The Brides of Dracula (1960)

brides of dracula poster 1960 movie hammer horror
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Cushing, the creepy brides

Peel doesn't play a very interesting vampire

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Brides of Dracula

Studio:  Hammer Film Production

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  July 7, 1960

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

brides of dracula vampire rises from grave

Wake-up, sleepy-head! Time to suck some blood!

A young girl named Marianne Danielle (Yvonne Monlaur) finds herself stranded as she heads to job at a Transylvanian school.  When she is invited to the castle of Baron Meinster (David Peel) for the evening, she accidentally unleashes a horror by freeing the Baron who is actually a vampire.  Unaware of Meinster’s true nature, Marianne is rescued by Doctor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who discovers the enemy he’s fought before has returned…and set its sights on Marianne as one of his brides!

Directed by Terence Fisher, The Brides of Dracula is the second in Hammer Horror’s Dracula series.  Following Dracula in 1958, The film is often collected with other Hammer Horror films.

brides of dracula baron meinster vampire david peel

Fear Baron Meinster…I’m just sorry it doesn’t have the menacing sound of “Count Dracula”

Christopher Lee was such a great Dracula and facing him off against Peter Cushing was also a smart movie.  Christopher Lee refused to return as Dracula, and David Peel brought in as his disciple with Peter Cushing returning.  Losing one of those elements does hurt this film along with a rambling plot, but for the most part, The Brides of Dracula is a fun little thriller.

The Brides of Dracula rather takes a while to get where it is going.  It slowly paces through the story with Marianna as sort of the main character (but then replaced by Van Helsing).  The title is a misnomer since Dracula isn’t in the picture and the real star is Baron Meinster (the original title of The Disciple of Dracula makes much more sense).  I do also have to say Van Helsing’s curing of the vampire curse when he is bitten is one of the more unusual story twists.  The ending sequence with the windmill is also odd, and the original plans for black magic and bats was used in The Kiss of the Vampire.

brides of dracula baron meinster vs van helsing peter cushing david peel

Cushing is dying to be in another Hammer Dracula movie!

Christopher Lee really made Dracula, and David Peel doesn’t do him much justice (other than make him good).  Peter Cushing is still great as Van Helsing, but I wish he had been part of the film sooner.  The two vampire brides in the film are fun and eat up the scenery with their vampire grins and smiles.

Hammer Horror films always look great.  The visuals are bright and vibrant, and I even like the set pieces in this film.  They are dated and somewhat corny, but they work here and bring back a nice sense of nostalgia.

The Brides of Dracula is a good entry in Hammer’s series.  Later entries in the series get more horrific, but The Brides of Dracula feels more like a classic horror film that could mix well with Universal films.  Hammer followed The Brides of Dracula with Dracula:  Prince of Darkness in 1966.

Related Links:

Dracula (The Horror of Dracula) (1958)

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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