The 1970s was a curious time for the world’s most famous vampire, Count Dracula, who was originally created by Bram Stoker in his classic 1897 novel of the same name. Despite ruling the screen for over a decade thanks to Christopher Lee’s iconic turn, Hammer’s incarnation of the character had now been exhausted to the point where, for their last three outings, he had been depicted as savaging London’s modern-day, hot-pants wearing youth, going undercover as an estate agent (!!!) and, rather wonderfully, stumbling into the martial arts genre. Elsewhere, the character had undergone Blaxploitation overhauls in Blacula and its sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream, and had entered the wilfully tragi-comic arena of the absurd with Paul Morrissey and Andy Warhol’s Blood for Dracula.
It’s smiles and cries with Richard Donner’s devilish horror epic There’s something terrifyingly ancient, unknown and immense about the best religious-themed horrors, where humankind and human achievement are made very small and insignificant in the face of apocalyptic, supernatural and monolithic power. Even when it’s the good side dispensing justice, the results can be terrifying […]