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Directed by Freddie Francis, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE ($20) is another entertaining and stylish Hammer horror outing, featuring the legendary Christopher Lee in the role the Vampire Count. Although a year has passed since the events depicted in DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, which ended with the cursed vampire falling into a watery grave, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE finds the inhabitants of a nearby village still locked in the grip of fear. Things are so bad that the village priest (Ewan Hooper) has been unable to coax his parishioners back to the church, and in his despair, the cleric has taken drinking in the local tavern, which is where Monsignor Muller (Rupert Davies) finds his underling when he arrives in the village.

Of course, the Monsignor determines that the only way to release the townspeople from Draculaís spell is to perform an exorcism at his castle. After the Monsignor journeys to the castle to perform the sacred rite and bar the doors with a crucifix, his weak willed subordinate accidentally resurrects Dracula, and is immediately taken into the vampireís service. With entrance to his own castle barred, Dracula demands vengeance upon the Monsignor and follows the holy man back to his own village, where he decides to put the bite on MullerĎs lovely young niece Maria (Veronica Carlson), not to mention the lusty and busty barmaid Zena (Barbara Ewing). The cast of DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE also features Barry Andrews, Marion Mathie and Hammer movie fixture Michael Ripper.

Warner Home Video has made DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. This is a great looking transfer that produces a sharp and nicely detailed image. Colors are strongly rendered and quite reminiscent of an original Technicolor print, which I once had the pleasure of viewing. The cinematography has a mildly stylized look that utilizes colored filters to signify when the vampire is in the vicinity, but otherwise the image appears natural and the colors are very appealing. I should mention a few shots of "day for night" photography donít seem quite as dark as they should be, but they donít look like broad daylight either. Blacks are suitable inky, whites are crisp and contrast is pretty smooth. The film element used for the transfer is very clean, displaying few blemishes and little appreciable grain. Digital compression artifacts always keep a low profile.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is free from excessive hiss or audible anomalies. Dialogue is crisp and completely understandable. Fidelity has age related limitations, but James Bernardís atmospheric score always sounds just fine. A French monaural track has also been provided on the DVD, along with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which provide access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a theatrical trailer for DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.

If you are a Hammer horror fan, then you have been eagerly anticipating the DVD release of DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE. The disc looks great and sounds just fine, which makes acquiring your own copy of the film on DVD a no-brainer.



Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1969)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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