DRACULA Palance of terror
released OUT NOW! 1973 | 15 | Blu-ray/dVd
Director dan Curtis
Cast Jack Palance, Nigel davenport, simon Ward, Fiona lewis
Director Dan Curtis updated the undead myth with 1972’s The Night Stalker, the TV movie that gave the world ghoul-chasing hack Carl Kolchak but this take on Bram Stoker’s classic is all about fidelity, preserving the king of the vampires in Victorian aspic.
For all that it chases authenticity, its star makes a deeply improbable Dracula. One of cinema’s natural gunslingers and gangsters, Jack Palance underplays the role, urbane and gentlemanly but capable of some purposeful striding when the occasion demands. He looks a little like a Vegas pianist in this and is, ultimately, just as menacing, as misplaced a romantic lead as an icon of horror.
There’s a shortfall of scares in general. “A new height in unabated terror!” pants the trailer but in truth this is sluggish, flaccid stuff. With its Brit thesp cast it has the handsome mahogany creak of Masterpiece Theatre but it just doesn’t deliver the jolts.
One lone, magnificent shot – Dracula on a forlorn Whitby beach, the wind whipping the sails of a wrecked ship while a dead sailor uselessly grasps a crucifix – seems to belong to another film entirely.
Extras Trailers; gallery. Nick Setchfield
Marvel artist Gene Colan based his Tomb Of Dracula take on Jack Palance – three years before he was cast in this.
Johnny Cash belted another one out.