Movie Review: Dracula Prince Of Darkness (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

Dracula Prince of Darkness was directed by Terence Fisher from a screenplay by Jimmy Sangster and stars Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews and Philip Latham. The music was composed by James Bernard.

Four English tourists find themselves stranded in the mysterious village of Karlsbad, a sinister and remote place with a deadly, dark legend. Their journey leads them to an abandoned castle where a nightmarish destiny awaits them: an evil in need of resurrection, a blood-craving beast known only as Count Dracula, Prince of Darkness (Christopher Lee).

The opening scene for Dracula: Prince of Darkness recounts how the evil vampire was defeated nearly a decade earlier by Doctor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing). This sequel follows the Kents who end up abandoned in the middle of nowheresville by a freaked out coachdriver. The signs are all around them that something isn’t right in this area but instead of leaving they’re able to hitch a ride from a driverless carriage that takes them to an old castle where they’re welcomed in by Klove, a loyal servant of the late Count Dracula. The visitors have an uncomfortable conversation with their mysterious host that has special plans for them in this old gothic setting. It’s almost like he knew guests would be arriving on this fateful evening.

It takes a little while for these plans to be put in motion but when the time is right Klove strikes and his sinister agenda begins that allows his master, Count Dracula, to rise from his grave once again. Dracula is finally resurrected and the Prince of Darkness begins his blood thirsty hunt for new victims that includes any visitors inside his castle and any intruders that try to trespass on his ground. A few of the guests are bitten by Dracula and transform into blood-thirsty vampires that try to lure the others into Dracula’s trap but once they catch on to what’s happening, the rest fight back with the help of a local priest and crucifixes. What they’re able to do is corner Dracula and send him back to his grave, this time where he sinks down into the depths of some frozen water.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new 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 some classic artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. 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. This release includes the UK version and the U.S. version that has been given a new 4K scan of the interpositive from the 20th Century Fox vaults. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. 

Bottom line is, even though Dracula Prince of Darkness isn’t as good of a watch as its 1958 predecessor but it does have some special qualities about it that help make it a fan favorite. This 1966 horror classic from Hammer was ahead of its time because it featured things like lesbianism and sexual perversion that were much more controversial during this time. The movie also has the Hammer signatures like the casting of familiar faces from England, the gothic setting and location (hello creepy old castle) and the classic score. And then there’s Christopher Lee who delivers a terrifying performance as the Prince of Darkness in his second outing as the bloodsucker and he hardly has to say a word. It’s those creepy bloodshot eyes that make him look so scary! Honestly, Christopher Lee was underused in this movie which is actually its only weakness. In my opinion, Terence Fisher spent way too much time on the human aspect of the movie and took too long reintroducing Christopher Lee as Dracula. With that said, this is still a good horror classic that definitely has its moments of pure terror. Dracula Prince of Darkness will be available on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on December 18th. 

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 90 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

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

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include two new audio commentary tracks and one vintage audio commentary track, a classic “World of Hammer” episode, behind-the-scenes footage, three theatrical trailers and a still gallery.

  • Two Versions! The UK version and the U.S. version
  • NEW 4K scan of US version of the interpositive from the 20th Century Fox vaults
  • NEW audio commentary with author Troy Howarth
  • NEW audio commentary with filmmaker Constantine Nasr and writer/producer Steve Haberman
  • Audio commentary with cast members Christopher Lee, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews, Barbara Shelley
  • World of Hammer episode “Dracula and the Undead” (24:53)
  • Back to Black – The Making of Dracula -Prince of Darkness (30:34)
  • Super 8mm Behind-the-Scenes footage (04:38)
  • Theatrical Trailers (06:10)
  • Still Gallery (07:05)
  • Poster Gallery (04:50)
  • Special Thanks (01:25)
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