The Brides of Dracula/ The Vampire Lovers
Over all score : 3.5/5
Reviewer : Glenn Misztal
Genre - Horror
Label - Shock
Audio - English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Region Coding - B
Hammer Horror films often conjur up memories of Christopher Lee, who will be greatly missed as his role of Count Dracula, so it is with fond nostalgic memories and in memory of Sir Chrisopher Lee that I have be asked to review two of the latest Hammer Blu-Ray releases from Shock.
First up is 1960's 'Brides of Dracula' - one of the Hammer movies where Sir Christopher Lee's is greatly missed as Dracula as the movie serves as more as a standalone Van Helsing movie and Dracula is nowhere to be seen.
It's Hammer at it's finest though - arguably even the best vampire movie from Hammer. It has everything a vampire movie needs - great scenes, creepy atmosphere, beautiful women, outstanding actors, especially Peter Cushing,
The second movie 'Vampire Love
rs' was reviewed with a very heavy heart as it contains another actress that passed away last year - Ms, Kate O'Mara. For those who aren't familiar with Ms O'Mara's performances, she is most famous to Doctor Who fans she also played the Rani in the Doctor Who.
The movie ticked all the right boxes in terms of being a Hammer movie - fog machine. Vampires with oversized canine teeth. 18th Century tavern with busty barmaids running it. Actually, scratch that - there was a bit more than busty barmaids running around. Considering the taboo subject at the time, the movie is a Vampire Lesbian love story that involved a lot of Manipulation between characters.
What a sec you say...Vampire lovers? Manipulation? Is this Dracula? One would think, but Carmilla, the original novel on which the original movie is based on was published in 1819 and actually predates Dracula as a novel 'Carmilla' by 25 years.
Considering one of the movies themes includes same sex relationships between women, a taboo subject in the 60s, I am surprised that it passed the censors and actually made it on screen.
Above: Vampire Lovers. Below: Brides of Dracula.
Picture Quality - 4/5
Exactly what to expect of a Hammer movies. The use of technicolor is outstanding on Blu-ray. The only other movie that I know that uses the technicolor palette this rich is the Universal 'Phantom of the Opera'.
Also bear in mind that the previous Hammer releases by Shock had DVD copies included, but none are included here. That's completely fine as the Blu-ray is magnificent and it also drives the price down of the Blu-Ray by a couple of bucks. In an economy where every dollar in savings counts, this is a welcome change.
Audio Quality - 3.5/5
Great audio (2.0 LCPM). Nothing out of the ordinary, so lets talk about the packaging for a second :
The Discs are housed in a thinner 12 mm blu-ray disc case. This is the standard USA sized case which is a nice move because it saves shelf space. I wish all Australian Blu-ray distributors would eventually change to this for this reason.
Extras - 2.5/5
Not much here except Theatrical trailers and an audio commentary on Brides of Dracula and Carmilla read by Ingrid Pitt.
Overall - 4.5/5
We're really lucky to have these released on the Australian market.