themselves

Four actors from the James Bond franchise appear in this film. Christopher Lee, who played Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, appears as Count Dracula. Caroline Munro, who played Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me, appears as Dracula's first victim Laura Bellows. Michael Kitchen, who portrayed Bill Tanner in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, appears as Greg. Finally, Christopher Neame, who played corrupt MI6 agent Fallon in Licence to Kill, appears as Dracula's servant, Johnny Alucard.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack was composed by former Manfred Mann member Mike Vickers, and is in a funky, 'blaxploitation' style that reflects the early 1970s setting of the film. It was not released commercially prior to a long-awaited CD release in 2009. The film also features two songs, 'Alligator Man' and 'You Better Come Through', by the American band Stoneground, who were a late replacement for The Faces. The Black Mass segment uses the track 'Black Mass: an Electric Storm in Hell' by the pioneering electronic group White Noise. The Black Mass scene with Christopher Neames' dialogue was also sampled by Orbital For 'Satan - Live' and 'Tension'.

BSX Records BSXCD 8855 Release Date: 4-May-2009 Limited edition of 1500 copies.

Track listing 1. Warner Bros. Logo (Theme from DRACULA)* (00:09) 2. Prologue / Hyde Park 1872 (04:28) 3. Main Theme: Dracula A.D. 1972 (02:04) 4. Johnny Looks at Ring / Legend of Dracula (01:01) 5. Devil's Circle Music** (03:52) 6. Baptism By Blood (05:18) 7. Dracula Rising / The Blood Ritual / Laura Screams (02:37) 8. Dracula Returns / Dracula Bites Laura (02:55) 9. Alucard = Dracula / Not The One! / Give Me The Power! (04:15) 10. Dumping The Body / Van Helsing Prepares / Jessica Walks Into The Trap (02:09) 11. Van Helsing Heads To The Club (01:35) 12. Van Helsing Confronts Johnny / Johnny's Ignoble Death Scene (03:56) 13. Johnny Be Really Dead! / Van Helsing At The Church / Van Helsing Confronts Dracula / Rest In Final Peace / Main Theme: Dracula A.D. 1972 (Reprise) (11:50) BONUS TRACKS: 14. You Better Come Through for Me (03:29) Composed by Tim Barnes (ASCAP), Performed by Stoneground 15. Alligator Man (03:29) Written by Sal Valentino (BMI), Performed by Stoneground

Total Duration: 00:53:07

DVD releases

The film was released on DVD in the UK, US and Germany by Warner Home Video in 2005. It was released as Dracula A.D. 1972 in the UK and US and as Dracula jagt Mini-Mädchen in Germany.

Notes

References

  • Rigby, Jonathan (2002). English Gothic: a Century of Horror Cinema. London:Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1-903111-35-8

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dracula AD 1972 is a 1972 film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing; the seventh film of the Dracula series from Hammer Horror films. In 1972, Johnny Alucard brings Count Dracula back from the dead in London. The Count goes after the descendents of his nemesis Lawrence Van Helsing.

Directed by Alan Gibson. Written by Don Houghton.
Past, present or future, never count out the Count! Taglines

Contents

Professor Van Helsing

  • [writing Johnny Alucard's name backwards] A disciple of Dracula. Oh my God!
  • Do old ideas rest comfortably in an open mind?
  • Jessica, don't go near him! In God's name, don't touch him!
  • My grandfather died fighting a vampire. The most terrible, most dangerous vampire of all time.

Count Dracula

  • [to Van Helsing] You would play your brains against mine? Against me who has commanded nations?
  • [to Johnny] I have returned to destroy the house of Van Helsing forever, the old through the young. You and your line have been chosen.

Johnny Alucard

  • Dig the music, kids. Let it flow into you. Give yourself up to it.
  • Look, just to show I'm sorry, I got two tickets for the Jazz spectacular at the Albert Hall.

Dialogue

Joe Mitcham: Okay, okay. But if we do get to summon up the big daddy with the horns and the tail, he gets to bring his own liquor, his own bird, and his own pot.
Bob Tepper: Well, I don't know.
Laura Bellows: Oh, come on, Bob. You're not gonna chicken out now, are you?
Bob Tepper: No, I didn't say that.

Bob Tepper: Okay, so Johnny went too far.
Jessica Van Helsing: Too far? It was revolting.
Bob Tepper: Well, Laura was smashed. You know what happened when she touches that stuff. She can't handle it.
Jessica Van Helsing: Bob, she was not that smashed!
Bob Tepper: Okay, okay, so we'll go to the cavern tomorrow, usual time. Laura will be there. A bit drained, but she'll be there. And I'll have a few words to say to Johnny.

Johnny Alucard: Master, I did it, I summoned you!
Count Dracula: It was my will.

Count Dracula: She is not the one. You have not learnt to obey. She is not the one!
Johnny Alucard: But, Master, you promised me.
Count Dracula: I promised you nothing!

Gaynor Keating: Is this your place, Johnny?
Johnny Alucard: Come in for a bite.

Professor Van Helsing: There is an evil in the world. There are dark, awful things. Occasionally, we get a glimpse of them. But there are dark corners; horrors almost impossible to imagine... even in our worst nightmares. There is a Satan.
Inspector Murray: Of course. Otherwise we wouldn't need a police force, would we?

Jessica Van Helsing: I wish someone would tell me what all this is about.
Professor Van Helsing: Murder, Jessica. That's what all this is about. Ghastly, horrible, obscene murder!

Joe Mitcham: Don't look now, but Charley baby's gonna call the fuzz.
Anna Bryant: Oh, wow!

Joe Mitcham: Is there anybody down there wishing to talk to anyone up here? Ooh, it's for you, Sapphire!
Gaynor Keating: That gig went out with miniskirts, you schlep.

Professor Van Helsing: Treatise on the Black Mass. What do you want with this?
Jessica Van Helsing: Oh, just a quiet bit of mind blowing.
Professor Van Helsing: Jessica, this is not a subject to mess around with. These are scientific works.
Jessica Van Helsing: You can buy that sort of stuff almost any shady bookshop in Soho. I think it's all kinky.
Professor Van Helsing: What's that?
Jessica Van Helsing: Weird, man. Way out. I mean, spooks, hobgoblins, black magic. All that jazz.

Jessica Van Helsing: Why don't we go in the front way?
Bob Tepper: That's full of geeks and newspaper men.

Inspector Murray: Van Helsing?
Detective Sergeant: Her grandfather is Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing, London University. He helped us once.
Inspector Murray: Oh, yes, that extortion mob. Money by blackmail. Something to do with witchcraft. Some cult or other.
Detective Sergeant: Yes, he's a specialist in that sort of thing.
Inspector Murray: Witchcraft. Occult. Churchyards. [plays with an executive toy]

Detective Sergeant: Any chance of a cup of coffee and a cheese roll, sir. I'm starving!
Inspector Murray: Don't know if they're serving coffee and cheese rolls at Joe's party, but I'll see what I can do for you. Let's get over there and find what they are doing... before it's all over.
Detective Sergeant: It's going to be a bit heavy going, sir, don't you think? Trying to interview a bunch of kids while there's a party going on?
Inspector Murray: Sergeant, I'll bet you a pound to a pince of shit... that there's a little piece of hash at that party... and if there is, I've got them. Means I can hold them. If I can hold them, I can talk to them, and I'll settle for that, for the moment.

Taglines

  • Past, present or future, never count out the Count!
  • The count is back, with an eye for London's hot pants... and a taste for everything.
  • The time: now. The place: Kings Road, Chelsea. The killer: Count Dracula.

Main cast

External links

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