The Brides Of Dracula
| 85 MINS | COLOUR | HAMMER |
Count Dracula is dead, but his disciples live on to spread their evil virus.
Marianne Danielle, a student-teacher travelling to a ladies academy at Bachstadt, has to make an unexpected stop at a village. When the coach leaves without her, she has to find a lodging for the night. Finding the inn full, she is offered a room for the night at Baroness Von Meinster’s castle.
After Marianne accepts the Baroness’s hospitality, she goes to the castle and while preparing for dinner, she sees a handsome man through her window on a balcony below. At dinner Marianne asks the Baroness who the man is, and she tells her that it is her son and that he suffers from a certain illness. Later that night Marianne again looks out of her window, and this time sees that the man looks as though he is about to kill himself. Going down to see the man, she is horrified to see that he is imprisoned by an ankle chain. The man tells her that the key is in the baroness’s room. After obtaining the key, she throws it to the man.
The next day she finds herself lying in a forest, and by sheer fortune is discovered by none other than Doctor Van Helsing, the great vampire hunter. Van Helsing immediately recognises the danger facing Marianne, and only he can tackle the great evil facing them.
Van Helsing escorts Marianne to her school. When he reaches the village inn, he discovers that there is much evidence of vampiric activity. Going to the castle, he discovers that Baroness Meinster has been made a vampire. Van Helsing stakes her.
Meanwhile, the Baron visits Marianne at her school and asks her to marry him. She accepts. Gina, Marianne’s roommate, becomes the Baron’s next victim. Gina, now a vampire, reveals the whereabouts of the Baron to Marianne just before attempting to bite her. Van Helsing intervenes just in time.
After leaving Marianne in safety, Van Helsing goes to the mill, where Meinster is hiding. The Baron bites him and infects him with vampirism. When Van Helsing wakes, he realizes what has happened. He heats a metal tool in a brazier until it is red hot, then cauterises his throat wound. He pours holy water on it to purify it. The wounds disappear as two of the Baron’s brides watch from the rafters, shocked at the scene.
Baron Meinster abducts Marianne from the school and brings her to the mill. As Meinster attempts to hypnotise her, Van Helsing seizes the canteen of holy water and throws it into the Baron’s face, which sears him like acid. Meinster kicks over the brazier of hot coals, starting a fire. As he flees outside, Van Helsing takes Marianne up into the mill, then out via the huge sails, which he moves to form the shadow of a gigantic cross over Baron Meinster, who is killed by it. Van Helsing makes sure he’s dead. As the mill burns, Van Helsing comforts Marianne.
Britishhorrorfilms: Brides Of Dracula is an astonishing film, which turns out to be more than the sum of its parts (and is only improved by the lack of the titular character).
Spookyisles: Though not as effective as the first Dracula outing, Brides of Dracula is still a successful film for the Dracula franchise and proof that the sequels were justified and worth exploring in more depth.
Timeout: Patchy but striking, and directed with Fisher’s usual flair.
Narrator: Transylvania, land of dark forests, dread mountains and black, unfathomed lakes. Still the home of magic and devilry as the nineteenth century draws to it’s close. Count Dracula, monarch of all vampires, is dead, but his disciples live on, to spread the cult and corrupt the world.
- Directed by Terence Fisher
- Produced by Anthony Hinds
- Music by Malcolm Williamson
- Cinematography Jack Asher
- Production company Hammer Film Productions
- The Brides of Dracula (1960) is a stand-alone film and not obviously a sequel or prequel to any other Hammer film.
- Dracula does not appear in the film.
Peter Cushing — Dr J. Van Helsing | Martita Hunt — Baroness Meinster | Yvonne Monlaur — Marianne Danielle | Freda Jackson — Greta | David Peel — Baron Meinster | Miles Malleson — Dr. Tobler | Henry Oscar — Herr Otto Lang | Mona Washbourne — Frau Helga Lang | Andree Melly — Gina | Victor Brooks — Hans, a Villager | Fred Johnson — The Cure, Father Stepnik | Michael Ripper — Coachman | Norman Pierce — Johann, Landlord | Vera Cook — Landlord’s Wife | Marie Devereux — Village Girl (as Marie Deveruex)