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DRACULA A.D. 1972 ($20) isnít one of the highpoints of the Hammer horror legacy, but it still manages to be fun for fans of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.  Personally, I donít think that moving Dracula franchise into a modern setting helped the Hammer series in any significant way, other than saving the producers money on period costumes and sets.  Sure, the modern period probably offered the potential for more gratuitous nudity, but that is something that sorely lacking in DRACULA A.D. 1972.  

DRACULA A.D. 1972 starts off on the right foot, with Dracula (Christopher Lee) and Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) battling it out one final time in the nineteenth century. The end result finds Dracula reduced to ashes and Van Helsing succumbing to the battle.  Advancing to 1972, we discover that Draculaís disciple Johnny Alucard (Christopher Neame) maintains the vampireís ashes and resurrects the Count by performing a black mass in an abandoned church.  Of course, Dracula wants revenge on the descendents of his great nemesis- namely Van Helsingís own grandson (Cushing again), as well as the later day Van Helsingís lovely granddaughter Jessica (Stephanie Beacham), whom the undead Count wants for a Vampire bride.

Warner Home Video has made DRACULA A.D. 1972 available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays.  This is a terrific looking presentation that is quite sharp and very nicely defined.  Colors are strong and the flesh tones look good.  Blacks are on the money, as are the whites.  Contrast and shadow detail are both quite nice for a thirty-plus-year-old film.  There are few signs of age in the film elements and little grain.  Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is just fine for a film of this vintage.  Fidelity is more than respectable, plus most of the background hiss and other defects have been cleaned up.  Dialogue is fairly smooth and easy to understand.  A French language track has also been encoded onto the DVD, as have English, French and Spanish subtitles.  Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as theatrical trailer.

Warner has done their usual good job with the DVD, so if you are a Hammer horror fan, then DRACULA A.D. 1972 is something youíll definitely want to check out.


DRACULA A.D. 1972 

Dracula A.D. 1972



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 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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