The vampire, Dracula (Christopher Lee), was destroyed ten years ago but the villagers near the Count’s castle are still fearful that there are vampires running around.  The local monk, Father Sandor (Andrew Keir) chastises the locals who are disposing a body as if it were a vampire. 

At a local pub Charles Kent (Francis Matthews) and his wife Diana (Suzan Farmer) are English travelers on holiday with Charles’ brother Alan (Charles Tingwell) and Alan’s wife Helen (Barbara Shelley).  The two couples are on their way to Carlsbad.  Father Sandor, who is also at the pub, tells them that they should stay away from Carlsbad. 

The two couples go anyway.  Before they get to their destination, they are left by their coach driver not far from Carlsbad and within sight of an old castle.  The driver is superstitious and refuses to go on after dark.  The travelers decide to take refuge in an old shack situated at a crossroad.  Before they settle in a coach arrives.  The coach is driven by two horses but there is no driver.  The foursome decides to take the coach and drive to Carlsbad.  The horses take off for the castle instead.  The four passengers have no choice but to go where the horses take them.

At the castle they are greeted by Klove (Philip Latham), the caretaker of the castle.  Klove feeds them and gives them rooms for the night.  During the night Alan investigates a noise.  He is killed by Klove.  The caretaker sprinkles dirt in Dracula’s crypt and mixes it with Alan’s blood.  Count Dracula is resurrected.  Klove then brings Helen to Dracula so he can drink her blood turning her into a vampire.  The next day Charles finds Alan’s body.  He takes Diana away from the castle to protect her, but Dracula is determined to make her his next victim.

“Dracula: Prince of Darkness” was released in 1966 and was directed by Terence Fisher.  It is a British horror movie produced by the Hammer Film Studios.  The prologue of the film is stock footage from the ending of the first Dracula film, “Horror of Dracula” 1958. 

Christopher Lee has no dialogue in the movie.  According to Lee, the script had lines for him, but he thought they were stupid and refused to say them.  The screenwriter, Jimmy Sangster, said that he never wrote any dialogue for the Dracula character.  I’m not sure how much it matters since Lee doesn’t have much in the way of screen time anyway.  I don’t know why the film was titled as a Dracula movie.  The character Dracula is almost immaterial to the film since any old vampire would do.

As a quasi-sequel, the movie is typical Hammer horror.  Lot of wonderful textures and beautiful sets show it off as definitely Hammer’s style.  The movie itself was basically good but didn’t have a lot of scary moments.

The film was shot back-to-back with Hammer’s “Rasputin, the Mad Monk”.  The studio used the same sets and many of the same actors for both films.

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