THE OLD DARK HOUSE

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DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS


Director - Terence Fisher, Screenplay - John Sansom, Story - John Elder [Anthony Hinds], Producer - Anthony Nelson-Keys, Photography - Michael Reed, Music - James Bernard, Music Supervisor - Philip Martell, Special Effects - Bowie Films Ltd, Makeup - Roy Ashton, Production Design - Bernard Robinson, Art Direction - Don Mingaye. Production Company - Hammer/Seven Arts. 1966.

Cast: Andrew Keir (Father Shandor), Christopher Lee (Count Dracula), Francis Matthews (Charles Kent), Barbara Shelley (Helen Kent), Suzan Farmer (Diana Kent), Charles Tingwell (Alan Kent), Philip Latham (Klove), Thorley Walters (Ludwig)


      Four travelers in Eastern Europe: Charles Kent, his wife Diana, his brother Alan and Alan’s wife, Helen, are warned by Father Shandor not to journey near Carlsbad, but does not divulge the reason why. They hire a coach, but as they approach Carlsbad, their driver forces them out. As they wait alone on the road, a driverless carriage arrives and stops before them. Throwing caution to the wind, they mount the carriage, and the horses drive away.
      They are taken to a castle, and enter to find a table set for four. Klove appears and introduces himself as the manservent, and apologies for the absence of his master. During the night, Alan is awakened by noise in the cellars. While on his way to investigate he is stopped and hacked to death by Klove, who hangs Alan’s bleeding body over the crypt of his dead master, Count Dracula. As Alan’s blood mingles with Dracula’s remains, it provides a life-giving force, and Dracula slowly rising from the crypt.
      To nourish himself, Dracula sinks his fangs into the throat of Helen, transforming this prim Victorian lady into an evil vampire. After Dracula attacks Diana, she and Charles escape to Father Shandor’s monastery.
      They return with Father Shandor and two monks to the castle, where they succeed in killing Helen by driving a stake through her heart. But Dracula kidnaps Diana, throws her in the back of his carriage, and together with Klove, try to make their escape. Charles shoots Klove, and the carriage careens off the road onto the ice-covered moat. As Charles grapples with Dracula on the ice, Father Shandor remembers that vampires can be stopped only by the sight of the cross, the sun, or the touch of running water. Shandor continually fires his gun at the ice around Dracula’s feet, and when the ice gives way, Dracula slips, clawing helplessly, into the frozen water.

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