Horror of Dracula (1958) After Hammer films hit it big with Curse of Frankenstein a year earlier, they return with an equally great version of Dracula. Jonathan Harker travels to Castle Dracula to kill the count, but Dracula (Christopher Lee) and his sexy vampire bride turn the tables on him. The bride doesn’t make it out alive, so Drac goes to town to replace her with Harker’s fiancee Lucy and her sister Mina. (characters playing different parts than they did in the book) Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and Mina’s husband Arthur (Michael Gough) fight to protect them. No Renfield. The standout scene for me is when the protagonists encounter a freshly-risen-from-the-grave Lucy. Lee wouldn’t return for the sequel, Brides of Dracula, but he would be back to play Dracula six more times for Hammer.
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) Christopher Lee reprises the role of Dracula for Hammer Films after 8 years. Two stranded couples are taken into Castle Dracula, and a servant ties one of the men up and bleeds him into the Count’s ashes to revive him. Barbara Shelley spends the whole first half being an uptight bitch who’s afraid of everything. I guess she was right though, she was one of the first to go. Once she was transformed, she really shined as a vamp chick. Christopher Lee had no dialog in this one, but was very menacing with his bloodshot eyes. Lee and Shelly would co-star in Rasputin in their very next film.
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) To prove that Dracula exists no more, a monsignor and a priest travel up to the castle to bless it and lock the door with crosses. They should have left well enough alone, because the idiot cowardly priest cut his head and bled directly into the mouth of Dracula’s corpse that was entombed in a block of ice. Drac takes the priest under his power and vows revenge on the monsignor and his family, which includes sexy neice Veronica Carlson and her atheist boyfriend. A big-breasted barmaid gets involved as well. Christopher Lee’s 3rd round as Drac, he gets some dialog this time.