Dracula A.D. 1972 – Dracula returns in London in the groovy 1970’s to once again get revenge on the Van Helsing family. With a lot of bloody deaths along the way of course.
Dracula A.D. 1972 starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
London’s become a small town for a handful of jaded psychedelic-era hipsters. But Johnny Alucard has a groovy new way for his pals to get their kicks. A certain ritual will be the living end, he insists. And if you still wonder where Johnny’s coming from, try spelling his last name backwards. Dracula is raised into the modern era in this Hammer Studios shocker that’s “quite well done” (John Stanley, Creature Features). Christopher Lee dons the cape for the sixth time and seeks out fresh victims. As archnemesis Van Helsing, fellow horror legend Peter Cushing clutches a vial of holy water and edges within throwing distance. Their harrowing battle royale is not to be missed. In fact, it’s the living end. Director: Alan Gibson Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Stephanie Beacham
It was only a matter of time before Christopher Lee’s Dracula visited Swinging London, arriving fashionably late for the party in 1972. In Dracula A.D. 1972, Count D was dispatched in the 19th century with a carriage-wheel spoke. The vampire’s ashes and fancy ring are handed down to a young Londoner named Johnny Alucard (Christopher Neame) who looks as though he’s seen A Clockwork Orange too many times. Proposing that his hippie posse look for new kicks (“yet as old as time”), he holds a Black Mass and summons you-know-who.
Peter Cushing joins Lee yet again; luscious Stephanie Beacham, in an amazing shag haircut and purple velvet, is Cushing’s granddaughter. She considers grandpa’s scientific interests “way out,” but then again, their last name is Van Helsing.. The time-period switch makes the grooviness seem laughable, although otherwise this is an acceptable outing, especially for Lee’s suave, overtly sexual take on the role. It was his penultimate entry in the Hammer Dracula series, and is certainly better than the finale, The Satanic Rites of Dracula. –Robert Horton
Cast of characters
- Christopher Lee (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad; The Curse of Frankenstein) … Count Dracula
- Peter Cushing (The Mummy (1959); At the Earth’s Core) … Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing
- Stephanie Beacham (Dynasty) … Jessica Van Helsing
- Christopher Neame (The Prestige) … Johnny Alucard
- Michael Coles (Dr Who and the Daleks) … Inspector Murray
- Marsha A. Hunt (Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf) … Gaynor
- Caroline Munro (At the Earth’s Core; The Golden Voyage of Sinbad) … Laura Bellows
- Janet Key (1984) … Anna
- William Ellis (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 1972) … Joe Mitcham
- Pip Miller (Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi) … Bob
- Michael Kitchen (Out of Africa) … Greg
- David Andrews (Hollyoaks) … Detective Sergeant
- Lally Bowers (The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella) … Matron
- Constance Luttrell … Mrs. Donnelly
- Michael Daly … Charles
- Artro Morris … Police Surgeon
- Jo Richardson (Crossroads TV) … Crying Matron
- Penny Brahms (2001: A Space Odyssey) … Hippy Girl
- Brian John Smith … Hippy Boy
- Stoneground … Rockgroup
- The character of Jessica Van Helsing was originally written to be the daughter of Professor Van Helsing. However, the death of Cushing’s wife aged him considerably, so the script was quickly re-written to make him Jessica’s grandfather.
- The film was inspired by the story of the Highgate Vampire, a media sensation surrounding reports of supposed supernatural activity in Highgate Cemetery in London in the early 1970s.
- A picture of Peter Cushing’s recently deceased wife Helen Cushing can be seen on the desk in Professor Lorrimer Van Helsing’s study.
- The film was released only two days before Horror Express, which also starred Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
- Dracula’s taunting of Van Helsing in the church (“You would play your brains against mine, against me who has commanded nations?”) directly references Dracula’s dialogue from Bram Stoker’s novel: “Whilst they played wits against me, against me who commanded nations, and intrigued for them, and fought for them, hundreds of years before they were born, I was countermining them.”