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 story opens in a middle-European village still living in fear of the Prince of Darkness. A young altar boy makes his way up to the bell-tower. He is about to ring the bell when suddenly something wet drips on his cheek. Inspecting it, he discovers it is blood. Looking up, and to his horror, he discovers the corpse of a young woman crammed inside the church's bell with two bloody punctured holes in her neck.
She is another victim of Count Dracula.
A year after Dracula has been destroyed, a Monsignor (Davies) comes to the village on a routine visit only to find the altar boy is now a frightened mute. The villagers refuse to attend Mass at church because "the shadow of his castle touches it". The Priest has apparently lost his faith. To bring to an end the villagers' fears, the Monsignor climbs to the Castle to exorcise it. Count Dracula and Maria MullerThe Priest cannot follow him up the mountain and the Monsignor continues alone. As the Monsignor exorcises the castle, attaching a large metal cross to its gate, a storm strikes, and the Priest tries to run, but falls and is knocked out, cutting his head on rock. His blood trickles into a frozen stream; through a crack in the melting ice it trickles on to the lips of the preserved body of Count Dracula and brings it to life.
The Monsignor goes back to the village believing that the Priest had already safely returned, and assures the villagers that the castle is sanctified to protect them from Dracula's evil. He returns to his home city of Kleinenberg.
Unknown to the Monsignor, the Priest is under the control of the resurrected Count. Furious that the cross prevents him from entering his castle, Dracula demands that the enslaved Priest says who is responsible. The Priest leads Dracula in pursuit of the Monsignor and he discovers a new victim for Dracula's revenge - the Monsignor's beautiful niece, Maria (Carlson). First, Dracula bites and enslaves Zena the tavern girl (Ewing). Zena almost succeeds in bringing Maria under Dracula's power, despite her jealousy. However, Maria's boyfriend Paul (Andrews) works in the bakery beneath the tavern, and he rescues her. Dracula punishes the tavern girl for her "failure" by biting and killing her. The Priest is summoned to burn her corpse in the fire of the bakery oven before she turns into a vampire (her teeth have already grown into fangs) and he helps Dracula find Maria. Dracula comes into her bedroom at night over the rooftops. The scene where he bites her is intense and ends with her hand pushing away her china doll.
The Monsignor sees the signs of vampirism in his niece and follows the fleeing figure, but is knocked insensible on the rooftop by the Priest. In his dying state he recruits Paul to help. Paul is an atheist but his love for Maria drives him. Unwittingly he enlists the Priest's help who, unable to break free from Dracula's influence, tries to attack Paul. Paul forces the Priest to lead him to Dracula's lair beyond the tavern bakery. They stake Dracula through the heart; the faithless Priest and the atheist Paul cannot complete the rite and Dracula removes the stake himself. He draws Maria to him on the rooftop, and they are pursued by Paul and the Priest.
Dracula carries Maria to his castle, orders her to remove the metal cross. She tumbles it over the parapet to the ravine below. Paul faces the Count outside the castle and during the struggle Dracula drops over the parapet and lands on his back, impaled on the cross. He fights to free himself, bleeding heavily from his eyes, ears and mouth as well as his wound. The Priest recites the Lord's Prayer and Count Dracula perishes, dissolving into dust. Reunited with Maria and his religion, Paul crosses himself over the spectacle.
- Christopher Lee (Count Dracula)
- Rupert Davies (Monsignor Ernest Muller)
- Veronica Carlson (Maria Muller)
- Barry Andrews (Paul)
- Barbara Ewing (Zena)
- Ewan Hooper (Priest)
- Marion Mathie (Anna)
- Michael Ripper (Max)
- John D. Collins (Student)
- George A. Cooper (Landlord)
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.
Initially Terence Fisher was to direct the film, but dropped out due to illness; Freddie Francis stepped in.
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.
The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films called the film "a minor triumph of style over content", writing that the film "succeeds by virtue of Francis' adventurous direction". The film currently holds 79% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Hearn, Marcus; Barnes, Alan (September 2007). "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave". The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films (limited ed.). Titan Books. ISBN 1 84576 185 5.