Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is a 1968 British horror film directed by Freddie Francis for Hammer Films. It stars Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, with support from Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barry Andrews, Barbara Ewing, Ewan Hooper and Michael Ripper.

The world of the film is arguably far darker and more ambiguous than the world created by director Terence Fisher for the previous three films in the Dracula series.

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave is the Sequel to “Prince of Darkness” (1966).

Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee

Directed by Freddie Francis

Writer – John Elder

Producer – Aida Young

Christopher Lee … Dracula
Rupert Davies … Monsignor Ernest Mueller
Veronica Carlson … Maria Mueller
Barbara Ewing … Zena
Barry Andrews … Paul
Ewan Hooper … Priest
Marion Mathie … Anna Mueller
Michael Ripper … Max
John D. Collins … Student
George A. Cooper … Landlord
Chris Cunningham … Farmer
Norman Bacon … Mute Boy

The Story: (Spoiler Alert!!)

A year has passed since the demise of Dracula, buried under the ice in the river that flows past his castle. Ernst Mueller [Rupert Davies], monsignor of the monastery at Kleinberg, has decided to visit the village to see that all is well. What he finds is appalling. The village priest [Ewan Hooper] has become an alcoholic. The villagers will not attend Sunday Mass because the shadow of Dracula’s castle touches the church during the evening hours. The Monsignor decides to exorcise the castle and prove to the villagers that the evil is gone. He and the priest climb the hill to the castle, but the priest chickens out halfway. The Monsignor continues alone to the castle door where he performs his exorcism and seals the castle door with a large cross. The priest, in the meantime, is taking swigs from his hipflask. He stumbles over a cliff, cuts his head, lands on the river ice, causing it to crack open just above Dracula’s body. The priest’s blood drips through the cracked ice, flowing into Dracula’s mouth, and Dracula is thus resurrected.

Veronica Carlson

Barred from his castle by the cross on the door, Dracula [Christopher Lee] must now find other lodgings. He enslaves the priest, forcing him to dig up a new coffin for him. He also forces him to reveal who is responsible for the exorcism. The coffin is loaded onto a funeral coach, and the priest and Dracula head toward Kleinberg. His exorcism finished, the Monsignor also returns to Kleinberg where he lives with his brother’s widow Anna [Marion Mathe] and his niece Maria [Veronica Carlson]. It is Maria’s birthday, and a dinner party is planned for her. Tonight, Maria will introduce her boyfriend Paul [Barry Anderson], who she has been climbing over the rooftops to meet secretly) to her family. Paul works as a baker at the Johann Cafe and engages in scholarly studies during his spare time. Scared to meet Maria’s family for the first time, Paul’s plight is not helped when his friends at the cafe spill beer down his shirt. Still, all goes well at the dinner until Paul, in a fit of truthfulness, admits to the Monsignor that he is an atheist. Paul returns to the cafe, downs 3 glasses of Schnapps, and passes out. The waitress Xena [Barbara Ewing] carries him up to bed just as Maria enters through a window.

On her way home, Xena is attacked by Dracula. With Xena’s help, Dracula and his coffin are moved into a storage room in the cafe cellar, and the priest takes a room at the cafe. The next evening, when Maria drops by the cafe to see Paul, Xena leads her into the bakery, covers her head with a bag, and takes her to see Dracula. Maria escapes, however, when Paul comes looking for her, and she tells of being attacked by a man “with burning eyes.” Angry at the failed attempt, Dracula kills Xena and orders the priest to destroy her in the furnace fire. Later that night, Dracula comes to Maria’s bedside and drinks from her. He returns the next night but, just as he prepares to drink from her, the Monsignor enters the room. Dracula sees the cross in the Monsignor’s hand and leaps from the window. The Monsignor attempts to follow but is knocked out by the priest. As the Monsignor lies dying, he sends for Paul and tells him what he must do to save Maria. Paul finds Dracula’s coffin and drives a stake through his heart but, because neither he nor the priest can pray to God, Dracula succeeds in removing the stake. He escapes, summons Maria and, together with the priest, they return to Dracula’s castle. Paul gets a horse and follows.

Upon reaching the castle, Dracula forces Maria to remove the cross from the castle door. As she throws it down the cliff, Paul arrives. He and Dracula battle. They both fall off the porch. Paul catches a branch on the way down but Dracula falls to the ground where he is impaled upon the cross just tossed away by Maria. As the priest recites the Pater Noster, Dracula turns to dust.

Production Info:

This was the first of the Hammer Dracula films to be shot at Elstree Studios in London. Notably missing are the approach road, coach path and moat seen in front of Castle Dracula in 1958’s Dracula and 1966’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness. Those films were made at Bray Studios.

The film was photographed by Arthur Grant using colored filters belonging to director Freddie Francis, also a cameraman by trade, who used them when photographing The Innocents (1961). Whenever Dracula (or his castle) is in a scene, the frame edges are tinged crimson, amber and yellow.

In Australia, the film was the first Hammer Dracula to be passed by the censors; the previous films Dracula (1958) and Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) were banned. The film was slightly censored and ran for a three-week season at Sydney’s Capitol theatre in January 1970. In the US, the film was rated G. ……… Source(s) IMDB, Wikipedia

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