HORROR OF DRACULA (1958) C 82m dir: Terence Fisher

w/Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Christopher Lee, Carol Marsh, John Van Eyssen, Miles Malleson, Valerie Gaunt, Charles Lloyd, Janina Faye

From The Movie Guide: "Bloody well done. [British film studio] Hammer finally gave the Dracula legend the treatment it deserved here, entrusting it to the brilliant director of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Terence Fisher, who injected glorious life into the familiar material.

"English librarian Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) travels to Transylvania, where he is employed by the mysterious Count Dracula (Christopher Lee). Eventually, Harker learns that his employer is a vampire, one of the undead who must suck the blood of the living to survive, and he becomes one of Dracula's victims. Dracula then travels to London and tracks down Harker's fiancee, Lucy (Carol Marsh), and transforms her into one of the undead. Enter Dr. Van Helsing (played with zest by Peter Cushing) and the battle lines are drawn.

"Fisher's version of the Dracula legend brought with it many innovative (and, yes, subsequently overdone) approaches to the genre. The film moves quickly and forcefully from one scene to the next, keeping the audience on their seat edges. Lush sets, rousing musical score, spirited acting and a direct attitude toward undead sensuality heighten the vampiric illusion. The result is a terrific combination of the intellectual and the visceral that continues to work today. Followed by DRACULA --- PRINCE OF DARKNESS and five more sequels."

For information about an earlier version of the same story, consult FilmFrog's recommendation for 1931's DRACULA.