Taste The Blood Of Dracula (UK 1969)

Rating: **
Review Date: 4/23/16
Cast: Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, John Carson, Peter Sallis, Linda Hayden, Ralph Bates, Michael Ripper, cameo by Madeline Smith

A nearly unwatchable Dracula movie, saved only by its gothic Hammer aesthetic and talented veteran cast. The film opens with Count Dracula (Christopher Lee) being impaled on a giant golden cross - presumably the same one from "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave" (1968), which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. A terrified businessman witnesses his demise and collects what's left behind, including a vial of Dracula's blood. Later, a servant of evil played by a raving Ralph Bates convinces three debaucherous, adventure seeking gentlemen (Geoffrey Keen, John Carson, and Peter Sallis) to resurrect Dracula, but they decide to kill Bates before the ritual is complete. This makes the Count upset, so he comes back to the land of the living to get revenge by having the three gentlemen get killed by their own children. In the end, Dracula inexplicably falls to his death and turns to ashes once again. A pretty terrible film all around, with the highlight being a young Madeline Smith having a miniscule cameo as a wide-eyed harlot. Reportedly, this alone was enough to secure her role in "The Vampire Lovers" (1970) a year later.