Christopher Lee in Scars of Dracula (1970)

Dracula's Minder

When fun loving Paul (Christopher Matthews) goes missing his brother Simon (Dennis Waterman) and girlfriend Sarah (Jenny Hanley) set about tracking him down. Their investigations lead them to a castle on top of a hill where they are welcomed in by Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) who invites them to spend the night. But they soon find the Count's servant, Klove (Patrick Troughton), is less welcoming as he insists they get away as soon as they can before something bad happens to Sarah.

There are those who dig Hammer horror movies and as I have come to discover there are those who don't. I am in the second group but can appreciate why for those who watched them when they came out they may hold some form of nostalgic charm to a day when fake rubber bats dripping claret coloured paint might have caused fear. But as I said I am in the second group and beyond the draw of Christopher Lee as Dracula the only other reason I had for watching Hammer's "Scars of Dracula" was that it starred Dennis Waterman and a few other familiar names.

Dennis Waterman and Jenny Hanley in Scars of Dracula (1970)

Now like other Hammer horror movies of the 70s not only do we get some titillation with a couple of nubile women but padding as well with very little going on in the first 30 minutes other than setting up that Paul is a serial womanizer who will hop in to bed with anyone's daughter. It is clearly dragging things out with only a couple of scenes which reference Dracula and his servant Klove with Patrick Troughton once again stealing many a scene with his lurch like antics.

But during the opening 30 minutes there is one scene which takes you by surprise, not so much the narrative as we have a group of villagers heading up to Dracula's castle but because it has as close to a graphic side that I have seen in a Hammer movie as we see the blooded bodies of the villagers after their assault on the castle goes wrong. But of course this is a product of the 70s and from a company which for me were a little set in their ways so none of it is that graphic and certainly not gory whilst the atmosphere is also stiff as was often the case in these types of movies.

What this all boils down to is that "Scars of Dracula" is like other Hammer horror movies of the 70s which suit a specific taste. This like others is not my sort of thing and beyond the semi violent nature the only thing it has to offer is a few familiar faces.