The Satanic Rites of Dracula - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Satanic Rites of Dracula Reviews

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March 2, 2017
The movie has preciously few merits to offer and the titular satanic rites are there just for the imagery. Still, Lee and Cushing are a pleasure to watch and might buy the movie another viewing.
½ January 2, 2017
This is a terrible film. Poor Christopher Lee had this as his Hammer swan song. Part spy thriller, part cult conspiracy, part vampire movie: all bad. Dracula works best in a pre 1900s setting. Not in this incompetently directed, early 70s music pulsating snooze fest.
July 27, 2015
In _The Satanic Rites of Dracula_, Van Helsing is called on one last time to thwart the diabolic plans of the Undead King -- but this one has a twist. Perhaps unconsciously, Dracula's plan effectively reverts creation, undoing it, unraveling it from its origins, in the process destroying Dracula himself. Dracula needs the world, and he needs innocence, spirituality, and certainly Christianity as his very horizon for unholy transgression. To undo it all, creation, the fall, the revelation of God and the incarnation -- the life, death and resurrection of X -- Dracula in fact destroys himself, as he is nothing but the mirror, the reflection, the shadow of the cross, the supreme Parasite. And, in the Hammer films (and certainly Stoker's masterpiece), his Host is the world redeemed by X. This final film, as Helsing says so well, is really Dracula's desire for complete release from the relentless torment of being Undead, and is therefore, suicidal.

My delight in this may be, partly, conditioned by my Roman Catholicism, which delights in intertextuality.
June 16, 2015
More Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. We don't really see Lee until the end. The lowest level villains are thugs, and a lot more dangerous than Dracula's cult. Seems like they might of been trying to copy a spy movie format. I don't think it fits together well.
June 14, 2015
Though there are some pretty great moments in this film (mostly whenever Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee are on screen), The Satanic Rites of Dracula is one of many examples of Hammer Films' decrease in quality over the years, thanks to a fairly ridiculous plot (Dracula gets resurrected and wants to destroy the world by unleashing the plague), and, just like Dracula A.D. 1972 before it, Dracula himself, for whatever reason, has VERY little screen time.
June 13, 2015
You know you'd think with such a badass title this would be a less boring. lol At least Peter Cushing and Christopher Fucking Lee are awesome as always but like many times before they aren't in it enough. But hey now I've seen the first and last films in the Hammer Frankenstein and Dracula series's, that's gotta count for something... I think... I guess... maybe... not really.
½ May 13, 2015
Far from Hammer's best Dracula film, but it's not entirely bad. The plot is messy, but crazy-fun. Dracula takes the back-seat again, so he doesn't show up much in the movie. The final battle is a bit quick, but it's a pretty interesting way to fight off Dracula, plus it has some good old decay effects.
January 22, 2014
Probably the lowest (so far) of the series, Peter Cushing and company are sucked in a world of the Black Arts where they gain Dracula to help start a new strain of the black plague. Or something, it's all slightly confusing, and stupid.
December 17, 2013
Third of the Christopher Lee Dracula incarnations, probably the least remarkable. Here, in its modern settting, Dracula is the leader of a satanic cult that includes scientists and tries to create a virus that will plague the human race. Terribly dull and banal, despite its over complicated premise, this film simply forgets to get scary or frightening. Christopher Lee still embodies the notorious vampirical lord iconically, but the Satanic Rites of Dracula is sub-standard in every possible way to say the least.
October 10, 2013
Last Hammer film to pair Cushing and Lee. Plus: Joanna Lumley!
March 17, 2013
Sadly, this is the first Dracula movie I have seen. The final fight scene seems to have a religious tone to it, as thorn bushes are featured predominantly in that fight, but it lacked action and it was a slap in the face for two British horror movie stars to end their fight like this. However, it at least managed to stay with the plot, albeit some anachronisms.
December 30, 2012
Despite the fact that Peter Cushing's acting was great, the film wasn't. Some of the acting was very 'wooden' and the plot was a concoction only designed to resurrect Count Dracula. Dracula, played by Christopher Lee himself, was a bit impressionless and odd - just wanting to inflict biogenetically engineered diseases on mankind, I was wondering what had happened to old fashioned count. The film had at least one weird scene, where the modern Van Helsing placed a vial of holy water on the table, hidden under a book cover a couple of feet away from Dracula, who then suddenly and in my opinion quite luckily for Van Helsing reached his hand directly to the vial. How did Van Helsing know that beforehand, was beyond me.. Also the female vampires looked sad somehow, and not at all scary. Lots of gun toting, silly rituals and violence instead of mystic adventurous horror atmosphere. They showed this film in the finnish Teema channel. This movie was the worst of the Dracula movies with Cushing and Lee that I've watched. If you like Hammer's classic Dracula films, this one you may just skip. Really.
½ December 13, 2012
Christopher Lee's final film in the Hammer Dracula series is abit of a strange one, they have turned Dracula in to a sort of Jame Bond Villian, long have the days gone where Dracula was sat in his Castle going after the peasants in the forest, now hes become a Director of a Company which has developed a Plague to destroy the world. Even though its abit bizare, I still like it ,more because it is allot different to all the other Dracula films, its a film very much set in its own period of 70s london with a great soundtrack, I think the ending is brilliant too, you do have to ask yourself how does Dracula get so easily tricked into climbing through a rose bush!
October 18, 2012
Despite the fact that Peter Cushing's acting was great, the film wasn't. Some of the acting was very 'wooden' and the plot was a concoction only designed to resurrect Count Dracula. Dracula, played by Christopher Lee himself, was a bit impressionless and odd - just wanting to inflict biogenetically engineered diseases on mankind, I was wondering what had happened to old fashioned count. The film had at least one weird scene, where the modern Van Helsing placed a vial of holy water on the table, hidden under a book cover a couple of feet away from Dracula, who then suddenly and in my opinion quite luckily for Van Helsing reached his hand directly to the vial. How did Van Helsing know that beforehand, was beyond me.. Also the female vampires looked sad somehow, and not at all scary. Lots of gun toting, silly rituals and violence instead of mystic adventurous horror atmosphere. They showed this film in the finnish Teema channel. This movie was the worst of the Dracula movies with Cushing and Lee that I've watched. If you like Hammer's classic Dracula films, this one you may just skip. Really.
½ October 1, 2012
'The Satanic Rites of Dracula' may not be the most intelligent of Hammer films but it sure is as entertaining as hell.
September 15, 2012
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (or as I know it, Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides) is the last Hammer movie to feature Christopher Lee as the title character. It's definitely not the best of the bunch when it comes to the Hammer Dracula series (that title belongs to either Dracula A.D. 1972 or Horror of Dracula, depending on who you ask), but it's certainly not horrible. It does show how much the times have changed and how the series has evolved over its span. There are plenty of bare breasts but retreads of old ideas, and it just doesn't measure up. There would be one more Dracula movie after this one (without Christopher Lee), but it's safe to say the nail in the coffin was being driven in at this point (or perhaps the stake through the heart). It's not bad, but it doesn't really shine like those that came before it. Definitely a rental title.
September 2, 2012
the last Chris and Pete clash, cool to the last.
August 31, 2012
Sleaze Boy: Oh hey what do you got?
(Code name) Amanda: I got the Satanic Rites of Dracula!
SB: That's cool. Have you ever seen Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides?
A: No, is that good too?
SB: Why yes, heck I will sell it to you!
A: Sure, awesome! How much?
SB: Since I like you, I will sell it to you for five dollars. How is that?
A: Spectacular, I cannot wait to see this film, thanks!
SB: This is Sleezboy and coming up Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee battle it off in this slow, tedious, and bankrupted picture of Dracula, but is there any chance of seeing it? My review of the Satanic Rites of Dracula, it is also known as Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides.

There can be no doubt that Hammer Horror films have impacted US market and influenced a lot of filmmakers and jump started careers with remakes of the classic Universal horror films of the 1930s like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolf Man. Beginning with Curse of Frankenstein, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing tackle on the role and retelling the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster with vivid color. The Horror of Dracula would then be mad and spawn a number of sequels with only Lee starring as Dracula. The continuous reprisals of the role and sinking story would start wear out Lee until Cushing made a cheered return as Van Helsing in Dracula AD 1972. Film would be panned from critics and Hammer Studios would be pretty much bankrupted afterwards. In a last ditch effort, they made Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides also known as Satanic Rites of Dracula.

I purchased this film in a horror collection that you can find in Wal-Mart and usually cost like 5 dollars because they are made up of either crappy films or public domain films. You know that is not a good sign. Yet, the films in this collection were too bad. We had a few prestigious one that you can watch anywhere else. There was Night of the Living Dead, The Pyx, and a few obscured films like Bloody Pit of Horror. What won me over was when I saw this film listed among the collection, so I bought it. The films were all okay although a lot better than the dreadful Gore House Greats (coming soon).

Starting off very choppy and grainy, we find a satanic ritual taking place while a beaten prisoner makes an escape. Saved, he gives out information to secret service right before passes away. The information startles investigators as high profile names are given in the involvement of the ritual. The department/secret services then calls on Scotland Yard's Inspector Murray (Michael Coles) to investigate which he suggests consultation from Professor Van Helsing. Van Helsing is puzzled too although aware that it is nothing new for older and powerful gentleman to be involved with the black arts and black magic. He goes to investigate on his own when it is brought to light that he knows one of the men. On his search, he soon discovers that the men are serving a much for frightening creature known as Dracula which an evil plan is discovered involving a new awesome version of the bubonic plague, the Black Death.

Very silly is it not? This film is pretty much mixes the genre of horror, spy thriller, and science fiction. It is slow and really sluggish and Dracula does not appear what so ever until the last 25 minutes with scheme similar to the mad scientist. Looking at the whole picture, it felt like there was not a lot of effort done with this film even though performances from Lee and Cushing were pretty fine. I must note that their characterization were not very unique or complex, but at least watchable and entertaining. I like a scene where Van Helsing gives his self-advice and a narration. How wacky and amusing is that? *Crickets* okay, moving on.
Everybody else is okay with a few really bad performances. They are so bad Cushing smacks one of the actors to get better. There are a few impoliticly correct caricatures and overtones like the evil dragon assassin played by Barbara Yu Ling and Joanna Lumley's damsel in distress and need for male rescue.

One thing that bugged was how weak the vampires off here. Apart from the stake to heart and sunlight, vampires can also be killed by running water, holy bible, makeshift crucifixes, silver bullets, and by a bush. Really a bush! Well, not the first time someone was killed by a 'bush!' This comes to mind when one of our heroes goes into a cellar discovers female vampires chained. Why they are chained up is beyond me. Anyways, the female vampires fear him and are massacred in a hideous way. Are not vampires adapted with super human strength? It is silly, but it is in there. Another thing that had me at odds is agents or henchmen that work for Dracula. Possibly taking a page of A Clockwork Orange, these hooligans run around in motorcycles in these tacky vests kidnapping people and silencing others. There is no clear number in their ranks and disappear altogether in the climatic showdown except one guy. Hey, it is the Satanic Vest of Dracula! I was amused by all this.

Apart from those problems, the biggest problem I had with the film besides the lack of effort was the picture. The picture is very grainy and muddled making it hard to see anything at times. There is also really poor sound quality. Dialogue falls short or is inaudible at times. Other sounds in the film include glass breaking, silencers, and screams. The music is pretty nice to listen to. It tries to be this funk style surrounded by mystery and terror.

Yet, that is not much of a problem once we get Cushing and Lee on the screen. Their confrontation is pretty much enjoyable and my favorite scene. They work great together. The opening of the film is also pretty good to watch as we see London and ominous shadow grow upon it. I am guessing the filmmakers thought by holding Dracula from screen time would create a positive reaction when he finally makes that anticipated appearance. What it does illustrates the example of reversing the roles of Dracula and the plot. I heard that the plot used to revolve around Dracula and now Dracula is revolving around the plot. Revolting, I must admit. Yet, I actually enjoyed watching this flick despite its silly premise and revelation along with its other problems. A lot of it has to do with the casting of Cushing and Lee. It may not be a lot, but I enjoy this favorite guilty pleasures.

You can watch this film on YouTube for free. There is a bit of female nudity, but the grainy and poor cinematography will cover that up. Bloody gore is kept at a minimum with limited special effects and weak action although a nasty stake in one scene. I would say this film is viewable among teenagers in high school. At what age, depends on the parent because I do not think parents will be pleased to see the satanic ritual in the beginning and may overreact.

*somewhere at night*
Amanda has finished watching Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides. 'This was an okay film. I expected more, but I like nonetheless. Alright, I hope Satanic Rites of Dracula is a lot better.' *Puts on the DVD and play* she smiles and stays like that for the next ten minutes.

*morning*
I walk into the kitchen and open a can of Coke. Drink, gulp, gulp, and gulp. Look oh no, this taste like Pepsi! *Girl wail* face breakers 2! *Punch*
July 22, 2012
Once again hammer tackles the Dracula story with a weak entry of the series now I wish they would of made more sadly this was lees last Dracula film. But let's focus on this film like always I will try my best not to spoil this whole movie I will only say its just like any other Dracula movie. Nothing special but a hell of a ride
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