The Brides of Dracula (1960)

Starring: Peter Cushing
Showbox Home Entertainment
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: 12
Available 22 October 2007

Marianne 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 terror...

David 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 the proceedings.

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.

This 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.

Ty Power

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