• Nosferatu the Vampyre

    Nosferatu the Vampyre

    ★★★½

    There are periods in Werner Herzog's Dracula adaptation that are absolutely electrifying, certainly if you like films where you can sense the director's idiosyncracies seeping through. Not that I'm familiar with Herzog's work, but I enjoy the way in Nosferatu that he keeps flitting between regular drama, moments that are almost documentary-like (the opening credits; the gypsy campfire) and scenes where he steps back and just lets his camera watch the performance art stylings of Klaus Kinski's mannered, oddball vampire.…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★½

    A lively adaptation of Dracula that benefits from top-notch actors in key roles, notably Donald Pleasence as Dr Seward and Laurence actual Olivier as Van Helsing (stick that up your sideburns, Hugh Jackman). It also benefits from giving the title character a lot more to do than some other versions I've seen, meaning that he's an ominous presence throughout, rather than just somebody who pops up to do a bit of biting every so often.

    You might expect US star…

  • Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

    Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

    ★★

    Mediocre, formulaic Hammer nonsense in which apprentice baker Paul, who has the misfortune to look like Roger Daltrey, finds himself in the middle of another bout of Dracula-ing, because his girlfriend Maria's uncle - the region's Catholic monsignor, no less - did a bad job of banishing the Count inside his castle. Thing is, Dracula wasn't actually in his castle at the time; he was frozen in the river outside, and was accidentally resurrected by another priest while Monsignor Ernst…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★

    By 1958, there was clearly no mileage left in the mystery of the outwardly respectable Count Dracula's true nature, so Hammer's film is, sensibly, the first Dracula movie not to follow Bram Stoker's original storyline. That said, it does use his character names, but if you ignore that then you can almost take this as a sequel to the 1931 adaptation. In this version, Jonathan Harker is an undercover vampire hunter, though when it comes to putting a stake through…

  • Fanny Lye Deliver'd

    Fanny Lye Deliver'd

    ★★★★

    Only 1,300 Letterboxd viewers? That's not very many, is it. This film is shockingly underseen, given how much it should appeal to so many fans of horror-adjacent authentic period pieces, not to mention the fact that its leads are Proper Actors, Maxine Peake & Charles Dance. This ain't some bottom-of-the-barrel cheap shit.

    If you enjoyed The VVitch's 17th century take on supernatural horror and The Nightingale's 19th century version of rape-revenge, then this English Civil War era home invasion movie should be right up your alley. It is up mine, as it were.

  • Blood for Dracula

    Blood for Dracula

    ★★★★

    I think this might be the first time I've realised that Blood for Dracula is primarily a very funny black comedy rather than a slightly shonky horror movie, and that's why I got more enjoyment out of it today than ever before. Right from the opening scene, in which Dracula and his "secretary" Anton give off total Herr Flick of the Gestapo vibes, there's a lot of sly, sick humour.

    In Joe Dallesandro's Mario, we get one of the dodgiest…

  • Dr. Phibes Rises Again

    Dr. Phibes Rises Again

    ★★★½

    Dr. Phibes rises, and Vincent Price reprises my favourite of his roles, the serial killer who's working on the secret of eternal life, even though he has to wear an artificial, wax face because his real one is so monstrously disfigured. After three years laying low, he emerges from self-administered suspended animation to discover that archaeologist Darrus Biederbeck has stolen his important ancient Egyptian maps and secrets, and so he and his mysterious assistant Vulnavia relocate to north Africa, dispatching…

  • The Voyeurs

    The Voyeurs

    ★★★½

    I'm not sure I've ever seen such a problematic film that's problematic for purely personal reasons. They being: I only know Justice Smith from his totally wholesome starring role in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and it's weird seeing him in this naughty sex drama as voyeur Thomas; I only know Ben Hardy as the 2013-15 incarnation of Peter Beale in EastEnders, grieving over his murdered twin sister, and it's weird seeing him as a hench sex rat who calls women "cunts";…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★½

    I'd never seen this 90 year-old adaptation before, but when Bela Lugosi first speaks, I was like: "Yep. That's Dracula alright." It's great casting, so it's such a shame that he doesn't get to do a great deal, because like so many versions of Bram Stoker's novel, there's a lot more talking about Dracula than there is actual Dracula.

    However, the first half hour is pretty cracking. The script gets right into the action, eschewing the usual unnecessary admin in…

  • Nosferatu

    Nosferatu

    I know this is an important film, and I know we're supposed to give it a bit of leeway because it's so old, and I know that the way we watch it today (colour-tinted, damaged, some frames missing) isn't how it was originally meant to be seen...

    ... but Nosferatu has simply never managed to engage me. I find it really quite boring. It spends far too long on Hutter's voyage to Transylvania, and then it spends far too long…

  • Dracula vs. Frankenstein

    Dracula vs. Frankenstein

    ★★★½

    A packed 90 minutes of low-quality entertainment from cult favourite Al Adamson, which gets off to a strong start with a well-constructed title sequence promising all sorts of famous faces (some well past their use-by date) and technical treats. And it barely lets up from thereon out, with a vampire attack, a fairly graphic decapitation and - yes - a joyous Las Vegas musical number in the first three scenes alone! Obviously you get Dracula and Frankenstein in this film,…

  • Count Dracula

    Count Dracula

    ★½

    I don't know how Jess Franco managed to make an adaptation of Dracula featuring Soledad Miranda (she plays Lucy) and keep it clean, but that's what we've got here. Okay, so Klaus Kinski is typically weird as Renfield, depicted here smearing his shit up the wall of his asylum cell, but even the shit-smearing is relatively restrained, by usual shit-smearing standards.

    Unfortunately, a tasteful Dracula is quite a dull Dracula. Christopher Lee, playing the count complete with a handlebar moustache(!),…