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THE BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960) – Episode 137 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“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.

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:

Or if vampires are your thing, check out these Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s podcasts on other vampire movies:

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!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.