Blu-ray Review: SCARS OF DRACULA

SCARS OF DRACULA was directed with bloody bravado by Hammer veteran Roy Ward Baker and stars Christopher Lee with Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, Christopher Matthews and Patrick Troughton

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 henchmen. The prince of darkness has returned like never before, but will his horrific mark remain forever?

Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) is resurrected after his castle is set on fire by the locals from a nearby village and he once again begins his reign of terror. This time around, the Prince of Darkness lets his giant vampire bats do his evil bidding by flying out and slaughtering innocent women and children. And anyone else that gets in their way. When Paul Carlson (Christopher Matthews) recklessly finds himself as a guest at Count Dracula’s castle, it doesn’t take him long to realize that he’s in a bad situation. Dracula plays a great host but he always has a sinister plan at bay. Here he uses his sometimes loyal servant Klove (Patrick Troughton) to help clean up the messes that are left around.

What happens is, Paul’s more stable brother Simon (Dennis Waterman) and his beautiful girlfriend Sara Framsen (Jenny Hanley) end up looking for him and their search leads them to the castle. This is where things start to go south because Dracula and Klove both have a crush on Sarah. Klove won’t do what his master orders him to do and instead helps the couple escape so he’s punished severely by the Count for doing this good deed. Simon comes up with a plan to battle it out with Dracula but he has to go it alone because the rest of the villagers are complete cowards. Well, he does get a little help from a Priest but the giant vampire bats quickly take care of him. Anyway, Simon finds himself back the castle where he also finally discovers the fate of his missing brother. The brave hero comes face-to-face with Dracula one final time where he gets a little electrifying help from a bolt of lightning to defeat the Prince of Darkness.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Scars of Dracula ended up being another first time watch for me and I enjoyed this incarnation of Dracula. I think this was Christopher Lee’s fourth time as the iconic Count, and even though he doesn’t have a lot of dialogue to say, he does speak more here than in any other Dracula movie he starred in. Lee never has to say a lot because it’s his intimidating presence that’s completely terrifying. And those bloodshot eyes of his! I thought the story was interesting and the supporting cast did a really good job with their characters. This Hammer cult classic deals with resurrection, religion, lust and fear and I thought director Roy Ward Baker captured it all. There’s also lots of gore and giant vampire bats to go along with it all. Scars of Dracula even features a few cool stunts with the standout being Dracula scaling up the side of his castle in a scene. Hammer was known for recycling its sets to save a little money and the background of Scars of Dracula is very similar to Horror of Frankenstein and these two even played a double bill at times back in the day. I’m enjoying Scream Factory’s Hammer releases so far and this 1970 gothic creeper was a good one. Scars of Dracula will finally be available on Blu-ray on September 10th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) and Fullframe (1.66:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, an inside look featurette, a vintage audio commentary track, two theatrical trailers and a still gallery.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr and film historian Randall Larson
  • Blood Rites: Inside SCARS OF DRACULA (18:03)
  • Audio Commentary with star Christopher Lee and director Roy Ward Baker, moderated by Hammer Film historian Marcus Hearn
  • Theatrical Trailers ((05:05)
  • Still Gallery (10:20)

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