Normally, Hammer flicks are packed to the gills with gothic atmosphere, and this time around, they phoned it in. Failing to reach the dark and twisty feeling of many of their other vampiric efforts, Brides of Dracula comes across simply as a period film with very little dark about it. With spot on settings and costumes, they are able to recreate the period exceptionally. Where they fail is in the dark overtones. Seemingly bright, and uncreepy, it makes it harder to fall into the film experience as a whole. Where The Creeping Flesh left us to ponder the horror of a man dosing his daughter with unproven serums, or The Vampire Lovers tells us a tale of a vampire preying on unsuspecting innocents across an entire country, The Brides of Dracula is simply a tale of an undead Baron with a chubby for a school marm. Simple is that. With the somewhat wooden acting of both leads, it is really rather hard to find ones self to really care about their outcome. Where we really care, is that VanHelsing saves the day as expected, and makes it through alive for the next sequel. Really, a Hammer Dracula flick without Peter Cushing is a sad thing, indeed.
The Brides of Dracula has drawn my negative ire, as you can see. Thatâ€™s not to say that it is a horrible film, it just fails to live up to expectations of greatness. With a library as grand as Hammer Studios, the fanboy grows to expect certain levels, and The Brides of Dracula fails to meet all of those levels. Without Peter Cushing in his custmary Van Helsing role, this film would fall to a forgettable status. A rental for sure, and a buy for the collector, this is a flick worth watching once, but I wouldnâ€™t knock yourself out in your attempts to locate a copy.
3 crappy vamps out of 5