Count Dracula – Spain/West Germany, 1970

Count Dracula — German: Nachts, Wenn Dracula Erwacht, translation: “At Night, When Dracula Awakens”, Spanish: El Conde Dracula is a 1970 European horror film, directed by Jesús Franco and based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It stars Christopher Lee, Klaus Kinski (later in Nosferatu the Vampyre), Maria Rohm, Herbert Lom, Fred Williams, Soledad Miranda, Jack Taylor and Paul Muller.

Although Count Dracula stars Christopher Lee in the title role, it is not a Hammer production like his other Dracula films, but was produced by Harry Alan Towers. Klaus Kinski, who would play Dracula himself nine years later in Nosferatu the Vampyre, is also featured in the film. Count Dracula was advertised as the most faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s novel. Among other details, it was the first film version of the novel in which Dracula begins as an old man and becomes younger as he feeds upon fresh blood.

Count-Dracula-Severin-Blu-ray
Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

On December 8, 2015, Severin Films are releasing Count Dracula on Blu-ray with the following special features:

  • Uncut Feature in HD (Includes Controversial Previously Deleted Baby Scene) at Franco’s Approved Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
  • Vampir Cuadecuc (1970): Experimental ‘Making Of’ Feature By Pere Portabella
  • Audio Commentary with horror historian David Del Valle and Actress Maria Rohm
  • Beloved Count Interview with Director Jess Franco
  • An Interview With Actor Jack Taylor
  • ‘Handsome Harker’ Interview with Actor Fred Williams
  • ’Stake Holders’ An Appreciation By Filmmaker Christophe Gans
  • German Trailer

count dracula jess franco soledad miranda

Reviews:

“Being a low budget picture, it’s obvious why certain things were omitted, and, as the film is modifying a 300 plus page book into a standard runtime, things were probably changed around to condense what is a very epic story. I think it still captures the heart of Stoker’s novel, and I think it should receive at least a passing grade as a faithful adaptation.” At the Mansion of Madness

“In spite of the production’s resourceful budget, Barcelona naturally allows for some truly handsome scenery and an appropriate castle for Dracula to dwell in, and the performances of the international cast are above average. But the draggy pacing, Franco’s constant use of the zoom lens, some sloppy day-for-night shooting and several sorry attempts at special effects (a phony bat’s silhouette dangling behind a window) tarnish the film a great deal.” DVD Drive-in

” … very visual more so than lyrical and a bit dull, despite its attempt to be faithful to the original novel. That’s fine, it’s hard to compress a novel into a 97-minute film (especially on a budget), but what is a problem is when you don’t take the time to develop the characters to the level they deserve. The actors’ eyes portray some great emotion, but I would have preferred it to have a bit more dialogue.” Brett H, Oh, the Horror!

” … a gap remains between honourable intentions and execution and the film still falls short of its goals, with sloppy camera work and bad zooms. Christopher Lee believes this to be among his best work but its certainly not the best Dracula.” John Stanley, Creature Features

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US video sleeve image courtesy of Basement of Ghoulish Decadence

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Kinski Uncut Klaus autobiography

Buy autobiography Kinski Uncut from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

Vampir-Cuadecuc-Second-Run-Blu-ray

Buy Vampir Cuaecuc: Amazon.co.uk

 

  • Vampir Cuadecuc (1971) presented from a new HD restoration from original materials
  • A new interview with director Pere Portabella
  • A new filmed introduction by writer and curator by William Fowler
  • Pere Portabella s short films La Tempesta (2003) and No Al No (2006).
  • Booklet featuring a new essay on the film by journalist Stanley Schtinter
  • Original soundtrack in Dual Mono 16-bit LPCM audio

 

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