Dracula – Horror Channel

Hammer Films' original vampire film is an excellent adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic book, pulsating with vigour and energy. 4/5 stars

Peter Cushing is at his most vibrant as the vampire vanquisher Prof Van Helsing, Christopher Lee (who has only 13 lines) is stylishly intimidating in his definitive screen turn as the bloodsucker, Valerie Gaunt is a super vampiress and there’s an extremely effective, fast-moving climax with now-charming special effects.

After 60 years, the film has inevitably faded – it’s hard to fathom now why audiences could have been so shocked at the time and one or two of the performances (Michael Gough, George Woodbridge) are shockingly overripe.

However, it more than retains its charm and allure as a gothic horror treasure, mainly thanks to the classic teaming of Lee and Cushing (in the second of more than 20 films together, mainly horror). 

In the US, the title was changed to Horror of Dracula to avoid confusion with the classic 1931 version. Based on the novel, first published in 1897, this is the first colour version of Dracula.