Danielle arrives in Transylvania from Paris to take up a teaching
position at the Badstein Girls' Academy. En route she is offered
shelter at the castle of Baroness Meinster, who apparently
lives alone with her maid. However, from the balcony of her
room she sees a young man in an adjoining wing. The Baroness
explains that the man is her son and is segregated because
he is mentally ill. When Marianne talks to the young Baron,
he convinces her he is quite sane. She releases him and unwittingly
sets loose a plague of evil. Dracula may be dead, but his
legacy lives on. The Baron is a vampire, and is now free to
add young women to his flock. With his sights set on Marianne,
only the learned Van Helsing can put a stop to his reign of
Peel is far from convincing in the role of new master vampire
Baron Meinster. The script from seasoned Hammer stalwart Jimmy
Sangster is pretty lacklustre and would probably fail to garner
any attention at all, if not for the considerable acting talents
of Peter Cushing, which bring a much needed conviction to
There are a few plot holes, most notably what happened to
the two female vampires at the end? But also Baron Meinster's
intelligence which is referred to a couple of times but not
once realised in the plot. I do like the idea of Van Helsing
utilising the windmill to cast a huge shadow of a cross on
to the Baron.
Another plus is the doctor who takes his own pills in an attempt
to ward off prospective illnesses and drinks like a fish.
This proves to be a quirky character when most of the others
are either overacted or just uninteresting.
is the first time this film has been available on any format
in the UK. There are a few good ideas, and Cushing does his
best with the mediocre offering, but The Brides of Dracula
is far from the true classic the press release would have
you believe. It's also worth mentioning that the photo gallery
on this disc consists of only seven monochrome frames.