Taste The Blood Of Dracula

Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1969)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Christopher Lee, Linda Hayden, Anthony Corlan, Geoffrey Keen, John Carson, Peter Sallis
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

It seems like an eternity that fans have been waiting for some of the Hammer movies to be released on DVD, and indeed, 7 years is a long time! But in their latest wave, Warner Home Video finally delivers more of the goods and with ’Taste The Blood Of Dracula’ we get the fourth film in Hammers Dracula series starring Christopher Lee.

The film is certainly not the best of the series but still utterly enjoyable, especially today in a time when films with the charm and atmosphere of a Hammer movie are simply not being produced any more. Dracula is also a very passive character in this story as he hardly bites people and instead has others impale or stab his victims. But even though, the film is full of gorgeous visuals and great shots of a towering Christopher Lee as the Count of Evil. The film also boasts a lot of blood – redder and globbier than you can imagine – and the interesting social commentary underneath the story also has its points.

Warner Home Video is presenting ’Taste The Blood Of Dracula’ in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio on the disc in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. The print is virtually free of defects and is absolutely clean and stable. The level of detail is mesmerizing, bringing out every little bit of information in the picture down to the seams on Dracula’s cape and the tiny pores in the actors’ skin. Colors are bold and leap off the screen, but are never over-saturated. Blacks are deep, adding to the atmosphere – and thus the Hammer feel – of the presentation. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression is equally without flaws.

The audio on the DVD is a good monaural Dolby Digital presentation. Sibilance and distortion that was often evident in other incarnations of this film are gone. The audio is clear and without hiss or other problems. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable and the wonderful music makes use of the full sonic spectrum.

Sadly no extras have been added to this DVD other than the movie’s trailer. Once again, as in the past with Warner’s Hammer releases, that is a bit disappointing as many of the actors and crew members of these films are fading away and their recollections and memories of these great movies will go away with them. Hammer is severely underserved in that department and one would wish that Warner had tried to bring in Christopher Lee, Isla Blair, Linda Hayden and other cast members who are still active in their careers today.

’Taste The Blood Of Dracula’ is another wonderful presentation of a Hammer movie on DVD. Shame on Warner for not taking the opportunity to give fans more insight into the production, but other than that, this is a wonderfully welcome DVD release without technical flaws.