The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974)
Director: Alan Gibson
Writer: Don Houghton
Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Coles
The Satanic Rites of Dracula was as you probably known already know the last Hammer Dracula picture to have Christopher Lee play as Dracula, its also sadly the last Hammer production to have Cushing and Lee in the same movie together. The end result though of this movie is kinda a mixed bag and its going to come down to personal taste as to whether or not you like this movie. If you want to know what I think, I hold to belief that this movies awesome. I love it, its a crazy 70s horror movie with an odd mixture of horror, sci-fi, and espionage all with excessive amounts of gore. Plus if you ask me its better than the last Dracula movie from the series Dracula A.D 1972.
This movie has Dracula at one of his most evil. In this movie he literally wants to exterminate the human race.You may wonder why would he kill his whole food source? Van Helsing theorizes that because Dracula is a cursed immortal he wants to end his existence in the only way he sees possible by exterminating the human race, create the Armageddon. Dracula plans to do this by creating a incurable and 100x more contagious version of the black plague. To make matters worse he has all these top minds from England professors, scientists, etc involved with the creation of the plague and participating in the "satanic rites". Leaving it up to Van Helsing (played once again played by the great Peter Cushing), Van Helsings granddaughter, and a couple Scotland yard detectives to stop Dracula before all hope is lost.
Peter Cushing is awesome as always in the role of Van Helsing. While Christopher Lee plays Dracula one last time for Hammer and even though he was really tired of the role hes none the less great as usual,with that dark presence present on screen ever time hes there. Also if you've seen The Elephant Man by David Lynch you might recognize Freddie Jones who plays a scientist in league with Dracula.
Overall I think this is a pretty cool Dracula movie and better than what most people give it credit for. Its dark and sports some great performances from Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Though it gives some odd ways of killing vampires, its in this movie I learned that silver bullets kill them, as well as Hawthorne bushes? Van Helsing explains that its because it was a Hawthorne bush that they put on Christ when he was crucified it can kill Dracula to, oh and there's another scene were Dracula accidentally touches a Bible and it burns his hand. So there is no shortage of ways to kill Dracula. Anyways this film has fallen into the public domain and is thus easily attainable if your interested in giving this movie a try.