aw Satanic Rites last night for the second time, and paid more attention this time. The film, if you`re waiting to see a lot of Dracula will be a bit of a let down (but let`s face it, since Taste the Blood of Dracula, I don`t think Christopher Lee has had 30 minutes screen time with all of the Dracula films joined together.) The movie starts slowly, with, for once, no Dracula resurrection scene. He`s just back, and does not appear until well into the film. (He appears in a scene obviously stuck in because they realized he had not made an appearance at all so long into the film). When Peter Cushing appears, you start to feel like this is a proper Hammer film after all. Peter Cushing really does this one justice. Then from the time he visits D.D.Denham, it is a pretty good Dracula picture. The action between our hero and villain gets going, and builds up to a reasonable finale. This is better than Dracula AD 1972, but as I have said before, the whole series should have stayed in Victorian times. Joanna Lumley is radiant as Jessica, who's character returns from the previous film. It is a pretty scary premise. Dracula, finally sick of being resurrected for 2 or 3 days at a time, wants to end it all, but in doing this, he wants to take everyone with him. THE WHOLE WORLD! It is a good plot which just happens to have Dracula as the figure-head. For once Christopher Lee gets a reasonably decent script and delivers his lines beautifully. A couple of points. In some of the Dracula films, we are introduced to new but apparently tested ways of dealing with the fanged one. Dracula, Prince of Darkness introduced clear running water, as used at the end of DPOD, in Dracula AD 1972, and in Satanic Rites. Then in AD `72 we are introduced to the fact that the good Count can be knobbled with a silver bladed knife. Handy, since Van Helsing has one. Then in this movie, Van Helsing introduces the Hawthorn bush, from which Christ recieved his crown of thorns. Guess where Drac ends up near the end? Do these things really work? Or is it just that sunlight and the old stake are boring now, and the writers just make these things up? I feel a bit cheated when someone like Dracula can be beaten by lightning, drowned in a moat (NOT running water), or overcome in a church (whereas he had already killed a girl and placed her body in a full blown God worshipping church.) This film, when it gets going, is a pleasing finale to the Christopher Lee years as Dracula, and to boot, Peter Cushing delivers a really good performance too.