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A few words about…™ Dracula A.D. 1972 — in Blu-ray

4 Stars

This one is probably only for Hammer, Lee, and Dracula completists.

And it’s an odd beast.

Dracula returns to swinging early ’70s (1970s) London, and B- grade horror ensues.

I presume that Warner Archive released this via requests from that specific group, which is hopefully large enough to more than cover the cost.

As with any Warner Archive product, the expected quality is intact. Image appears to come from an IP. Audio is fine.

Image – 4.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Certainly

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

38 Comments

  1. Thank you for providing the insight Mr. Harris. I was hoping that Warner still had access (or would release) some of the other Hammer Titles, but perhaps these last two (this and Satanic Rites) are the only two left in their wheelhouse. Disappointed, as I was hoping that their October slate would include THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS – it's a crime this still hasn't made its way into HD via the States.

  2. They still have the two biggies: Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein. Both of which they said need restoration. HoD looks good on the U.K. blu, with controversial color; CoF looks bad on the U.K. They also have She, Crescendo, Hysteria, and maybe one or two others that I'm forgetting.

  3. I can remember seeing the trailer at the cinema & thinking, oh dear Hammer have had their day, but really there's only one or two Hammers I like past the mid-sixties. It was great while it lasted. I've never seen this film, & never will.

  4. Ryan Barrett

    Thank you for providing the insight Mr. Harris. I was hoping that Warner still had access (or would release) some of the other Hammer Titles, but perhaps these last two (this and Satanic Rites) are the only two left in their wheelhouse. Disappointed, as I was hoping that their October slate would include THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS – it's a crime this still hasn't made its way into HD via the States.

    I've been hoping for The Fearless Vampire Killers too.

  5. bgart13

    FVK is not a Hammer movie.

    I don't believe anyone said it was; the comment was:

    Ryan Barrett

    Disappointed, as I was hoping that their October slate would include THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS – it's a crime this still hasn't made its way into HD via the States.

    The emphasis seems to be that FVK would be an ideal October release, and since the two Warner Archive releases are Hammer titles, that reduces the likelihood of FVK getting an October release.

  6. Peter Apruzzese

    They still have the two biggies: Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein. Both of which they said need restoration. HoD looks good on the U.K. blu, with controversial color; CoF looks bad on the U.K. They also have She, Crescendo, Hysteria, and maybe one or two others that I'm forgetting.

    And don't forget that The Satanic Rites of Dracula Blu-ray is supposed to be here a day or so before Halloween (also from Warner)

    I keep hoping for a major major Warner restoration of The Curse of Frankenstein, and a bit of a touch up to Horror of Dracula, and some work to make She (Hammer 1965 version) look good again (as the DVD and TCM showings just do not cut it).

  7. Peter Apruzzese

    They still have the two biggies: Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein. Both of which they said need restoration. HoD looks good on the U.K. blu, with controversial color; CoF looks bad on the U.K. They also have She, Crescendo, Hysteria, and maybe one or two others that I'm forgetting.

    More than a little surprised Horror of Dracula is not available in the USA. I remember how excited I was when Warner initially released their Hammer Horror Collection Vol. 1, and anxiously awaited the second Volume. I've long since given up on that though. It's wild how many different labels hold the rights to the Hammer films!

  8. I can think of a dozen or so deep catalog titles I would have preferred WAC to release over this; strictly within the horror/suspense genre in honor of Schock-tober: Stage Fright (the only Warner Hitchcock title still MIA in hi-def), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – both 1931/41 editions, Gaslight – both versions, The Thin Man (all of them), I Walked With A Zombie, The 7th Victim (two sadly underrated Val Lewton masterpieces), and, Murder She Said.

    Personal opinion of course, and fully recognizing opinions will vary, but I sincerely wish WAC would just ditch the C-grade fluff that's been coming down the pike lately, a la The Swarm, and Queen of Outer Space. Really?!?! This before any of the aforementioned titles? Really?!?!? PS – there's better Hammer horror out there too.

  9. Robert Harris


    I presume that Warner Archive released this via requests from that specific group, which is hopefully large enough to more than cover the cost.

    Yeah…I wonder whatever became of George Feltenstein's philosophy that you cannot let fans pick and choose what a company will release or they'll bankrupt it. Realizing, of course, that tastes will vary, and WAC is picking from assets they believe they can get to the market with minimal clean-up and restoration, I still am getting increasingly tired of seeing C-grade fluff like The Swarm, Queen of Outer Space and this anomaly in the Chis Lee/Hammer cycle being pushed to the front of the line. Love horror and sci-fi – but it at least ought to be good horror and sci-fi.

  10. Nick*Z

    I can think of a dozen or so deep catalog titles I would have preferred WAC to release over this; strictly within the horror/suspense genre in honor of Schock-tober: Stage Fright (the only Warner Hitchcock title still MIA in hi-def), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – both 1931/41 editions, Gaslight – both versions, The Thin Man (all of them), I Walked With A Zombie, The 7th Victim (two sadly underrated Val Lewton masterpieces), and, Murder She Said.

    Personal opinion of course, and fully recognizing opinions will vary, but I sincerely wish WAC would just ditch the C-grade fluff that's been coming down the pike lately, a la The Swarm, and Queen of Outer Space. Really?!?! This before any of the aforementioned titles? Really?!?!? PS – there's better Hammer horror out there too.

    If Warner thought the titles you want would sell more copies than the titles you are dismissing, I'm sure they'd rush them right out. But it's likely The Swarm will move more copies the desired titles you listed.

  11. Malcolm R

    If Warner thought the titles you want would sell more copies than the titles you are dismissing, I'm sure they'd rush them right out. But it's likely The Swarm will move more copies the desired titles you listed.

    Honestly, I want to see the numbers on that.

  12. Nick*Z

    Honestly, I want to see the numbers on that.

    I don't know Warner numbers, but I'd imagine we can draw parallels with Twilight Time's experience.

    B-movie genre releases like Fright Night (two releases, 8000 copies), The Blob (1988) and Christine are near instant sellouts, while classic films like The Roots of Heaven (1958), All the King's Men (1949), Stormy Weather (1943), and To Sir, With Love (1967), still have not sold out 3000 copies several years after they were released.

  13. Nick*Z

    Yeah…I wonder whatever became of George Feltenstein's philosophy that you cannot let fans pick and choose what a company will release or they'll bankrupt it. Realizing, of course, that tastes will vary, and WAC is picking from assets they believe they can get to the market with minimal clean-up and restoration, I still am getting increasingly tired of seeing C-grade fluff like The Swarm, Queen of Outer Space and this anomaly in the Chis Lee/Hammer cycle being pushed to the front of the line. Love horror and sci-fi – but it at least ought to be good horror and sci-fi.

    These two Dracula titles and all of Warners Hammer titles received so many requests on their facebook page over the past year that Warner Archive started deleting every requests for them. These will be among the top sellers for Warner Archive this year if not the top.

  14. As to wanting other titles over this film, well, will there ever be a day that someone does not feel that way about something ?

    I'm really happy that Warner is releasing Dracula A.D. 1972, plus I'm happy that they have "re-acquired" The Satanic Rites of Dracula.

    Of course there are other titles I prefer, but I want these as well !

  15. Malcolm R

    I don't know Warner numbers, but I'd imagine we can draw parallels with Twilight Time's experience.

    B-movie genre releases like Fright Night (two releases, 8000 copies), The Blob (1988) and Christine are near instant sellouts, while classic films like The Roots of Heaven (1958), All the King's Men (1949), Stormy Weather (1943), and To Sir, With Love (1967), still have not sold out 3000 copies several years after they were released.

    And there's somehow enough demand for two blu-ray editions of Death Ship.

  16. Nick*Z

    I Walked With A Zombie, The 7th Victim (two sadly underrated Val Lewton masterpieces), .

    Underrated ?
    I don't think that classic genre fans have ever underrated these films
    (of course, I'll rate I Walked With a Zombie over The 7th Victim, but I'm sure that will start a firestorm so let me acknowledge that as only my opinion).

    But I'm with you on wanting more !

    If Shout/Scream continues releasing the level of quality as they did with Val Lewton's Curse of the Cat People Blu-ray, then let's praise Warner for letting them handle it and give them more.

  17. It is great to see the interest in the two new Hammer arrivals but a bit of a shame the USA release is devoid of extras, it could have perhaps included PRINCE OF TERROR showing the filming of it at the time but hey ho. The new German release has a 40 minute documentary included UPDATING DRACULA which I'm looking forward to seeing being a fan of the last two Dracula films.

    Satanic Rites is very much anticipated over this side of the pond so happy viewing everyone. Its going to be a memorable Halloween!

  18. Ryan Barrett

    I was hoping that their October slate would include THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS – it's a crime this still hasn't made its way into HD via the States.

    The Fearless Vampire Killers is on Turner Classic Movies tonight (Sat) at 8pm.

  19. Yes, it is frustrating that every horror/slasher release seems to get the most attention ( measued by posts) and super-duper sales figures…..but the lowest common denominator has always been the key to mass success. I'm just used to it now. No amount of bitching and moaning will change that.

    You'll never convince me that "Night of the Demon" is a better film than "The Sea Hawk" but it has 116 replies to its post and "The Sea Hawk" would probably get 20. Milennials are why we can't have nice things.

  20. Millennials aren't watching NIGHT OF THE DEMON, DRACULA A.D. 1972, or THE SEA HAWK. They're binge-watching Netflix series, or gaming. Horror/sci-fi/fantasy films lend themselves to cults and exert a strong fascination with boomers and Gen X-ers like myself who grew up with them on plain-wrap, three-network TV BC (Before Cable) and are thrilled to have their favorites in pristine editions. I'm an Errol Flynn fan, too, but their appeal is different, and skews older, to a generation content to watch them on TCM.

  21. Bob Cashill

    Millennials aren't watching NIGHT OF THE DEMON, DRACULA A.D. 1972, or THE SEA HAWK. They're binge-watching Netflix series, or gaming. Horror/sci-fi/fantasy films lend themselves to cults and exert a strong fascination with boomers and Gen X-ers like myself who grew up with them on plain-wrap, three-network TV BC (Before Cable) and are thrilled to have their favorites in pristine editions. I'm an Errol Flynn fan, too, but their appeal is different, and skews older, to a generation content to watch them on TCM.

    Regardless, milennials suck. And I've raised 3 of them. They suck.

  22. Its certainly prolonging the agony for those of us who have waited a lifetime for a decent release of this sadly neglected title.
    I'm still clinging to my off air 1970's VHS tape and my Laserdisc from Roan Group, may have to spin that today.

    Satanic Rites is precious to me holding memories sitting up late with my father watching it as the old Ferguson top loader VHS recorder captured the screening on TV for us so many decades ago. I expect many of us have memories like these and all very special to us.

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  23. Bob Cashill

    Millennials aren't watching NIGHT OF THE DEMON, DRACULA A.D. 1972, or THE SEA HAWK. They're binge-watching Netflix series, or gaming. Horror/sci-fi/fantasy films lend themselves to cults and exert a strong fascination with boomers and Gen X-ers like myself who grew up with them on plain-wrap, three-network TV BC (Before Cable) and are thrilled to have their favorites in pristine editions. I'm an Errol Flynn fan, too, but their appeal is different, and skews older, to a generation content to watch them on TCM.

    Very true and most Millennials don't like slasher films they are into Ghost stories which is why 8 out of 10 horror movies now are ghost stories. The slasher films are being bought in large by people who grew up in the 80's and 90's that rented them as kids and thus have memories that all of them were great.

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