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“Hang on, there. Hang on, me beauties. There’s nothing to be scared of, nothing to be afeared of. … Mother of God, it’s a corpse! … Cor, I thought you was a dead one.” Sometimes you just can’t tell a tree trunk in the road from a dead body. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Jeff Mohr, and guest hosts Richard Klemensen (Little Shoppe of Horrors: The Journal of Classic British Horror Films) and Alistair Hughes (Infogothic: An Unauthorised Graphic Guide to Hammer Horror) – as they discuss the horror richness coursing through the veins of the Hammer classic, The Brides of Dracula (1960).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 137 – The Brides of Dracula (1960)
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Synopsis: Vampire hunter Van Helsing returns to Transylvania to destroy handsome bloodsucker Baron Meinster, who has designs on beautiful young schoolteacher Marianne.
- Director: Terence Fisher
- Writers: Jimmy Sangster, Peter Bryan, & Edward Percy; Anthony Hinds (uncredited)
- Producers: Michael Carreras (executive producer), Anthony Hinds (produced by), Anthony Nelson Keys (associate producer) (as Anthony Nelson-Keys)
- Music by: Malcolm Williamson
- Cinematography by: Jack Asher (director of photography)
- Production Design by: Bernard Robinson
- Makeup Department: Roy Ashton (make-up artist), Frieda Steiger (hair stylist) (as Freda Steiger)
- Special Effects by: Sydney Pearson
- Selected Cast:
- Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing
- Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne
- David Peel as Baron Meinster
- Martita Hunt as Baroness Meinster
- Freda Jackson as Greta
- Miles Malleson as Doctor Tobler
- Henry Oscar as Herr Lang
- Mona Washbourne as Frau Lang
- Andrée Melly as Gina
- Victor Brooks as Hans
- Fred Johnson as the priest
- Michael Ripper as the coachman
- Norman Pierce as the landlord
- Vera Cook as the landlord’s wife
- Marie Devereux as the village girl
- Jill Haworth (uncredited) as Schoolgirl
When Richard first saw The Brides of Dracula, it knocked him out. This incredibly colorful, gorgeous film is the Hammer production he remembers best. He admits to falling in love with the cutest vampire of all (Andrée Melly) and revels in the athletic stunts performed by Peter Cushing. Alistair shares a humorous story about the first time he didn’t see The Brides of Dracula. When he was finally able to experience the movie, he found it to be one of the most beautiful-looking films he’d ever seen.
It had been a while since Daphne had seen The Brides of Dracula, making this feel almost as if it were her first time. She is in love with Peter Cushing and his wardrobe, the other costumes, and Freda Jackson’s portrayal of Greta. It’s a wonderful, wonderful movie! Chad is with Richard in his view of Andrée Melly and, in fact, wanted to marry her when he was a youngster. He describes her portrayal of Gina as scary and, at the same time, beautiful. Daniel Peel does a great job, but Chad is almost more focused on Cushing’s portrayal of Van Helsing. And then there’s the climax to The Brides of Dracula, one of the coolest things he’d ever seen. At first, Jeff turned his nose up at the idea of a blonde Dracula, only later discovering that there is no Dracula in The Brides of Dracula and that David Peel gives a standout performance as Baron Meinster. He praises the sets and the vivid wardrobes, and the music composed by Malcolm Williamson, who is not a usual contributor to Hammer films.
Now would be a great time for a rewatch of The Brides of Dracula! As of this writing, it is available to stream from Peacock Premium and several PPV sources. In terms of physical media, a Blu-ray of The Brides of Dracula is available from Scream Factory. The extras for the disc include two segments of Scream Factory’s The Men Who Made Hammer series – a 58-minute remembrance of director Terence Fisher and a 16-minute piece on cinematographer Jack Asher – both by our illustrious guest host Richard Klemensen.
Richard Klemensen’s Little Shoppe of Horrors: The Journal of Classic British Horror Films is now taking orders for WITCHES, BITCHES AND BANSHEES: The British Films of American International Pictures by John Hamilton.
Infogothic: An Unauthorised Graphic Guide to Hammer Horror by Alistair Hughes is available from Amazon. Alistair is also a cohost with Steve Turek of the DieCast Movie Podcast’s Hammerama series.
The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era has produced the following episodes on other Hammer films:
- THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) – Episode 26
- THE GORGON (1964) – Episode 61
- THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968) – Episode 74
- THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) – Episode 84
- THE MUMMY (1959) – Episode 91
- QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1967) – Episode 93
- RASPUTIN: THE MAD MONK (1966) – Episode 105
- (HORROR OF) DRACULA (1958) – Episode 109
Or if vampires are your thing, check out these Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s podcasts on other vampire movies:
- DRACULA (1931) – Episode 20
- NOSFERATU (1922) – Episode 21
- THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE (1943) – Episode 43
- VAMPYR (1932) – Episode 55
- CURSE OF THE UNDEAD (1959) – Episode 73
- (HORROR OF) DRACULA (1958) – Episode 109
- SON OF DRACULA (1943) – Episode 132
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by guest host Ralph Miller, will be The Brainiac (1962) from Mexico.
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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for listening!”