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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
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    Dracula: Prince of Darkness

    Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . M15+ . PAL


    This is a pretty thin effort from Hammer Films, even by their standards. It seems Dracula has been ‘dead’ for ten years, but unwary traveller Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell is unwittingly sacrificed and the Drac comes back. When The Prince of Darkness starts puncturing people, including Bud’s missus, the hero, (Bud’s brother) must find his own Drac-hypnotised wife and save her from the Undead. The fun really gets going when he teams up with a priest and starts fighting vampires and using stakes and all that. Classic Hammer filmmaking.

    "There is no Boogeyman anymore!"

    Now putting our love of Hammer aside, the transfer to DVD has been a grisly nightmare all of its own…


    The picture itself is clean enough, though there are a veritable graveyard of miscellaneous (and invariably small) film artefacts throughout. The colours are true enough and flesh tones come out alright, but the shadows and blacks are a right tribulation. Sometimes green, sometimes brown and at other times, particularly during night scenes, the shadows are all sorts of greys with bugger all depth and little detail evident. This being a Dracula film, it spends a lot of time in the dark and when the dark is so rubbish, the film suffers. Alas. There are a couple of instances of aliasing also, but this isn’t too bad and given the DVD’s other flaws, can easily be excused.


    The audio quality is not to be written home about. No, not at all. The dialogue gets a little muffled on some occasions, making conversations hard to follow. I also detected a little noise, but not a lot and hardly worth noting. Dialogue does tend toward the wooden sometimes, but that’s not the transfer’s fault. Sound effects are a bit ‘stock footage’ at times and the music comes through a little too tinny at odd intervals, but there isn’t all that much music to begin with, so it can be overlooked. Just English too, with no subtitles in any language.


    Forget it. We get nuthin’.


    Let me say this; If you love this kind of film enough, you will buy it even though it represents rather crap value. At least they’re putting Hammer films on DVD. If you don’t love the genre, nothing I can say will sway you. Where does that leave everyone who doesn’t know a Hammer film from a Tool film clip? Well, they’re a fun, schlocky horror that doesn’t keep us awake at night, but are still chock full of blood spatters and grisly special effects. And straight-faced too, which could be difficult given some of the scripts. (I refuse to say ‘cult’ in this part, by the way).

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2351
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      And I quote...
    "It’s HAMMER time!"
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nintaus DVD-N9901
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Receiver:
    • Speakers:
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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