Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is the fourth of the Dracula films from Hammer Horror, released in 1968 and set immediately after the events of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Directed by Freddie Francis, the film stars Christopher Lee in his third appearance as the Count, along with Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing, Barry Andrews, and Ewan Hopper.
The film opens with an altar boy about to ring a church bell when suddenly something wet drips on his cheek. Inspecting it, he discovers it is blood. He climbs up the bell tower, and to his horror discovers the corpse of a young woman crammed inside the church's bell with two bloody punctured holes in her neck. A year later in 1896, after Dracula has supposedly been destroyed, Monsignor Ernest Muller (Davies) comes to the village on a routine visit only to find that the altar boy is now a frightened mute and the Priest (Hooper) has apparently lost his faith. Moreover, the villagers won't attend Mass at the church, because the shadow of Dracula's castle touches it. To fix this, the Monsignor decides to go with the Priest to the castle and exorcise it.
The terrified Priest follows only partway up the mountain, leaving the Monsignor to continue alone. As Muller exorcises the castle, affixing a large metal cross to its door, a thunderstorm begins. The Priest flees, stumbles, and is knocked unconscious when his head strikes a rock. The blood from the wound on his head trickles down to a frozen stream, then through a crack in the ice onto the lips of the body of Count Dracula— awakening him. The unknowing Monsignor returns to the village, reassures the villagers, and returns to his home city of Kleinenberg.
Unfortunately, this isn't the end. The newly-revived Dracula is angered at the cross barring entry into his castle and vows revenge. He travels to Kleinenberg, where—aided by the Priest and a barmaid named Zena (Ewing), both of whom are under his power—he targets the Monsignor's niece, Maria (Carlson). It ultimately falls to Maria's Love Interest, a studious young atheist named Paul (Andrews), to save her and stop Dracula.
Followed by Taste the Blood of Dracula.
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave has the following tropes:
- Absolute Cleavage: Zena.
- Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: A very rare and confusing example; despite it being an obvious horror movie with two stabbing scenes, several deaths, and quite a lot of blood, Dracula Has Risen From The Grave was actually rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America, the same rating you'd see attached to any Disney film of the time. This error has not been corrected since with even the film's Blu-Ray release retaining the G rating.
- Betty and Veronica: Maria and Zena.
- Brainwashed: The Priest, put under the mental control of Dracula. Justified Trope as his will is weakened by his Crisis of Faith.
- Body in a Breadbox: The corpse hidden in the church bell.
- Breaking and Bloodsucking: Maria is standing at her balcony door when Dracula comes for her and she slowly retreats to her bed.
- Chekhov's Gun: The cross used to seal Castle Dracula.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Why the first attempt to stake Dracula fails.
- Crisis of Faith: The Priest has one.
- Continuity Nod: Dracula entombed in frozen water from the previous film.
- Dumb Struck: The mute altar boy.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Priest, never given a name in the movie or credits; averted with the Monsignor, whose name is Ernest Muller.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Both the student Paul and Dracula prefer blonde Maria, much to Zena's annoyance.
- Eye Scream: At the film's climax, when Dracula begins to succumb to being impaled, he bleeds from his eyes. And, just before his body crumbles away, we see that he now has dark, empty eye sockets.
- Fiery Redhead: Zena. She even challenges Dracula a few times.
- Hollywood Atheist: Paul in label, but averted in behavior. He's a pretty decent guy who just happens to not believe. However, he does start his path to believing something is out there in the end upon seeing the effect crosses have on vampires. Then again, he does allow Dracula to escape a staking because he refuses to pray.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sort of in this case. Dracula forces Maria to get rid of the cross that is on his castle which she does by throwing it off. Barely two minutes after this occurs, Dracula gets in a struggle with Paul and ends up falling down the hill and gets impaled on that same cross.
- Hypocrite: The Monsignor tells Paul how much he admires him for his honesty and talks about how people don't say what they really feel... that is, until Paul tells him he is a atheist and this cause the The Monsignor to snap on him. Paul immediately calls him out on this too.
- Human Popsicle: Or in Dracula's case, Vampire Popsicle.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Dracula with the standard move to snare women.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Dracula, as described above in Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Kill It with Fire: Used twice in this film. First, the priest, at Dracula's command, stuffs Zena's body into a furnace before she can awaken as a vampire. Later, Paul tries unsuccessfully to use a shovel-full of burning coals to destroy Dracula.
- MookFace Turn: The Priest regains his faith at the end when Dracula gets impaled on the cross and recites the Lord's Prayer to finish off Dracula.
- Ms. Fanservice: Maria and Zena.
- Our Vampires Are Different: It's not enough to drive a stake through a vampire's heart; you have to pray after you do it. This allows Dracula to escape when Paul the Straw Atheist stakes him but can't bring himself to utter the required prayer. Holy symbols are also shown to repel vampires; Dracula is unable to enter his castle due to the cross chained to the doors by the Monsignor, and is unable to pull the cross out of himself after his fatal fall onto it at the end of the film (he tries, but but reels in pain when he touches the cross).
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse:
- The girl's body that falls out of the church bell.
- As well as Zena when The Priest goes to put the lid on Dracula's coffin and find her body (oddly vamped but dead) laying under it.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dracula, of course.
- Roof Hopping: Maria does this routinely when coming to see Paul, because her uncle the Monsignor disapproves. Later the Monsignor does this to pursue Dracula.
- Same Content, Different Rating: This explicitly gory film was given a G rating in the U.S., which it still has. Since this was the very first movie to receive an MPAA rating, it was before the G rating was truly codified as "kids stuff". In most other countries, it has the local equivalent of a PG-13 or R rating.
- Same Language Dub: Ewan Hopper was dubbed.
- Seasonal Baggage: The "seasonal montage" variant. A single shot of the church bell throw a window shows rain, then snow, then no snow, to demonstrate passage of a year.
- Series Continuity Error: It is shown and explained in this film that just staking a vampire isn't enough; you must say a prayer after you do it or they don't die. Yet in the first film, Horror of Dracula, Harker kills Dracula's bride without saying a prayer.
- Starving Student: Paul, working as a baker to fund his education.
- "You!" Exclamation: The Monsignor says this when his pursuit of Dracula is interrupted by Dracula's mook — the priest. The priest then whacks him over the head with a stone tablet.
- You Have Failed Me: Zena is turned into one of Dracula's mooks after he bites her. She's given orders to kidnap Maria, but fails to do so. Dracula promptly slays her for her failure and has the Priest burn her body.