Country: UNITED KINGDOM
Taste the Blood of Dracula was Hammer Film Productions’ fifth film to feature Transylvania’s favourite son, and the fourth to feature the sartorial talents of Christopher Lee as the eponymous bloodsucker. I’ve always had a great fondness for this Hammer film, and in comparison to the other Dracula pictures produced by Hammer I rate this as second only to their 1958 production. By this point Bray Studios was a distant memory and much of the studio bound sequences seen here were shot at Elstree Studios. Later Hammer films had a cheap tackiness about them, but Taste the Blood…was one of the last to maintain a lushness and vitality, a visual presentation that far exceeded its modest budget. The film benefits tremendously from some impressive location work in the Hertfordshire countryside, and several exciting and stylish scenes mounted in Highgate Cemetery. Just a scant few months after the release of this film, Hammer put out their sixth Dracula film Scars of Dracula, and the aesthetic difference between the two films is incredible. In many ways this was the last great gothic horror film produced by Hammer, and distilled with economy and brilliance the class message that is visible throughout their films.
© Shaun Anderson 2010