The legendary Christopher Lee is back as Dracula, bringing unspeakable horrors upon a local village that defies his evil reign. But when a young man and his luscious girlfriend unwittingly visit the Count's castle, they find themselves trapped in a face-to-face frenzy of bloodthirsty vixens, religious blasphemy and sadistic torture. The Prince of Darkness has returned like never before, but will his horrific mark remain forever? Hammer fans and scholars alike consider SCARS OF DRACULA to be the most ferociously violent film in the entire series. Patrick Troughton ("DOCTOR WHO," THE OMEN) costars in this 1970 shocker, directed with bloody bravado by Hammer veteran Roy Ward Baker (QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE).
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Roy Ward Baker
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For Scars of Dracula, Christopher Lee's 5th outing as the Count, Lee gets more screen time and dialogue than usual, but for most of its length SoD is only mildly diverting. The film has a drab, low-budget aura, and the script is composed mostly of recycled ideas. Roy Ward Baker (director of a number of fine genre movies, e.g. Quatermass and the Pit, Asylum, Vampire Lovers), was apparently shocked by the sadism of Anthony Hinds' screenplay, and cynically decided to give Hammer what they wanted, accounting for the even greater emphasis on bloody violence than usual for a Hammer production. Unfortunately, the overall results don't come close to Baker's usually high standard. The normally sumptuous Hammer sets are cluttery and chintzy-looking and Moray Grant's cinematography is flat and TV-like; the whole movie really looks too bright and clean to generate any real gothic atmosphere. The miniature of Dracula's castle is fairly convincing (until it's set on fire), but the splatter makeups...
"Scars of Dracula" is a sort of 'odd man out' in the series of films released by Hammer Studios in that it has no place in the continuity (rather like the final film in the series, "Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires"). Basically, it re-writes the series as a sort of alternate "part one" ... therefore, it's a good place to start for anyone who hasn't seen any of these movies before.
"Scars" opens unpromisingly, I must begin by saying, but a lame resurrection for Our Favorite Vampire is compensated by some unforgettable moments immediately following it ... there's the torching of Dracula's castle following his murder of a young girl by the frightened townspeople, who are then led by their priest to the church where they discover ... well, I can't really tell you, but you'll certainly never forget. Some time passes following this incident, and we're soon introduced to a pair of brothers, the nice Simon and the naughty Paul (who's given a most amusing introduction), our...
Fans of Christopher Lee and/or Hammer Films, don't wait on this one. Get the "Limited Edition" and you'll be treated to a superb bonus disc, that includes an hour-long documentary hosted by the man himself, plus two MUSIC VIDEOS featuring Mr. Lee singing! A rare treat which makes the DVD worth buying. As for SCARS OF DRACULA, it's neither the best nor worst in the series. Widely reputed as the most violent Hammer Dracula, the film has not been viewed favorably (detractors include Lee himself---check him out on the commentary track!). But if you can avoid comparing the film to the studio's earlier, superior films (particularly those helmed by Terence Fisher), you might just find a decent horror movie waiting to be discovered. As expected from the nice folks at Anchor Bay, the picture and sound quality are top-notch, surpassing DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS (in my opinion). But the extras really overshadow the beautifully-transferred, but flawed film. Sink your teeth into...
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