“Nothing is too vile. Nothing is too dreadful, too awful. You need to know the terror, the horror, Lorrimor. You need to feel the thrill of disgust, the beauty of obscenity.” Oh, Freddie Jones, you had me at vile. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they do a ride-along with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee for their last Hammer film together, The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973).
Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 188 – The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
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In 1974, Scotland Yard believes it has uncovered a case of vampirism, so they call in veteran vampire researcher Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing.
- Director: Alan Gibson
- Writer: Don Houghton (screenplay by)
- Music by: John Cacavas
- Cinematography by: Brian Probyn (director of photography)
- Film Editing by: Chris Barnes
- Selected Cast:
- Christopher Lee as Count Dracula / D.D. Denham
- Peter Cushing as Lorrimer Van Helsing
- Michael Coles as Inspector Murray
- William Franklyn as Peter Torrence
- Richard Vernon as Colonel Mathews
- Joanna Lumley as Jessica Van Helsing
- Valerie Van Ost as Jane
- Barbara Yu Ling as Chin Yang
- Freddie Jones as Dr. Julian Keeley
- Maurice O’Connell as Agent Hanson
- Richard Mathews as John Porter, MP
- Patrick Barr as Lord Carradine
- Lockwood West as General Sir Arthur Freeborne
- Peter Adair as doctor
- John Harvey as the Commissionaire
- Maggie Fitzgerald, Pauline Peart, Finnuala O’Shannon as vampire girls
- Mia Martin as girl on altar
- Marc Zuber, Paul Weston, Ian Dewar, Graham Rees as guards
It’s time to cover the final pairing of Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and Christopher Lee as Count Dracula in Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride! Wait, no… The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973). Two years after the events of Dracula A.D. 1972, Cushing’s Van Helsing discovers Lee’s Dracula is still alive… and living in London… (see what I did there) and is now a wealthy CEO. But, he still has dastardly plans in his cape. Ironically, while this film did not land state-side until 1978 keeping U.S. fans waiting, it is now, sadly, in the public domain… sigh. Regardless, if you watch a sharp HD cut from an original print, you can catch glimpses of the powerhouse horror film company Hammer used to be as Helsing and crew literally use every method possible to dispose of the vampires lurking about. C’mon, despite its questionable quality, you gotta see this.
At the time of this writing, The Satanic Rites of Dracula is available to stream from the Roku Channel, Tubi, Popcornflix, Freevee, Screambox, and a variety of PPV sources. It is also available on Blu-ray from Warner Archives.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode, chosen by Jeff, will be Paul Naschy’s The Werewolf and the Yeti (1975). Or is it Night of the Howling Beast? Or La maldición de la bestia? Or Il licantropo e lo yeti? Or Horror of the Werewolf? Or The Curse of the Beast? Or Hall of the Mountain King? Anyhoo, have you seen any of these?
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