It’s Hammer time! The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) [NSFW] It’s Hammer time! The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) [NSFW]
Stalks review explains why not all of Hammer's Films are instant classics and "Satanic Rites of Dracula" is the (un)living proof! It’s Hammer time! The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) [NSFW]

hammertime 3

What happens when there’s a promising concept that stumbled and falls until it impales itself?

Well, the answer would be Hammer Film’s Satanic Rites of Dracula! The sequel to Dracula A.D. 1972 and most notably Christopher Lee’s last role as the count. (And it shows!)

The plot takes place in London (circa 1970s). Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the great vampire-hunter himself, no less) to help them put a stop to these hideous crimes. It becomes apparent that the culprit is Count Dracula himself, disguised as a reclusive property developer, but secretly plotting to unleash a fatal virus upon the world.

So, where's Sammy Davis Jr? (;'

So, where’s Sammy Davis Jr? (;’

 

Prior to the story itself, we are treated to some cheesy intro of English landscapes while there’s a growing overlay silhouette of Dracula. I guess it blends well with that 70s vibe. Heh-heh.
Anyway, movie begins when a Secret Service undercover agent makes an escape attempt from the organization known as SERG and as he desperately makes his way out of the compound, a pair of SERG- security guards decked out in what seems to be sheepskin vests pursue the agent only to be gunned down in a gruesome manner (as in one taking a bullet through the mouth!). Despite the SS agent’s successful escape, he eventually succumbs to his wounds and dies. But not before providing his superiors the “deets” via a microfilm hidden inside his watch that exposes four (as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) prominent officials such as professors, landowners and even ministers, who are involved in this mysterious cult spearheaded by Chin Yang (Barbara Yu Ling), who bears a striking resemblance to actress Michelle Yeoh. During the covert microfilm’s footage, there’s a scene of a naked Woman lying on a sacrificial table, moaning while having cock (as in a rooster!!) blood poured on her abdomen. I guess that somewhat justifies the film’s R-rating!

Oh, I forgot to mention; “Not safe for Work”!!!

 

The branch notifies Occult expert Professor Lorrimar Van Helsing (Peter Cushing reprising his role as said character for the third time), who provides a long winded explanation of these Satanists while sharing tea and crumpets. Can Van Helsing and the Secret Service unravel and stop the co-conspirators before the plague of the apocalypse is unleashed upon the world? What is Dracula’s play? What is SERG and most importantly, do I really care?

"Step back everyone. I got this".

“Would you kindly step back? I got this”.

 

To put it bluntly, this film should have been rated R as in “Ridiculous” as in the lame chase scene involving one of the SS agents being pursued and captured by- you guessed it-those pesky sheepskin vest wearing motorcycle guards!! (It’s as if they used the same two actors from the early segment of the movie. I guess  that term “they all look alike” is legit after all! LOL)

"Introducing the SERG Guard Action Figure"!

“Introducing the SERG Guard Action Figure”!

"Accessories include; Porn stache, Sniper Rifle, Shades, and Sheepskin Vest"!

“Accessories include; Porn stache, Sniper Rifle, Shades, and Sheepskin Vest”!

“Command center sold separately. By MEGO”!

 

What’s (also) unintentionally funny was that all too familiar 70s “Waka-waka” music and for a moment I thought that Shaft was gonna show up and rescue the damsel, but instead, this dumb bitch pulls over thus making the guards’ task more convenient. But not before banging on the glass until it took the other “genius” to grab a tire iron in order to apprehend her. Yeah, okay.

Nerd drivers!!!

Fucking Nerd Drivers!!!

 

Aside from the aforementioned scene, this movie has its share of problems and one in particular are the less than intimidating vampires who couldn’t even manage to kill their captives despite outnumbering them. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Van Helsing managed to kill them off via a sprinkler system. The damn thing didn’t even release holy water! I mean, seriously?!?

Nothing says Americana more than Religion and Firearms!

Nothing says Americana more than Religion and Firearms!

 

I have seen scarier vamps in Blacula. And as much as I am a fan of recently departed Christopher Lee, I felt his part was a bit phoned in. There was no dramatic entrance of Count Dracula in comparison to Lee’s earlier Hammer Films whatsoever.

And as for the moment in which he encounters Prof Van Helsing in silhouette showed promise, the execution however felt rushed or tacked on to say in the least. It’s as if Drac’s affiliation with the Satanists is a role of servitude as opposed to running the show.

The Pimp

The Madam

The Madam

..and their Hoes!

..and their Hoes!

 

Fast forward to the final confrontation that incurred a silly prolonged scene with some follower being exposed to the plague virus as Cushing just stands there. Why wasn’t he exposed to the virus since he was at arm’s length? Let’s not forget how easily SERG’s Country house caught on fire thanks to a buffoon guard striking the control panel with a metal baton while trying to kill an SS agent. ????

As Fred Sanford would say; "You big Dummy"!

As Fred Sanford would say; “You big Dummy”!

 

To make matters worse, the almighty Count gets beaten not by silver bullets or a stake but instead a new weakness- fucking hawthorn bush?!? After decomposing for an extended period of time, Van Helsing picks up his ring, blows the ash off of it and- cut to credits.

"Aw, Hell naw"!

“Aw, Hell naw”!

 

Satanic Rites had potential greatness but it’s nothing more than a rushed effort. Not Lee or Cushing’s best nor is it worthy of Hammer’s “Library of classic Horror”.

"I think we have seen enough of this Movie, Gentlemen.."

“I think we have seen enough of this Movie, Gentlemen..”

"Wait..! Come back here! I'm not done with torturing you all yet"!!

“Wait..! Come back here! I’m not done with torturing you all yet”!!

 

And now….

 

Canned Ham(mer): The Outakes!

 

I wouldn't mind having a little "Chinese" in my diet..

I wouldn’t mind having a little “Chinese” in my diet..

Water washes the stink away from Drac's Skanks!

Water washes the stink away from Drac’s Skanks!

For a second, I thought this was some watermark from the film's distributor. True story. XD

For a second, I thought this was some watermark from the film’s distributor. True story. XD

"Mr. Dio, I'm afraid I'll have to let you go". That's right, You're Fired, Asshole!

“Mr. D*o, I’m afraid I’ll have to let you go”.
That’s right, You’re Fired, Asshole!

 

FIN

 

Author Image

Stalkeye

. Satirist, Gamer, Artist and Pop Culture commentator- Stalks offers his outspoken views on on most things Geek related as well as WTF is wrong with the world today!

  • Mr Nick Nightly

    This is one of those public domain flicks that you can find priced anywhere from $1.00 – $25.00. It’s worth a dime, but still pretty entertaining.

  • CoolHandJuke

    British boobs are weird looking. see also The Master…

  • Haha, that’s when they started to throw in the kitchen sink.

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    DAT SHEEPSKIN THO.

  • Glenda Wooley

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  • First of all, I thought the Hawthorn bush angle was a nice ATTEMPT at offing Dracula in a logical (by the Judeo-Christian foundation in which Dracula lives) way without having to resort to the hammer and stake, or more convenient and conventional methods.
    I also dig 70’s henchmen!! The taste of “Psychomania” or even “The Undertaker and his pals” appeals to my cheese burnt pallet. So inept motorcycle thugs catwalked right up my alley! You probably hate the early James Bond films as well!
    The idea of Dracula representing a global elite bent on world domination is a storyline I can totally get with as well. The effort to bring a ever so diminutive form of geopolitical horror into the mix is a venture worth exploring.
    I do agree that Lee and Cushing were far into their “walk through” phases at this point, but the chemistry is there, and enough to put the film over!!
    🐵

  • Stalkeye

    I thought the brilliant concept of Dracula having a “stake” in world domination was somewhat wasted. It was a slow burn and for the record my friend, I loved Psychomania an actually added said film in my British Horror article 3 Years ago.
    “You probably hate the early James Bond films as well!”
    *Hits Monkey with a Frozen Banana*
    On the contrary, the early Bonds with Connery and Moore were my favorites.
    *BZZZZZT*
    Wrong again! 😛

    Horror Express was a much better pairing of Lee and Cushing.

    http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/aceattorney/images/6/6b/PWAADD_Take_that!.png/revision/latest?cb=20140217205639

  • I_am_better

    I guess I was correct in my assumption that “Horror of Dracula” felt a bit tame and demure compared to the later outings XD

  • Yes! To Horror Express, anyway.
    Telly Savalas’ performance as the Head Cossack is worth the price of admission alone!
    My point on the Bond thing was that “Henchmen be Henchmen,” and are supposed to be sort of bumbling and expendable. I refer you to the Venture Brothers for a clearer consensus.
    Season 2.
    🐵

  • Stalkeye

    BTW Monks, I hope you at least had a good chuckle while i was poking fun at this film. Most of the review was done in a Ball Breaking manner however to be honest, I was disappointed in Satanic rites.

  • Oh mang, it’s all good!
    *monkey cocks derringer behind back*
    I don’t take very much seriously when it comes to pop culture, the interwebz, entertainment, etc.
    I thought it was a good article. I’m pretty easy to get along with, at least in the respect that I don’t get upset when debating or discussing different points of view; other than that I’m pretty irritating, but oh well.
    I like cheesy puns, like “having a stake” in world domination….🐒
    🙂

  • Stalkeye

    LMMFAO@*monkey cocks derringer behind back*

    Good comeback, Meng!