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The popular Disney attraction The Haunted Mansion is headed back to the big screen, with Justin Simien (Dear White People, Bad Hair) directing a new live action movie.
LaKeith StanfieldTiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, and Rosario Dawson are already part of the cast, and THR reports tonight that Danny DeVito has now also come on board!
The dark ride attraction, which launched in 1969 and is still going strong today at Disney parks, “sees theme park guests go inside a spooky and creepy manor that has a wide array of supernatural frights. It also features a graveyard’s worth of characters.” The most popular characters include Hatbox Ghost, Madame Leota, The Phantom and the Hitchhiking Ghosts.
THR notes, “The film follows a mother and her son who come across a mansion that is more than it seems while being orbited by various characters key to undressing the spooky mystery. DeVito will play a smug professor.”
Rob Minkoff directed the feature film The Haunted Mansion back in 2003, the first big screen adaptation of the ride. Eddie Murphy starred in the film. More recently, Guillermo del Toro was attached to adapt the ride for a brand new movie. Alas, it never came to life.
Katie Dippold (Ghostbusters 2016) is writing the new movie’s script for Disney.
Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich’s Rideback will be producing.
New Halloween special “Muppets Haunted Mansion” is now streaming on Disney+.

Writer in the horror community since 2008. Editor in Chief of Bloody Disgusting. Owns Eli Roth’s prop corpse from Piranha 3D. Has four awesome cats. Still plays with toys.
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While Hammer Studios has been in business since 1934, it was between 1955 and 1979 that it towered as one of the premier sources of edgy, gothic horror. On top of ushering the famous monsters of Universal’s horror heyday back into the public eye, resurrecting the likes of Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy in vivid color, the studio invited performers like Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt and so many more to step into the genre limelight. Spanning a library housing over 300 films, Hammer Studios is a key part of horror history that until recently has been far too difficult to track down.
In late 2018, Shout Factory’s Scream Factory line began to focus on bringing Hammer’s titles to disc in the US, finally making many of the studio’s underseen gems available in packages that offered great visuals as well as insightful accompanying features. Over the course of this column, I will focus on these releases, gauging the films in context of the Hammer Studio story as well as analyzing the merits of the release. It’s time to highlight the power, impact and influence of Hammer Studios and ignite new conversation surrounding some forgotten classics.
Welcome to the Hammer Factory. This month we dissect The Brides of Dracula (1960).
The Context
Within months of Dracula’s release in 1958, Hammer was already rolling up their sleeves on pre-production work for a follow-up. Given a track record that included Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and The Mummy (1959), Universal Studios was incredibly interested in Hammer’s next gothic venture. As a result, for the first time, Hammer’s key crew of creatives had a sizable amount of money to help bring their shared vision to life, more than twice that which was allocated to Dracula.
Before the year was out, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster completed penning Disciple of Dracula, a movie that wrote out Van Helsing in lieu of a new, morally ambiguous vampire hunter named Latour. Christopher Lee’s Count too was all but excised, being relegated to a brief cameo during the film’s climax, much of which would go on to be realized years later in the standalone vampire film Kiss of the Vampire (1963). However, given the overwhelming interest for a direct sequel, it became clear that Sangster’s initial idea would have to be retooled for the follow-up to have the appeal of its predecessor.
Due to a disagreement between the actor’s agent and the studio’s higher ups, Hammer was unable, or perhaps unwilling, to sign Christopher Lee on to return as the infamous title villain. Still, the American producers footing the bill had to be placated and they wanted a star. Peter Cushing was sought out, but took umbrage with the script. He was dissatisfied with Jimmy Sangster’s dialogue as well as an ending that had his Christian soldier hero calling on the powers of darkness for aid, something that the actor found to be offensively disingenuous to his character.
Anthony Hinds enlisted Peter Bryan, a camera operator who had also dabbled in screenwriting for Hammer, to complete a rewrite, but Cushing remained unhappy with the results. Finally, at the behest of Cushing himself, his friend Edward Percy was employed to repurpose the script. After Peter Cushing agreed to commit to the project, Anthony Hinds felt the need to again take the script and complete a fourth polish, as this time the producer was the one troubled by the work, tinkering in an uncredited capacity so as to not offend his star’s affections for Percy.

Despite the tumultuous scripting process which led right up until production, the remainder of the crew fell rather neatly into place. Recreating the creative magic behind Dracula meant that Terence Fisher, Jack Asher and Bernard Robinson would be restored to their previous roles of director, cinematographer and production designer, respectively. While James Bernard was not asked to score, Malcolm Williamson’s more dissonant accompaniment proved to serve the picture to great effect, providing an evolved tonality that fell perfectly in line with the film’s evolving themes.
The resulting production emerged as one of Hammer’s finest, a lush color gothic that inhabited every conceivable element of the burgeoning subgenre Hammer itself had been instrumental in popularizing and subsequently defining. Shot over eight weeks, an extension from Hammer’s typical six week schedule, the time, resources and innovative artistic spirit that drove the studio in its early days is on full display in The Brides of Dracula. From Jack Asher’s boundary pushing, experimental use of light and color to Bernard and Margaret Robinson’s sweeping sets and 17 foot high gargoyle statues which were kept and used in films for years to come, the film is as impressive to behold as it is pleasing to the eye.
Once again, Terence Fisher delivered the kind of nuanced allegory his career was so distinguished by, offering Peter Cushing the chance to provide the definitive Van Helsing performance as a beacon of righteousness navigating the foggy tides of evil’s influence. While these themes would come up again and again in the director’s impressive filmography, they were rarely so clearly drawn, entertaining and breathtakingly engrossing than in The Brides of Dracula, a film that solidified Hammer’s grasp on the gothic horror genre and confirmed to all who had the pleasure to see it that the studio was indeed firmly entrenched in a Golden Age of moviemaking.
The Film

“Transylvania, land of dark forests, dread mountains and black, unfathomed lakes. Still the home of magic and devilry as the nineteenth century draws to its close. Count Dracula, monarch of all vampires, is dead, but his disciples live on, to spread the cult and corrupt the world.”
The jagged red title letters show over a black and white image of an ancient castle through the haggard reaching branches of a forest of leafless trees. A carriage thunders through the woods, carrying within it a young woman, distressed by the speed of the buggy and the accompanying tumult inside. All too soon they’re halted, not by a corpse as the buggy driver initially fears, but by a large log. It’s then that a mysterious man emerges from the brush and hops on the back of the buggy unnoticed as the carriage continues its journey into town. Once there, the woman is welcomed into the tavern while the stowaway slips some gold into the hands of the driver. He stares after her uneasily, the young woman’s naiveté carrying her ever forward into a place of danger and deceit.
So begins Terence Fisher’s masterwork of the macabre, The Brides of Dracula, a lushly gothic fairy tale that takes the formula of Dracula and infuses it with subtextual undertones of incest and ever-vevolving sexuality. It’s a sequel unafraid to completely upend the villain that made the first so striking, trading out Christopher Lee’s tall, dark and imposing Count for David Peel’s short, blonde and boyishly charming Baron Meinster, providing a new lens through which to view the dreamy Prince Charming young romantics are often led by story and song to be so drawn to.
The tale concerns Marianne, played with immaculate grace and youthful optimism by Yvonne Monlaur, fresh off the carriage and poised to take a position as a schoolteacher in a private school in Transylvania. Fisher ensures that everything from the tonal ambience of the dimly lit village streets to the ominous words, actions and facial expressions of the locals all but scream warnings of danger to the young woman, but her demeanor and resolve remain impervious to even the most overt foreshadowing. Her trust in the goodness of people may be the key to her confidence and internal strength, but it is also the attribute that evil might most easily exploit.
Marianne is soon introduced to Baroness Meinster, played with an understated control and ferocity by Martita Hunt. Jack Asher’s lighting scheme is just as impressive here as Hunt’s coldly calculating gestures and words, the small tavern backed with shades of red and purple that have no logical origin in the place but serve to manifest a mood and atmosphere that feels right out of an Italian Giallo film made a decade on. Offering a roof over her head and a warm meal, the Baroness convinces Marianne to return to her castle, leaving the concerned tavern keepers to ponder what might’ve been the young girl’s fate had they mustered the courage to intervene.
Shot mostly inside Hammer’s mainstay of Bray Studios, Meinster’s castle is a testament to what Bernard Robinson was able to achieve in the realm of artistic design and set decoration. Although a location that would be seen many times over, the castle is transformed here, feeling like a place of vast emptiness, with its storied balconies and vast hall, an elegant prison where longing and secrets are quietly stored.

It’s here where Marianne learns of the Baroness’ son, a young man labeled as insane and confined to his chambers. It’s in the castle where the weight of authority first looms large on the story, the Baroness’ exerted control over her progeny a shocking development to Marianne. No matter which side one falls on, good or evil, there are always those who seek to seize control, take charge and exact their will. And, as is the case with fairy tales, one side will indeed triumph over the other— typically dictated by the side of morality most in line with society’s laws, beliefs and convictions, something Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing will soon come to definitively inhabit.
Despite further cautioning, Marianne is drawn to the Baron, sneaking into his chambers in the middle of the night. Bathed in shadow, surrounded by the faded light through many stained glass windows and a pop of red from a lamp at the back of the room, David Peel’s Baron Meinster is scarcely visible as he first converses with Marianne. Right away, she is positioned as the one in control, disarming what guard she might have and clearing a path for her to draw ever nearer to the Baron. Still, despite his chains and perceived vulnerability, she is in light, fully visible, completely exposed, and he waits in the dark, obscured and hidden, undefined and mysterious.
An altogether different breed of vampire, Peel’s Baron Meinster could not be further removed from Dracula’s titular menace. Gone is the raw, animalistic command that Christopher Lee employed, in its stead a more introverted, aristocratic sensibility, a faux softness that comes with the man’s stunted stature and well kept blonde hair that elicits pity in place of awe. He plays the victim, seducing the kindness inherent within Marianne’s conscience well before seeking out any degree of physical satisfaction. In some ways, he employs a strategy that’s far more dangerous to the inexperienced target; at least when a wolf pursues, one is cognizant of its nature.
Soon after Marianne comes face to face once more with Baroness Meinster, each wearing a shade of purple, Marianne’s nightdress much softer and breezier than the Baroness’ heavier toned, layered gown, as though an older model in the process of being replaced by its younger counterpart. The Baron intervenes, calling his mother to him against her will. Still she obeys, the two walking off together into the castle’s dark corridors as Marianne returns uncertainly to her room. In that moment, the power dynamic shifts and the true authoritarian is revealed. Whether Marianne has the wherewithal to see the truth of the matter remains to be seen.
The next morning Marianne finds the housemaid Greta, played with a wonderfully snide sense of snark, mistrust and malice by Freda Jackson, howling over the Baron’s untethered chain. In short time she reveals the Baroness, dead and drained of blood, causing Marianne to flee the grounds in a panic, dispelling her notions of trust and goodness and forcing her to face the consequences of blind faith in a world that offers far more avenues than piety.
More than a third of the way through the feature’s runtime, Peter Cushing’s Doctor Van Helsing arrives at the village. Rather than the antithesis to a man like Baron Meinster as he was to Count Dracula, Van Helsing acts as the answer to him. The moral authority who commands an audience not out of ambition but necessity, eschewing ego for humility, all the while exercising his power in the stead of virtue and justness regardless of what it is he must stand in the face of.

Finding Marianne unconscious in the woods, it is here that the story shows the amount of hands that went into scribing the screenplay, resulting in some breaks in continuity and character structure that might be more distracting were the remainder of the film not so beautifully crafted. Marianne suffers from a bout of amnesia, or perhaps the whims of one of four screenwriters, allowing her to bypass memory of her final night at the Baron’s manor and positioning her to still be interested in a romantic rendezvous with young Meinster. This transpires after Van Helsing transports her back to town and eventually her employer’s school, witnessing a funeral along the way and slowly discovering the truth of what’s plaguing the Transylvanian townsfolk.
Even within the walls of the girls’ school where he deposits Marianne, Van Helsing finds his authority constantly under question and in need of defending. The pompous Herr Lang, played with gusto by Henry Oscar, in charge of the school and weaponizing his power whenever he is able, goes from berating Van Helsing to identifying as his “most obedient servant” upon discovering Van Helsing’s status as a doctor. Further evidence that power, class and rank are a currency most spend well beyond their limits. Van Helsing, on the other hand, is frugal with his notes, expounding accolades and ability only when necessary for the right path to be made traversable.
Van Helsing begins his work, delving into the town’s secrets and seeking out the source of the evil. Between scenes of Van Helsing explaining vampirism to the local town Priest set against the brilliant red and orange light of the setting sun and Van Helsing’s horrified, worn expression as he watches a crazed Greta coaxing Marie Devereux’s village girl turned vampire from her freshly dug grave, there’s no shortage of breathtaking, stirring sequences to further the atmosphere, dread and drive of the film’s runtime. The resurrection is particularly memorable, Devereux’s pale skin, slightly exposed fangs and burgeoning excitement etched onto her striking features as the camera moves in becoming one of the defining moments in vampire cinema.
The film has no shortage of iconic vampires, of course. Aside from Devereux, there’s also Andrée Melly’s Gina, a fellow teacher at the school with Marianne. After a run-in with Van Helsing, Baron Meinster visits Marianne at the school, once more defying Herr Lang’s blowhard persona and putting him in his place during a confrontation with the reveal that he is not only the Baron, but the landlord of the school as a result. He proposes to Marianne and she accepts, as one supposes, marrying a princely Baron should be the dream of all young women.
Gina waxes poetically about such a dream, wishing it were her that had been handed such a proposal. The desire comes less from any sort of love for the Baron, rather the romantic notion becoming a Baroness represents. It’s the fairy tale theorem that the film has been exploring from the start, one that makes Gina, and so many like her, the perfect fodder for Baron Meinster’s dastardly aims. After all, Gina does get her wish, but the result is far from romantic. Melly’s vampire is haunting and distinct, her wide eyes and devilish grin burned into the memory of any that see her, marking one of the few vampire films that welcomes multiple truly unforgettable bloodsucking creatures into the forsaken pantheon of fanged foes in horror.
The latter half of the film belongs to Van Helsing, however, Peter Cushing’s inimitable hero traversing the pain and damage that Baron Meinster leaves in his wake. The war Van Helsing fights in The Brides of Dracula stands in stark contrast to the one he waged in Dracula as Meinster is a classless creature, willing to debase himself and run rather than stand and fight. And yet, it’s Van Helsing’s mercy which continues to most distinguish him from those creatures he grapples with. The Baroness, for example, risen from the dead due to her son’s bite, further proof of the Baron’s depravity as the bite itself is sexual in nature so the act against his mother is inherently incestuous, meets her demise not with violence but compassion. Van Helsing does not kill her, rather frees her from her son’s terrible curse.
Marianne is no longer able to ignore the supernatural events occurring around her once Gina reveals her vampiric fate. Van Helsing closes in as Gina does, the Doctor arriving just in time to save Marianne from a similar fate to Gina’s own. Again, authority shifts and Marianne now recognizes a new command, one she questions at first but gives in to under the pressure of Van Helsing’s borderline violent insistence. Gone is the pretense of Van Helsing’s empathetic demeanor, only the unflinching drive of righteousness remaining, focused solely on destroying evil’s ever tightening grip on the people around him.

When the two forces finally do meet in battle, Van Helsing finds himself under Baron Meinster’s fangs, suggesting once more an overtly non-discriminate sexual attack on the Doctor mirroring that of the women and his own mother. As Meinster’s vampire brides watch excitedly for the righteous man to become the devil he so despises, Van Helsing’s resolve powers him forward. In a shockingly effective sequence, Van Helsing stokes some coals with an iron rod and burns his neck, attempting to purify the poisonous venom of evil’s bite. After, he douses the wound with holy water, falling to the ground on the cusp of unconsciousness. As the wound fades and his neck appears unscathed, Malcolm Williamson’s hitherto dissonant score turns to a swelling organ, a heavenly resonation announcing the triumph of good against evil. The brides’ faces turn from excited to fearful and it becomes clear to them which authority will undoubtedly emerge victorious.
Meinster retrieves Marianne to turn her, but he is too late. Van Helsing has survived and with the help of holy water and the cleansing heat of fire, drives Baron Meinster from the old mill where they’ve gathered. It’s here where, flesh melting off of his face and weakened from battle, that the Baron turns his eyes skyward to see that Van Helsing has gripped the side of the windmill and turned the large blades, casting the shadow of a cross down upon him. Not a religious relic blessed by the leaders of the church, rather a symbol of belief, a moniker of goodness, imbued with power and control from one who embodies such convictions. It is this that undoes the Baron and his evil works.
A testament to the power, prowess and prestige of Hammer in its most golden years, the film is an evolution of the “fairy tale for adults” concept that Terence Fisher was so interested in exploring with The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and The Two Faces of Dr, Jekyll (1960). Under Jack Asher’s gorgeous photographic eye, Anthony Hinds’ watch and with Jimmy Sangster and Bernard Robinson’s involvement, not to mention Peter Cushing providing the definitive Van Helsing performance of his or any other career, the film incorporated some of the best talent that Hammer ever had at its disposal and every ounce of it shows across every last flickering frame of its runtime.
The film opens with narration informing the viewer that Transylvania is a dark place, a magic place, where devilry runs through the woods and where even when evil is quelled, its legacy still pursues. Fitting then that The Brides of Dracula concludes with light, the burning spine of a large windmill illuminating the night and standing as a totem against all of those things which seek to seduce, take advantage and destroy. The world is a complicated place, filled with absolutes from both sides of the moral compass. One need only beware, take heed and, remember, it’s not always the wolf that’s hungry— there’s no telling what the shadows might house.
The Special Features
This release comes equipped with a new 2K scan of the interpositive in both its original 1:85:1 aspect ratio and its 1.66:1 alternative. The scan is a major improvement from the previous HD Master found in 2016’s Universal Hammer Horror Collection, offering improvements in grain retention, crafting a more filmic look and maintaining detail on a much finer level. Colors pop, particularly noticeable in the lush costuming and Jack Asher’s striking lighting scheme, providing the film the best presentation it’s yet to have on home video.
The DTS-HD Master Mono track functions well, delivering clear dialogue, sound effects and carrying Malcolm Williamson’s stirring score to the forefront at the necessary moments. Truly a wonderful package befitting the caliber of film its preserving.
Audio Commentary, by Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman and Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
(New: 2020, produced by Shout Factory)
Familiar Hammer film historians Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr return to provide yet another incredibly informative commentary track, doing great justice to what they call “Terence Fisher’s masterpiece” by running through its production, players and themes.
Establishing that the film is a turning point for the genre and Hammer, the two cover how its origins begin as far back as the tale of Adam and Eve and the 17th Century writings of Charles Perrault, author of Bluebeard and Little Red Riding Hood. They discuss the ever evolving script, some of which later becoming Kiss of the Vampire, and what they call the “top notch” cast, running through the many players onscreen and their performance histories. More than that, they take the time to explore the behind the scenes creatives, like Jack Asher and Bernard and Margaret Robinson, focusing on their immense artistic contributions and how they so impacted the film’s effectiveness.
The track is a celebration of the film and what makes it great. An equally wonderful listen for fans and newcomers alike.
The Men Who Made Hammer — Terence Fisher (58:21)
(New: 2020, produced by Shout Factory)
Richard Klemensen, editor and publisher of Little Shoppe of Horrors Magazine, returns again to recount the life and legacy of one of Hammer and the horror genre’s most important directors: Terence Fisher.
From a young department store worker who loved going to the movies, to a World War II veteran who was willing to take any job in the pictures so long as he could be a part of the process, Klemensen covers the full spectrum of Fisher’s career. He runs through Fisher’s journeyman directing jobs and his eventual partnership with Hammer, along with the realization that he had finally found what he was good at. He talks about Fisher’s rise to prominence after The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula as well as his decline following several box office disappointments in the early 60’s. He touches on his return to Hammer and his declining health and automobile accidents which led to an early forced retirement due to his inability to be insured.
Klemensen concludes with a personal anecdote about his own interactions with Terence Fisher, describing how even the reclusive Jack Asher wrote into Klemensen’s magazine when Fisher passed to share words of love and praise regarding his time working with the renowned director. The segment is a fascinating examination of Fisher’s career, running much longer than the average “Men Who Made Hammer” feature and, in the end, a touching tribute to his legacy as one of the great directors across the history of horror cinema.
The Eternal and the Damned — Malcolm Williamson and The Brides of Dracula (15:22)
(New: 2020, Shout Factory)
David Huckvale, author of Hammer Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde, returns to provide some context to composer Malcolm Williamson’s history and interests while breaking down the specific style he brought to the themes present in The Brides of Dracula. Utilizing an organ, Huckvale talks about how he employs a trilling theme and a build up of intervals known as fourths which he says are angular and less comfortable, bringing about a worrying sensibility. Huckvale breaks down the whole of the runtime through sound, noting that Williamson’s change in approach from James Bernard’s in Dracula works well to give the film a distinctive feel without sacrificing the effectiveness of mood or tone. The segment serves as a great music lesson and a fascinating breakdown of the film through the lens of the score.
Introduction and the Making of The Brides of Dracula (31:10)
(2013, Final Cut Entertainment)
A relatively brief series of interviews narrated by Edward de Souza chronicling the history of the production featuring interviews with actress Yvonne Monlaur, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, producer Anthony Hinds and more ported over from the 2013 UK blu-ray release of the film.
Beginning with Jimmy Sangster’s original Disciple of Dracula script, the segment charts the many interactions and rewrites the story went through before finally becoming The Brides of Dracula. They discuss the casting decisions and how David Peel was meant to differentiate the film from the first due to his appearance being such a contrast to Christopher Lee’s. They discuss the makeshift sets and economical decisions as well as the accomplishments made on the film and the fact that Bernard Robinson’s village square set was so appreciated that it was left up for many years to be used in subsequent productions.
The feature is a fairly quick watch, easily digestible and a fine way to hear the tale of the film as told by those who were there in the trenches crafting it.
The Haunted History of Oakley Court (15:13)
(2017, Severin Films)
David Flint, author of Ten Years of Terror: British Horror Films of the Seventies, and Allan Bryce, author of Amicus: The Friendly Face of Fear, visit Oakley Court, a location that appeared in over 200 films and countless TV shows, to discuss its history and relationship to Amicus films. Ported over from Severin’s 2017 blu-ray release of And Now the Screaming Starts (1973), the feature is an interesting look at a place familiar to all those who love gothic horror. While it is far more Amicus heavy, the pair do visit Bray studios which had fallen into great disrepair and touch upon Hammer’s use of Oakley as well, including of course its appearance in The Brides of Dracula.
Theatrical Trailers (4:06)
Marianne awakes. The narrator speaks: “Listen to the beat of your heart Marianne, do you hear the beat of fear within you? Fear that will lead to a crescendo of terror!” Marianne runs up the stairs as the narrator continues, “you have strayed into a world of evil.” A bat flies overhead as the narrator continues to warn of “pity and love.” Peter Cushing is introduced. He’s shown running outside, facing a newly risen vampire as the music swells. The cast flits by as green text introduces their characters. Yvonne Monlaur is introduced as “France’s newest sex kitten” just before she struggles with the Baron. Van Helsing fights Baron Meinster in the barn and the fire roars. The title appears in a silly green font: THE BRIDES OF DRACULA.
The second trailer follows the beats of the first. However, here the Baron is shown chained and the title appears slightly earlier. The narrator informs that “beauty was a passport to the twilight world of the undead” as the fight scene between the Baron and Van Helsing is extended slightly before culminating in the same flames as the first.
Image Gallery (7:26)
Black and white headshots of Yvonne Monlaur and the cast in general, on-set photography, lobby cards, productions stills, international advertising materials, posters, press materials, candid shots of theater marquees during its original run and newspaper ads pepper this slideshow which provides a fun visual history of the production.
Radio Spot (1:03)
Andrée Melly’s Gina bares a fanged grin beside the film’s title as the radio announcer’s voice resounds, speaking of the mystical and the unnatural. He warns of the handsome and evil creature on his way to a “fashionable girl’s school” that no one can resist. He warns of pity and love, saying that the film is so shocking and so uncertain that it’s too terrifying to behold as the film’s title echoes in the background.
Final Thoughts
The Curse of Frankenstein united Hammer with the gothic horror subgenre, ensuring that the two would be forever intertwined creatively and financially. The Brides of Dracula solidified that bond, showcasing that Hammer not only understood how to craft the horror gothic, they had perfected it.
Although the picture seemed to have a lot going against it, given Peter Cushing’s initial disinterest in the project and the absence of Christopher Lee, Hammer’s most prolific creatives came together and forged one of the studio’s defining releases. Under the guiding hand of Terence Fisher, this film elevates the fairy tale nature of Hammer’s very best works to something far more sinister and yet more whimsical than anything that had come before. Taking the familiar gothic template and infusing it with color, dark nuance and heady thematics, The Brides of Dracula emerges feeling like anything but a retread.
Scream Factory brings Brides to Collector’s Edition Blu-ray disc with an impressive video transfer that allows the film to feel more immersive and vibrant than ever before, inviting a true appreciation of its striking aesthetic and tone. Packed with special features compiled from multiple releases over the past decade, the release is the definitive one for this gothic masterpiece and the perfect way to enjoy it for the hundredth time or discover it for the first.
While the coming decade would see many ups and downs for Terence Fisher and Hammer alike, The Brides of Dracula served as a solidification of the director’s talent for rallying a crew of immense creative ability at the height of the studio’s Golden Age. No small degree of pressure accompanied the follow-up to a success like Dracula, something to which Brides most certainly lived up to, a certifying promise of quality and craft that cemented Hammer’s reputation for the decade to come.

Copyright © 2021 Bloody Disgusting, LLC

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