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Horror of Dracula is a horror film by Hammer Film Productions, released in 1958. Its real name is simply just Dracula, but to avoid confusion, we'll be using the title that it was released under in the US. It stars Sir Christopher Lee as the eponymous Count and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, roles for which they'd both remembered for a long time. Lee would later come to resent his role because of increasingly inferior sequels and to this day refuses to talk about it.
A very loose adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel, the film opens with Jonathan Harker arriving in the Castle Dracula. He has come to destroy Dracula, but the plan falls through and he becomes a victim of the Count. Shortly after, Van Helsing arrives to investigate...
The film was continued in The Brides of Dracula. Christopher Lee would return to reprise his role in the subsequent Dracula: Prince of Darkness.
This film has examples of:
- Agony of the Feet: Van Helsing manages to halt Dracula by exposing his feet to sunlight.
- All in the Eyes
- Badass Cape
- Buried Alive: Dracula attempts bury Mina alive.
- Death by Adaptation: Harker who never leaves Dracula's castle alive this time.
- Eats Babies: Lucy, in her vampire state, nearly feeds on her 10 year old niece
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Jonathan notes how cold Dracula's castle feels like compared to outside.
- Fainting: Due to Dracula's bite, Mina Holmwood faints when a cross is placed on her hand.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Van Helsing has to give a slap to hysteric Gerda at one point.
- Infant Immortality
- Kensington Gore
- No Immortal Inertia: When vampires are killed, they reveal their real age.
- That only applied to Dracula and the vampire girl in his castle since they were centuries old.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Getting bitten, regardless if your drained or not, is an instant threat to the victim and they'll turn if not 1) treated properly or 2) the vampire who bit them is killed.
- Owl Be Damned: An owl provides a Cat Scare to Arthur at one point.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Scream Discretion Shot
- Staking the Loved One
- Vampire Bites Suck
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Women in this film simply cannot resist Dracula.
- Vampire Refugee: Harker Who in this version is actually turned into a vampire. Helsing grimly has to stake him
- Victorian London: Though the movie is set on Karlstadt, Germany.
- The X of Y
- Your Vampires Suck: Van Helsing dismisses as "a common fallacy" the idea that vampires can turn into wolves or bats.
- The underlying reason is pragmatic: Hammer really couldn't've done the FX work, as was shown by the utter Special Effects Failure in 1970's Scars of Dracula. Director Terence Fisher also said giving Dracula a handicap made the films more exciting.