- "I am Dracula. Enter freely, and of your own will."
|Directed by:||Jesse Franco|
|Written by:||Erik Krohenke; Augusto Finocchi |
|Produced by:||Harry Alan Towers |
|Music by:||Bruno Nicolai |
|Cinematography:||Manuel Merino |
Luciano Trasatti 
|Edited by:||Bruno Mattei |
|Distributed by:||Filmar Compagnia Cinematograf. Roma|
Phoenix Film Madrid
Korona Film Munich
|Released:||April 3rd, 1970 |
|Running time:||98 min.|
Count Dracula is a Spanish horror film of the vampire and Gothic horror subgenres. It is an adaptation of the 1891 novel Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker. The film was directed by Jesse Franco with a script written by Augusto Finocchi, based on a story treatment by Erik Krohenke. It was produced by Filmar Compagnia Cinematografica, Fénix Cooperativa Cinematográfica & Korona Film Munich and premiered in Spain on April 3rd, 1970. The film stars Christopher Lee in the role of the titular antagonist Dracula, with Klaus Kinski as his sycophantic servant Reinfierd. Herbert Lom takes on the chores of playing the scholarly Van Helsing with Fred Williams serving as Jonathan Harker and Maria Rohm as his bride-to-be, Mina.
Jonathan Harker, a lawyer traveling from London to Transylvania to secure property for Count Dracula, arrives at Bistritz to stay for the night. There, he is warned by a concerned lady against continuing his journey the following day. Harker believes that her concerns are rooted in peasant superstition. He ignores her, but starts to feel increasingly unnerved by the way everyone looks at him. Harker sets off for the rest of his journey and arrives at the Borgo Pass where he's picked up by the Count's mysterious coachman.
Harker debarks at Castle Dracula, and the coach immediately rushes off. Somewhat hesitantly, Harker approaches the main door, whereupon a thin, tall, gaunt old man opens it. Harker asks, "Count Dracula?" "I am Dracula, enter freely and of your own will," says the man at the door. Dracula takes Harker to his bedchamber where Harker notices that Dracula casts no reflection.
Later, Harker goes to sleep. He wakes in an ancient crypt where he is seduced by three beautiful vampiresses. Dracula rushes into the room in a rage and orders them to leave Harker alone. Dracula explains, "This man belongs to me," then gives the vampiresses a baby to feed on. Harker wakes up screaming in his room and assumes it was a nightmare, but two small wounds on his neck indicate otherwise.
Harker soon realises he is a prisoner, and tries to escape by climbing out of his bedroom window. He finds his way back to the crypt where Count Dracula and his three brides rest in coffins. Harker runs out of the crypt screaming, and jumps out of the castle's tower into the river below.
Harker wakes up in a private psychiatric clinic outside London, owned by Doctor Van Helsing, in the care of Doctor Seward. He is told he was found delirious in a river near Budapest. Naturally, no one believes his story about Castle Dracula until Van Helsing finds the two punctures on Harker's neck. Harker's fiancée Mina and her close friend Lucy also arrive at the hospital to help take care of him. Unbeknownst to them, Count Dracula has followed Harker back to England and now resides in an abandoned abbey close to the hospital.
As Mina nurses Harker back to health, her friend Lucy's health strangely declines. Dracula has been secretly appearing to her by night and drinking her blood, growing younger as he feeds off his victim. Quincey Morris, Lucy's fiancé, joins doctors Seward and Van Helsing in an attempt to save Lucy by giving her a blood transfusion from Quincey.
One of the patients at the clinic, R. M. Renfield, becomes of considerable interest to the men. Renfield is classed as a zoophagus: he eats flies and insects in order to consume their life, believing that each life he consumes increases his own. He reacts violently whenever Dracula is nearby.
Lucy eventually dies while her men helplessly look on. As Van Helsing suspected, Lucy has become one of the undead and murders a young child, but the ordeal is put to an end when Quincey, Seward and Van Helsing ambush Lucy in her tomb, stake her through the heart and decapitate her. Harker, restored to health, joins the group who now are sure that Count Dracula is a vampire.
Dracula turns his attention to Mina and begins corrupting her as well. Van Helsing suddenly has a stroke and remains in a wheelchair. Dracula visits the weakened man, mocking his attempts to destroy him. Quincey, Harker and Seward track Dracula to the abandoned abbey, but he has fled to Transylvania with the aid of a traveling Gypsy band.
As Count Dracula's Gypsy servants take him back to his castle, he is trailed by Harker and Quincey. After battling the Gypsies, the two heroes find Dracula's coffin and set it on fire. Dracula, unable to escape in full daylight, is consumed by flames. 
|Herbert Lom||Van Helsing|
|Maria Rohm||Mina Murray|
|Fred Williams||Jonathan Harker|
|Soledad Miranda||Lucy Westenra|
|Paul Muller||Doctor Seward|
|Jack Taylor||Quincey Morris|
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Count Dracula (1970) redirects to this page.
- It is important to note that despite the fact that Christopher Lee plays Dracula, and that this film was released in the 1970s, it bears no connection to the continuity of the "Hammer Horror" film series by Hammer Film Productions.
- Count Dracula was filmed in Barcelona, Spain, with some scenes being shot in Murcia. as well Italy and Bavaria, Germany. 
- This film was released in West Germany under the title Nachts, wenn Dracula erwach on April 3rd, 1970. 
- Count Dracula was released in Madrid, Spain on March 15th, 1971. In Spain, it was released under the title El conde Drácula. 
- Count Dracula isn't the only vampire movie with a Count to make a splash in 1970. There's also Count Yorga, Vampire, which was directed by Bob Kelljan and released on June 10th, 1970.
- This is the fourth time that actor Christopher Lee has played the role of Dracula. All of his other appearances however are part of the series produced by Hammer Film Productions, which does not share continuity with this film.
- Actor Klaus Kinski would later go on to take on the part of Dracula himself in the 1979 film remake of Nosferatu: Phantom der Nach.
See also Edit
External Links Edit
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