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  1. #1
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    I'm not expecting this to go well, but here goes...

    I'm really curious to know what people think of this film. I've always had a fondness for it. Much as I love horror of the 60s and early 70s, I've never been very keen on Hammer, and can only really count a handful of their films as ones I'd choose to rewatch (Frankenstein Created Woman, Capt Cleggg, Devil Rides Out, Ct Kronos, Plague of the Zombies, Dracula, Curse of Frankenstein and this I think are the only ones I really like). I generally prefer Amicus and the other stables.

    But Satanic Rites i really like. I remember the first time I saw it as a ten year old, on the 19th Nov 1983. I remember it so clearly as it was a Saturday night and I was spooked by the fact that the film takes place around the 23rd Nov which may have been a coincidence or there was a Hammer fan in BBC scheduling!

    I know it shouldn't work but to me it really does. The premise even Time Out calls "amazing": I love the idea of thinking "just what does a vampire really want to achieve?" and also imagining how he would operate in modern society. The music is great, the cast is very strong, and there is a really vivid atmosphere of doom and threat. Its very malevolent in places. The scenes in van Helsing's study are especially good: I love the portrait of Lee he has!

    London appears to be almost deserted and eerie and theres none of the gentlemanly satanism of Devil Rides Out: this lot are brutal!

    Splendid death of Dracula at the end too.

    Anyone out there agree or am I gonna be shot down in flames?

    Out of curiousity, I recall Lee saying "Im doing this one under protest." Why did he do it? Was he contractually obliged?

  2. #2
    Member Country: Great Britain Moon's Avatar
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    Another fan here of The Satanic Rites of Dracula (as I am of Dracula AD 1972). I think it works so well because of the great performances and really think Cushing could have been Bafta-nominated several times if only they had recognised 'horror' movies.

    Also, William Franklyn, Michael Coles, Richard Vernon & Jo Lumley all give very strong performances ... and Freddie Jones is nothing short of brilliant.

    It's a very different film from Dracula AD 1972, but the continuity references lend weight to the whole idea. The scenes of 'deserted' London in the opening credits are indeed eerie and viewed now, 40 years on, it had a nostalgic quality; it almost seems to take place in a London that never existed.

    Re locations: the DD Denham buliding has brought much debate over the years; the latest being that it's an office block nr Vauxhall Bridge ... I'm not convinced. Pelham House is actually High Canons, at Well End, Herts. You can visit the gate house where some of the action takes place.

    It's time Hammer added this title to its restoration list!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    It is certainly a very dark and eerie film. It lacks the quaint Victorian settings of the 1960s Dracula films - which depending on your tastes is either a plus or minus. I think the majority tend to feel that the modern-setting Dracula's didn't work; but i think they were at least an attempt at something new rather than just another rehash of what had already gone. I personally like them - but without the love i would have for the classic 1950s & 60s Hammer films.

    Christopher Lee complained about his Dracula roles from Dracula Prince of Darkness onwards. About the last 4 Dracula films he did, he complained was under protest; James Carreras would ask him to do them and he would turn it down. Then Carreras would use the guilt trip and point out that if he wouldn't do it, many film crew and technicians would be put out of work (bare in mind that Hammer was a 'family' studio and everybody - actors and crew - knew each other as friends). As a result of this Lee would do it.

    The only parts Lee enjoyed filming on Satanic Rites were those where he was with his close friend Peter Cushing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I quite enjoy the scene where Christopher Lee does his Bela Lugosi impression
      Spoiler:
    when he's playing D. D. Denham.

  5. #5
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    Interesting comments chaps, I didn't expect this!

    The deserted London scenes go beyond the opening titles too: Cushing walking to Freddie Jones's lab for instance on what looks a very cold and gloomy day.

    PS as for the Denham building, yes it could be the block on Vauxhall Bridge Road that Jeffret Archer lives in, that was also used as a location in the first Sweeney film. Need to look at it again...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pye View Post

    PS as for the Denham building, yes it could be the block on Vauxhall Bridge Road that Jeffret Archer lives in, that was also used as a location in the first Sweeney film. Need to look at it again...
    As post #2 says it's High Canons, Buckettsland Lane, Well End, Hertfordshire, England, UK.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    I like this one. Making Dracula into a general supervillain made more sense than another Gothic re-run. I'd happily swap another modern day one for Scars of Dracula...

  8. #8
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    A lot of criticism of this film (along with Dracula AD 1972) was that both were set in modern day but there are some real good scenes in this one,like the scenes in the basement when the film goes into slow motion and the confrontation between Lee and Cushing in the house.

    And Joanna looked goooooooooooood.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Odeon68's Avatar
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    is this the one in which Lee utters the immortal/ immoral:


    You dare pit your wits against mine---I, who have commanded nations!

    A splendid line, whatever the actual source.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst_Isle View Post
    As post #2 says it's High Canons, Buckettsland Lane, Well End, Hertfordshire, England, UK.
    No we're referring to the office block van Helsing visits Denham in. It may be Peninsula Heights in Vauxhall...

  11. #11
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    Christopher Lee complained about his Dracula roles from Dracula Prince of Darkness onwards. About the last 4 Dracula films he did, he complained was under protest; James Carreras would ask him to do them and he would turn it down. Then Carreras would use the guilt trip and point out that if he wouldn't do it, many film crew and technicians would be put out of work (bare in mind that Hammer was a 'family' studio and everybody - actors and crew - knew each other as friends). As a result of this Lee would do it.
    This should be taken with a pinch of salt. The original dispute, which began with Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, was about money. Lee did them once Hammer agreed a higher salary (or rather Warner agreed his higher salary). The idea about people being put out of work was nonsense because Hammer tried to make at least one of the films without Lee even being in it - so nobody would be out of work - only to be told by Warner that this was unacceptable and he would have to be paid what he asked for. With respect to Satanic Rites and Dracula AD Lee signed on to do both of them at the same time because he was short of work !!

    You dare pit your wits against mine---I, who have commanded nations!
    I think this comes from the original Stocker novel (but could be wrong). Probably a line added by Lee as he made a lot oif dialogue revisions to this one.
    Last edited by m35541; 12-11-12 at 02:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    I quite enjoyed this too, much much better than the preceding Dracula AD 72. It was directed by Alan Gibson, who had worked on The Avengers, and with Joanna Lumley in the film, the modern day setting, and the involvement of the security services, it seems like a great instalment for The New Avengers, and if viewed in that light, rather than compared to Hammer's great gothic masterpieces you should enjoy the film. The plot at first doesn't seem to make sense (if Dracula wipes out the human race who will he feed on?), until you realise that maybe even Dracula is tired of immortality and wishes to die ... interesting. And has anybody else noticed the gloriously beautiful blonde Valerie van Ost here redheaded and dowdy as the secretary.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by agutterfan View Post
    And has anybody else noticed the gloriously beautiful blonde Valerie van Ost here redheaded and dowdy as the secretary.
    http://horrorunlimited.com/images/D/...-%20DD-500.jpg

    She meets a nasty end too!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by m35541 View Post
    This should be taken with a pinch of salt. The original dispute, which began with Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, was about money. Lee did them once Hammer agreed a higher salary (or rather Warner agreed his higher salary). The idea about people being put out of work was nonsense because Hammer tried to make at least one of the films without Lee even being in it - so nobody would be out of work - only to be told by Warner that this was unacceptable and he would have to be paid what he asked for. With respect to Satanic Rites and Dracula AD Lee signed on to do both of them at the same time because he was short of work !!
    Lee was on a profits percentage from Taste the Blood of Dracula onwards. I suspect he would have kept making them as long as Warner's kept paying him.

  15. #15
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    van Oust's death is very grisly, even though it is miles away from her heart that she is staked!

    The blonde vampire on the altar at the start is very fetching I must say, typical dirty old man Hammer stuff.

    I seem to remember reading that Lee objected to the line "my revenge is spread over centuries and has just begun" but that it is actually a quote from the Stroker novel...

  16. #16
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    Scars of Dracula is on the Horror Channel on Saturday night...

  17. #17
    Member Country: Great Britain Moon's Avatar
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    I think of SRoD each time I visit the Royal Albert Hall, and Van Helsing's trip to see the Professor. Anyone in the Kensington area: the 'Keeley Foundation' is located at the corner of Elvaston Place/Elvaston Mews.

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