The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

A martial arts / vampire mashup is a fun idea, with the Hammer and Shaw movie studios working together to create this wacky one-off realisation of it. There’s no Christopher Lee, and the actor nominally for Dracula is barely in the movie (no great loss, but the body-swapping mechanics are handled oddly, and potentially could…

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

Another modern (well, 1970s) Hammer Dracula film, in fact Christopher Lee’s last Hammer Dracula film. More interesting and action-packed than that film, although obviously without the electricity of the idea of moving Dracula to the then-present day. Interesting update of the plague idea from the NOSFERATU films. Dracula’s plan here is more ambitious than usual,…

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

The central idea of this film is great. The original Dracula novel transplanted the count into what was then modern London. Why not do the same now? There’s no stricture that a story written in what is now seen as a period setting needs to always be set in a period setting, especially if part…

Scars of Dracula (1970)

Surprisingly heavy on the Christopher Lee for a Hammer Dracula movie, with him playing a much more active role in the narrative, having more dialogue, even having a few novelistic attributes restored (cold, creepy host, controlling animals, climbing castle walls). The most noticeable thing with this film is how it breaks continuity, though. The other…

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

There are a few good touches to this fifth entry in the Hammer Dracula series, like the pulsing zooms of the camera imitating a heartbeat when Dracula is resurrected, but it’s largely a pretty stale affair. The premise isn’t bad, a kind of scathing attack on the hypocrisy and frivolity of debauched men who posit…

Dracula has Risen from the Grave (1968)

The fourth film in the Hammer Dracula series, where things definitely have started to feel very settled. It has the most religious focus of any of the Hammer Draculas, mostly following priest characters, as well as one notable atheist who’s of course shunned by them. His disbelief becomes an issue in the effort to fight…

La Belle Sauvage (2017) by Philip Pullman

This is not a bad novel. There are well-realised characters, the themes are imbued into the setting, there’s a lovely sense of a lived-in world, there’s a crackling sense of magic, there’s a considered structure, there’s that wonderful tense interplay between childhood and adulthood that Pullman excels at exploring. But there’s a real question of…why…