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Scars Of Dracula (1970)

all-out bloodshed

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 96 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


In this, Christopher Lee’s sixth outing as Bram Stoker’s pointy-toothed goth Dracula, it’s fair to say the needle on the gore-o-meter moves up a notch. Where previously a swift suck on a passing beauty’s neck would do, this time the talcum-faced Count goes for all-out bloodshed – and don’t we all just love it?

Having been woken from his undead slumber by an horrifically artificial vampire bat (“It’s a puppet!!” as Brian Conley would no doubt cry), ol’ Dracster sets about putting the willies up the local village bumpkins with his usual bloodthirsty ways. Meanwhile, a few rungs up the social ladder in toff-land, womanising bounder Christopher Matthews upsets the Old Bill and goes on the run – all the way to the castle. And, in case you were wondering, garlic bread ain’t on the menu.

Sounds like a case, if ever there was one, for a pre-singing pre-‘Minder’ pre-working class Dennis Waterman. So, accompanied by ‘Magpie’ presenter Jenny Hanley, Waterman invites the Count – his bloodshot peepers like two dollops of ketchup mysteriously floating a-top a bowl of creamy chicken soup – to an electrifying rooftop showdown.

Amid the platoon of British TV luminaries on display, one-time Dr Who Patrick Troughton steals the show as Dracula’s servant Klove – who looks like he might be a werewolf, but turns out just to be in dire need of a good shave.

The downside is the massively dated appearance of the whole production, with those dodgy bats appearing far too regularly to spare the flick from the cringe-factor. There are also more than a couple of problems with the story itself, which upon not-particularly-close inspection doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Unattended horse-drawn coaches are required to move the plot on once too often, and the backgrounds of too many characters (most notably the buxom wenches played by Anouska Hempel and Wendy Hamilton) are left unexplained. But director Roy Ward Baker (who also worked with Waterman on ‘Minder’) does his best to serve up a creepy treat, and Lee’s most definitely on-form as just the sort of tetchy vampire you wouldn’t want stuck next to on a lengthy train journey.

It's Got: Delta Lindsay’s botty on full display.

It Needs: Someone to call pest control to sort out that bat problem.

DVD Extras Just a trailer. ‘Scars of Dracula’ is one of five movies included on the ‘Hammer Horror Selection’ box-set, which also features ‘The Devil Rides Out’, ‘Lust for a Vampire’, ‘Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb’ and ‘The Horror of Frankenstein’. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10


The definitive Count Dracula in an entertaining – if dated – bloodfest. Batty good fun.