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Film / Taste the Blood of Dracula

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"They have destroyed my servant. They will be destroyed."
Count Dracula

The fifth Dracula film by Hammer, released in 1970 and following Dracula Has Risen from the Grave. It starred Christopher Lee in his fourth appearance as the Count.

Three gentlemen, Hargood (Geoffrey Keen), Paxton (Peter Sallis) and Secker (John Carson), are bored by their usual hedonistic gatherings involving opium and prostitutes. In a bid to try something new, they agree to attend a ceremony to resurrect Dracula held by young Courtley (Ralph Bates), a known practitioner of black arts. The ceremony is botched at a key moment when the three refuse to taste the blood of Dracula, and Courtley dies by drinking it himself as the gentlemen flee the premises. Dracula's resurrection is however still a success, and he vows to take revenge for the death of his servant.

Followed by Scars of Dracula.

This film has the examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Hargood, both emotionally and physically.
  • Abandoned Area: Courtley's planned resurrection of Dracula takes place in an abandoned church.
  • All in the Eyes: Used on Dracula after the deaths of Hargood, Paxton, and Secker.
  • Asshole Victim: Hargood is control freak who forbids his wife and daughter do anything without his permission, while engaging in ungentlemanly behaviour. His death at the hands of his turned daughter is long overdue.
  • Darker and Edgier: One of the few Hammer Dracula films that was R-rated, albeit later on (it was originally rated PG), it was not only able to push the envelope with its depiction of nudity, and violence, but also with its dark themes.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunder rolls in the background as Dracula's blood starts to take shape in a goblet.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Courtley spooks the three gentlemen by laughing evilly in hiding as they arrive in the abandoned church.
    • Alice does one when she is taking Lucy in the coach to met Dracula.
  • Evil Old Folks: The three pompous, hypocritical (and in Harwood's case abusive) fathers. Dracula seems almost gallant in comparison.
  • Genre Savvy: Secker instantly realizes that vampirism is afoot as he and Paxton discover Lucy sleeping in a casket
  • Hate Sink: Hargood is a despicable abusive and hypocritical piece of crud and the most cathartic victim of Dracula.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Paxton is killed with his own stake.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Crosses figure in heavily in Dracula's defeat in the climax.
  • Immediate Sequel: Weller bumbles through the forest and eventually stumbles into the last scene of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, watching as the Count dies from getting staked at the end of that movie.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Weller discovers Dracula in the prologue writhing and screaming from pain after being impaled on a large golden cross at the end of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave.
  • More than Mind Control: Dracula's hypnosis may seem like a reasonable enough catalyst for Alice to kill her own father, but given Hargood's abuse, it's safe to assume she felt the urge to do that anyway, and the hypnosis just brought those urges out. Much like real-life hypnosis.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Hargood, who tries to shame his daughter for an innocent flirtation yet himself cavorts in sleazy brothels.
  • Police Are Useless: Inspector Cobb doesn't do much of anything to investigate the deaths and disappearances going on. He just latches on to any explanation that won't require him to do any actual police work.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dracula's eyes are red as he dies in the prologue. When he is resurrected, they are completely red.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Paul for Alice when Dracula rejects her.
  • Shovel Strike: Alice, under Dracula's control, kills her abusive father Hargood by whacking him in the head with a shovel.
  • Staking the Loved One: When Secker and Paxton finds vampirized Lucy in a casket, Secker tries to stake her, only for Paxton to chase him away, so that the task of slaying his daughter would befall on him alone. He fails.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mrs. Hargood.
  • Tears of Blood: Bloody tears run down on Dracula's face as he writhes in pain in the prologue.
  • Transhuman Treachery: After Lucy is turned, she is glad to serve Dracula.
  • Villainous Rescue: Dracula stops Alice's father from beating her.
  • Woman Scorned: Alice immediately turns on Dracula when he tells her she is of no more use to him.