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VINTAGE HAMMER FILMS GOES MODERN FOR 'DRACULA A.D. 1972'

Christopher Neame steals the show of Hammer's DRACULA A.D. 1972 Rating: ****
Dracula, revamped by Hammer film staple Christopher Lee, returns to England during the hippie era, 1972: Summoned by a group of swinging hippie rebels led by A CLOCKWORK ORANGE style swinger, who gathers his "gang" in a dilapidated old church where Drac's ashes were buried years ago...

The kids sit in a counter-culture style party circle, chant some spells, writhe and moan as the fanged foe emerges from the grounds of the churchyard outside...
Christopher Lee and Caroline Munro in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Lee first sinks his fangs into sexy brunette Caroline Munro and eventually gets a feverish drive to capture Stephanie Beacham, as Jessica Van Helsing, whose grandfather is Peter Cushing, relative of the famous slayer who, as a bookworm anthropologist, now must stop the caped leech before necking all the ladies...

At the same time, New Scotland Yard tries solving the case, which is far over their head and understanding, adding a human element through the lurking shadowy mainline.
Christopher Neame gets the Warner Bos treatment for DRACULA A.D. 1972 Rates: ****
And Lee's not the only significant Christopher on board: Christopher Neame is the important cog in this wheel. Begging for, and then landing his, coveted eternal life through a bite on the neck of his mentor, as a vampire he's provided a chance to really chew, or rather, bite the scenery...

Since Neame's Johnny Alucard was a bullying leader to the kids before the transformation and, in providing Christopher Lee all his female friends, is the ultimate middle-man...
Stephanie Beachum & Christopher Lee in DRACULA A.D. 1972
The kind of sociopath weasel that, although second-tier compared to Dracula, steals much of the film through manipulation and ratty, exuberant villainy. Especially when he and Drac go after Beacham, a gorgeous scream queen starlet with strength matching vulnerability, and who Cushing desperately needs to protect.  

While not exactly scary to today's standards, it's sexy, intriguingly suspenseful, creepy and lots of bloody fun. But don't expect a worthy reunion of Cushing and Lee. It's more of a body count thriller centered on Dracula and the sexy doomed 1970's starlets. It's just too bad Neame's Johnny (suffering an anticlimactic ending) didn't get his very own vampire flick.
Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Lee and Caroline Munro in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Stephanie Beachum & Christopher Lee in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Stephanie Beachum as Jessica Van Helsing in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Stephanie Beachum & Peter Cushing in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Modern title card showing the difference for DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christpher Neame and Marsha A. Hunt in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christpher Neame and Marsha A. Hunt in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Christopher Neame as Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972
Stephanie Beachum & Peter Cushing in DRACULA A.D. 1972
An extremely cute girl who is uncredited and unnamed in DRACULA A.D. 1972

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