Taste the Blood of Dracula is one of the best of Christopher Lee's Dracula series for Hammer. A group of businessmen who, out of sight of their families, like nothing more than to frequent brothels and generally behave in sensation-seeking ways, are persuaded by Dracula's servant (a splendidly manic Ralph Bates) that summoning up the orthodontically-challenged aristocrat would be the ultimate thrill. They warily agree, purchasing relics for the necessary ritual from a shifty dealer (Roy Kinnear--who else?), but panic halfway through the proceedings and decide to kick... their initiator to death instead. Unfortunately, it's too late, and Dracula materialises as they make good their escape, swearing to avenge the murder of his servant. While the subsequent descent into paranoia by the three villains-Dracula himself hardly counts in comparison with this odious bunch--isn't exactly the stuff of Rosemary's Baby, it still infuses the plot with an element of psychodrama that is unusual for a Hammer fang-fest. There are strong performances pretty much all round, but Peter "Clegg" Sallis quakes exceptionally nicely as one of the trio of miscreants. The sets, props and costumes are of an unusually high order, too. --Roger Thomas [show more]
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