Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

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Released 6-Oct-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1968
Running Time 88:23
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Freddie Francis
Studio
Distributor
Hammer Productions
Warner Home Video
Starring Christopher Lee
Rupert Davies
Veronica Carlson
Barbara Ewing
Barry Andrews
Ewan Hooper
Marion Mathie
Michael Ripper
John D. Collins
George A. Cooper
Christopher Cunningham
Norman Bacon
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music James Bernard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Dutch
Arabic
Hebrew
Swedish
Greek
Hungarian
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    After the discovery of a body in the belfry of a village church with teeth marks in her neck, Monsignor Muller (Rupert Davies) comes to exorcise the demons. He soon discovers that the nearby Castle Dracula is the source of the local evil and enlists the help of the village priest (Ewan Hooper) to go to the castle and perform the rites of exorcism. Naturally, this does not sit well with the powers of darkness, and the ensuing storm causes Dracula to be inadvertently revived from the watery grave he found in Dracula, Prince of Darkness.

    As the exorcism prevents Dracula from entering his ancestral home, he decides to wreak his terrible revenge on the Monsignor, who lives in the nearby city of Carlsbruck. With the village priest now under his sway, he holes up in a vault beneath a pastry kitchen. It just happens that Paul (Barry Andrews), a student who works in the kitchen and the inn above it, is in love with Maria (Veronica Carlson), the niece of the Monsignor. Can atheist Paul defeat the evil Count, or will the fanged one exact a terrible toll on the Muller family?

    This was the third Hammer Dracula film to star the definitive count, Christopher Lee, and the fourth in their series. There was an earlier film called Brides of Dracula in which Dracula makes no appearance. This one benefits from excellent production design and good use of lighting and coloured filters to heighten the mood. Not surprising given that the film was directed by expert cinematographer Freddie Francis. What is lacking is a suspenseful script and taut direction. The film is fairly pedestrian and little suspense or horror is generated except towards the very end. Dracula does not appear on screen as much as he needs to in order to retain interest in the proceedings, so the presence of Lee is wasted to some extent. So is that of Hammer regular Michael Ripper, who has a small role as the avuncular owner of the pastry kitchen. As the priest under the sway of the vampire, Ewan Hooper looks timid and mopes a lot, not really getting beneath the skin of the character.

    What is interesting in this film is the extent to which Dracula's sexual charisma is highlighted, with the female victims seeming to be in ecstasy when he draws blood. This is something present in many vampire films but seems to be emphasised here more than in the other Hammer efforts in this series. Despite Christopher Lee's own assessment at the time that the film was devoid of "style, substance and taste", it was a commercial success and is by no means the worst of the Hammer films. Fans of the genre need not hesitate given the quality of the transfer.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio was 1.66:1, so this transfer is slightly cropped.

    This is an excellent transfer of the film. It is quite sharp, not razor-sharp but as good as could be expected from a film of this era. There is plenty of detail visible, and shadow detail is good. Contrast is excellent.

    Colour is also excellent, with solid, bright and vivid colours visible throughout. A good example is in the early scenes in the village church, with the stained glass windows standing out for their vibrancy. Reds look very good with no hint of colour bleeding, a critical factor in a film in which blood is a major character.

    I did not notice any film to video artefacts apart from some slight telecine wobble during the credits. There is a reasonable level of film-like grain visible throughout, but no edge enhancement and no aliasing.

    Film artefacts were limited to some occasional tiny white flecks. There is a brief vertical scratch at 10:21.

    Optional English subtitles are provided. These match the dialogue almost word-for-word and are in a clear, appropriately-sized white font.

    The film is on a layer change-free single layer disc, so no unnecessary interruptions occur.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The default audio track is English Dolby Digital 1.0. Obviously this is a mono soundtrack that reflects the original audio content of the film.

    Dialogue is generally good, with virtually all of the dialogue easily understandable. The audio suffers from slight distortion in the louder passages and a small amount of audible hiss. The sound is a little thin, but it is acceptable for a film of this era.

    Ewan Hooper's dialogue seems to be post-synced (for reasons unknown), but otherwise audio sync is exemplary.

    The music score is by Hammer veteran James Bernard and is a typical effort from him. The score is reasonably complex, with the usual deep chords and agitated strings. It fits the film well and sounds pretty good in this transfer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    Music from the score is played over the static menu.

Theatrical Trailer (2:22)

    This is the US trailer for the film, and makes the film seem full of more action than it really is. Not a bad effort as these things go, the trailer is in good condition despite a number of flecks. It is presented in 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The US Region 1 seems to be identical to the Region 4, so there is no reason not to shop locally.

Summary

    A good-looking if slightly dull entry in the Hammer Dracula series.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    Not a lot of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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