Four travellers stop off at a village tavern in the Carpathian
mountains and are warned away from the castle which they will
travel close to on their way through. As the day wears on
the coachman refuses to take them any further, and they are
met with the prospect of spending the night in a run-down
cabin. What appears to be a runaway coach and horses arrives
with no driver. They get inside with the intention of riding
the coach to their destination, but the horses have other
ideas and rush them to the castle. Inside, the table is set
for four and their belongings mysteriously appear in upstairs
rooms. A sinister butler called Clove introduces himself,
explaining to the travellers that his master, Count Dracula,
is dead but left explicit instructions to make any travellers
welcome. One of the four has reservations, and there is the
entire night to endure. Methinks Dracula is not so much dead
is the one which follows-on loosely from Horror
of Dracula, that my memory cheats had told
me started with the master vampire under the ice, when that
one was actually Dracula
Has Risen From the Grave. We get the benefit
of a little recap from Horror at the beginning, but
it only brings home how much this film suffers from the absence
of Peter Cushing and a Van Helsing nemesis for Dracula. Christopher
Lee (excellent once again in the title part) doesn't make
an appearance until at least halfway through the running time.
It's interesting that the only one of the four travellers
reluctant and fearful of the castle actually becomes a vamp
almost immediately after Dracula's revival, when in the majority
of film situations it's the sensible one who survives.
I was disappointed with the music to Dracula: Price of
Darkness. A recurring theme is played every time the castle
is seen or talked about, as if the composer is telling us
when we should be scared. There's no need for this talking
down to the audience. Aside from that, this is a competent
telling of the legend, although it falls a little short of
the Dracula film immediately before and after it.
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