Though June is usually the favored month for many brides, we jump the gun tonight by throwing some rice- though we'd be safer using garlic- at the "Brides of Dracula"!
In this Sven viewers' favorite full color Hammer film from 1960, we get the great Peter Cushing as legendary vampire hunter Van Helsing- who is summoned to a small village when an epidemic of vampirism among the young female residents has reared its ugly fangs. At about the same time, a beautiful young teacher named Marianne has arrived from France for an new job at a girls' academy near the Transylvania area (any red flags there?)- but ends up spending the night, in spite of the worried looks of the locals, at the castle of the aged Baroness von Meinster- where she is stunned to find a young man held a chained prisoner in one room. She covertly helps him to escape his bonds- not realizing why he has been chained up in the castle. After fleeing into the night, she is rescued by the afore-mentioned Van Helsing- who accompanies her to the academy to help explain her tardiness in arriving. He then returns to the village to investigate the latest death of a young woman-and discovers he is again facing the undead- and that young Marianne may be in danger!
Peter Cushing is excellent, as always , as the vampire hunter- and Yvonne Monlaur is gorgeous as the young teacher.Martita Hunt is a rather frightening baroness- and David Peel gives us a change from the usual dark-haired vampire type , but is just as terrifying! The brilliant Hammer colors and locations make this a real feast for the eye- and, we'll fill you in on some info about the cast, as well as why a certain Hammer stalwart vampire DOESN'T appear!
"Brides of Dracula" hits the Me-TV airwaves tonight at 10 pm eastern and pacific, 9 pm central time, and please check your local listings for the runtime in your bitten neck of the woods.For our Chicago viewers, you'll get another look at Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in "The Raven" on our sister station, WCIU- the U- at 11 am.
One final word- we were saddened by the death of the great filmmaker Ray Harryhausen this past week. regretfully, though we've shown his films in the past, we do not have the broadcast rights to them currently- but I have often stated that his movies have always been among my favorites, and the amazing creatures he brought to life- from those dueling skeletons to the Cyclops to Medusa- are among the reasons why I got hooked on horror and fantasy movies. I worry that his passing truly closes the door on the hands-on art of stop-motion animation, especially since computer generated effects have pretty much replaced the old ways- but nothing will ever replace the incredible work of Harryhausen, which will live on.