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SUZAN FARMER ENLIGHTENS 'DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS'

Suzan Farmer & Barbara Shelley in DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS Year: 1966 Rates: ***

Another suitable name for DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS would be HAMMER HOTEL since the basic premise is the luring of two couples into Dracula's castle and featuring two gorgeous women, one in her experienced-hot thirties the other her lithe-naive-twenties... 

But the luring isn't really a temptation but rather, like most Hammer Films, tons of expository dialogue (mostly uttered by intensely bearded Andrew Kier) that, halfway through, finally gets this lost stranded foursome into the murky manor where of course, DRACULA will inevitably rise in the form of the iconic Christopher Lee...

Suzan Farmer & Barbara Shelley in DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS

Not without a price... it takes one of the men's blood for reanimation, thanks to the movie's downright spookiest character in castle butler "Klove" played by long-faced Philip Latham, who, more Frankenstein's Monster than Igor, does the lethal dirty work while most of PRINCE is a male fantasy centered upon the two vulnerable starlets...

Hammer scream queen Barbara Shelley is the oldest and initially uptight (noting if they stay the night there won't be a tomorrow) so of course, she gets bitten and vamped-out first...

Suzan Farmer as Diana in DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS

Leading to Suzan Farmer, an adorable girl-next-door/dimple-chinned starlet that the rest of the picture hinges upon the possession of... fought-over by both Shelley and Dracula... the latter basically crashing his own party, serving more as "special guest" than titular star...

Thus providing Shelley the most fangy fun throughout, while quasi comic-relief Thorley Walters as an absent-minded version of Van Helsing pales to Peter Cushing... But it's the ladies here that matter. Both of them, equally. 

Philp Latham actually makes a better antagonist for DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS
Christopher Lee and Francis Matthews in DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS

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